8 Best FREE ZenDesk Alternative (2022)

ZenDesk is an established cloud-based help desk management solution for organizations. It offers customizable tools for building online communities and customer portals. This tool includes an array of features, including automation, analytics, reports, and ticketing.

Why NOT Pick Zendesk?

Besides being costly, ZenDesk also has a long list of advanced features not required by all businesses. Zendesk has limited email automation and answering requests in one queue is impossible. However, its competitors offer low costs and have extensive feature flexibility. Below is our curated list of Top ZenDesk Alternatives and Competitors. The list contains free (open source) and paid tools.

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Top Zendesk Alternative & Competitors

Tool Name Service Management Type of Support Free Trial Link
Freshdesk Help desk Omnichannel Free Basic Plan for up to 10 agents Learn More
Help Scout Help desk, Service desk Omnichannel 15 days Free Trial Learn More
HappyFox Help desk Omnichannel 14 days Free Trial Learn More
Intercom Help desk Omnichannel 14 days Free Trial Learn More
Front Help desk Multi-channel 7 days Free Trial Learn More

1) Freshdesk – Best Free Alternative to ZenDesk

Freshdesk ranks as one of the top Zendesk competitors in the market. The platform offers products for chats, shared inboxes, reports, etc. This customer support software solution has more affordable and flexible plan options.

It has functionalities like email ticketing, a help widget, and a knowledge base. Additionally, it generates real-time documentation and updating of information. Freshdesk also offers other features like clutter-free management capabilities to handle customer inquiries. It also provides customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT) when help desk ticketing closes.

Freshdesk

Features:

  • This software has collision detection to ensure multiple agents don’t tackle a single inquiry.
  • Freshdesk has an Omni route system to help in balancing workloads.
  • It has pre-populated messaging known as canned responses to help agents respond fast to customer issues.
  • The customer service automation lets you set reminders and assign customers to agents.
  • Chatbot powered by Freddy AI can categorize, route, and prioritize incoming tickets.
  • Freshdesk helps you identify gaps using the three-level data drill down
  • Marketplace integrations with Shopify, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoho, Salesforce, and more.
๐Ÿ‘ Pros ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons
The field service and SLA rules are easy to use. Customer satisfaction record history only shows the latest feedback.
Freshdesk has advanced helpdesk workflow escalation. Agents may get duplicate emails from assigned tickets.
It offers support across channels to increase the teamโ€™s productivity.
The software distributes tickets equally to ensure agents are not overworked.

Why is Freshdesk the best Free Alternative to ZenDesk?

Compared to Zendesk, Freshdesk Offers a free plan when getting started. The plan has good features like Knowledge Base, Ticket Trend Report, and Email Ticketing.

Key Specs:

Service Management: Help desk
Type of Support: Omnichannel
Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows
Pricing: Plans starting at $15 a month.
Free Trial: Lifetime Free Basic Plan

Link: https://freshdesk.com/


2) Help Scout – Best For Delivering exceptional customer support.

Help Scout is a customer service solution used by small businesses and freelancers. This software is fast and easy to use since it does not use a conventional user interface. It has a shared inbox and collaboration functionalities to process customer requests.

Besides tracking customer satisfaction, Help Scout offers self-service portals to answer customer queries. Agents can also access real-time indicators to show when a customer is making a request.

Help Scout is a popular Zendesk alternative as it offers effective email management. It provides the customer support team with multiple mailboxes to manage all conversations, making it easy for businesses to monitor customer engagements.

Help Scout

Features:

  • Help Scout creates customer profiles with relevant, up-to-date information.
  • It has collision detection that helps agents avoid working on a single request.
  • This tool manages metrics and creates custom views to refine reports.
  • The software creates a database of saved replies to make handling issues easy.
  • Helpscout links internal systems to help you access customers’ profiles and account histories.
  • You can segment audiences and send real-time product notifications to customers.
  • Help Scout workflow organizes emails by inbound email addresses.
  • It integrates with Jira, HubSpot, Salesforce, Capsule, and more.
๐Ÿ‘ Pros ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons
Agents can access private notes to help them reply to tricky requests. Structuring and categorizing knowledge base content is complex and tedious.
You can use docs to create, manage, and organize FAQ pages. Help Scout has limited integrations and tagging features.
Help Scout has built-in search functionality that makes navigation easy.
The customer support services have a good reputation among its customers.

