Customer Service

Best Zendesk Alternative for Support Teams in 2024

32 min read
Jul 1, 2024

Zendesk is known for its comprehensive set of customer service tools, including a ticketing system, live chat, and analytics, making it a popular choice for mid-size and large enterprises looking for scalable solutions. Its solid features and good reputation keep it at the forefront of customer service software discussions. However, Zendesk's relatively high cost and steep learning curve can pose challenges for smaller companies or startups with limited budgets and resources.

From user-friendly interfaces to specialized tools, Zendesk's competitors offer a variety of solutions to suit different business requirements and support strategies. This article will examine several alternatives to Zendesk, their unique features, strengths, and suitability for different customer service teams. 

Whether you are a small business looking for a more budget-friendly option or an enterprise needing certain advanced features, many alternatives may better suit your organizational needs. 

Why consider Zendesk alternatives?

While Zendesk remains a prominent choice for customer service platforms, several compelling reasons prompt businesses to explore alternatives that better fit their needs and preferences.

1. High price

Zendesk's pricing structure is often cited as a deterrent for businesses, especially smaller companies or startups with budget constraints. With a starting cost of $69 per month per support agent, the expenses can quickly increase as your team grows.

Moreover, essential features may require additional payments as add-ons, increasing the overall expenditure without proportional feature value compared to more cost-effective Zendesk competitors. Businesses seeking comprehensive functionality at a lower cost may find better value with a Zendesk alternative offering competitive pricing models with essential features.

2. Complicated to use

Despite its extensive feature set, Zendesk's complexity can pose challenges, particularly for new users or those less familiar with technical platforms. The platform's configurations and setup require a steep learning curve, potentially leading to inefficiencies during onboarding.

Despite demo sessions and training efforts, users may struggle to effectively navigate Zendesk, leading to wasted time and resources. This complexity is often highlighted in user reviews and customer feedback, prompting businesses to seek alternatives with more intuitive interfaces and easier usability.

3. Pricey add-ons

Even with a premium subscription to Zendesk, users often encounter additional costs associated with essential add-ons. These extra expenses can significantly impact budget planning, as businesses may not anticipate the need for certain functionalities until after subscribing.

In contrast, some Zendesk alternatives include these features as part of their standard plans, providing transparency and cost predictability. This approach eliminates the concern of unexpected charges and offers peace of mind regarding budget management.

4. Late customer support

Although Zendesk is a leader in customer support software, It has faced criticism regarding the responsiveness and effectiveness of its customer support services. Users have reported challenges in receiving timely assistance and resolving issues promptly, which can hinder operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Businesses reliant on robust customer support from their service management platforms may find Zendesk alternatives more appealing, especially those prioritizing responsive support and issue resolution.

22 Best Zendesk alternatives for support teams in 2024

Looking for alternatives to Zendesk in 2024? Explore these 22 top-rated platforms that offer robust features, competitive pricing, and excellent customer support to enhance your team's efficiency and customer satisfaction.

1. ChatBot

ChatBot provides AI-generated responses and continuous support around the clock, requiring minimal coding expertise. This feature makes it exceptionally suitable for businesses aiming to seamlessly optimize customer interactions.

ChatBot


With ChatBot's capabilities, companies can automate routine inquiries, reduce response times, and maintain consistent customer engagement without human intervention at any time.

It improves operational efficiency and ensures that customers receive prompt assistance whenever needed. ChatBot's intuitive interface and customizable features enable teams to effectively deploy and manage chatbots, tailoring responses to specific business needs and customer expectations.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: ChatBot offers a tiered pricing structure starting at $52 per month billed annually for the Starter plan, making it affordable for small to medium-sized businesses.

Best for: Small to medium-sized businesses looking for an easy-to-implement chatbot solution without the overhead of extensive coding or infrastructure management.

2. Help Scout

Help Scout offers a simple yet powerful help desk software solution focused on email-based customer support. It prioritizes collaboration and customer satisfaction with features like shared inboxes, robust reporting, and automation tools. Help Scout's intuitive interface allows teams to efficiently manage customer conversations, ensuring seamless communication and faster response times.

Unlike Zendesk, Help Scout emphasizes personalized customer interactions and integrates with popular CRM systems and ecommerce platforms. It also supports knowledge base creation and customer feedback collection to enhance self-service options and gather insights for continuous improvement.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Help Scout's plans start at $22 per user per month, with a 15-day free trial available, making it accessible for teams of various sizes to try before committing.

Best for: Growing teams and SMBs prioritizing a straightforward setup, ease of use, and effective customer communication across multiple channels.

3. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a customer support software designed to empower businesses with tools for multichannel ticket management, automation, and customer self-service. It integrates seamlessly with other Zoho products and third-party applications, offering a comprehensive ecosystem for the customer experience and relationship management. Zoho Desk stands out with its AI-powered assistant, Zia, which automates routine tasks and provides actionable insights to improve service efficiency.

It supports email, phone, live chat, and social media channels, enabling teams to deliver consistent and personalized customer support experiences. With features like customizable workflows, knowledge base, customer relationship management tool, and performance analytics, Zoho Desk caters to businesses looking to streamline support operations and enhance agent productivity.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Zoho Desk's pricing starts at $7 per user per month, with higher-tier plans, including community forums, starting at $14 monthly.

Best for: Small to medium-sized teams and startups looking for an affordable yet feature-rich customer support platform with integrated community engagement tools.

4. ServiceNow

ServiceNow is a leading enterprise cloud platform transforming IT service delivery and customer service operations. Beyond its origins in IT service management (ITSM), ServiceNow has evolved into a comprehensive solution that integrates IT operations with customer service management (CSM). It empowers organizations to streamline workflows, automate routine tasks, and improve customer service operations and delivery efficiency across departments.

ServiceNow

ServiceNow's robust ticketing system and service desk capabilities enable businesses to seamlessly manage incidents, support tickets, problems, changes, and service requests. Organizations gain actionable insights into service performance and customer satisfaction metrics with powerful analytics and reporting features.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: ServiceNow offers tailored pricing based on organizational needs, typically requiring direct contact for detailed quotes and negotiations.

Best for: Large enterprises and IT departments seeking a comprehensive IT service management platform with AI-driven automation and robust reporting capabilities.

5. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a versatile customer support software designed for businesses of all sizes, offering a robust suite of features to how businesses manage their customer interactions across various channels. It integrates seamlessly with popular CRM software and offers tools for ticketing, self-service portals, knowledge base management, and reporting.

Freshdesk stands out with its AI-powered capabilities for automating repetitive tasks and providing predictive insights, enhancing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. With a user-friendly interface and flexible pricing plans, Freshdesk caters to small businesses and enterprises seeking to streamline customer support operations.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Freshdesk's plans start at $15 per agent per month, with higher-tier Customer Service Suite plans starting at $29 monthly.

Best for: Mid to large-sized teams looking for a scalable customer support platform with AI capabilities and comprehensive feature sets.

6. Gorgias

Gorgias is a specialized helpdesk and customer support platform for ecommerce businesses. It integrates deeply with major ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce, providing a unified solution for managing customer communications. Gorgias centralizes customer interactions from various channels, including email, live chat, and social media, into one collaborative inbox.

This integration simplifies support workflows, enhances team productivity, and improves response times. With advanced automation capabilities, Gorgias automates repetitive tasks like ticket routing and customer inquiries, allowing support teams to focus on higher-value activities. Its analytics and reporting tools provide valuable insights into customer behavior and support performance.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Gorgias starts at $50 per month, with additional costs for usage-based plans depending on support volumes and advanced feature add-ons.

Best for: Ecommerce businesses and brands requiring integrated customer support and order management solutions across multiple channels.

7. HubSpot Service Hub

HubSpot Service Hub is part of HubSpot's integrated CRM platform, offering a comprehensive suite of customer service tools for businesses looking to centralize customer interactions and support operations. It integrates seamlessly with HubSpot's marketing and sales tools, providing a unified platform for managing customer relationships. HubSpot Service Hub includes ticketing, automation, knowledge base, customer relationship management, and customer feedback surveys to streamline support processes and improve service efficiency.

Unlike Zendesk, HubSpot Service Hub leverages HubSpot's CRM data to provide personalized customer support and track customer interactions across channels. It also offers reporting and analytics tools to measure service performance and identify areas for improvement.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: HubSpot Service Hub's pricing starts at $15 per monthly seat, with scalable options based on team size and feature requirements.

Best for: Small to medium-sized businesses seeking a cost-effective solution that leverages HubSpot's CRM for integrated customer support and marketing efforts.

8. Kustomer

Kustomer is a next-generation customer service CRM platform that delivers personalized customer experiences across all channels. Unlike Zendesk, Kustomer consolidates customer data from multiple sources into a unified timeline, providing agents with a complete view of customer interactions and preferences. It supports omnichannel communication, automation, and AI-powered insights to streamline support operations and enhance customer satisfaction.

