10 Zendesk Alternatives: Which Helpdesk To Choose?

Companies are leaving Zendesk's expensive, difficult-to-use software behind. Below, discover 10 Zendesk alternatives that could be the better customer service software for your business.

We interviewed 5 customer service agencies
To serve you expert-backed opinions
We analyzed +1,600 user reviews
Across sites like G2, Capterra, and the Shopify App Store
We listed who each app is "Best for..."
So you can easily find the best option for your unique needs

Zendesk may be one of the most widely used customer service software, but it’s also one of the lowest rated. It has a user review score of 4.3 on G2 and 3.5 on the Shopify App Store, with plenty of user reviews highlighting its drawbacks, like:

  • The product’s hard-to-use UX
  • Tons of hidden fees
  • Subpar onboarding and customer support

Below, you’ll find our recommendations for the top alternatives to Zendesk that offer more industry-specific features, intuitive interfaces, transparent pricing, and exceptional customer service. 

Whether you’re considering leaving Zendesk or choosing your first customer service tool (and steering clear), keep reading to find the best Zendesk alternative for you.

HTML Table Generator
Helpdesk Why should you choose this Zendesk alternative? Starting price Free trial
Gorgias Best for ecommerce companies $10/month Yes
Help Scout Best for SaaS and startups $20/month per agent Yes
Intercom Best CRM-like tool $74/month Yes
Freshdesk Best for teams that need a free tool $0/month Yes
Zoho Desk, HubSpot, or Salesforce Best for teams already using one of these CRMs $14-45/month Yes
HappyFox Best for IT support teams $29/month per agent Yes
Front Best for client services $19/month per agent Yes
Gladly Best for non-automation teams $150/month per agent No

Gorgias: Best Zendesk alternative for ecommerce brands

Gorgias is the best Zendesk alternative for ecommerce companies.

If you’re an online store, Gorgias is the helpdesk software tailor-made for you. 

With over 12,000 ecommerce users and higher scores on G2 (4.6) and the Shopify App Store (4.4), it's a trusted choice for ecommerce brands. 

Features: Gorgias has more features built for ecommerce than Zendesk

Overall, Zendesk has more features than Gorgias, but they’re all over the place. You can help customers choose seats on an airplane and manage B2B buying cycles in Zendesk, which just clutter the app if they’re not relevant to you. With Gorgias, you have a much deeper set of features relevant to the ecommerce industry. 

Connect with social media, Shopify, and your other ecommerce apps

Most of Gorgias’s top features are related to its deep integration with your other apps and channels. While Zendesk users have to keep Zendesk and other tools open in separate tabs, Gorgias is a one-tab tool. In Gorgias, you have:

  • Access to more customer data and order-related actions in Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento (so you can edit orders without switching tabs)
  • Better connections to your social media channels (including comments and ad replies)
  • Deeper integrations with your other ecommerce apps (like Klaviyo, ReCharge, Recart, and Attentive)
Gorgias Shopify integration

🛍️ Learn more about Gorgias and Shopify.

Generate revenue from customer service interactions

Since Gorgias is built for ecommerce, where a customer might purchase the first visit (and there’s not a dedicated sales team), it has revenue-generating functionality that Zendesk can’t offer. These include the ability to: 

  • Create orders
  • Generate unique discount codes
  • Share great-looking product links (instead of raw URLs)
  • Measure revenue generated by support interactions
  • Send proactive notifications (called chat campaigns) to customers to offer support and incentives

“The old system's integration was complex and we couldn’t get ahold of anyone. Gorgias's integration was easy to set up. We saw a 72% increase in revenue by focusing on growth.”

– Paul Valton, Head of Ecommerce at Madura

In 2021, support teams using Gorgias collectively generated over $1 billion in revenue. If you’re using Zendesk over Gorgias, you’re leaving money on the table. 

💰 Learn how Topicals support lifted sales by 78% with Gorgias

Automation: Gorgias’s automations help you autorespond and manage orders easier than Zendesk’s

Gorgias helps your team move faster with Rules, or customizable automations, which streamline ticket management and automate many other repetitive tasks in customer support. This includes (but isn’t limited to):

Plus, Gorgias lets you send automated responses to your questions with personalized information. Gorgias studies the ticket to understand why the customer’s reaching out and what information they need. If you have a Macro (also called a template) Gorgias will respond using that Macro. 

