Zendesk Alternatives: 8 Best Customer Service Apps in 2020

Julien Marcialis
October 9, 2020
Not convinced by Zendesk or looking for a better alternative to enhance your support? We've rounded up the top competitors, with features and pricing!

Zendesk is currently the leader in the help desk software market. People mention it in many places on the Internet, every day. Of all conversations about Zendesk, people also talk about Zendesk alternatives. 

Criticism against Zendesk has mounted over recent years. They’ve been criticized for overwhelming design, complicated pricing, and bad customer support. 

Consequently, many users are switching from Zendesk to its alternatives.  

But with about 80 help desk services out there, how can you choose a Zendesk alternative that fits your business? What viable options do you have?

If you’re looking for the answer to these questions, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll walk you through 8 best Zendesk alternatives. For each option, we’ll cover top features, pricing, pros and cons, as well as who should use it. 

Ready to dig in? Let’s do it!

1. Gorgias: The best help desk for online stores

Gorgias is the helpdesk and customer service software exclusively for ecommerce businesses. It meets all your needs for keeping up with customer requests and staying organized. Whether you’re a Shopify, Magento or BigCommerce store owner, Gorgias benefits you from start to finish. 

Unlike Zendesk, Gorgias doesn’t bombard you with many (unnecessary) dashboards, buttons, and features. It focuses on a simple, intuitive UI design while giving you all the functionalities you need for online sotres. No matter if you're a beginner online seller or an established ecommerce brand, getting started with Gorgias is easy

Gorgias interface

Top Gorgias features 

  • Track customers’ requests across multiple channels and display them in one place.
  • Edit orders, modify subscriptions and refund payments without leaving your help desk. 
  • Use macros and rules to automate repetitive tasks and streamline your workflow.
  • Insert customer data like order details into your answers and templates.
  • Automate answers to recurring questions like "Where is my order"?
  • Gorgias detects customer intents (e.g., shipping/status or order/cancel) to help you to prioritize your support effort
  • Get insights into customer satisfaction
  • Measure team productivity with support dashnoards
  • Track Revenue statistics show converted tickets, conversion rates, and total sales from support. 

Pros 

  • Deep integrations with ecommerce platforms: Shopify, Shopify Plus, Magento and BigCommerce
  • Multi-channel support features
  • Powerfull support automation options
  • Clean and intuitive design
  • Amazing customer support team
  • Support mobile apps for Android and iOS

Cons

  • Solely focus on eCommerce.

Pricing: Start from $60/mo with a 7-day free trial. 

Best for: Ecommerce of all sizes.

Want to Deliver an Outstanding Support Experience?

Start using Gorgias helpdesk to reduce first response time, increase shoppers satisfactions and boost sales!

Want to Deliver an Outstanding Support Experience?

Start using Gorgias helpdesk to reduce first response time, increase shoppers satisfactions and boost sales!

at
Want to Deliver an Outstanding Support Experience?

Start using Gorgias helpdesk to reduce first response time, increase shoppers satisfactions and boost sales!

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Start using Gorgias helpdesk to reduce first response time, increase shoppers satisfactions and boost sales!

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2. Freshdesk: for small businesses

Offered by Freshworks, Freshdesk offers almost the same features as Zendesk does at lower prices. So, if you want to exchange Zendesk for something 100% identical, then consider Freshdesk. 

Freshdesk has three core tools, i.e., email ticketing, Twitter and Facebook integration, and knowledge base. The more you pay, the more advanced features of these tools you can get. 

Besides, premium plans give you access to robust features like dynamic ticket forms, custom roles, and dashboards. 

Top Freshdesk features:

  • Prioritize, categorize, and assign tickets
  • Automatically suggest ticket fields
  • Support omnichannel and linked tickets 
  • Knowledge base (a.k.a FAQ)
  • Embed widgets on website to collect customer feedback
  • Customize workflows, real-time reporting

Pros:

  • Intuitive design and ease of use 
  • Team collaboration 
  • Support a free plan

Cons:

  • Limited dashboard customization
  • Lack of advanced analytics 
  • Unclear pricing plans in terms of features

Pricing plans: Start from $19/mo. Free plan available
Best for
: Small businesses. 

3. Zoho Desk: for big compagnies

Zoho Desk is a customer service software, offering many of the same features as other helpdesk tools in this list. It’s often considered as a better alternative to LiveAgent, Kayako, and Zendesk. 

However, what makes Zoho Desk different is an AI-powered assistant called Zia. Zia can speak or chat with customers and answer their questions based on content in the knowledge base. Your support agents can also train Zia to perform specific actions. 

Top Zoho Desk  features:

  • Manage customer conversations across multiple platforms 
  • Support knowledge base and AI capabilities 
  • Multi-channel support
  • Workflow automation 
  • Reports and dashboards 

Pros:

  • Integrate well with other Zoho products and third-party apps like Jira.
  • Good design 
  • Support a free plan 

Cons:

  • Some features are complicated for novice users
  • The free plan comes with many limitations

Pricing: Start from $18/mo.
Best for
: Big companies that want AI support.

4. Intercom: for SaaS companies

Intercom aims to help companies build authentic relationships with customers through conversational experience. Besides helpdesk service, Intercom offers features for sales and marketing, which Zendesk lacks. 

