Have you ever caught yourself thinking whether your business could benefit from a help desk solution? If you’re already pondering on that question, you are quite likely to have heard of the industry-leading Zendesk that currently holds over 72% of the help desk market.
While Zendesk remains the top-choice for help desk software, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and many businesses are turning their heads towards Zendesk competitors.
We have gathered insight to bring to light some Zendesk alternatives that anyone wishing to step up their customer support in 2021 should try out.
Why search for an alternative for Zendesk?
Without a question, Zendesk offers some powerful features to enhance customer service, such as multi-channel support, reporting and analytics, multilingual options, and integration with numerous apps.
But there are some common concerns that people face when implementing Zendesk for their business that lead them to look for Zendesk alternatives.
One of Zendesk's cons is that it is rather pricy, especially when comparing it to other tools providing similar solutions. While at first it might look like an affordable solution since the lowest plan starts at $5 per agent for a month, some must-have help desk features can only be unlocked in the higher pricing plans.
Unless you know exactly what you are after, you might be overwhelmed with the pricing information provided, and not end up choosing the right plan.
Complicated to use
Zendesk users often complain about the complexity of using the software. The platform is overloaded with information and functions, therefore it might take a long time to understand everything and get started.
Depending on your business goals, there’s a chance you won’t even need half of the dashboards, sections, buttons and everything else provided. Navigating through them, however, to get to what you need might take a while.
Higher pricing for receiving support
For a software highlighting the importance of customer support, it is interesting that getting support from Zendesk is a “premium” feature.
In other words, the more you pay, the more options you have for receiving support. For instance, the “Essential Support” plan provides only chat support. Upgrading your plan to “Professional” will unlock the options to use not only chat, but also email and phone.
This, however, is highly inconvenient for smaller businesses that would otherwise not need to upgrade their plans.
6 Zendesk alternatives for your online store
Let's cut to the chase. Here are the top 6 help desk ticketing software to try out in 2021, which is similar to Zendesk, but provide better options for eCommerce merchants.
1. HelpCenter app
Yes, we have included HelpCenter app in the list. Why? The tool has been designed with eCommerce merchants, more specifically Shopify merchants, in mind providing a lot of benefits to them and their customers.
In fact, HelpCenter is among the top-rated apps in the Shopify App Store customer support section with the rating of 4.8 from over 1200 reviews.
HelpCenter app’s Pros
- Easy-to-use and user-friendly interface
- Features an intuitive FAQ builder, a ticketing system, and a live chat
- Provides complete overview of customer’s previous inquiry and purchase history
- Unlimited inboxes, live chat, and messenger accounts
- Great customer support
HelpCenter app’s Cons
- The app only works with Shopify stores
- No possibility to buy additional tickets in Free and Premium plans
Freshdesk is among the top leaders of help desk software and is a great option if you wish to have an all-in-one customer service solution.
- Simple interface and convenient way to manage tickets
- Little training is needed for agents as the software is easy to use
- Possibility for a real-time help from Freshdesk support
- Great collaboration tools for support agents (inside notes, chats, notifications, etc.)
- Users have been reporting system glitches
- Poor spamming filtering
- The search functionality is limited and retrieving information quickly can be a challenge
Side note: Perhaps you have also heard of Freshservice and you don’t quite understand if it’s the same product. So let's get it straight. Freshservice comes from the same vendor as Freshdesk. The difference between these two is that Freshservice is an internal IT help desk and service management platform designed to simplify and automate modern organizations IT operations.
HelpCrunch solves the problem of disconnected chats and emails and provides some other great benefits listed below.
The app pricing is fully agent-based, so it's Zendesk's cheaper alternative, yet not necessarily any poorer.
- User-friendly admin panel
- Custom pricing plans
- Private notes, saved templates and prioritizing of tickets
- Email marketing option for sending automated campaigns that are all stored in HelpCrunch database
- Frequent bugs in the mobile version
- Limited integrations (e.g. no options to integrate social media chats)
- Some features need thorough and time consuming tutorials to get started
Gorgias is a help desk software which is designed to work well with eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce.
- Fast and reliable customer support
- Templates and automations save a lot of time to focus on more challenging inquiries
- Through user guidance available in forms of blogs and webinars
- Integration with social media platforms
- Onboarding can be a slow process
- Lots of updates, which can affect workflow
- Limitations to customizability
Groove is another Zendesk’s cheaper alternative that comes with many of its features and more. You will also be able to reduce your customer support costs, work on customer retention and drive more sales.
- Real-time overview of agents’ active tickets
- Great internal team communication
- Issue and task tracking
- File storage and sharing
- Analytics tool needs improvement to show more data available
- Slowing down apps which are integrated (e.g Google Calendar and Gmail)
- Only one email per minute is sent
- Formatting templates can be challenging
6. Happy Fox
HappyFox is a cloud-based e-commerce help desk software, which is user-friendly to everyone, no matter their previous experience with such tools.
Happy Fox Pros
- Easy to use across teams
- Option to send surveys and gather information
- Agent can receive email and SMS notifications on inquiries
- Excellent customer support that is available 24/7
Happy Fox Cons
- Initial set up is lengthy and somewhat complicated
- Managing tickets on mobile is limited
- Errors in receiving notifications that can cause delays in response time
There’s an equal amount of requirements to help desk softwares as there are different businesses. This is why one solution cannot work for all and it’s important to figure out your business needs first.
Once you know what you are after, come back to our list and try out these help desk providers mentioned above to understand which could benefit you the most.