Zendesk is a service-first CRM company known for enhancing customer relationships through its industry-leading customer service solutions. With about 77% of the help desk market share, Zendesk’s popularity is due to its security, stability, and comprehensive features like integrated customer support, a robust knowledge base, smart self-service options, ticketing, CRM capabilities, live chat, and detailed performance reports.

However, no single tool can meet the needs of every business. If you’re seeking alternatives to Zendesk, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore five top Zendesk alternatives that could be the perfect fit for your business.

Need for Zendesk Alternatives

Zendesk has an SW score of 86% on SaaSworhty. Some of the common issues that people have with Zendesk are –

1. Zendesk’s overall interface looks outdated and overloaded as compared to other modern help desk tools.

2. Zendesk separates chats and email tickets. This separate management denies users the opportunity to answer customer requests in one queue.

3. Unlike in many similar tools, there is no email automation functionality in Zendesk. This lack of automated email marketing means that users cannot set automated mail sequences for customers.

4. Many new help desk tools are now offering out-of-the-box features which are not present in Zendesk.

5. Zendesk can be a little pricey for some people as the premium plans of Zendesk are on the higher side.

Top 5 Zendesk Alternatives

Without any further ado, let’s quickly jump to the top 5 Zendesk alternatives.

In this article, we’ll cover the following Zendesk alternatives –

1. Freshdesk

2. Zoho Desk

3. ThriveDesk

4. Help Scout

5. Intercom

1. Freshdesk

Image source: Freshdesk

Freshdesk is arguably the top alternative for Zendesk. If you are looking for something identical to Zendesk then Freshdesk is an obvious choice. It has similar features and even similar pricing to Zendesk.

Freshdesk focuses on usability and affordability. It allows organizations to set up automation for handling specific customer inquiries. It can perform automatic delivery of help desk tickets, prioritize inquiries based on severity, and automate responses.

It also updates real-time information and documentation so that multiple agents do not accidentally work on the same inquiry.

Freshdesk pros

a. Easy-to-use ticketing system

b. Helpdesk automation

c. Modern and intuitive design

d. Self-service experience with a knowledge base

e. Reporting and analytics feature to track metrics

f. Omnichannel support

Freshdesk cons

a. Poorer analytics

b. Limited dashboard customization

c. Can feel disintegrated compared to all-in-one solutions

d. Minor issues with automation

e.  Unclear distribution of features among subscription plans

Freshdesk pricing

Its plans start at $15/agent/month (billed annually).

2. Zoho Desk

Image source: Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a feature-rich customer service software that is a good alternative for Zendesk. This AI-based and context-aware software is a great tool for increasing productivity. It includes an automation-powered ticketing system, making it easy to assign tickets to the right agent and informing customers automatically about ticket progress.

Zoho Desk provides an integrated support center approach, allowing organizations to offer omnichannel support.

Zoho Desk pros

a. It has an AI called Zia built for customer service teams

b. Automated ticket assignment

c. Time tracking, reports, and dashboards

d. CRM integration

e. Ticketing workflows and customized layouts

Zoho Desk cons

a. Steep learning curve

b. Limited customization in live chats

c. Settings can be confusing for some users

d. Could be a little expensive for very small operators

e. Search can be finicky at times

Zoho Desk pricing

Its plans start at $14/agent/month (billed annually).

3. ThriveDesk

Image source: ThriveDesk

ThriveDesk is an affordable and simple-to-use Zendesk alternative. It is an ideal solution for bootstrapped SaaS startups, eCommerce businesses, and small businesses. It helps easily track conversations and improve responsiveness with built-in functionalities like CRM, live chat, shared inbox, knowledge base, and a lot more.

Being a comparatively newer entrant in the market, ThriveDesk is continuously coming up with new features and integrations.

ThriveDesk pros

a. Single shared inbox for managing emails

b. CRM integration

c. Live chat, chatbot, and knowledge base

d. Automated replies from knowledge base

e. Email with unlimited addresses and email signatures

ThriveDesk cons

a. No mobile app

b. Not much tested since it’s new in the market

c. Lack of enough peer reviews

d. Search ticket and ticket merging features not available

e. Lack of markdown support

ThriveDesk pricing

Its plans start at $25/month for 5 users and 3 mailboxes.

4. Help Scout

Image source: Help Scout

Help Scout features in many Zendesk alternatives lists because of its robust features and ease of use. It is super accessible and effortless to set up.

It offers a shared inbox that supports tagging and collision detection and thus prevents multiple support agents to respond to the same customer request. It also offers a knowledge base, built-in messaging, and a live chat feature.

Help Scout also makes it easy for organizations to track engagement with specific customers.

Help Scout pros

a. Easy and intuitive to use

b. Outstanding customer support

c. Real-time reporting

d. Integrates with HubSpot, Salesforce, Jira, and more

e. Integrated knowledge base and shared inbox

Help Scout cons

a. Knowledge base is difficult to edit

b. The tagging function takes a while to set up

c. The mobile app isn’t as good as the desktop version

d. Uploading and downloading documents can be time-consuming

e. No free version available

Help Scout pricing

Its plans start at $20/user/month (billed annually) or $25/user/month (billed monthly).

5. Intercom

Image source: Intercom

Intercom is a flexible Zendesk alternative that allows organizations to build authentic relationships with their clients. It offers many innovative features for not only customer support but also for sales and marketing. This is something that Zendesk lacks since it’s only about customer support.

Users can utilize Intercom to communicate with their customers via email, live chat, in-app messaging, push notifications, etc. It also allows users to create knowledge bases.

Once a client issue has been resolved, Intercom creates a report for the company about the issues at hand. This allows them to revisit their knowledge base and make appropriate changes.

Intercom pros

a. Targeted outbound chat

b. Automated assignment rules

c. Ticketing workflows

d. Both mobile and desktop apps are on par with one another

e. Modern and incredibly easy-to-use interface

Intercom cons

a. Can get very expensive if you need advanced features or detailed reports

b. Doesn’t outperform other tools in this domain

c. Pricing can be confusing for users

d. Additional charges for active contacts

e. Limited reports

Intercom pricing

Its plans start at $59/month/1 seat.

So that was our list of Top 5 Zendesk alternatives. While choosing a help desk software for your business, it’s important to understand the objective of each of these tools and figure out the value it brings to your organization.

While some organizations would prefer a simple and straightforward tool, others might need an all-in-one software. Keep that in mind while choosing a Zendesk alternative for your business.

In case you need any help with choosing other SaaS tools, then check out SaaSworthy.


Snigdha Biswas is a seasoned professional with 12 years of experience in Content Development, Content Marketing and SEO across SaaS, Tech, Media, Entertainment, and News categories. She crafts impactful campaigns, adapts to market trends, develops content strategies, optimizes websites, and leverages data analytics. With a track record of driving organic growth and brand visibility, Snigdha's passion for storytelling and analytical mindset drive conversions and build brand loyalty. She is a trusted advisor, helping businesses achieve growth objectives through strategic thinking and collaboration in the competitive digital landscape.

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