To keep customers of your business satisfied and to maintain a long-term relationship with them you need to employ a Help desk software solution, otherwise, in today’s IT service based market, you will not be able to communicate with your customers with the right angel. In many cases, perfect communication becomes the reason for the first purchase. An online media website called Forrester.com reported that 53% of the adult online shoppers of in the USA cancel their orders when they do not get spontaneous answers to their questions about the product while shopping online. While a live chat or well maintained Q&A section could have easily answered their question and would have grabbed the business.
If you are familiar with CRM, then you should understand that Helpdesk solutions are a very essential part of the job. But Helpdesk also features many unique sets of processes and data which only a separate designed system can address completely, and can recommend the use of the data according to the potential. These kinds of processes include ticket management, assignments of tasks, performance evaluation of the agents and sales employees, and tracking any issues and solution directly with the customer.
Zendesk is clearly one of the most popular and most used apps of this kind in the market. Zendesk offers various robust subscription methods and hence it goes easy on the medium budget. Along with useful features, Zendesk is packed with very reliable vendor support which will make sure that you meet your customer service requirements at its fullest. But just because it provides a robust subscription method, goes easy on the budget, that does not mean the solution you get is just enough, as the market is growing, the customer needs are growing and in this competitive market, their solutions needed also has to be very robust and flexible. Even after being a very good application Zendesk also has some nuances about which any business owner can be mad at. So, here comes the need for the Zendesk Alternative.
In this article, we will be talking about some of the best possible Zendesk alternatives. But, as Zendesk is a comprehensive app and any Helpdesk solution has to be very comprehensive like it, so we need to understand what Zendesk offers itself and how it works. SO, first, we will be talking about Zendesk and its features so that on later part any reader can clearly compare the alternatives with Zendesk and its facilities to understand which one is better for his/her business.
How Zendesk or any standard Helpdesk application Works?
Zendesk is a very flexible Helpdesk application which can be used for any type of business with any size. Zendesk can work with more 500 agents, which reflects the scalability of Zendesk. In both of the basic package and premium package, the user can set up multi-channel support as well as extensive self-service support.
All the emails, chats, web messages form any customer, user or employee and even the social media posts from customers are automatically got transformed into tickets which are pooled into the system’s dashboard to cater you with seamless interaction. Even Zendesk features a self-service portal which can host a knowledge-based database and can suffice many online interactions and communities with answers of their against their questions. So, in simple now your system will serve as an agent of yours 24/7 for your customers automatically up to an extent. Also while project managers or team leaders are logging into the system, he/she will be provided with useful reporting measures and analytical report, to understand the situation far easily, which can lead him/her to take right decision to serve the customer better, getting better satisfaction ratings, achieving better resolution speed, and enhancing the agent performance as well. If a person is new to the Customer Service Operation jobs he/she also would find the 20+ report templates types are very helpful even to novice eyes.
There are also other features like screen-casting, public forums, private forums, serving with multi-location time zones, stylish and intuitive front-end, easy to use back end, web interface, etc. Zendesk is not an only accessible desktop but also via mobile devices, you can access data via cloud services as well.
- A cool ticket management system where you can configure the rules and macros and also add filters.
- Because of the automated ticket management system, just with a small team, the application can cater to ten thousand + tickets daily.
- The knowledge-based database, community support, allows for 24/7 Helpdesk responsiveness.
- Using the Branding facility and tuning with the right customization can help the freelancers to achieve a corporate-level professional look.
- The user will have the flexibility to work with a wide range of integration like analytics & reporting, agent productivity, CRM, e-commerce, social media etc. Zendesk boasts the integration with Salesforce, Google Apps, Atlassian, FreshBooks and WordPress for a better production environment.
- Supports Screencasting, which is quite rare in other Helpdesk apps.
- Personally I cannot point out any specific limitation of Zendesk as it is a robust solution for the purpose, but the limitation depends upon the users experience, and if someone is facing problem with the interface operation of Zendesk due to its huge amount of option, or he/she thinks of some extra feature which is not present with Zendesk dashboard, there he/she can look for an alternative; so the limitation of Zendesk solely depends on the user experience itself.
Top alternatives of Zendesk according to market research
Here are some best Help-Desk Software Solutions in the market at an affordable price as alternatives to popular Zendesk software application.
Freshdesk features an awesome ticketing management system, the dashboard is enhanced by many key features like automated data management and a self-service portal. According to expert reviewers, Freshdesk has been considered as a leading help desk application for both small and medium-sized businesses.
If you are interested and want to explore, what Freshdesk has to offer then you can use the trial membership to understand what kind of potential Freshdesk does have to improve the customer service and business-customer relationship. You can simply log in to the official website and sign up for the trial. In Freshdesk the tickets are normally routed automatically based on the preset settings, but a user also can configure settings as per the need. The administrator can set rules, according to which special cases can be managed automatically by using the same automation feature of Freshdesk.
