Today, providing strong customer service is key – according to Zendesk’s CX Trends 2022 report, 72% of business leaders say that their organization views customer service as a critical business priority. Moreover, customers today are engaging more with service teams, with support requests – ranging from technical questions to assistance with a return – up 14%, in comparison to last year.
So, in order to deliver the best possible experience, it becomes essential to equip support teams with robust tools and resources, setting them up for ultimate success. To provide customers with a seamless, personalized, and connected experience, across all channels. When it comes to service desk platforms (aka agent desks) that help accomplish this feat of providing a best-in-class customer experience, there are no shortage options available.
If you are considering help desk software, you’ve likely heard of Zendesk.
What is Zendesk?
Zendesk is one of the most well-known and best help desk platforms in the market today. In a nutshell, Zendesk helps companies manage the entire experience for their customers and improve customer relationships – bringing all marketing and support functions together into one platform.
Zendesk also has a spunky side and is known for bold messaging. Take a look at how Zendesk describes themselves in their own words:
While Zendesk is an exceptional customer service solution, there are other options available, all with their own unique and sophisticated features. Here, we take a look at 11 alternatives to Zendesk.
How can you seamlessly introduce Netomi’s AI into your workforce? Get in touch with our team to learn more!
11 Top Zendesk Alternatives
- Salesforce Service Cloud
- HubSpot Service Hub
- Zoho Desk
- Help Scout
Best Zendesk alternative for larger teams
What makes Freshdesk one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
Freshdesk helps businesses to deliver seamless customer service across digital and traditional channels, including email, chat, phone, and social media. Complete with a help widget and multilingual knowledge base that supports 42 languages, the platform lets businesses design a self-service experience for their customers, one in which they are free to help themselves.
Freshdesk’s key features
- Built for omnichannel support
- Collaboration features that fuel teamwork and efficiency, including shared ownership of tickets and parent-child ticketing (splitting tickets into smaller tasks that respective teams can work on in parallel)
- Open-source API to integrate powerful Freshdesk chatbot solutions
- Analytics to measure improved efficiency, including team dashboards, custom, and curated reports, and customer satisfaction ratings
- AI-powered automation to streamline workflows, such as scanning through tickets hourly to check if there’s a need for an update or an alert, and auto-assigning tickets to the right agents
- Complete customization capabilities, including custom ticket forms, custom apps, and portal customization
Best Zendesk alternative for retailers
What makes Gladly one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
With a strong emphasis on providing personal customer service, Gladly is a customer service platform that “treats customers like people, not tickets.” Its people-centered rather than ticket-centered approach means that all conversations, across all channels, are tied to customer profiles, in one single place. As voice, email, text, and chat are all built-in natively to the platform, agents can respond across all channels during a conversation from a single screen, while also having the historical context from a customer’s previous interactions.
Gladly’s key features
- ‘People match’ that pairs customers with the best “service hero” to assist them, based on their own unique situation, history, and needs
- Open-source API to integrate powerful Gladly chatbot solutions
- ‘Conversation timeline’ that stores customer communications across all channels in one lifelong conversation thread, and in one centralized view
- Customer service analytics that offer cross-channel insights that make a true impact, such as action-oriented reports and data exports
- Integrations with applications such as Shopify, Twitter, Messenger, and Netomi
Best for integrations with other tools
What makes Salesforce Service Cloud one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
Built on Salesforce Customer 360, Salesforce Service Cloud gives businesses a 360-degree view of their customers, allowing them to deliver smarter, faster, and more personalized service. The platform gives agents the tools to deliver an exceptional customer experience, enabling them to work faster and more productively, which, in turn, improves customer satisfaction and reduces costs.
