8 best Zendesk alternatives for outstanding support in 2024

Customer service
Oct 26, 2022
min read
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Looking for customer support software? Then you’ve probably heard of Zendesk. As it’s one of the biggest support solutions out there.

With reporting, collaboration, and integration features, Zendesk is a market leader.

This, however, does not have to mean that it is the most suitable help desk software for your team. You might not need the extensive features or find their pricing plan too big for your needs. Organizational needs can vary greatly and the customer support solution that you choose should fit your needs perfectly. So let’s look at alternatives to Zendesk to see which solution fits your organization.

We’ll cover:

  • What to consider when choosing your customer solution tool
  • 8 Zendesk alternatives
  • Features and benefits of each option
  • Areas of improvement for each tool

What to consider when choosing from the Zendesk alternatives

Customer support tools help you streamline and automate daily customer communication. All so your business can provide high-quality experiences to all customers. And increase positive reviews, customer loyalty, and of course revenue.

But depending on your customer service situation and your teams, you might prioritize certain features over others. Not to mention certain budget restraints for acquiring a support tool in the first place.

So first, when looking for an alternative to Zendesk always keep in mind these three aspects:

  • Functionality. When deciding on a tool to add to your stack, determine your non-negotiables. Features that are essential to the success of your business objectives. First, cover your basics and select the solution that provides the functionalities you need. Then look for the features that you would like, and that will stimulate the growth of your team.
  • Budget. While some tools might offer a free plan, paid plans often have some great features that can save you a lot of resources. In addition to functionalities, consider what you can afford long-term.
  • Set up. It might not seem important but some advanced software take a lot of time to install, configure and customize. This may require resources such as time and skills that your team does not have at its disposal. Costing you more money and time in the long run. Take this set up time into consideration when deciding on a tool.

A quick tip: Avoid selecting a tool because it has extensive functionalities that you may or may not need in the future. Because this will cost you a lot of money, now and in the future, for a tool that does not fit your business. Instead, opt for a solution that suits your current needs, is easy to install and scales with your business.

8 alternatives to Zendesk in 2022

Zendesk is definitely not the only solution that can help your organization offer great customer experiences.

Check out some of these alternatives to Zendesk to see which tool fits your business best.

1. Freshdesk

Quite similar to Zendesk, Freshdesk offers standard features such as shared inboxes, a knowledge base, automation, and integration with other software through apps. Freshdesk offers different pricing plans, and one of the more expensive ones offers extensive reporting and allows users to share customer satisfaction surveys whenever an agent closes a ticket.

Price: Starts with a free plan (that only offers a shared inbox), Growth plan starts at €18/user/month, Pro €49, and Enterprise €79.

What can be improved:

  • Automation. Some functionalities cause redundant messages to be sent. For example, duplicate emails are sent to support agents who are tagged to a ticket their department is also tagged in.
  • Customization. Only offers valuable customization, such as custom roles and reporting, starting from the Pro plan.
  • Integrations. API integrations, such as with the WhatsApp Business API, are only included in the Pro and Enterprise plan.

Summary: Quite expensive, if you figure in that valuable customization and important integrations with APIs, needed to get the most out of WhatsApp Business, for instance, are only included in the most expensive plans. Does feature a lot of functionalities in the Enterprise plan, so is a good option for bigger organizations on a large budget.

2. Trengo

Trengo is a smart customer engagement platform that helps businesses create the right touch points with customers at the right time, on channels like WhatsApp and more, and consolidate all customer conversations into a single place. From one inbox, businesses can use clever automation, such as rules, chat- & flowbots, and direct customers to a comprehensive knowledge base, all to streamline customer communication and make sure CS and all other teams can work efficiently.

Price: A 14-day free trial is available. Various scalable, pricing plans start at €19/user/month, for Growth €30, and for Enterprise you pay €41.

What can be improved:

  • Integrations. API integrations, such as with the WhatsApp Business API, are included in the Growth and Enterprise plan. Luckily both these plans are not expensive compared to the other alternatives.

Summary: Not an expensive alternative to Zendesk if you consider the fact that this solution offers a full smart customer engagement platform. Offering shared inbox, live feature, and automation features from the first plan. And valuable integrations in all other plans. You get value for money from the get-go, and the solution can scale with your business.

3. Intercom

Intercom enables companies to build authentic customer relationships at each stage of the buying journey. This tool offers standard features such as live chat, email, and in-app messaging. Intercom also allows organizations to create knowledge bases that encourage self-service and help customer support teams to focus on more challenging requests.

