The 22 Best Zendesk Alternatives + Competitors for 2024
Illustration by Dalbert Vilarino

If you’ve ever looked for customer support software, chances are you’ve heard of Zendesk. It’s one of the most well-known names in the category — and for good reason: It’s a great product.

But while Zendesk positions itself as a solid option for any customer support team, that’s not always the case.

The primary issues with Zendesk are its cost and complexity. Zendesk Suite’s base plan starts at $55/agent per month, which is more than double the cost of comparable plans from others in the space. Along with the monthly cost, many have to hire additional help to get Zendesk set up, which some people report can take months to do.

The 22 best Zendesk alternatives and competitors

Below, we look at the best Zendesk alternatives, list their key features, and offer some insight into what types of teams each Zendesk competitor works best for.

  1. Help Scout

  2. Zoho Desk

  3. ServiceNow

  4. Freshdesk

  5. Gorgias

  6. HubSpot Service Hub

  7. Kustomer

  8. Front

  9. HappyFox

  10. Intercom

  11. Tidio

  12. Trengo

  13. Dixa

  14. Groove

  15. Gladly

  16. Hiver

  17. LiveChat

  18. Jira Service Management

  19. Kayako

  20. Salesforce Service Cloud

  21. Crisp

  22. Missive

There is some overlap of features and functionality with these tools, but most have nuances that make them better suited for certain use cases.

1. Help Scout

Best alternative to Zendesk for growing teams.

Help Scout is a complete customer support platform built with both the customer and the agent experience in mind. An intuitive interface and refined feature set mean the learning curve for using Help Scout is minimal: You’ll be up and running in a matter of hours and be a power user by the end of week one.

When you sign up for Help Scout, you get access to a feature-rich platform with a number of powerful customer support tools.

All of your channels, all in one place

Create one or more shared team mailboxes to manage your customer conversations across all your favorite channels — email, chat, and social. Shared inbox features like private notes let your team exchange information about the conversation before replying to customers, and real-time collision detection prevents multiple agents from working on or replying to the same customer requests.

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Create a database of saved replies to make answering routine requests a breeze, or set up workflows to automatically do things like assign conversations to specific teams or agents. Customer profiles provide your team with the context they need to deliver personalized customer service experiences, and tags and custom fields help you keep everything organized.

Help them help themselves

Research shows customers want to be empowered to find answers on their own, and creating a customer-facing knowledge base is a great way to do that. With Docs, you can create a customized help center that makes it easy for customers to find the information they need when they need it.

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Supported by humans, enhanced by AI

Designed to enhance, not replace, human support, Help Scout’s AI features give your team the tools to help customers more efficiently, freeing up their time for more complex and valuable tasks.

AI summarize helps your team get up to speed on long conversation threads fast, while AI assist provides writing assistance. Use AI assist in conversation, chat, Messages, and Docs editors to help with spelling and grammar checks, length or tone changes, or copy translation.

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AI drafts gives your team a head start on every reply by using generative AI and the content of your Docs site to help draft responses to incoming conversations. Simply read, edit as necessary, and hit send.

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Connect with customers at the right place and at the right time

Help Scout’s Beacon lets you connect with customers when and where they need you the most. Simply install our messaging widget on any page of your website or within your app to provide instant access to customer support. Your users can easily reach out to your support team via live chat or access your knowledge base articles all from within your customer experience.

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But communication isn’t just a one-way street — Beacon also lets your business reach out to customers proactively. Launch a chat window or surface a help doc during tricky places in the customer journey, place a banner on your site to announce a new feature, or even send out a survey to capture customer feedback. It’s all possible using Beacon’s targeting features, which allow you to dial in on your audience using events like URL visited, time on page, and more.

Analytics so you don’t need to guess

Help Scout comes loaded with pre-built dashboards so you can see how your team performs from day one. See what times of day are busiest, common reasons for customer queries, and which communication channels are most popular with your customers.

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You can also create custom views to refine reports and focus on the metrics that matter most to you. If you want to do even more with your data, you can use our API or Fivetran to connect to the business intelligence tool of your choosing.

Here to support you so you can support them

Along with our robust tools, we also offer 24/6 support provided by our customers team. We have a detailed help center, free resources and blog content, and live classes, all so you have everything you need to support your customers, day in day out.

Thinking about making the switch?

Lastly, Help Scout understands the importance of keeping your level of support high, even through periods of change. The platform’s data migration capabilities simplify the process of bringing your existing customer data and conversation history with you so that your team always has the information required to provide your customers with a great support experience.

Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $22/user per month.