Salesforce Service Cloud’s key features
- Open-source API to integrate powerful Salesforce chatbot solutions
- An agent workspace that allows agents to seamlessly handle cases from one screen with an easy-to-use service console, affording them a unified view of every case detail and customer interaction
- Omni-channel routing to deliver more efficient support by automatically routing cases to the best agent or team for the job, based on their skill set and availability
- A point-and-click interface that enables teams to easily design and deploy automated processes, such as orchestrating workflows, creating and updating records, logging calls, and sending emails
Best Zendesk alternative for teams that are already using HubSpot
What makes HubSpot Service Hub one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
Part of the HubSpot CRM platform, Service Hub includes conversational tools, help desk automation, customer feedback surveys, reporting, and more, to provide businesses with one unified view of each customer interaction. The comprehensive, end-to-end service allows for better customer service management and satisfied customers, at each stage of their journey.
HubSpot Service Hub’s key features
- Reporting dashboards that surface actionable data to improve customer service, highlighting the top service requests
- A secure customer portal that empowers customers to gain ownership over their experience, and keeps ticket conversations between customers and reps flowing
- Live chat that enables teams to assist customers on their website in real-time, automatically routing them to the right support agents
- A shared inbox that connects team email, live chat, Facebook Messenger, and more to one universal inbox, so support teams are able to manage and reply to conversations in one place
Best Zendesk alternative for early stage businesses
What makes Intercom one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
An all-in-one customer communications platform, and one that offers conversational support, conversational engagement and conversational marketing, Intercom’s comprehensive solution enables businesses to personalize all customer interactions, and deliver support that is personalized as well as proactive. Ideal for both large as well as growing businesses, under Intercom’s Early Stage Program, eligible startups receive advanced Intercom features and Early Stage Academy at a 95% discount.
Intercom’s key features
- Product tours that introduce customers to a company’s products, offering guided experiences that spotlight new features and drive adoption
- Management tools, including a collaborative inbox, rules and automated workflows, and reporting tools to help teams be more efficient
- Customer messaging that allows agents to communicate with customers across platforms, chat in real-time or follow up later, and help customers self-serve
- Integration with 300+ apps, including Slack, WhatsApp and Google Analytics, to maximize customer experience and team efficiency
6. Zoho Desk
Best Zendesk alternative for sales-focused teams
What makes Zoho Desk one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
An omnichannel customer service solution, Zoho Desk works across verticals including telecom, hospitality and finance, catering to businesses of all sizes, from startups to enterprises. With actionable insights, ticket management and automation, Zoho Desk helps support teams stay on top of all aspects of their customer service efforts. Additionally, Radar, the company’s mobile app, allows teams to monitor ticket traffic and key support metrics, wherever they are.
Zoho Desk’s key features
- A multichannel ticketing system that collects support tickets from various channels (such as email and social media), and organizes them in a single interface
- Zoho’s AI-powered assistant can identify the sentiment behind tickets, process incoming tickets, and assign them appropriate tags
- Open-source API to integrate powerful Zoho chatbot solutions
- Instant remote assistance with the Zoho Assist add-on that enables teams to provide cloud-based remote support from within Zoho Desk
- Different ticket views that help agents automatically organize tickets based on priority, due time, status, or CRM status, and ‘ticket peek’ that shows a preview of every interaction that team members have had with the customer, as well as the ticket’s properties
Best Zendesk alternative for companies that offer the majority of their customer support through email
What makes Front one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
Offering a hub for all things related to customer communication, Front combines the simplicity of email with the intelligence of a CRM. The platform’s intuitive design allows for smarter collaboration between teammates, so they can deliver unmatched and tailor-made service to their customers.
Front’s key features
- Custom workflows that automatically route, triage and escalate messages, and prioritize VIPs
- A universal inbox that consolidates work all in one place, and each message gets a clear owner, so no customer requests fall through the cracks
- In-depth analytics to track performance, customer satisfaction, and growth
- 100+ integrations with apps such as Asana, Gmail, and Facebook, so teams can manage projects, consult their CRMs, and view all communication channels right in their inbox
Best Zendesk alternative for small businesses
What makes Groove one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
A shared inbox for small businesses seeking an alternative to Gmail, Groove provides a space for teams to organize all of their support emails in one place, route them to the right people, and get more work done as a team.
