Top 7 Zendesk alternatives (in-depth comparison)
If you’re looking for a Zendesk alternative, it can be hard to know where to start. Zendesk has hundreds of features and pitches itself as a tool that can help almost any company with customer service and sales email management.
However, it’s a space with hot competition and there are powerful alternatives.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best Zendesk alternatives and break down their features. By the end, you’ll know which tool is right for you and your company.
Let’s jump straight in.
Zendesk In-Depth Review
Zendesk is a customer service and sales CRM platform that helps you bring all of your communication from every channel into one place.
It enables you to provide a consistent customer service experience across every channel and lets your team reply to everyone from their Zendesk account, rather than needing to jump across email, Messenger, WhatsApp, or any other channel your customers reach out on.
Zendesk also offers various powerful features to help you manage support tickets and improve customer satisfaction and team productivity.
Let’s take a closer look:
1. What are the pros of Zendesk?
Firstly, Zendesk makes it easy for your support team to get an overview of every open support ticket. The agent dashboard lets you jump between tickets based on the person who sent them, the topic they relate to, and see which team members have been involved in the interaction.
This makes it easy for anyone to jump in and offer personalized support and resolve tickets as quickly as possible.
Zendesk is also highly customizable. You can build custom workflows and set the platform up to match your unique business case based on your requirements. No matter how big your company gets, there will be a way to make Zendesk scale with you.
As well as that, Zendesk includes analytics tools that give you and your team insights into your customer service performance. You can see information on data such as:
- Number of total open tickets
- Number of chats
- Number of calls
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
There’s no doubt that Zendesk is a powerful solution, especially for enterprise-size companies that need powerful features for managing customer communication.
2. What’s Zendesk missing?
Because Zendesk is competing at the top-end of the customer service market, it’s not a fit for every company. It’s a tool designed for companies with large support teams, and both the features and pricing point reflect that.
Zendesk is more expensive than most similar software in the market, which makes it prohibitive for smaller companies to use and grow with. The most basic pricing plan starts at $19 per month per seat, and if you need more than the most basic features, you’ll be spending over $49 per month per seat you need. Even at a profitable, fast-growing company, the costs will add up fast.
Another barrier to using Zendesk is that it requires a full shift from your existing inbox setup to using Zendesk as your hub for email activity. If you’re not ready to make that shift, there’s a chance that Zendesk is going to be overkill for your business.
3. Why should you consider the alternatives?
There’s no doubt that Zendesk is a powerful platform. However, it’s not necessarily the best solution for everyone.
- More expensive than the competition
- Complicated to set up to fit your unique business
- Requires full commitment to the platform
- Designed for enterprise-level companies
- Most features won’t be necessary for your business but you’ll still be paying for them
Luckily, there are various powerful alternatives to Zendesk. Let’s take a look at them and see if they make more sense for your business.
What are the best Zendesk alternatives?
|Top 7 Zendesk Alternatives (In-depth Comparison)|
|1. timetoreply - Analytics Solution For Gmail & Outlook||1|
|What makes Timetoreply different?||2|
|2. Email Meter||3|
|3. Email Analytics||5|
|Choosing the best Zendesk alternative: Timetoreply||15|
1. timetoreply – Analytics solution for Gmail & Outlook
timetoreply is email analytics software for Gmail and Outlook. Once you connect timetoreply to your team’s email inboxes, it will start tracking your email activity and collecting analytics on usage. You’ll see data on every key email metric you need to know, such as:
- Average time to reply
- Average time to first reply
- Number of emails sent and received per day
timetoreply doesn’t require you to shift your email activity onto a new platform, but instead works on top of your existing inbox
You can create custom dashboards that show your team the key email activity metrics they need to know, and schedule reports so you’re always up-to-date on your team’s performance.
timetoreply also lets you set goals for email performance to ensure your customers and sales leads are never left waiting for a reply.
Another advantage for growing companies to using timetoreply as your email response management software is that timetoreply offers both Gmail and Outlook email analytics, as well as other inboxes.
In terms of our responsiveness, it’s gone up from 62% to 86% as a company.