A worthy note is that although Intercom offers a wide range of robust features, many of them are available only in premium plans. For example, if you purchase Intercom’s Start or Grow plan, you’ll get basic reports about chat and lead volumes. 

Top Intercom features:

  • Live chat
  • Automated assignment rules
  • Ticketing workflows
  • Self-service customer portal 
  • Reporting and dashboards 

Pros:

  • Easy to use 
  • Strong communication and collaboration tools
  • Desktop and mobile versions are synced together

Cons:

  • Lack of advanced reporting functionalities
  • Confusing pricing plans
  • Too costly for small businesses
  • Need to provide credit card to start a free trial

Pricing: Start from $39/mo.
Best for
: SaaS startups

5. Salesforce Service Cloud: for corporate enterprises

Salesforce Service Cloud is a customer relationship management (CRM) behemoth that also offers a help desk solution. It promises to help you deliver a smarter, more personal customer experience to customers. 

Salesforce Service Cloud is tailored to small businesses. Hence, if you’re a mid-sized or large organization, this help desk solution might not be the best choice. 

Top Salesforce Service Cloud features:

  • Automatically route questions and delegate works to suitable agents
  • Collect customer data from multiple channels and place them in one location
  • Customizable reports, dashboards, and analytics

Pros: 

  • Flexible workflow and service process 
  • Accessible by mobile devices

Cons: 

  • Lack of many advanced ticket management features
  • Steep learning curve for first-time users 
  • Incompetent customer service regarding technical issues

Pricing: Start from $25/mo, billed annually. 
Best for
: Non-ecommerce corporate businesses.

6. LiveChat: for Industry leaders

LiveChat is a basically a live chat software, allowing you to instantly connect with customers through an online chatbox. What separates LiveChat from other tools in this list is it goes all-in on the live chat feature.

LiveChat includes 3 main components, including a web-based chat window, a web-based control panel, and an operator application. However, you don’t have to spend much time learning the software because it’s easy to use for everyone. 

Top LiveChat features:

  • Chat tools like canned responses, chat tags, file sharing, chat archives
  • Multiple languages (+45)
  • Chat reports, data summary, customers reports, ticket reports
  • Data protection and security 
  • Team management tools like group and work scheduler 

Pros:

  • Clean and intuitive design
  • Easy of use
  • Powerful reports and analytics 
  • A customer service dedicated to live chat 

Cons: 

  • Sometimes the interface is lagging
  • Limited customer information (e.g., page visiting, location, browser)
  • A little expensive compared to other tools
  • Focus on the live chat channel only

Pricing: Start from $15/mo with a 14-day free trial.

Best for: Industry leaders.

7. Help Scout: for Non-ecommerce businesses of all sizes

Help Scout is easier to use than Zendesk, thanks to a user-friendly interface. One of Help Scout’s most noticeable features is the shared inbox, which allows you to collaborate with others whenever an email or a ticket comes in. That will help streamline your workflow and increase productivity. 

Many users reported that Help Scout is more suitable for small and mid-sized businesses than large teams. It’s because the software doesn’t offer many advanced features like Zendesk. 

Top Helpscout features:

  • Create separate mailboxes to organize customer conversations
  • Collaborate with team members using private notes, collision detection, and more
  • Create a help center website as a knowledge base
  • Support live chat
  • Reporting and Live chat 
  • Reports with metrics related to conversations, chat, docs, happiness, email, phone, and company

Pros:

  • Clean and intuitive design
  • Features are simple and easy to use
  • Good customer support 

Cons:

  • Lack of advanced features 
  • Lack of measurement and analytics features

Pricing: Start from $25/mo/user
Best for
: Non-ecommerce businesses like financial services and SaaS.

8. HelpCrunch: for small and big traditional compagnies

HelpCrunch is a feature-rich customer service management platform. It’s a combination of live chat software, email marketing, and help desk. Besides products for desktops, HelpCrunch supports a live chat version for mobile devices. 

Similar to LiveChat, HelpCrunch allows you to start a conversation with visitors through a live chat on the web. From there, you can direct visitors to your product pages and then convert them into buying customers. 

Top HelpCrunch features:

  • Customize live chat with size, color, logo, localizations, agents’ avatar, and CSS styling
  • Support automated greetings and chat button type
  • Streamline workflow with auto messages, email marketing, popup, and more

Pros:

  • 24/7 customer support 
  • Clean and easy-to-use UI
  • A lot of customization options
  • Connect chats with emails

Cons:

  • Lack of ticketing features
  • No call center feature
  • Limited integration with third-party tools
  • Lack of advanced reporting capabilities
  • The whole website reload when you click on some tabs

Pricing: Start from $15/mo/team member with a 14-day free trial
Best for
: small and big traditional compagnies.

If you are an online merchant, try Gorgias today!

The best alternative to Zendesk depends on your company's unique situation. Your goals, target customers, business model, marketing strategies, to name a few. 

For example, if you’re running an online business, Gorgias might be the best choice for you. It’s because Gorgias is only the eCommerce-dedicated help desk software on this list. 

But if your company is as big as Uber, you might want to consider Salesforce. 

Our advice is to play around with all of these Zendesk alternatives and decide what works best for you. 

In case you want to switch from Zendesk to Gorgias, welcome you! Join our buyout program, and you’ll get full access to Gorgias’ features at no cost. 

Looking to switch your helpdesk to Gorgias but locked in a contract?

Don't wait until the new year, try it out at no cost to you.

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