The best Zendesk free alternatives

Zendesk is a great software. Their service is full of features. But do you need all of them? Or are you willing to give up on some and find great Zendesk free alternatives? Although it’s one of the biggest – if not the biggest helpdesk solution available, Zendesk not necessarily is the best universal solution for every company in the World.

Starting there, you will gain another perspective. Why don’t you start scratching off every feature you don’t really need at the moment?

Lots of questions, I know, maybe you should start taking action and trying to solve all of them. You’ll see the more you look it up, easier it will become, especially small teams that don’t need such a heavy and comprehensive solution to manage their customer support. 

Sometimes users think that good corporate software must be paid, but you would be surprised with the quality many companies provide for free.

But if people have it for free, why does Zendesk charge for it? Let’s understand how Zendesk’s price became what it is today:

Understanding Zendesk’s Price

As products evolve, it’s feature set also increases and in turn they can command a higher price point for their product. This model is a natural thing for companies. What it means though is that, as the product grows, three things usually happen:

1. User base increases in size and diversity

People have different workflows and priorities. It’s completely natural that, as a product user base grows, different minds, that naturally work differently, start suggesting different directions for a company or product.

2. More features added

Product bloat. It’s when a product expands to appeal to more and more segments of the market, by introducing more and more features. Not only Zendesk faces this dilema. That’s a very common dilemma for product managers.

3. Price increases

Naturally, more features result in a more complex tool that requires more maintenance, which always ends up impacting the price to the final consumer. Zendesk started a lot cheaper than it is now and has already faced clear resistance from their customers in that

Now let’s have a look at some Zendesk free alternatives that offer different value propositions and — of course — for free.

Zendesk free alternatives you need to try


Our software is the only one that doesn’t add any new logins/websites for your team. It works straight from your Gmail Inbox.

By doing so, we allow your team to learn faster and have less questions about what’s new. We also centralize work, because we have Helpdesk boards inside your email. Basically we change everything, but we keep it visually the same.

Drag starts for free, but if you want to unlock its full power, it’s just $9/month/user. We believe that simple solutions make everything better for both sides because they decrease the amount of new information you need to learn something new.

Lots of features isn’t always the best, so you have to really understand what works best for your company by thinking about what you really need.

You can add labels to your cards, so every task belongs somewhere. Here are some other features you can add to your cards:

  • Delegation of tickets; 
  • Customer info, such as phone number and company;
  • Progress bar;
  • Due dates;
  • Checklists; 
  • Internal notes.

All of it. Right into your Gmail team inbox. Drag is freemium and has a forever-free version for small teams, including kanban boards with drag’n’drop functionality to organize enquiries. If you want extra feature, it has also paid versions starting from $3/month, that you can find here. It should definitely be on your list of Zendesk free alternatives to try. 


Freshdesk tries to differentiate itself from Zendesk by making the process more human and having a huge concern about sounding too robotic.

By making the process also more collaborative, they allow peers with different knowledge to gather in the same conversation, avoiding restarting tickets and, consequently, making users happier.

Also, Freshdesk starts with a free plan, which is great to try them out and buy it later — in case their software works better for you, from $19 to $89 user / month. Although the prices on Freshdesk go up fast, in a smaller scale it could work as one of the great Zendesk free alternatives as well. 


With a specific User Interface and type projection, LiveAgent sells itself as a fast-solving software. They also have a knowledge base —a.k.a. FAQ —, which you can build inside the platform, allowing users to get a more integrated service.

LiveAgent has a free trial mode only, so it won’ t last forever. Price starts at $12/month, but doesn’t include live chat and other interactive features. For a more complete service prices rise to $59/month.


Zendesk is awesome, but do you need it all? Other softwares start from the same base and change the game in their own way. And best of all, some of them have plans for free.

As I said before, it is crucial to understand your needs and how much resources (time, people and money) you have available to it.

Then, choose your tool based on your specific context and priorities (and if you find a good fit with some Zendesk free alternatives, why not giving them a try?)

Lastly, check Drag out to see if a Shared Inbox, in Gmail, in a Kanban format fits your needs. Maybe it does 🙂

Learn how to Transform your Business with Shared Inboxes by downloading our Ebook!

What you’ll learn inside Drag

Starting now, we’re aiming to share what our plans are, how we’re doing and what lessons we’re learning along the way.

You’ll get:

  • Just like this article, you’ll get real-time updates on what’s happening, what’s working and how it feels in a startup.
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This is our attempt at sharing everything. It’s as simple as that You don’t have to be a customer to follow us.

Jose Victor Matos

Author Jose Victor Matos

Brazilian, lover of cats, travels and content.

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