Kustomer

Kustomer's flexible workflow automation tools enable businesses to automate routine tasks, route inquiries to the right customer service teams, and prioritize high-value customer interactions. It also integrates with ecommerce platforms, social media channels, and other business applications to provide seamless customer service experiences.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Kustomer's pricing starts at $89 per user per month, with additional costs for AI features and customization options.

Best for: Large enterprises and customer-centric teams seeking a unified CRM and help desk solution with advanced AI capabilities, willing to invest in comprehensive customer support tools.

9. Front

Front is a collaborative inbox platform revolutionizing team communication and customer support ticket management. It consolidates emails, social media messages, and other communication channels into a shared inbox, enabling teams to collaborate efficiently on customer inquiries and support tickets. Front integrates seamlessly with various third-party apps and business tools, enhancing its functionality and flexibility for diverse organizational needs.

The platform supports automation and workflow customization, empowering teams to automate routine tasks and improve response efficiency. With built-in analytics and reporting features, Front provides valuable insights into team performance and customer satisfaction metrics.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Front's pricing starts at $19 per monthly seat, with scalable options based on feature requirements and team size.

Best for: Startups and SMBs seeking a collaborative inbox solution to streamline team communication and effectively manage customer interactions across multiple channels.

10. HappyFox

HappyFox is a cloud-based helpdesk and ticketing software designed to simplify customer support operations for businesses of all sizes. It offers a user-friendly interface that efficiently manages customer queries, support tickets, and service requests across multiple channels, including email, live chat, and social media. HappyFox's customizable ticketing workflows and automation capabilities help businesses streamline processes and improve response times.

The platform integrates seamlessly with popular business tools and platforms, enhancing its functionality and adaptability to specific business needs. With robust reporting and analytics features, HappyFox provides actionable insights into support team performance and customer satisfaction metrics.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: HappyFox's monthly plans start at $29 per agent, with additional costs for live chat and other supplementary tools.

Best for: IT teams and organizations requiring integrated help desk solutions and project management capabilities. It is suitable for managing customer support tickets and internal task workflows.

11. Intercom

Intercom is a customer messaging platform focusing on personalized communication and customer engagement throughout the lifecycle. Unlike Zendesk, Intercom offers live chat, targeted messaging, and support for both inbound and outbound communication channels. It integrates seamlessly with CRM systems, marketing automation tools, and ecommerce platforms, enabling businesses to deliver contextual and proactive customer support.

Intercom's standout feature is its ability to capture and qualify leads, automate responses, and provide real-time customer insights through its intuitive dashboard. It supports collaborative team workflows, knowledge base creation, and customer feedback collection to optimize support processes and drive customer satisfaction.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Intercom's plans start at $39 per monthly seat, with scalable pricing options based on feature requirements and team size.

Best for: Enterprise teams focused on proactive customer engagement and support, leveraging AI-powered tools and integrations with CRM and marketing platforms.

12. Trengo

Trengo is an advanced, all-in-one communication platform designed to streamline customer interactions for teams dealing with B2C clients. It consolidates all communication channels into a single interface and integrates seamlessly with popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Lightspeed.

Trengo

Trengo stands out with its robust automation capabilities, facilitating efficient team collaboration and workflow management. It offers basic reporting tools to monitor customer satisfaction and team performance, along with chatbot and help center features to enhance self-service options.

However, it's important to note that Trengo's lowest-tier pricing plan may lack some advanced functionalities, such as comprehensive integrations and advanced reporting, making it more suitable for mid-sized teams requiring at least five users. For smaller teams, exploring other platforms might provide better value.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $113 monthly (including five users).

Best for: Teams dealing with B2C clients seeking an all-in-one communication platform with strong automation and team collaboration features.

13. Dixa

Dixa is a versatile customer service software known for its comprehensive omnichannel support. It is an ideal Zendesk alternative for teams prioritizing side conversations and integrated customer service across email, chat, social media, voice, and chatbot channels. Dixa's standout feature is its side conversations capability, allowing agents to engage in internal discussions or coordinate with external parties directly within customer conversations.

This feature enhances team collaboration and ensures seamless issue resolution. Dixa also integrates with popular CRMs and ecommerce platforms, enhancing its utility for teams managing complex customer interactions across multiple channels.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $39 per agent per month (minimum seven seats required).

Best for: Teams needing side conversation capabilities and integrated omnichannel support across email, chat, social, and voice.

14. Groove

Groove is tailored for small businesses seeking an intuitive support platform that offers essential features like a shared inbox, knowledge base, native live chat support, and basic reporting. It caters primarily to teams that prioritize simplicity and affordability without compromising functionality.