The best part? Macros have variables that pull up-to-date information about that customer from Shopify and other ecommerce apps, so even your automated responses offer the most helpful information. 

Personalize responses with Gorgias

Last, the Automation Add-on turns your chat widget and Help Center into customer portals, where they can answer common questions and track or manage their orders in real-time without any agent interaction. 

Self-service with Gorgias

All of these automations were built specifically for a great customer experience for online shoppers, whereas Zendesk’s bots are built to sound human (and often trap customers in unhelpful chatbot loops).

And don’t worry: Your agents are always just a click away for customers who need human help to resolve the issue. 

Pricing: Gorgias offers unlimited users, while Zendesk charges per seat

Gorgias pricing begins at just $10 per month for 3 agents and 50 billable tickets per month.

After that, all Gorgias plans have unlimited users. Unlike Zendesk, which charges per user, Gorgias pricing is based on the number of tickets you use. (Don’t worry: Spam tickets are auto-closed in Gorgias and do not count as billable tickets.)

This pricing model has two benefits:

  1. You’re charged for what you use, which is more fair and transparent
  2. Your entire team can join Gorgias to answer technical questions, gain a better understanding of CX, and share customer feedback across the whole company

🔢 You can check out Gorgias’s pricing here.

Does Gorgias have a free trial?

Yes, Gorgias has a free 7-day free trial.

Does Gorgias offer mobile apps?

Yes, Gorgias offers mobile apps on iOS and Android.

Reporting: Gorgias offers robust support analytics, plus custom fields and revenue reporting

Gorgias Statistics cover all your essential customer service metrics, like average response times, resolution times, and customer satisfaction survey (CSAT) responses. You can narrow those results by channel, agent, time period, ticket type, and much more to measure and improve your customer experience.

With ticket fields, you can add custom sections to every ticket to generate reports on whatever matters to your business. For example, if you want to understand why damaged products are getting delivered to your customers, you could use ticket fields to track and understand which carrier is responsible.

Custom fields with Gorgias

Last, Gorgias has unique revenue reporting capabilities so you can understand which conversations and chat campaigns generate sales and upsells, and incentivize your support team to generate more revenue.  

Revenue reporting with Gorgias

Customer Support: One of the main reasons Zendesk users switch to Gorgias

While Zendesk’s customer support caused them hundreds of bad reviews, Gorgias customers constantly shout the support team’s praises. Gorgias boasts a fast-acting, 24/7 support team, with deep experience in ecommerce (since they serve ecommerce customers all day, every day).

Quick hits about Gorgias onboarding and support

  • Merchants using Gorgias are fully operational within 2 weeks and score our onboarding at 94% satisfaction (45% higher than the industry average)
  • Gorgias’s Customer Support works 24/7 to provide helpful responses, with a 5-minute response time on chat and a 12-hour response time on email
Gorgias Customer Support
“The [Gorgias] support team is phenomenal. Any question you have, any issue that needs addressing, they get on it and give you a resolution as quickly as possible. And every person I have dealt with from demos of the product to training and support has been amazing to work with.”

– Comfort One Shoes

Say goodbye to delayed, generic responses and hello to tailored assistance that understands the nuances of your ecommerce business.

👋 Learn more about onboarding and support at Gorgias.

Integrations: Gorgias has deeper integrations with ecommerce apps


Gorgias is a multi-channel support tool that includes:

  • Email
  • Chat
  • Instagram (DMs, comments, and ad replies)
  • Facebook (DMs, comments, and ad replies)
  • WhatsApp
  • SMS
  • Voice
  • Help Center
  • Contact Form

📚 Learn more about omnichannel support.


Gorgias also has strong API integrations with over 100 apps that ecommerce brands use daily, including:

  • Ecommerce platforms: Shopify, BigCommerce, and Adobe Commerce (Magento)
  • Marketing tools: Klaviyo, Attentive, and more
  • Reviews and loyalty tools: Yotpo, LoyaltyLion, and more 
  • Subscription tools: Recharge, Skio, and more
  • Shipping and fulfillment tools: ShibBob, LateShipment.com, and more
  • Returns tools: Loop Returns, Returnly, and more

🔌 See the full list of apps here.

Help Scout: Best Zendesk alternative for non-ecommerce start-ups and SaaS 

Help Scout is the Zendesk alternative for SaaS and startups

Help Scout is a customer service tool. It’s great for SaaS and startups because it’s quick to get up-and-running, and the Help Scout support team is more responsive than Zendesk’s.