Why is Help Scout the best for delivering exceptional customer support?

When comparing Zendesk vs. Help Scout, the latterโ€™s customer success team functions by using a high-leverage program. The support base provides proactive education resources to all level businesses.

Key Specs:

Service Management: Help desk, Service desk
Type of Support: Omnichannel
Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows
Pricing: Plans starting at $20 a month. 20% Discount on Yearly Payment.
Free Trial: Yes – 15 Days

Link: https://www.helpscout.com/


3) HappyFox – Best For Real-time documentation for businesses.

HappyFox is a help desk ticketing software that offers reliable customer support. The platform has community forums and project management to streamline productivity. It has a shared inbox that allows your team to receive, manage, and reply to customer inquiries within one email account.

This software is a leading Zendesk alternative offering chat tools like email, phone, live chat, and Social media. Furthermore, it integrates with CRM, commerce, and accounting.

HappyFox has a self-service portal that provides information related to customer inquiries. The platform also offers multi-channel support that suits small and middle-sized SaaS organizations.

HappyFox

Features:

  • HappyFox customizes field reports and insights through contact segregation.
  • Monitor smart rules feature can track services through workflow automation.
  • It has in-depth help desk reporting, real-time analytics, and customer data collection.
  • HappyFox offers canned actions that use template responses to reply to customer requests.
  • You can use the ticket queue to filter tickets based on priority and responsibility.
  • The platform can assign tasks to individual agents by setting time and due dates for each task.
  • Third-party integrations with Microsoft Teams, Aircall, Slack, Jira, Salesforce, and more.
๐Ÿ‘ Pros ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons
The knowledge base offers multiple languages. HappyFox only accepts at least five agents in each plan.
It provides a customer satisfaction survey with open-ended questions. It offers fewer integrations and UI controls.
The dashboard is customizable and easy to navigate.
HappyFox has free demos and chatbots to help customers understand their products.

Why is HappyFox the best for real-time documentation for businesses?

Compared to Zendesk, HappyFox’s dashboard gives you an overall view of your help desk performance. You can customize widgets, track metrics, and get reports with it.

Key Specs:

Service Management: Help desk
Type of Support: Omnichannel
Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows
Pricing: Plans starting at $27 a month. 30% Discount on Yearly Payment.
Free Trial: Yes – 14 Days

Link: https://www.happyfox.com/


4) Intercom – Best for streamlining customer communication.

Intercom is a flexible ZenDesk alternative with comprehensive tools for sales and marketing. Its messaging capability enables organizations to build sales relationships with customers. On Intercom, agents can provide support via in-app messaging, live chat, and email.

They can prioritize customer requests and route them with ticketing workflows. Intercom can set team innovation with its queue management and pre-configured bots.

Intercom

Features:

  • Intercom lets you utilize push notifications to onboard and proactively support customers.
  • The customer messaging feature allows agents to follow up in real-time.
  • It has management tools, including rules, automated workflows, and a collaborative inbox.
  • The software enables personalized marketing campaigns through smart suggestions, email marketing, and banners.
  • The Resolution bot recognizes related customer inquiries from past conversations.
  • Integrates with Google Analytics, HubSpot, GitHub, Slack, WhatsApp, and more.
  • It has audience segmentation, real-time performance monitoring, and user event tracking.
๐Ÿ‘ Pros ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons
Intercom lets you move conversations to messenger to reduce hold time for customers. Intercomโ€™s pricing structure is arbitrary and difficult to figure out.
You can snooze conversations during office hours. Changing the operator icon is not possible.
The help center features are simple to adjust from the dashboard.
You can download or subscribe to relevant reports to see how your team is doing.

Why is Intercom best for streamlining customer communication?

Compared to Zendesk, Intercom lets you get alerts for all the customer conversations. You can also auto-assign new messages to various account owners through bots.