Groove is gradually introducing AI features, such as a writing assistant and conversation summarization tools, to enhance productivity and streamline customer interactions. However, one area where Groove may fall short is its limited range of integrations compared to more established platforms like Zendesk.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $12/user per month.

Best for: Small teams requiring basic integrations, shared inbox, and native live chat support at an affordable price point.

15. Gladly

Gladly is a premium omnichannel customer service solution for enterprise teams prioritizing seamless customer interactions across multiple channels. Unlike Zendesk, Gladly integrates all supported communication channels—email, chat, social media, SMS, in-app messaging, voice, and IVR—into a unified customer service platform.

This omnichannel approach ensures that customer service teams have complete visibility and context of customer interactions, facilitating efficient issue resolution and personalized support. Gladly's AI capabilities further enhance productivity by automating routine tasks and providing agents with actionable insights to deliver proactive customer service.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $180/user per month (minimum ten seats required).

Best for: Enterprise teams needing robust omnichannel support and AI-powered features to streamline customer interactions.

16. Hiver

Hiver is an innovative customer service solution tailored for teams heavily reliant on Gmail for communication and customer service software. As a Gmail extension, Hiver integrates seamlessly with Gmail, offering shared inboxes, email delegation, collaboration tools, and workflow automation features directly within the Gmail interface. It caters to teams looking to streamline customer support processes without the need for complex setups or extensive training.

Hiver

Hiver also supports live chat integration and features a knowledge base builder to enhance self-service options. While advanced features like comprehensive reporting and CSAT metrics are limited to higher-tier plans, Hiver's intuitive interface and Gmail integration make it a practical choice for teams looking to enhance productivity and collaboration within their existing email ecosystem.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $15/user per month.

Best for: Teams heavily reliant on Gmail for customer support, offering shared inboxes and collaborative tools within the Gmail ecosystem.

17. LiveChat

LiveChat is a specialized customer communications platform focused primarily on chat support across various messaging channels, including Facebook Messenger, SMS, and Apple Messages for Business. Unlike Zendesk, LiveChat excels in providing real-time customer engagement tools such as smart chat routing, canned responses, file sharing, chat history, and proactive chat features.

It integrates seamlessly with popular software applications, enhancing its utility for teams seeking to optimize customer service workflows. However, LiveChat lacks built-in chatbot functionality, requiring teams to use a separate product, ChatBot, for AI-driven chat interactions.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $20 per person per month.

Best for: Teams focused on chat support across various messaging channels, including Facebook Messenger, SMS, and Apple Messages.

18. Jira Service Management

Jira Service Management is a comprehensive service desk solution for small to mid-size companies seeking a Zendesk alternative with robust incident management, asset management, and customer portal capabilities. Integrated with Jira's project management tools, Jira Service Management offers seamless collaboration between IT and customer support teams, leveraging familiar workflows and terminology for efficient issue resolution.

It caters to organizations that require advanced IT service management features like SLA management, automation, and comprehensive reporting. Jira Service Management's integration with Jira Software and Core further enhances its utility for teams looking to streamline internal operations and improve service delivery across departments.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $22.05/agent per month.

Best for: Companies seeking a service desk solution integrated with Jira for internal technical support and incident management.

19. Kayako

Kayako is a versatile customer service platform offering cloud-based and on-premises solutions tailored for teams managing customer interactions across email, live chat, and social media channels. What sets Kayako apart is its SingleView™ feature, which consolidates customer conversations and interactions into a unified timeline.

This timeline includes communication history and customer actions such as product inquiries, purchases, and knowledge base searches, providing agents with valuable context to deliver personalized support. Kayako supports multichannel communication and integrates with popular CRMs and ecommerce platforms, enhancing its utility for teams seeking to streamline customer service operations.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Contact for pricing details.

Best for: Teams looking for an on-premises or cloud-based solution with comprehensive timeline features and multichannel support.

20. Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce Service Cloud is Salesforce's customer service offering designed for businesses requiring advanced CRM integration, omnichannel support, and field service management capabilities.

Different from Zendesk, Salesforce Service Cloud uses Salesforce's broad ecosystem to provide a unified platform for customer service, sales, and marketing teams. It enables organizations to deliver personalized customer experiences using AI-based tools, such as Salesforce Einstein, that automate service processes and anticipate customer needs.

Best Zendesk Alternative for Support Teams in 2024

Salesforce Service Cloud is particularly suited for companies already using Salesforce CRM, as it integrates seamlessly with other products and third-party applications. With features like dispatch and scheduling tools, mobile app support, and robust reporting functionalities, Salesforce Service Cloud empowers teams to optimize service delivery across multiple touchpoints and enhance customer satisfaction.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $25/user per month.