Help Scout is a bit more basic than larger tools like Zendesk, and it doesn’t feature industry-specific features (like Gorgias for ecommerce). So, if you’re a small company looking for an easy, industry-agnostic solution, Help Scout could be right for you.

Features: Help Scout’s features are easier to use than Zendesk’s

In a head-to-head features battle, Zendesk beats out Help Scout. Zendesk has more features for more industries. But Help Scout’s advantage is ease of use.

Help Scout product screenshot

Zendesk and Help Scout both handle the basics that startups, SaaS companies, and other general teams need to manage customer support efficiently. Think shared inbox, live chat, collision detection (so two support agents don’t answer the same ticket), and knowledge base management. However, Help Scout scores better for “Ease of Use” on G2 than Zendesk (9.2 vs 8.6). 

“After having used Zendesk for a while, I was not happy with its complexity. I wanted to have a support desk tool that made it look like it was regular mail to the customers. And HelpScout did exactly that.”

— Help Scout review

It’s worth noting that Zendesk offers some industry-specific features that Help Scout lacks (for airlines, hospitals, and other enormous enterprises). Likewise, Help Scout lacks many of the ecommerce features in Gorgias, like some order management and revenue generation. 

🆚 Compare Help Scout and Gorgias.

Automation: Help Scout’s automations are simple to set up than Zendesk’s

Again, Zendesk’s automations are more robust than Help Scout’s. But if you’re a startup or small SaaS company, simple automations are more effective than robust automations that need developer support to set up.

For most teams that don’t need industry-specific automation, Help Scout offers plenty of automation. The bread-and-butter automation is Workflows, which use simple “and” and “or” condition statements to organize and escalate customer issues.

Pricing: Help Scout’s pricing is more transparent than Zendesk’s

Help Scout starts at $20 per month per agent. There are two other plans (Plus: $40/user and Pro: $60/user), each of which comes with more mailboxes, knowledge bases, hands-on support, and other advanced features.

Zendesk’s pricing also starts at $20 per month, and scales based on your number of agents. The biggest difference is that Zendesk’s plans are much more expensive and can accommodate the needs of enterprise corporations. 

Plus, Help Scout’s reviews don’t mention nearly the number of hidden fees and additional costs as Zendesks. Again, if you’re a small SaaS company or startup, Help Scout’s pricing is easier to understand and apply to your business. But larger enterprises will find a better fit with Zendesk.

Does Help Scout have a free trial?

Yes, Help Scout has a 15-day free trial.

Does Help Scout offer mobile apps?

Yes, Help Scout offers mobile apps on iOS and Android.

Reporting: What analytics does Help Scout offer?

In user reviews, limited reporting features are often listed as a major negative of Help Scout. Especially if your team is growing and needs to generate reports on advanced customer support metrics (beyond total conversations, new conversations, and conversations per day), you’ll have luck with other tools. 

Help Scout’s reporting also can’t help you understand why customers are reaching out unless you spend time setting up custom fields to build your own reports. Custom fields are great for niche uses, but shouldn’t be the backbone of the tool’s insights like it is in Help Scout. That shifts too much work on the end-user. 

If your team plans to go deep on reporting and analytics, Help Scout isn’t for you. But if you’re a small team happy with basic reporting, this may be a drawback you can look past.

Customer support: Better than Zendesk’s but still frustrates users

Help Scout has better ratings for customer support than Zendesk. However, many user reviews point out the frustrating fact that Help Scout doesn’t offer chat support on their website or in-app. 

Integrations: Help Scout’s channels and integrations geared toward SaaS companies


Help Scout offers the following customer communication channels:

  • Email
  • Voice
  • SMS
  • Live chat
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Knowledge base

Quite notably, Help Scout doesn’t provide important communication channels for ecommerce companies, like Instagram Comments, Instagram DMs, Facebook comments, and WhatsApp. But if you’re a SaaS company, you can likely get away without these. 


Help Scout connects with a variety of apps across industries, including Jira, HubSpot, Salesforce, Slack, and Mailchimp. In general, Help Scout’s integration is suited for the tech industry and again favors startups and SaaS companies. 

🆚 Compare Help Scout and Gorgias.

Intercom: Best for companies who want an all-in-one CRM for support, sales, and marketing

Intercom is the best Zendesk alternative if you need a CRM.