2. Zoho Desk

Best Zendesk alternative for teams that need a community forum.

Zoho Desk Screenshot

Zoho is probably best known for its customer relationship management tool, but it also makes a customer support solution. Zoho Desk has a number of features like a shared inbox, phone integration, and chat. However, some features — like chat — are limited to the highest-cost plan.

Zoho Desk also boasts a selection of integrations to connect with the rest of your tech stack. For larger teams, there are team management features you can take advantage of, like time tracking. They even offer AI options such as chatbots, sentiment analysis, and ticket field and tag predictions.

A Zendesk feature that is less common with other customer service tools is a community management feature. Zoho Desk is one of the few all-in-one type platforms that offer forum support. Communities can be great for promoting self-service and building better user relationships.

Price: Free trial and plan available. Paid plans start at $7/user per month. Plans with community forums start at $14/user per month.

3. ServiceNow

Best Zendesk alternative for enterprise IT service management (ITSM).

screenshot of servicenow's customer service software

Though it’s common to think of Zendesk as a customer-facing tool, some also use it for their internal IT requests. Another option on that front is ServiceNow, an IT ticketing system designed for internal ticket management and support.

ServiceNow offers features like AI-assisted assignment of support tickets to help boost team members' productivity. Self-service options and virtual assistants help employees get answers quickly, and reports let you track performance and find areas of improvement.

Price: Contact ServiceNow directly for pricing.

4. Freshdesk

Best alternative to Zendesk for larger teams.

Product Screenshot: Freshdesk
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Freshdesk is the tool that is most similar to Zendesk on this list. It boasts a shared inbox, it can manage customer communications across several popular channels, it has a knowledge base builder, and it can connect to other software using apps in its marketplace. Freshdesk also has other tried and true support software features like workflow automations, CSAT surveys, round-robin ticket routing, and more.

Like most customer service platforms on the market, Freshdesk has several AI offerings — referred to as Freddy AI — that can be added to your plan to help you save time and reduce ticket volume. Subscribers can purchase any of the three offered AI add-ons: AI-powered chatbots, a support agent assistant that can help with tasks like drafting replies or improving agent-composed text, or AI-enhanced reporting features as add-ons to their Freshdesk plan.

Price: Free trial and plan available. Paid plans start at $15/agent per month. Customer Service Suite plans start at $29/agent per month.

5. Gorgias

Best Zendesk alternative for those interested in usage-based pricing.

Product Screenshot: Gorgias
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When you sign up for Gorgias, you get access to a shared inbox that you can use to manage channels like email, voice, social, and live chat. You can also create a help center to promote self-service and use the platform’s reporting dashboards to gather insights about your support operations.

Historically, the biggest differentiator between Gorgias and other help desks has been its ecommerce integrations, particularly the Shopify connection. Through the integration, you can see order details, edit orders, and even make refunds directly from your help desk, which can save your team a lot of time. These days, Zendesk (and many of its competitors) also offers similar functionality.

One last thing to keep in mind about Gorgias is that it utilizes usage-based pricing. All of their plans have ticket limits, meaning your costs could vary month over month depending on volume. Plus, many of the platform’s automation, AI, and campaign features require additional add-on fees on top of the regular pricing plans.

Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $50 per month.

6. HubSpot Service Hub

Best Zendesk alternative for teams using HubSpot as a CRM.

Product Screenshot: HubSpot Service Hub
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HubSpot is known for its marketing and sales software, but it also has a customer support offering called HubSpot Service Hub. Service Hub is help desk software that includes most standard features like a shared inbox, live chat, a knowledge base builder, chatbots, customer satisfaction surveys, workflow automations, and reporting dashboards.

If you’re a HubSpot CRM user, it makes a lot of sense to try the company’s service offering. You can connect customer profiles to Service Hub, giving your team more context and insight as they work through the queue.

Price: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $15/seat per month.

7. Kustomer

Best alternative to Zendesk for teams wanting CRM capabilities.

Product Screenshot: Kustomer

CRMs and help desk software have historically existed separately from each other, but Kustomer combined the two to create a unique type of solution. With Kustomer, you can see a complete picture of each customer and update multiple systems at once, saving time and energy.

Kustomer offers multi-channel support for email, chat, phone, messaging, and social accounts. It also has tools for building a knowledge base, chatbots, and AI-powered features to help reduce conversation volume and save your team time.

While Kustomer has all the features your customer service team needs, it is pretty expensive. The per-agent cost is high, and they require that you purchase a minimum of eight seats. Their AI features also require the purchase of an add-on, which may put the features out of reach of some customers.

