Zendesk Alternatives and Competitors in 2023

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Team Richpanel
Modified on 
December 1, 2022
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Zendesk Alternatives

Zendesk is one of the most popular customer service software and ticketing systems, promising you higher productivity and ROI regarding customer support. Sure, it served businesses in various industries, helping them achieve a shorter turnaround time or manage their tickets better. 

But is it the best for a scaling business looking to provide consistent customer support or improve customer satisfaction? 

The short answer is- probably not. 

On the surface, Zendesk offers all the right solutions to help you scale your business. But the devil is in the details.

Since it's a generalized customer support software, it aims to help a wide range of industries, providing an array of customizable features. While their rationale is commendable, it makes the platform much more complex, making it difficult to adapt and configure to suit a business’s needs. 

For those facing these issues, It’s only fitting to consider Zendesk alternatives. Before you decide and pick a help desk software, you might want to consider a few of the most popular Zendesk competitors. And you’ve certainly come to the right place for it. Learn more on Zendesk Features

Find the right Zendesk Alternative for your Team.

As an eCommerce business owner, you’d want your desk software to reduce ticket resolution time. You would like the software to make your support agents’ lives easier, reduce the complexity of day-to-day functions, and increase transparency. 

Let’s see how Zendesk fares in each of these aspects:

Zendesk:

Zendesk Customer Service Software
Source: Zendesk

Many businesses use Zendesk because it is highly customizable and can be configured to suit different companies. It delivers on this by providing- 

  • It allows your support agents to send email updates to your customers. Zendesk enables multi-channel support by letting you manage customer conversations across email, phone, and social channels.
  • Zendesk has a robust ticketing system that can filter tracks by multiple parameters.
  •  A customizable reporting system will help you measure your support team's performance.
  • Zendesk supports integrations with many applications like Jira, Salesforce, Slack, Survey Monkey, etc.

However, this flexibility comes with a price- 

One of the primary problems with Zendesk is the time it takes to set up. The learning curve is steep, and it needs a lot of customizations to suit your business needs. And because agents are flooded with information and options (often ones they don’t need), it has a steep learning curve, making it difficult to adapt. 

Zendesk also claims to be a one-stop customer support software solution for all your business needs. However, it provides only foundational support. If you want to create a self-service portal or add a live chat feature, you will have to pay additional fees for Zendesk Guide and Zendesk Chat. 

And if this wasn’t all, Zendesk’s pricing doesn’t favor your business. With plans that start at $49 per seat, it almost feels like Zendesk penalizes companies for scaling. 

No wonder Zendesk competitors are making waves in the eCommerce industry. 

5 Best Zendesk Alternatives

  • Richpanel
  • Kustomer
  • Gladly
  • Gorgias
  • Freshdesk

1. Richpanel: 

Richpanel is designed especially for eCommerce businesses. This means that, unlike Zendesk, you don’t have to go through a tedious process of cherry-picking the best features and customizations that suit you. Richpanel is purpose-built for E-commerce and lets you manage Omni channel support, take order actions and offer a unique customer self-service portal to manage repeat queries of your consumers. 

Richpanel - Alternatives to Zendesk for Ecommerce
Richpanel Helpdesk Dashboard

Agent Experience:

With an intuitive UI, Richpanel is one of the most accessible platforms to adopt. There’s not much of a learning curve, and it provides an unparalleled agent experience. The agent console allows you to take order actions, provide complete customer context, and collaborate with team members by sending notes or tagging them in conversations. 

This significantly reduces the response time and makes it much easier for the agents to manage and resolve tickets without leaving the window. 

360-degree Customer Context

Self-Service Workflows:

One of the best features Richpanel has to offer is the self-service workflows. Unlike its competitors, Richpanel not only aims to resolve tickets efficiently, it actively seeks to reduce the number of tickets and queries. This is why they have an intuitive customer portal that allows them to take order actions like editing or canceling orders and initiating refunds. They have a comprehensive knowledge base that works to the same effect.

Customer Self Service Work Flows
Recommended Reading: Customer Self-Service: Benefits, Best Practices & Examples

Macros:

Automation has never been more straightforward. Richpanel allows you to efficiently manage the workload by automating tasks, scheduling, and setting up priority-based routing. This is a boon for scaling businesses, where the back-end automation makes the workflow more efficient and helps the operations run smoothly with minimal oversight. 

Macros
Macros & Power Replies

Performance Reporting: 

Richpanel has an attractive and comprehensive dashboard that combines all the performance metrics that customer experience leaders need. You can save time on making tedious excel sheets or customizing dashboards to meet the needs of different stakeholders. Richpanel simplifies performance management, allows you to identify top performers, and gives more directed feedback based on individual performance. 

Team Performance Reporting

Best Suited For:

A growing eCommerce business that would like to reduce ticket volume and maintain consistency of customer experience without increasing team size. Signup for Free

Review: 5.0 ⭐ (97 Reviews on Shopify Store)

Read Also: Atlas Bars Chose Richpanel over Zendesk. Here's Why

2. Kustomer: 

Kustomer is a CRM platform that aims to improve customer service. It allows you to access your tools, processes, and customer data from one platform. This is great for businesses looking for a CRM that gives them more insight into their customer journey. This is the main advantage Kustomer has over Zendesk. Here are the key features that make Kustomer one of the better Zendesk alternatives:

Kustomer: Zendesk Alternatives
Source: Kustomer

 Customer Timeline:

Kustomer stands out with its customer service portal, which facilitates multichannel support and provides historical customer data across all channels. It gives your support agents a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey and the ability to provide support without switching between multiple tabs. 

However, Kustomer takes longer to load if a customer has too many conversations open and can fail to update real-time information, slowing down agents in a fast-paced environment.