What makes timetoreply different?
|timetoreply||Email Meter||Email Analytics||Freshdesk||Front||Gorgias||Help Scout||Zendesk|
|Gmail email analytics||☑️||☑️||☑️||Basic Gmail analytics||Basic Gmail analytics||Basic Gmail analytics||Basic Gmail analytic||Basic Gmail analytics|
|Outlook email analytics||☑️||x||x||Basic Outlook analytics||Basic Outlook analytics||Basic Outlook analytics||Basic Outlook analytics||Basic Outlook analytics|
|Set reply time goals||☑️||x||x||☑️||☑️||x||x||x|
|Create custom reports||☑️||☑️||☑️||☑️||☑️||☑️||x||☑️|
|Works from your existing mailbox||☑️||☑️||☑️||x||x||x||x||x|
|Starting monthly price||From $14/month||From $5/month||From $19/month||From $15/month||From $19/month||From $60/month||From $20/month||From $19/month|
timetoreply stands out for a few reasons:
- Works with any inbox: connect timetoreply to Gmail, Outlook, or any other mailbox and start collecting and analyzing your email response time data in minutes
- Powerful analytics: Track every key metric on you and your team’s email activity and productivity to ensure client expectations are always met
- Goal setting and SLA management: Set goals and track performance to motivate your team and generate results
- Works from your existing inbox: Doesn’t require a shift to a new email platform. timetoreply works on top of your existing account so doesn’t require behaviour change from your team.
2. Email Meter
Email Meter is an email analytics tool for Gmail that’s designed to give your team actionable insights into your email performance.
It tracks data points such as:
- Average response time
- Minimum and maximum response times
- Number of emails sent and received
Email Meter is exclusively designed to offer Gmail email analytics, and won’t work with Outlook or any other inbox providers. Like with timetoreply, you won’t need to install any software on your devices to use Email Meter, as it’s a cloud-based solution.
Email Meter is a good Zendesk alternative if your primary need is email analytics. However, like Zendesk, it’s best for enterprise companies, as the most powerful features are limited to their highest pricing plan.
- Email analytics: detailed reports and graphs to help you understand your performance
- Track performance: Compare individual performance vs. average company performance
- Cloud-based: No software installation required as it’s cloud-based
- Easily shareable: Export reports to CSV files
- Reporting: Use real-time reports or schedule them to run at set intervals
See how Email Meter compares to Timetoreply here
Email Analytics is a Gmail analytics tool that helps you understand your team’s email activity and performance. Like Email Meter, it only works for Gmail users, and once you connect your team’s accounts it will start collecting data and compiling it into actionable data visualizations.
It’s an excellent tool for monitoring your team’s email activity and using that data to define business goals and make smarter decisions around emails.
There are currently no goal setting features built into Email Analytics, like there is with timetoreply, however it’s still useful to get a clear understanding of your current email performance.
All in all, it’s a solid option if you need a Zendesk alternative that offers features around email response tracking.
- Email response time monitoring: track email response times across your company and see performance on a team or individual basis
- Cloud-based: no need to download software
- User management: add or remove users from Email Analytics in a few clicks
See how Email Analytics compares to Timetoreply here
Freshdesk is a customer service and ticketing platform similar to Zendesk. Like with Zendesk, you’ll need to integrate it with your email accounts and support channels. Then, you’ll manage all your communications from the platform, and won’t need to reply to emails from your regular Gmail or Outlook inbox.
Like with Zendesk, you need to consider if you need a standalone system to manage your customer service needs. If you’re not ready to migrate your entire team’s day-to-day support work onto the platform, it’s not worth it.
On the other hand, if you do need a tool similar to Zendesk but at a more affordable price point, it’s a good option.
Zendesk also offers robust reporting features so you can track how your customer service team is performing.
- Unified support hub: bring all of your customer service channels into one dashboard
- Analytics: tracks your agent and group performance metrics against benchmarks
- App marketplace: add functionality to your helpdesk with thousands of apps
- Reporting: Create custom dashboards, schedule reports, and monitor your help desk performance on an ongoing basis
Front is an email management platform that brings all of your company email communication into one place, from sales, to customer service, to your internal team emails.