Price: Plans start at $89/user per month (minimum eight seats required).

8. Front

Best Zendesk alternative for startups focused on account management.

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While the ability to manage personal email alongside team inboxes used to be the main selling point for the platform, Front has grown substantially over the last few years and now offers many other features that make it stand up as a solid alternative to Zendesk.

Front can help you manage most of the channels Zendesk offers, like email, live chat, social, messaging, chatbots, voice, and a help center, though some channels require third-party integrations. Along with shared inbox capabilities, Front also has collaboration, automation, and AI features, which can make managing communications faster and more efficient.

However, there are a few areas where Front’s offerings aren’t as strong. For instance, its Starter plan doesn’t have any reporting features, unlike the comparable Zendesk plan. Front is also missing CSAT support on its base plan. While Zendesk’s plan also lacks the capability, other options on the list at a similar price point include reporting, CSAT scores, and more.

Price: Plans start at $19/seat per month.

9. HappyFox

Best Zendesk alternative for teams wanting project management features.

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HappyFox is kind of a mashup of help desk and project management software. It includes the usual suspects like a shared inbox, knowledge base software, and some automation capabilities to help reduce repetitive tasks, but it can also create and assign tasks and view the ticket queue in a Kanban view for better visualization of the conversations assigned across the team.

HappyFox can also be a great choice for IT teams because, in addition to ticketing and self-service tools, there is also an asset manager that can be used to keep track of company-owned devices and any issues related to them.

Along with its help desk solution, HappyFox also offers products that support live chat, chatbots, and AI tools. However, all of these are considered separate tools and would need to be purchased independently of the help desk offering.

Price: Free trial period available. Plans start at $29/agent per month.

10. Intercom

Best Zendesk alternative for enterprise teams focused on proactive engagement.

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Intercom is a popular communications platform that has been a favorite of sales and marketing teams for years. While its customer service offerings used to be a bit on the rough side, the company has pivoted toward support in recent years and has made big improvements.

When it comes to support needs — ticketing features, collaborative tools, channels offered, chatbot capabilities, AI functionality, and major integrations supported — Intercom is going to feel just as powerful as Zendesk. However, Intercom’s strengths still shine brightest when it comes to sales, marketing, and customer success use cases. In particular, its messenger-focused platform is excellent for proactive engagement, customer onboarding, and user segmentation.

The main downside to using Intercom for non-enterprise companies is the pricing structure. While it is much more streamlined than it used to be, there are still a lot of add-ons and usage-based fees that are added to the monthly subscription. This makes it hard for those who want to use anything but Intercom’s most basic features to accurately predict monthly costs, which can be tough for smaller teams with budget constraints.

Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $39/seat per month.

11. Tidio

Best alternative to Zendesk for chat-focused teams who require unlimited user seats.

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Tidio is a great Zendesk alternative if you're looking for a chat-focused platform that relies on usage-based pricing. Its chat features include live chat, live typing previews, automatic chat routing, chat satisfaction surveys, and multilingual support.

Outside of chat, Tidio can help you manage other channels like email, social conversations from Facebook Messenger or Instagram, or communications from messaging platforms like WhatsApp. The platform also integrates with popular software platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Squarespace.

One feature absent from the list that might seem strange is chatbots. Tidio does have chatbot products; however, they are not part of the basic customer service plans. Tidio’s basic rule-based chatbot product can be purchased separately for the same monthly cost as the customer service plans. Their AI-powered option, Lyro AI agent, costs a little more, coming in at $32.50 per month when billed annually.

Price: Free trial and plan available. Live chat plans start at $24.17 agent per month.

12. Trengo

Best Zendesk alternative for teams who deal with B2C clients.

screenshot of trengo's customer service software

Trengo is an all-in-one communication platform that puts all of your customer interactions in one place. The platform has strong automation and team features and works with popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Lightspeed.

Trengo has basic reporting to help track how happy customers are and how well your team performs. It also has chatbots and a help center tool to help you reduce conversation volume and create opportunities for self-service.

One downside of Trengo is that their lowest-tier pricing plan is missing some key functionality like integrations, reporting, and rules and automation. In addition, there is a five-seat minimum and a conversation limit. If you need at least five users, Trengo’s mid-tier plan could be a good option. However, teams with lower seat requirements might get more value from another platform.

Price: Plans start at $113 per month (includes five users).

13. Dixa

Best alternative to Zendesk for teams that use side conversations.