If you are facing a big problem handling the customer quarries systematically, as you do have a small team, then Freshdesk is a great solution for you as Freshdesk is very good for those small supporting team who has to deal with huge no of quarries in a daily basis. The quarries from the customer will raise tickets and the automated ticket management system of Freshdesk is just out of the world. Freshdesk also includes Smart automation features, Self-service portals, Gamification feature, multichannel platforms, etc. But, again Freshdesk is the best solution which excels at its best at managing tickets, and this feature can be a lifesaver if you do have a very small support team. Even a team of 5 members can handle more than 5000 quarries a day via using Freshdesk.
- Free to explore the app as it features a trial membership for all users.
- Caters some awesome features i.e. unlimited agents, access to App Gallery (even multiple app gallery can be accessed), personal email channel, flexibility to add knowledge database, standard phone channel for easier communication, and basic social channel for open communication and publicity.
- The paid subscription is cheaper than Zendesk. While Zendesk’s entry subscription comes for $25 there Freshdesk comes for just $19.
- Has a big user-base full of professional users, and can be communicated with if facing any problem or doubt.
- Has the feature of supporting multiple SLA policies.
- Does not come with the inbuilt integration with Salesforce and SugarCRM services.
- Freshdesk does not feature third party integration with 123Contact Form, 3CLogic, AgileCRM, AppGuru, Azuqua, etc; which could have provided better flexibility in many services, while Zendesk provides integration with all the above services.
2. Zoho Desk
Zoho is a very popular and dependable name when it comes to business solution. Zoho Desk comes with an affordable but comprehensive helpdesk solution, which is mainly dedicated to excel the agent productivity, handling the sales and after-sales support better, as well as catering top-notch support to customers and potential customers. With Zoho Desk, to provide the customer with best customer support, Zoho features tools like an automated ticketing system, live chat facility, communication using the popular social media channels like Facebook, email channels etc.
Zoho has many hidden gems to offer other than its multiple channel customer support systems, one of them is called Zia, an AI-based system. Actually, in this type of helpdesk solution, Zoho is the first one to employ any AI-based technology. Zia is a Zoho Desk’s very own AI assistant system for better productivity and better customer support. Unlike any other AI assistant, Zia work is not limited to providing real-time support to the customers but also it helps agents in responding to customer queries in a better and far more interactive way. Zia also monitors the help desk and keep sending automated alerts if there are any kind disturbances found. Zia also provides the managers with relevant insights just like any data visualization application like Tableau; and also helps the managers to predict the future outcome of any present action, which in turn helps to understand upcoming business potentials or upcoming disturbing situations which are not good for the business.
Zoho also features a free trial membership with all the premium features, which you can sign up for from the home page of Zoho Desk. The price is very affordable i.e. the starting price is $15/month per agent. You also opt for a Zoho Desk free plan, it comes with basic features only and permits only up to 3 agents. So, if you are in tight budget Zoho Desk is the best option for you to start with.
- Integrated AI-based smart assistant system, which is very uncommon in other alternatives
- Offers a free subscription also offers a trial premium subscription.
- Affordable in price, much lower price compare to Zendesk
- Features a dedicated service for customer support.
- The help centre is user-customizable
- Remote support feature
- Domain mapping feature
- Inbuilt social media channel support
- Integrated live chat channel support
- Does not feature a multi-lingual support
- It does not come with inbuilt Salesforce and SugarCRM
- No Screencasting support
- Do not feature access to unlimited no of agents even in the premium plans
- Very less no of third-party app integration.
- Do not support multi-brands with the linked accounts
While we are talking about the software solution, then there must be some solutions which are to be totally cloud-based as in present days we can see the cloud-based online applications are becoming popular day by day. Here is Groove, which is a cloud-hosted solution for helpdesk software jobs, it is a so popular and entrusted app that Groove is used by 9000+ companies around the world.
Though the service is totally cloud-based that does not mean it is mere service, actually, Groove features an intuitive ticket management system, a knowledge database, option for customers to communicate directly, reporting suite, etc. just like any other major name in this business. Groove is actually very popular not for its features but for the simplicity it proves, the dashboard is clean, easy to use interface along with powerful functionalities to ease your business productivity.
Groove features a free trial which you can use to investigate the features close enough to understand and explore.
Groove’s main attraction is the simplicity and ease of use. Actually an admin with less interest in software jumble also can operate the application with ease. It also saves time as there is no need for any formal training for the agents or workers to understand the operation of the application. The learning curve is pretty straight, and the dashboard looks like an email client’s inbox, for which the application looks also pretty easy to understand and control.
- User-friendly and easy to use
- A great option for tech-averse users.
- Groove offers many features which are specially designed for startups and small-sized businesses.
- The performance tracking tool is particularly very good
- Add private notes to the tickets can be done.
- The social media integration tool works very well.
- The support of interactive FAQs and customer portals need to improve more.