Like Zendesk, Front requires your company to move all of your email communication onto the platform. You can also connect social media and phone numbers to manage incoming support messages on those channels, which will save your support team time switching between channels throughout the day.
Front’s analytics offering is available on their Prime plan ($49 per month per user) and above, and you can measure your email response times, inbox volume, and trends in your inbox to help you ensure your email accounts are being monitored at peak hours. However, it’s not designed to be an analytics platform, and the data isn’t as detailed as it is in tools like timetoreply, Email Meter, and Email Analytics.
Front integrates with a variety of other software, so you can customize your workflow as much as you need to.
There’s no doubt that Front is a powerful platform for teams that need to unify their customer communication into one shared inbox and it’s one of the best alternatives to Zendesk on the market.
- Shared inboxes: Handle all customer-facing communication from one place and give all of your support agents access.
- Rules and automation: Set up workflows to automate tasks like routing important emails to specific team members or departments
- Collaborate on email threads: Your team can leave comments and messages inside email threads to help team members gather context
- Analytics and insights: See data on your email response times, support team performance, and track SLA adherence
See how FrontApp compares to Timetoreply here
Gorgias is an ecommerce help desk and powerful alternative to Zendesk if you need advanced features to manage a high volume of customer service tickets.
Because it’s specifically designed for ecommerce companies, it’s not going to be a good option if you run another type of business.
Once you integrate Gorgias with your ecommerce website and other customer communication channels (Instagram, Facebook, Klaviyo, email, and more), you’ll start receiving all of your messages in one place. Gorgias will also use the customer details to cross-reference them with past orders in your database so your team has full context whenever they’re talking to customers.
In terms of email analytics, Gorgias compiles your metrics on your support team’s response time, ticket resolution time, ticket efficiency, peak hours, and more.
Gorgias is a powerful option, but it’s also one of the more expensive options, starting at $60 per month. Like Zendesk, it also requires you to migrate all of your email activity onto the platform if you want to get the most out of it, which will mean going through an onboarding period before your team can reach full productivity again.
- Ecommerce integrations: works with Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce and brings in your customers’ order history
- Multichannel support: bring all of your customer service channels into one dashboard
- Unlimited users: Price is based on number of tickets rather than number of users
- Email analytics: Provides analytics on key support metrics that you can use to improve your support team’s workflow
7. Help Scout
Help Scout is a help desk designed to make it as easy as possible for your team to help your customers. The platform is easy-to-use and once you’re set up you can reply to customer emails and support tickets from your Help Scout inbox.
All of your support emails are added to a shared inbox, which makes it easy for any agent on your team to reply to a conversation and ensure your customer receives a fast reply time.
There’s an API which means you can connect Help Scout to other business software that you rely on and ensure all of the information your team needs is at their fingertips.
To help you understand your email performance, there are analytics that you can look at to assess performance around metrics such as total conversations per day, new conversations, and more.
Help Scout is a more lightweight and accessible option than Zendesk if you need a standalone support hub for your business.
- Support analytics: See key metrics on your support volume to help your team manage workflows
- Lightweight: Designed to be more streamlined than Zendesk making it a feasible option for smaller companies
- Shared inboxes: Create shared email inboxes and give your whole team access so someone is always available to reply when a customer or sales lead reaches out
Choosing the best Zendesk alternative: timetoreply
Zendesk is an excellent customer service platform for large companies. However, because it’s so feature-rich, it comes with a high price tag and will be overkill for most companies.
Depending on your needs, different tools in this list will be a better fit than others.
If you need a simplified version of Zendesk and are willing to move all of your email activity onto a new platform, you might consider Front or Help Scout.
However, if you need a tool that’s going to:
- Give you market-leading email analytics and reporting
- Has ticketing features for your customer service and sale teams
- Has goal setting features to motivate your team
- Built-in SLA management to track performance against client expectations
- Works on top of your existing email inboxes on Gmail and Outlook
Then, timetoreply is the only option for your business.