Groove’s key features
- Reporting functionalities, including team analytics, conversation insights, and performance metrics
- A 24/7 smart, self-service knowledge base, that can be easily edited and designed to match a company’s brand, featuring insights such as most-searched terms, most-viewed articles, and article suggestions
- Automations such as instant replies, rules and tags, to organize conversations and speed up workflows
- Integrations with hundreds of apps, such as Slack, Shopify, and MailChimp
9. Help Scout
Best Zendesk alternative for growing businesses
What makes Help Scout one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
An all-in-one support platform, Help Scout is designed to help growing companies “turn customers into brand ambassadors.” Complete with an integrated knowledge base, 50+ integrations, in-app messaging and live chat, it helps keep support teams on the same page so they can focus on delivering a great customer experience. What’s more, with Help Scout’s free iOS and Android apps, teams can easily check their inboxes and reply to customers, while on the go.
Help Scout’s key features
- Workflows that automate repetitive tasks, keep response times low and act based on pre-set conditions (if one event takes place, what action should happen after?)
- A single shared inbox that houses all support requests, allowing teams to collaborate with ease, and personalize conversations with customers
- “Beacons” that can be placed on any page of a website or app, standing as an easy way for customers to flip through a knowledge base or reach out to a support team
- Reports that do all of the heavy lifting, providing summaries of phone calls created, key chat metrics, trending topics among customers, and more
Best Zendesk alternative for teams looking for more native CRM capabilities in their helpdesk
What makes Kustomer one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
Kustomer brings together CRM, customer engagement, and helpdesk software into a single omnichannel platform. With a strong emphasis on omnichannel, the platform allows agents to view the entire experience and seamlessly switch between channels to meet customers where they are.
Kustomer’s key features
- Kustomer IQ’s AI capabilities contextualize conversations, generate predictive insights, and recommend next-best actions
- The Kustomer Timeline – an easy-to-use agent workspace for managing customer conversations, displaying each customer journey in a chronological timeline view, including website visits, historical interactions, and purchase history
- Integrations with various apps to unify CX operations, including Gmail, SurveyMonkey, and Instagram
- Reporting and analytics features that enable teams to generate reports about conversations, team performance, and customer base
Best Zendesk alternative for larger teams who have the need for the platform’s numerous support desk features
What makes LiveAgent one of the best Zendesk alternatives?
A pioneering customer service software established in 2006, LiveAgent was the first solution to offer both live chat and help desk capabilities. Its advanced help desk ticketing system integrates with numerous communication channels to provide customers with exceptional support, going “beyond an IT ticketing system.”
LiveAgent’s key features
- A comprehensive ticketing system that allows teams to handle all customer inquiries from one interface, complete with automated ticket distribution, time rules that prioritize tickets, and a ‘to solve’ button that reminds agents about incoming tickets
- 15 live chat features, including proactive chat invitations, chat button animations, real-time typing view, and chat embedded tracking
- A built-in call center with unlimited call recordings, internal calls and call routing
- Social media integrations with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, to save agents time by streamlining all customer interactions into a single, unified inbox
Are you using Zendesk to its fullest potential?
“Alone we are one, yet together we are stronger,” Alexandra da Silva Rodrigues, Radisson Hotel Group’s Strategical Advisor for Global Contact Centers, noted in a recent Netomi webinar. While Alexandra was referring to teams of call center agents, the same idea rings true when it comes to integration of systems and softwares. Because one platform alone can be powerful and make a true impact, but two combined? Now that’s a whole other story.
This is why we work to bring together the best of machine and human intelligence. Netomi’s AI-powered Zendesk chatbot works natively within the Zendesk Chat window and agent console, to resolve up to 80% of repeatable customer tickets within seconds with zero human effort. Issues that are sensitive, critical or high-risk are routed to human support agents. Netomi’s virtual agents are there to supplement and enhance live chat support teams, working alongside them to create the ultimate customer service team. Best of all, the seamless integration means that agents do not require any re-training, they need not master new tools.
The possibilities for service desk platforms are endless, yet not all are the same. As your needs are unique to your team and your industry, it is important to select the one that fits your organization, and will deliver the most impact to your support team and your customers.
How can a powerful AI-powered chatbot like Netomi’s integrate with your service desk solution? Send us a message to learn more!