Price: Intercom offers 2 different plans. It starts with the Small Business plan at €60 user/month. Grow starts at €121 per month. Pricing plans are based both on users and outreach.

What can be improved:

  • Reporting. Providing a single view of multiple instances regarding a single customer rather than having to view each instance manually.
  • Functionality. While Intercom offers multiple features, it hardly outperforms other tools in any area.

Summary: From Capterra reviews we gather that Intercom has a difficult time scaling with its customers, and offers quite steep prices for largely the same features as the other solutions.

4. Zoho Desk

Zoho is popular for its CRM but they also have a customer service solution. You can expect features such as phone support, shared inboxes, and extensive integrations. The time-tracking feature is great for big customer support teams. Zoho Desk offers chat and AI self-service options but these are only featured in the highest tier.

Price: There is a free plan for up to 3 agents for basic support needs. The standard plan starts at €14 users/month.

What can be improved:

  • Set up. The set up process seems a bit difficult and takes time according to reviews.
  • Intuitive. Reviewers on Capterra note that not all automation features are as obvious and intuitive as they would like.

Summary: Zoho desk offers a lot and reviewers are enthusiastic. However, with so many features not all functionalities are as intuitive as users expect. It will also take an investment of time and effort to set up Zoho Desk.

5. Happy Fox

Happy Fox is a combination of a support center and a project management solution. This software features knowledge bases, shared inboxes, and some automation to help reduce the workload. You can assign tasks and adjust statuses as appropriate. Happy Fox also has in-app chat tools and a live chat feature.

Price: Starts at €39 users/month and ends at €100 user/month with their Enterprise Plus plan.

What can be improved:

  • Features. The live chat feature and in-app chat tools need to be purchased separately.
  • Limits. All plans have ticket limits.

Summary: If you are looking for a support solution that offers a support stack, Happy fox is a moderately priced alternative to Zendesk for teams prioritizing project management capabilities. However, this is not a smart customer engagement solution.

6. Front

In addition to shared inbox capabilities, Front enables businesses to manage both individual and group email accounts when interacting with their customers. Departments can collaborate and respond faster because Front combines automation with a centralized view of all communication channels.

Price: Plans start at €19 user/month, €49 for Growth plan and €100 for Scale.

What can be improved:

  • Integration. Some users believe that Front doesn’t integrate seamlessly with popular apps like Gmail and Slack.

Summary: Front offers great features such as Zendesk, Trengo, and Fresh Desk. Automation features however such as Smart rules, and customization is only included in their Scale plan. Users also note that integrations are lagging.

7. HubSpot Service Hub

Popularly known as a sales and marketing software, Hubspot has recently set up a customer service tool known as the Hubspot Service Hub. In addition to standard features such as shared inboxes, automation, reporting, and the option to create a knowledge base, this help desk software has some extensive functionality for users with a Hubspot CRM account. Users can connect customer profiles in the CRM, which gives team members access to more insights and contexts on customer groups.

Price: There is a free plan with limited features. And the Starter plan begins at €45/month. After the starter plan prices increase to €457 for the Professional plan and €1219 for the Enterprise plan.

What can be improved:

  • Ticketing system. Some users mention that multiple agents are unable to work on tickets simultaneously. This feature can lead to double the work and inefficiency.
  • Set up. Numerous features may lead to a steep learning curve, which is not beneficial for teams with little time.

Summary: Hubspot’s new hub can be an alternative to Zendesk. But Hubspot is first and foremost a marketing automation tool, and prices for their hub are quite steep.

8. Kustomer

Kustomer, a part of Meta, offers a CRM for support. It offers customers an omnichannel view of their support and customer communication.

Price: Offers two plans. Starting at 90/user/month and ends at 141 user/month. Chatbot and automation are extra.

What can be improved:

  • Pricing. There are now lower tiers for customers who don’t need all extensive features.

Summary: When it comes to Zendesk alternatives Kustomer is great, that consolidates Email, Chat, SMS, Social, WhatsApp, and Self-service, like Trengo it offers a service and support platform. It is however pricey, and most if not all automation features are not included in the monthly plans.

Take your pick, carefully

Consider all the pros and cons of Zendesk and all the Zendesk alternatives, and of course, do not forget about pricing. The basic features for all solutions don’t vary greatly. But when you consider the mix of functionality, budget, and set up there are some solutions that will fit your business needs better than others.

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