Intercom is a powerful Zendesk alternative, with some of the most features and integrations of any tool on this list. Zendesk and Intercom are both customer relationship management (CRM)-like tools, with Sales and Marketing functionality. 

It’s too expensive to make sense as a standalone support tool, and its support features aren’t the focus of Intercom. But if you’re looking for a powerful CRM more than a support tool, Intercom may be your best bet. 

Features: Intercom has more powerful CRM features than Zendesk 

Out of any tool on this list, Intercom is the closest to a CRM. Unlike Zendesk, Intercom gives you insight into user behavior on your website (like recent pages viewed) and can scrape and store detailed contact information. You can also tag contacts to identify leads, current customers, churn risks, and so on. 

Intercom product screenshot.

That said, Intercom isn’t a fully-fledged CRM.  Intercom isn’t built for lead management or contact list and customer engagement, and doesn’t have CRM reporting capabilities. If you’re an enterprise solution looking for a feature-rich CRM, check out Salesforce or Hubspot.

On the other side of the spectrum, if you’re a standalone customer support team, Intercom’s features might be too robust (and not geared toward your industry). To make a decision, talk to your Sales and Marketing teams to see if they’d split this tool across your team budgets. 

Automation: Intercom’s chatbot is quite strong, but ticket automation is weaker than Zendesk’s

Intercom’s chatbot is a cut above the rest, with features to aid customer support, sales, and marketing. However, since customer support isn’t Intercom’s focus, automation to triage, prioritize, and auto-respond to messages that make it to your inbox is more of a challenge. 

Note: Like many key features in Intercom, the AI chatbot (named Fin) is severely limited on the Support plan, and unavailable on the starter plan. To take full advantage of the chatbot automation, you need to be able to pay thousands (or tens of thousands) per month for large plans on Intercom Support, Engage, and Convert. 

Pricing: Intercom’s pricing is (frustratingly) hard to find, and the starter tier is expensive

Intercom Support’s pricing starts at $74 per month for a limited shared inbox. Its larger plans, where Intercom’s stand-out features, scale up per user seat and (if applicable) outbound messages sent. 

Engage and Convert also both start at $74 per month. Larger plans are mysteriously priced: You have to book a demo with Intercom to get a quote.

Does Intercom have a free trial?

Yes, Intercom has a 14-day free trial.

Reporting: Intercom provides average reports on just about anything

Intercom’s wide variety of use cases means you can generate decent reports for most teams. And what you can report on with Intercom is easy to generate and understand. 

However, its lack of specificity means you’ll sacrifice some advanced analytics compared to more support-focused tools like Zendesk, or industry-specific tools like Gorgias.

Customer support: Intercom’s customer support team is easy to get ahold of

Unlike Zendesk, whose customer support is almost unilaterally mentioned in negative reviews, Intercom’s is solid. Positive user reviews mention the support team is easy to get in touch with via live chat on Intercom’s website, and generally helps resolve technical issues with the product.

Integrations: What apps and channels does Freshdesk connect with?


Intercom offers a long list of channels, including:

  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Social media (Instagram and Facebook)
  • WhatsApp
  • In-app
  • Voice 
  • SMS
  • Knowledge base
  • Contact form


Intercom integrates with tools from most industries, from project management tools like Jira to true CRMs like Salesforce.

Intercom’s breadth of integrations also means that integrations you might need daily — like Shopify or Klaviyo — are deprioritized, and shallower than industry-specific tools.

8 other Zendesk competitors to consider

The three tools listed above are our top choices for Zendesk alternatives for ecommerce companies, SaaS companies, and companies that want a CRM-like tool. 

Below, you’ll find 8 other options to manage your customer support, but these tools didn’t stand out as much in our research. 

Freshdesk: Best Zendesk alternative with a free plan 

Freshdesk is the Zendesk alternative if you need a free plan

Freshdesk is a very similar tool to Zendesk: it’s industry-agnostic and one of the oldest helpdesks on the market. There are two key differences:

  1. Zendesk is more robust
  2. Freshdesk has a free plan

If you’re an extremely small business without any dedicated support agents looking for a simple ticket-routing software solution, Freshdesk could be a good choice.

Freshdesk product image.

Zooming out, Freshdesk has many of the same flaws as Zendesk: it’s not user-friendly, so essential features like automation and reporting cause more trouble than good. 