Key Specs:

Service Management: Help desk
Type of Support: Omnichannel
Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows
Pricing: Plans starting at $74 a month.
Free Trial: Yes – 14 Days

Link: https://www.intercom.com/


5) Front – Best For support using email addresses.

Front is a collaborative email platform that scales a company’s customer service. It has a rudimentary tagging system, collaboration, automation, and shared inbox capabilities. These functionalities make it easy for businesses to maintain personal connections with customers.

With Front, you can keep the team synchronized by assigning internal dialogue. It also allows for localized chats and automatic messaging with team members on a single platform. Front users can create workflows to assign, sort, and route customer requests. Moreover, resolving issues is quick with email templates that have pre-written responses.

Front

Features:

  • Fronts lets you escalate, route, and trigger actions across other channels.
  • Workflows route, escalate, and triage tickets based on the status and values of fields.
  • The platform has a customizable portal for customers to communicate with service agents.
  • It facilitates interaction between website visitors and agents through a popup chat window.
  • Front has analytics tools that track essential business metrics.
  • You can create profiles for contacts and customers.
  • Integrates with social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
๐Ÿ‘ Pros ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons
Front enhances customization of logos, brands, texts, and chat colors. Front has limited integration capabilities.
The dashboard displays only important performance metrics.
It offers a good user experience of receiving requests and responding.
Push notifications make it easy for customers and agents to know when they get contacted.

Why is Front the best for support using email addresses?

When comparing Front vs. Zendesk, Front helps in strengthening customer and team relationships. It gives an email option to connect communication channels to your team inbox.

Key Specs:

Service Management: Help desk
Type of Support: Multi-channel
Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows
Pricing: Plans starting at $19 a month.
Free Trial: Yes – 7 Days

Link: https://front.com/


6) LiveAgent – Best for Different communication channels.

LiveAgent is a customer relationship management tool for improving business productivity. It offers live chats, ticketing services, and shared inboxes. LiveAgent offers management functionalities, time tracking, and ticket intake for larger customer service teams.

Live3Agent offers a wide range of integrations and advanced analytics. It manages customer queries from various channels and lets you customize customer-facing portals.

It has proactive chat invitations and a real-time typing view to gamify the process of customer service. It also allows support agents to earn badges to measure their performance.

LiveAgent

Features:

  • It has a multi-channel ticketing system that manages and assigns support tickets.
  • LiveAgent has configured email templates and a universal inbox for customers and agents.
  • This desk software has collision detection to ensure agents are not working on a single issue.
  • It offers advanced reports to measure support success.
  • You can use the built-in call center for internal call routing and call recordings.
  • LiveAgent issue management can search and view customer requests using task cards.
  • Third-party integrations with Magento, Slack, Shopify, Pipedrive, Mailchimp, and more.
๐Ÿ‘ Pros ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons
LiveAgent has affordable and competitive prices. LiveAgent has a steep learning curve and lacks proper instructions for new users.
It makes marketing automation simple due to visitor tracking.
The customer-facing portals are highly customizable.

Why is LiveAgent the best for different communication channels?

Compared to Zendesk, LiveAgent has various communication channels to give customers a wide range of options to reach you. It integrates Twitter, Facebook, Live chat, Phone, and Email into one platform.

Key Specs:

Service Management: Help desk, Service desk
Type of Support: Multi-channel
Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows
Pricing: Plans starting at $15 per agent per month.
Free Trial: Lifetime Free Basic Plan

Visit LiveAgent >>


7) Groove – Best for Low-budget customer support hours.

Groove is a simple all-in-one customer service software for businesses. It allows agents to provide support through live chat, phone, text messages, and email. Agents can also use customer-facing channels to collaborate in real-time.

With Groove, companies can access a support widget to create a customer portal and help customers get around support tickets. Groove enables agents to set automation and create ticket custom categories. It makes it easy for customers to know their issues’ support team.