- The ticket management tool could have been better, especially if you compare Groove with other alternatives.
- No live chat facility or call centre support or direct voice call connectivity.
- Not good for a medium or large scale business handling.
- Groove is a little bit costlier than what it has to offer, though you can explore the app with the 14 days trial period.
4. Salesforce Essential
Salesforce Essentials features a simple and single interface which combines a CRM, a sales management system, and a customer support system. Salesforce is built to be used by small teams, using which you will definitely have improved customer interactions and along with the increased conversation chance for new business also will be created. In short, Salesforce is not just easy to use but productive too. Salesforce can be configured according to the service need where the app will automatically connect the concerned agent and raise the ticket to him. So, your customer service team will end up with pinpoint customer satisfaction.
Salesforce Essential is a very popular app among the small to medium-sized business owners, as it features a great automated tool which helps the admin in risk management, task assignment, automatic ticket management, and automatic role associations with the concern agents. Salesforce also has a customizable self-service portal for the customers, there the admin creates and adds knowledge databases, FAQs column, and even discussion forums.
Why use Salesforce instead of Zendesk?
- Optimized universal inbox for ticket management and agent performance review
- Hybrid ticketing combines ticket forms and live chat
- A suite of live chat tools like proactive invitations, chat overview, chat history, chat distribution and real-time typing
- Smoother social media integration (Facebook and Twitter)
- Canned messages via macros
Why use Zendesk instead of Salesforce?
- Plenty of time-saving widgets like streamlined conversations, triggers, ticket views, sharing and automation
- More robust self-service support with autofill searches and active online communities
- 20+ template reports to match agent performance vs. targets
- 100 off-the-shelf integration with key apps like Salesforce, Google Apps, Atlassian, FreshBooks and WordPress
- Open API to add your apps
LiveAgent is very simple in terms of look, it is actually so simple that it looks like a college project rather than a professional application. But LiveAgent is also a very powerful helpdesk app, which mainly focuses on live chat support, email-based support, and popular social media integration. If you are now thinking that LiveAgent is a powerful Chat utility instated of a complete Helpdesk package then you are wrong; LiveAgent comes with a comprehensive set of features, like ticket management system, customer reporting facility, Gamification, etc. which makes Live Agent a complete package as a Helpdesk tool. Using LiveAgent even a very small team can handle a huge amount of customers very easily.
The setup and configuration of LiveAgent are fairly simple and fast. The automated routing of recurring issues directly to the knowledge base is quite handy, the automated feature keeps your agents free to handle the raised tickets as much as they can. Live Agent features a storage bin also makes which makes it easier to review any raised tickets.
While LiveAgent is more into chatting and social media connectivity so you can consider LiveAgent as one of the most capable social media connectivity handlers among these alternatives. It works with mainly Facebook and Twitter, and if you are focusing on social media interactions mainly to excel the number of sales then LiveAgent could be the key for you.
- The universal inbox system for the tickets’ management makes it easy to use; also it lets the administrator monitor the agent’s performance review.
- The “Hybrid ticketing” feature combines all the ticket forms and lives chat automatically.
- The live chat tools come with many intuitive features like proactive invitations, chat overview, chat history, chat distribution etc.
- The social media integration is smoother as ever with LiveAgent, though supports only Facebook and Twitter.
- Messages can be Canned via using macros.
- Less no of 3rd party app and widget support, make it a little more time taking in many operations.
- The auto-fill searches method could have been more robust
- Only one kind of template report type available.
- No support for Open API, so you can not add any app by yourself, so no support for 3rd party app developers.
As the name implies, TeamSupport is very good in binding multiple teams from operations to act as one so the whole unit can act like a single customer servicing company. With the interlinked departmental operations the raised ticket resolution get solved quicker; also sharing the same data across the team to develop better leverage insights from a different member of the company from different background, which leads to better sales. TeamSupport is mainly to serve the small software development start-up farms, and also a very good solution for Non-banking financial companies, for small and large-sized B2B solutions.
TeamSupport does not only let you serve the customer but also make sure that you are using all the resources of your company in the right manner which will be beneficiary to your business as well. Unique features like sophisticated reporting, a robust self-service portal, Screencasting, live chat, and automated ticket management make TeamSupport a tool for professional organizations.
- The UI is more comprehensive in terms of features and accessibility even in comparison to Zendesk.
- The automated Ticket management system also features analytics upon the positive/negative trends, which is quite unique.
- “Advanced Customer Service Portal” feature the cases where knowledge base was unable to suffice.
- Also features some advanced management tools, i.e. “Rights management”, “Business Intelligence Integration” etc.
- The price is damn high that is why even after being so good I put this app at the last slot. The paid subscription starts at $40 while Zendesk starts at only $5.
- Does not have any Android and iOS apps, so remote access is not possible
- Absence of the Email tracking system
- Data Import/export is not supported.
- The Real-time monitoring feature needs to be upgraded more and also lacks frequent updates.
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