Product Screenshot: Dixa

Dixa is an excellent customer service software tool, with all channels (email, chat, social, voice, chatbot, and messenger app) natively built into the platform. It also offers a knowledge base builder, AI features, and connectivity with plenty of popular software like CRMs and ecommerce platforms.

For teams that have a lot of issues that require team effort, Dixa has the side conversations feature. With side conversations, you can create an email or add an internal note to another party (vendors, partners, colleagues, etc.) directly from within the conversation editor. Reaching out from within Dixa ties the side conversation to the issue at hand so that anyone on your team can see the communication and pick up where you left off if necessary.

If your team relies on Zendesk’s side conversations feature, then Dixa could be a good alternative for your team. Although Dixa doesn’t offer the ability to create side Slack conversations like Zendesk, the email functionality is still pretty great.

Price: Plans start at $39/agent per month (minimum seven seats required).

14. Groove

Best Zendesk alternative for teams that require basic integrations.

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For those looking for another suitable option for small businesses, Groove might be one to add to your shortlist. It has all the basics you would expect from a support platform, such as a shared inbox, knowledge base tool, native live chat support, and reporting features.

The platform is also starting to roll out some AI features, including a writing assistant and a tool for summarizing long conversations.

One drawback of Groove is that it doesn’t offer very many integrations. It has the basics like Shopify and Jira but will have a hard time competing with those used to the Zendesk marketplace.

Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $12/user per month.

15. Gladly

Best Zendesk alternative for enterprise teams that need omnichannel support.

Product Screenshot: Gladly

Gladly is an omnichannel customer service solution that is a good choice for teams looking for omnichannel support. All of their supported channels — email, chat, social, SMS, in-app, voice, and IVR — are built into the platform, making it easy to connect with customers using their preferred method.

Gladly’s approach to channels is helpful not only to customers but also to support pros. The system uses a conversation timeline that puts all communications from a customer, regardless of channel, in the same thread. This helps put all the information your team needs to resolve customer issues at their fingertips. Gladly also has AI features that can help take the pressure off support workers and get customers answers more quickly.

Compared to Zendesk, Gladly is quite expensive. Each license starts at $180/user per month, and all plans have a 10-seat minimum. This will put it out of reach for a lot of small and mid-sized businesses.

Price: Plans start at $180/hero per month (minimum of ten seats required).

16. Hiver

Best Zendesk alternative for Gmail users.

screenshot of hiver's customer service software

If your team relies heavily on Gmail and you’re looking for a solution that can make handling support within that ecosystem more tenable, then Hiver could be a good fit. The platform is essentially a Gmail extension that lets you access shared inboxes, assign conversations, add tags, leave internal notes, and more from within your inbox window.

In addition to email, Hiver also supports live chat and has a knowledge base builder. Some of the higher-tiered plans also offer chatbot and AI features. One thing that is different from other options on the list is that CSAT and most of the other reporting features are also limited to the higher plans.

However, for those looking for a way to dip their toes into expanding beyond Gmail or Google’s Collaborative Inbox, Hiver could be a good start.

Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $15/user per month.

17. LiveChat

Best Zendesk alternative for chat support.

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LiveChat is a customer communications platform focused on chat. In addition to the chat channel, the platform enables your team to support other messaging channels like Facebook Messenger, SMS, and Apple Messages for Business. Other social channels like X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and WhatsApp can also be added via integrations.

The platform has everything you’d want from chat software — canned response support, smart and manual chat routing, tagging, file sharing, chat history, transcripts, reporting, proactive chat ability, integrations with popular software apps, and more.

The one thing that is noticeably missing from LiveChat’s feature lineup is, of course, chatbot functionality. The company makes a product, ChatBot, that offers the feature; however, it’s packaged separately from the LiveChat product.

While the two offerings integrate seamlessly, looking at a tool that offers both live chat and chatbot functionality bundled together may be cheaper.

Price: Free trial available. Plans start at $20/person per month.

18. Jira Service Management

Best Zendesk alternative to use as a service desk.

Product Screenshot: Jira Service Management
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Jira Service Management is a good pick for small to mid-size companies looking for a Zendesk alternative for their service desk. It has many of the same support tools you’ll find on most support platforms, but it also has features like a customer portal and incident and asset management tools that focus more on supporting internal users.

The software also integrates seamlessly with Jira, another Atlassian product focus on project management. Given that so many development and internal technical teams are used to working within the Jira ecosystem, Service Management may have a gentler learning curve than a product like Zendesk.

Price: Free trial and plan available. Paid plans start at $22.05/agent per month.

19. Kayako

Best Zendesk alternative for teams looking for an on-premises solution.

screenshot of kayako's customer service software