Kustomer IQ:

Kustomer IQ is a key feature on this platform. It acts as a chatbot and enables end-to-end ticket resolution across multiple channels. Kustomer IQ also uses self-learning AI models that predict agent responses based on previous answers. This helps reduce resolution time and takes the burden off your customer service representatives.

This does significantly quicken the process but makes a compromise on personalization. Chatbots tend to sound robotic and hamper the custom experience. While this feature stands out, it might not be best suited for businesses that want to sound more empathetic and make their customers feel valued. 

Integrations:

Kustomer integrates with many eCommerce platforms such as Amazon Connect, Magento, Bigcommerce. It also integrates with other practical applications like Zapier, Twilio and Jira, and WhatsApp, among others. This makes it easy to perform multiple functions through a single window. 

However, setting up some integrations with Kustomer without technical know-how or coding experience is relatively tricky. This is one of the most significant drawbacks of the platform. 

Best suited For:

Since Kustomer pricing is based on the number of seats, it is best suited for SMBs with small team sizes. This customer support software might be too expensive for a large team. 

3. Gladly:

Gladly is another excellent all-in-one customer service platform that provides a highly personalized experience. It is one of the Zendesk competitors that win due to its adaptability and simple interface. Here are some of the salient features of the platform:

Gladly Ecommerce Customer Service Software and one of Alternatives to Zendesk
Source: Gladly

Robust Routing:

Gladly allows you to route queries to the agents that are best suited for the job. Whether a department handles returns or an agent well versed in the customer's preferred language, this feature will let you configure routing for various situations and increase the quality of service. 

However, agents cannot access the customer information for tickets assigned to another agent or team, causing discrepancies and increasing waiting time if not appropriately managed. 

IVR:

The interactive voice response allows you to provide another self-service option and answer frequently asked questions when the agents are unavailable to take calls. Reduces agents’ workload, helps you manage call volumes and reduces waiting time. 

One of their recent studies does suggest that customers value personalization over speed. Which is one of the primary reasons this feature may not work for some businesses. When customers prefer to interact with agents over automatic recording, this feature can be a setback and affect the customer's perception of the brand.

Best Suited For:

Gladly is best suited for mature support teams looking to invest in an end-end support tool focused on IVR, phone support, and robust routing. Like Zendesk, the implementation and learning curve could be why you might decide against it. 

4. Gorgias:

Gorgias is a customer service software and live chat help desk for Shopify. This Zendesk competitor is built for eCommerce stores and offers deeper integrations with many popular customer service platforms. Learn more on Gorgias vs Zendesk

Here are features that makes it a great Zendesk alternative to consider:

Gorgias Customer Service Tool
Source: Gorgias

Integrations:

Gorgias supports integration with various customer service tools such as Yotpo, Klaviyo, and Recharge, allowing you to maximize your help desk. However, Gorgias is built primarily for Shopify and does not fare well for businesses on other platforms such as Woocommerce and Magento. They’ve also missed out on the opportunity to integrate with WhatsApp, a popular customer communication channel.

Sentiment Analysis:

Gorgias detects customer sentiments and allows you to automate processes based on how the customers are feeling. It allows you to route conversations based on this sentiment analysis. It even automates social listening and will enable you to hide angry comments from customers on social media. 

Best Suited For:

Gorgias is best suited for SMBs as it fails to scale with the business. Gorgias has provided deep integration with Shopify platforms; it fails to maintain the same user experience on other platforms and is best suited for Shopify stores. 

Recommended Reading: Gorgias Alternatives in 2022

5. FreshDesk:

Freshdesk is another customer service software that provides helpdesk support. It aims to resolve customer queries and increase agent productivity through features like workforce management and automation.

Freshdeask - Alternative to Zendesk
Source: Freshdesk

Agent Collaboration:

Freshdesk supports agent collaborations through its features. It allows discussions within the ticket. Also, it will enable agents to split tasks allowing multiple agents to work on them simultaneously. It detects message collision, ensuring various agents don't reply to the same customer. 

CRM capabilities:

Apart from sales and ticketing, Freshdesk is a great customer relationship management tool that offers a more unified view of customers. It provides multi-channel support and integrates with other devices from the Freshworks family, such as Freshcaller, Freshchat, Freshsales, Freshmarketer, and Freshdesk CRM. While each of these integrations offers to minimize agent workload, there are few customizations available. One can feel overwhelmed with all the features when they need simple solutions to solve 2-3 core problems.

Best Suited For:

Small and medium businesses looking for a cheaper Zendesk Alternative. But not a great fit if you are an E-commerce brand as they are a more generic helpdesk/ticket management system and do not offer any E-commerce functionalities. 

Choose Your Zendesk Alternative: Right Help Desk for your Ecommerce Store

All these Zendesk alternatives provide deeper eCommerce integrations and hence make for much better choices when it comes to eCommerce customer service

They can reduce the response time by combining all communication channels in one window. They also provide better integrations with other eCommerce platforms. 

With better reporting features, most of these Zendesk alternatives provide better insight into the customer service functions. 

However, most of these ticketing systems aim toward resolving tickets efficiently. They do not seek to reduce redundant tickets or provide better self-service features that would decrease the volume of tickets. Customer satisfaction requires more than just good service.

Richpanel provides a highly customizable knowledge base that helps customers solve their issues. They’ve also given the customers more power by allowing them to take order actions such as edit the delivery address, cancel orders, or initiate. This improves the overall customer experience and significantly reduces the support team's workload. learn more Richpanel vs Zendesk

This makes Richpanel the preferred Zendesk alternative for eCommerce businesses out of the software mentioned above. Signup for Free

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