Unless Freshdesk’s free plan is essential, you’re better off going for a more industry-specific tool or one of the better all-in-one tools, like Intercom. 

🆚 Compare Freshdesk and Gorgias.

Zoho Desk, Salesforce Service Cloud, and HubSpot Service Hub: Best for companies already using tools from those companies

Best Zendesk alternatives if you already use tools by Zoho, Salesforce, and Hubspot

If your company already uses products from Zoho, Salesforce, or Hubspot and it’s important for you to merge the data between those tools and your helpdesk, consider choosing the tool you’re already using.

These CRMs are robust and powerful, but they’re unwieldy to incorporate into your tech stack. Many companies hire administrators for those tools — full-time experts just to manage Salesforce. If this doesn’t sound like you, steer clear of these tool suites and choose a standalone helpdesk built for your needs. 

Zoho Desk pricing

Zoho Desk starts at $14 per user per month and scales up to enterprise-level plans at $40 per user per month.

Zoho Desk has a 15-day free trial. 

Salesforce Service Cloud pricing

Salesforce Service Cloud starts at $25 per user per month and scales up to enterprise-level plans at $150 per user per month. You can also get the full Salesforce CRM, not just the helpdesk, for $300 per user per month. 

Salesforce Service Cloud has a 30-day free trial. 

Hubspot Service Hub pricing

Hubspot Service Hub starts at $45 per month for 2 users and scales up to enterprise-level plans at $1,200 for 10 users. 

Hubspot Service Hub has a 14-day free trial.

HappyFox: Best for IT support teams

If you work at an IT desk or perform home visits for IT services, HappyFox is a great Zendesk alternative for you. 

HappyFox is the best Zendesk alternative for IT teams.

HappyFox gives you access to remote support integrations (like the ability to take over another person’s system to apply fixes) and specialized features for field technicians. 

HappyFox product image

On top of those specialized features, HappyFox has a pretty standard set of tools to help you manage and respond to tickets. However, HappyFox user reviews complain about frequent system outages and ease-of-use issues.  

HappyFox pricing

HappyFox’s pricing starts at $29 per agent per month and scales up to enterprise-level plans at $89 per agent per month. You can also pay for plans with unlimited agents for $1,149 per month, up to $3,999 per month. 

Overall, HappyFox is on the expensive side. Unless its IT features are make-or-break, you’re better off choosing a more affordable alternative.

Front: Best for client services

Front isn’t a traditional helpdesk, it’s more of a team collaboration tool with a shared inbox. Front is a great choice for teams that require a lot of internal discussion before sending a response. 

Front is the best Zendesk competitor if you work in client services.

If you’re in client services, whether that’s an agency or financial services, Front can help you make sure that every message gets a high degree of care from everyone on the team. But if you have a high volume of support tickets that don’t require internal discussion, you’re better off with another tool.

Front product image.

Front pricing

Like Zendesk, Front starts at $19 per seat per month. Front charges by seat at every plan, from $59 per seat per month up through $229 per seat per month. 

Front has a 7-day free trial.

Gladly: Best for companies that don’t want any automation (and have large budgets)

Gladly is the best Zendesk competitor if you don't want automation and have a large budget.

Gladly is a unique entry on this list because, unlike Zendesk, it de-emphasizes the importance of automation. Gladly promotes the idea that less automation allows your team to take a more customer-centric, personalized approach to customer service. If your business has a very low number of support interactions each month, Gladly could be a great choice.

Gladly product image

However, for some industries that have very common customer requests, like ecommerce, automation is worth its weight in gold. When customers want to know where their order is, they care more about an instant answer than a human touch. And your team won’t be able to add a human touch if they’re just copy/pasting order statuses all day. 

Automating those repetitive questions actually improves your CX and gives your team time to add a human touch where it matters.

🆚 Compare Gladly and Gorgias

Gladly pricing

Gladly’s pricing starts at $150 per agent per month, with a minimum of 10 seats. That’s an annual contract of $18,000 at the very minimum, putting Gladly’s pricing much higher than any entry on this list. 

Gladly continues to charge per user seat at larger plans, too. 

Gladly does not have a free trial.

Frequently asked questions

Most frequently asked questions

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Buying guide: How do you pick a helpdesk?
What are the disadvantages of Zendesk?
Why is Zendesk so successful?
What big companies use Zendesk?
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