Top 5 Zendesk alternatives to improve your Customer Service in 2021

Last Updated: April 23, 2023

It looks like you’ve tried Zendesk and it doesn’t meet your needs. You’re not alone. Perhaps you’re looking for a tool that’s quicker, less complicated, and more affordable than Zendesk. The good news is there are countless Zendesk alternatives on the market. But how do you pick the right one?

We’ve broken down the best 5 Zendesk alternatives by main functionalities, pros, and cons according to customer reviews, and pricing options. 

Use this blog to find a help desk software that will support your business in 2021.

Rather skip this blog and experience a hands-on demo of the most powerful customer support software? Excellent choice. Schedule a demo today to learn more about HappyFox, our help desk software.

Why look for a Zendesk alternative?

Zendesk support packs some powerful customer service features such as multi-channel support, reporting and analytics, integrations and multilingual capabilities. It integrates with over 100+ apps like HappyFox Workflows and HappyFox Chat.

Some of the well-known companies worldwide like Slack, Uber, and Shopify use Zendesk, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ideal for your business.

Let’s look at some of the common issues people complain about Zendesk.

1. Expensive

While Zendesk’s lowest plan starts at $5 per agent per month, some of the must-have help desk features in Zendesk are unlocked at the higher pricing tiers, which are priced high.

2. Complex

Zendesk features are pretty hard to understand and it takes a while to get to know the platform and get started. When you are an organization supporting clients who have end-users, organizing tickets, and documenting issues are incredibly hard to maintain and manage inside Zendesk.

3. Old-School Interface

Zendesk lacks a modern ticketing interface that many of its competitors in the market possess. For a first time user, it becomes incredibly hard to navigate around the product.

1. HappyFox Help Desk

HappyFox Help Desk is an all-in-one solution for an organization’s customer service needs and is the best Zendesk alternative out there in the market. 

HappyFox Help Desk is rated as the Best Help Desk Software by PC Mag for 5 years in a row.

With HappyFox Help Desk, organizations can provide omnichannel support to their clients via email, voice, social media, Live chat, Slack, or Microsoft Teams. This enables support agents to reach customers in the channel they reached out to — making the entire process simpler for everyone.

HappyFox Help Desk also enables organizations to create a knowledge base, which integrates with the tool’s self-service functionality along with robust ticket forms and support widgets. HappyFox is commonly used by IT Teams, Customer Service, Operations, Facilities, HR, Marketing, and Finance teams. HappyFox is very versatile making it a great fit for companies of any size.

Standout Features

HappyFox Help Desk ProsHappyFox Help Desk Cons
Modern ticketing User Interface.Minimum 3 agents needed for subscription.
Best ROI on help desk features.Slightly pricey for early-stage startups.
Fast and helpful support.
Free, on-demand help desk training – HappyFox University.
Advanced customization capabilities.


HappyFox offers unique agent-based and unlimited agents pricing plans. We offer a free trial and personalized one-on-one demo. 

2. Kayako

Kayako is a modern help desk that unites all the multi-channel support requests in a shared inbox. In fact, it is one of the oldest help desk software out there in the market!

Kayako offers an effective ticket management system, allowing you to prioritize customer tickets based on a number of criteria. This helpdesk solution can organize tickets and help to declutter by using tags, filters, etc.

With Kayako, you can also get a handy knowledge base that will help you provide self-service to repetitive customer queries. In addition, you can add images and videos in the knowledge base articles to make it easy for customers to follow and get help.

Standout Features

  • Unified Omnichannel communication
  • Real-time messaging
  • Advanced ticketing workflows and automation
  • Automatic escalations
  • Knowledge base
  • Native mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Fully customizable help center
  • Integrates with Zapier, Salesforce, Slack, and over 500 other business apps
Kayako ProsKayako Cons
Best suited for small businesses.Clunky Interface.
Easily scalable.Key Features at the highest plans.
Offers on-premise variant of the help desk.Basic feature-set.


Kayako pricing starts at $15 per agent per month. There is no free version, but a free trial is available at every pricing tier.

3. HelpShift

Helpshift is a mobile-first customer service platform that delivers a great in-app help customer experience for many of the world’s top mobile apps and mobile games. 

Helpshift extends mobile customer support with other essential features like self-service, web-based help, bots, and automation. 

In addition, Helpshift offers chatbots. Chatbots are used to reduce the number of incoming support requests from app users that need to be handled by agents.

Helpshift furthermore offers powerful FAQs or knowledge base. Its in-app FAQ pages support multiple languages, and they are used by users to quickly search for answers to their questions. Helpshift’s FAQ module is fully searchable from mobile devices, and customers can use them even in offline mode.

Standout Features:

  • Trouble Ticketing
  • Chat Bots
  • Mobile, Native In-App Chat
  • Mobile, Native In-App Messaging
  • In-App FAQs
  • Push Campaigns
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Issue Segmentation
Helpshift ProsHelpshift Cons
Mobile-first solution.Poor Reporting and Analytics.
Ease of use.Management of issues is cumbersome.
Responsive customer support.


Helpshift pricing starts at $600 per month at an annual contract. They offer a free trial.

4. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a context-aware help desk software along with multichannel capabilities. Zoho Desk packs multi-stakeholder process management, embeddable self-service, a powerful AI assistant and brings together.

With the Zoho Desk integrated support center approach, organizations can offer omnichannel support that suit their way of support. Companies can choose to address customer issues and queries via a fully functional ticketing system.

Standout Features:

  • Ticket assignment automation
  • Ticketing workflows
  • Customer service AI
  • Self-service with a knowledge base
  • Time tracking
  • Reports and dashboards
  • Customized layouts, templates, and branded help desk
  • CRM integration
Zoho Desk ProsZoho Desk Cons
Integrates well with other Zoho products – Zoho CRMThe learning curve is steep and features take time to understand.
Colorful and user-friendly dashboardAPI and integrations
Time tracking capabilitiesSlow Support
Outdated ticketing interface


Plans start from $18 per agent per month. A free trial is also available.

5. Jira Service Desk

Jira Service Desk is a service desk software developed by Atlassian and intended to help organizations provide internal and external support with ITSM (IT Service Management) solutions. Companies use the Jira Service desk to lower issue resolution and response times.

Jira Service desk features are designed to help administrators and support agents stay updated on urgent requests. Auto-assignments ensure tickets always get assigned to the right agent. Features like real-time reporting and analytics will give managers a visual representation of team performance and gather insights.

Standout Features

  • Service request management
  • Incident management
  • Change management
  • Problem management
  • Configurable workflows
  • Queues
  • Self-service portal
  • Knowledge base
  • Automation
  • SLA management
Jira Service Desk ProsJira Service Desk Cons
Feature-rich solution.Not a lot of self-service help options available.
Easy creation and tracking of issues.Customization options are limited.
Powerful integration with other Atlassian products.


Jira Service Desk pricing starts at $20.00 per month, per user. There is a free trial available.

Wrapping Up – Which Zendesk Alternative is best for you?

The best Zendesk alternative for your organization will depend on which features you find essential and which tools fit into your budget. To help you narrow down on the ideal help desk tool, we at HappyFox have curated this handy scorecard.

customer support scorecard

Use the scorecard sheet to evaluate HappyFox against other customer service software. With the right customer service software and metrics in hand, your organization will be equipped to provide a fast resolution for your customers. Choose wisely!