Best for: Businesses offering field service needing omnichannel support, AI-driven automation, and Salesforce CRM integration.

21. Crisp

Crisp is a comprehensive customer support platform specializing in chat-based customer interactions. It offers unique capabilities like audio and video chat support alongside traditional text chat. For teams prioritizing real-time customer engagement, Crisp provides features such as co-browsing sessions through MagicBrowse, multilingual live chat translation, and AI-driven live chat-bots for automated customer interactions.

It supports integration with messaging apps like Instagram and WhatsApp, enhancing its utility for teams managing diverse customer communication channels. Crisp's emphasis on multimedia chat capabilities distinguishes it from Zendesk competitors focused solely on text-based communication, making it suitable for businesses seeking to enhance customer support through interactive and personalized customer interactions.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $25/workspace per month.

Best for: Teams providing customer support via chat, audio, and video, with features like co-browsing and AI-powered chatbots.

22. Missive

Missive is a collaborative email management platform designed for teams seeking a streamlined alternative to Zendesk that is focused on email support and collaboration. With features like team mailboxes, conversation assignments, internal chat, and collaborative email drafting, Missive simplifies email-based customer interactions and enhances team productivity.

It supports integration with third-party applications and task management features, facilitating seamless workflow automation and efficient customer service delivery. Missive's collaborative writing feature allows teams to collectively compose and review email drafts, ensuring consistent communication and effective customer response strategies.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Plans start at $14/user per month.

Best for: Teams preferring a simple yet effective email-focused support solution with collaborative features and task management.

Choosing the right Zendesk competitor for your team

Zendesk is a solid customer service software known for its extensive features and scalability. It caters primarily to large enterprises with complex support needs. However, for many businesses, especially smaller teams or those in specific industries, Zendesk might be overkill or too expensive. 

This section explores key considerations and steps to help you choose the best Zendesk alternative that fits your team's requirements.

1. Assess your team's needs

Before diving into Zendesk alternatives, assessing your team's specific needs and pain points is crucial. 

Consider the following questions:

In-depth answers to these questions will help you understand these needs and prioritize features and functionality when evaluating Zendesk's competitors.

2. Define your budget

Budget considerations are crucial in choosing the right customer service software. Zendesk's pricing structure can be prohibitive for smaller businesses or startups with limited financial resources. Evaluate your budget constraints and look for Zendesk competitors that offer flexible pricing plans, free trials, or scaled pricing based on your team's size and usage requirements.

Consider the total cost of ownership, including subscription fees, implementation costs, and any additional expenses for integrations or customization.

3. Identify non-negotiable features

Create a list of non-negotiable features and functionalities your team needs to manage customer interactions and support workflows. 

This could include:

These requirements will help narrow your options and ensure that the Zendesk alternative meets your team's operational needs.

4. Evaluate user experience and interface

User experience (UX) plays a significant role in the adoption and effectiveness of any customer service software. Consider the following aspects of UX when evaluating Zendesk competitors:

A software solution that enhances usability and efficiency will improve productivity and satisfaction among your support team members.

5. Scalability and flexibility

As your business grows, your customer service needs will evolve. Choose a Zendesk competitor that offers scalability and flexibility to accommodate future growth and changing requirements:

6. Integration ecosystem

To streamline workflows and make your organization more productive, you must pay special attention to integration capabilities. Evaluate the integration ecosystem of each Zendesk alternative to ensure compatibility with existing tools and platforms:

Choosing a Zendesk competitor with a sound integration ecosystem will facilitate seamless data sharing and workflow automation across the organization.

7. Security and compliance

Nothing is as important as data security and privacy when choosing a customer service software provider. Make sure the Zendesk alternative you choose complies with industry standards and data protection regulations:

Prioritize vendors with robust security measures and transparency regarding their data handling practices.

8. Customer support and training

Effective customer support is essential for resolving technical issues and customer queries, addressing inquiries, and maximizing the value of your chosen Zendesk alternative:

Evaluate the quality and accessibility of customer support services to ensure prompt assistance and a positive user experience for your customer relationships and support team.

Conclusion

Choosing the right Zendesk alternative depends on your team's needs, budget, and scalability requirements. Each Zendesk competitor offers unique strengths—from AI-driven automation to comprehensive CRM integration and specialized support for ecommerce businesses. 
Assessing factors like pricing, feature set, ease of integration, and support for multi-channel communication will help you determine the best fit for your organization.