Groove

Feature:

  • The platform has account-based engagement data to filter and access the account history.
  • It has reporting functionalities, including performance metrics, conversation insights, and team analytics.
  • You can create effective campaigns to engage customers and follow up on leads.
  • Speeding workflow is accessible by using instant replies, rules, and tags.
  • Groove offers leverage systematization and syncs calendar records and email.
  • It integrates with Mailchimp, Slack, Shopify, Stripe, Facebook, and more.
๐Ÿ‘ Pros ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons
Groove can let you edit the self-service portal to match the business brand. Groove accepts costs per agent, making it expensive for larger companies.
The technical support offers high-quality training to all customers.
Importing personal data to Grooveโ€™s database is easy.
The platform lets you schedule meetings with no hassle.

Why is Groove the best for low-budget customer support hours?

Compared to Zendesk, Groove has automated customer service via ticketing and service automation. You can also integrate a knowledge base to help customers around the platform.

Key Specs:

Service Management: Help desk
Type of Support: Omnichannel
Supported platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows
Pricing: Plans starting at $19 per user per month.
Free Trial: Yes – 7 Days

Link: https://www.groovehq.com/


8) Kayako – Best For Collaborative and intuitive customer support.

Kayako is a collaborative customer support platform for small and medium businesses. It is an all-in-one solution to help manage requests and conversations. The customer support teams can even share private notes and collaborate.

This tool is a top Zendesk competitor that functions more like a ticketing system. It enables teams to get customer issues in a shared inbox and engage in live chat to help in real-time.

Kayako agents provide support via email, Facebook, and Twitter. Moreover, it has a self-service portal and knowledge base.

Kayako

Features:

  • The platform has various ticket views to organize tickets by time, status, or priority.
  • You can track engagements through reports and dashboard visualizations.
  • Kayako has analytics tools to monitor performance and key business metrics.
  • It provides a tagging system to organize emails by relevant subject.
  • The software offers canned answers using template responses to customer issues.
  • Kayako creates customer profiles with up-to-date information.
  • It integrates with Webhooks, Zapier, Slack, Salesforce, and Twitter.
๐Ÿ‘ Pros ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons
It offers multilingual support services and localizations. The live chat widget customization is very basic and needs improvements.
You can extend and customize the helpdesk to suit the business. Manual editing of templates can be very tedious.
Kayakoโ€™s website lets you message and attends to new visitors in real-time.
It makes writing and tagging articles in a simple text editor possible.

Why is Kayako the best for collaborative and intuitive customer support?

When comparing Zendesk vs. Kayako, it includes using social media channels to reach its customers in real-time. The customer support agents can track the customers’ journey to deliver better solutions.

Key Specs:

Service Management: Help desk
Type of Support: Omnichannel
Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows
Pricing: Plans starting at $60 per agent per month.
Free Trial: Yes – 14 Days

Link: https://kayako.com/

FAQs

โ“ What is Zendesk?

Zendesk is a cloud-based customer service software. It helps businesses to manage service inquiries and customer requests across different channels. Regarded by all-in-one solutions, Zendesk provides scalable engagement tools to improve customer relationships. Its features include collaboration, automation, real-time updates, custom views, macros, and performance measurement.

๐Ÿ… What is the Best Zendesk Alternative?

Below are the best Zendesk alternatives

  • Freshdesk
  • Help Scout
  • HappyFox
  • Intercom
  • LiveAgent
  • Front
  • Kayako

๐Ÿ’ฅ What to look for in Zendesk Alternative?

When looking for customer service software, an ideal place to start is to weigh your options. Here are key factors to consider:

  • Pricing: Budget can be a common constraint for most businesses. Narrow down options and pick a tool whose plans are affordable in the long run.
  • User experience: The user interface should not be complex, especially for new users. It should be easy to use with a minimal learning curve.
  • Customer support: Use software that offers 24/7 access to customer support. It should be capable of creating a knowledge base to help customers find answers independently.
  • Features: List all the features needed for your business. After that, select the tool based on those functionalities.
  • Team size: There is a solution that provides all the features and functionality of interest. It depends on whether you have a small or large organization.
  • Free demo: A help desk solution with a free demo will show the value to expect with their products. It lets users try out the features in their own time.
  • Reputation: Look into user reviews and analyze the pros and cons of the tool.
  • Analytics and reporting will help in monitoring customer satisfaction and team performance.