Skip to main content
Collaboration Tools

The 3 best Zendesk alternatives that you can get for free!

By 28th May 2018February 4th, 2021No Comments
zendesk alternatives

Zendesk is the most popular help desk solution based on market share. It’s also one of the most feature-rich.  Still, Zendesk is not necessarily the best help desk solution for every company. Before you decide to pay a premium for a comprehensive software solution, you should see which Zendesk alternatives are on the market. But you might be wondering, what goes into Zendesk’s pricing and how is it that the free options can work just as well?

Understanding Zendesk’s Price

Three things tend to influence the price of a product as it evolves:

1. Pricing Tiers

As a product’s user base grows, its features start to encompass a wide array of use cases, which the company then monetizes.

In the case of Zendesk, there are various pricing tiers based on things like the type of add-ons and the size of the company buying the product.

2. More product features

Products tend to acquire more and more features over time. Still, some may just be “nice to have” that don’t add value, resulting in the much-dreaded feature bloat.

Regardless, the complexity of a product is reflected in its price.

3. Price Increases

A complex product suite is going to require more support services from the company for the customer to use it successfully. This and other additional costs from maintaining new product features are passed on to the customer.  

Zendesk is no stranger to increasing prices, which caused a lot of resistance from its customers. Just see what happened during the Zendesk price hike of 2010.

zendesk alternatives

The features Zendesk alternatives must have

Naturally, there is a core set of features every helpdesk solution must bring. Beyond that, many times, it’s just a matter of building complexity – and increasing prices – on a standard product. Basically, if companies are looking for a Helpdesk solution, they probably need:

  • The visual look of the whole process and tickets
  • Shared view and collaboration for customer support teams to work together;
  • Delegation and assignment of tickets to agents, from end to end, in real-time;
  • Automation of the process – templates, for example – making it easy to reply to customers;
  • KPIs tracking, such as time to response or service rating.

For most simple and small teams, as long as you have these features, it’s all fine. Apart from that, there are some non-feature related value propositionS that may have a fundamental role in the decision-making for companies when choosing a Helpdesk solution. For example:

  • Time invested to learn and implement;
  • Ease to use a new solution;
  • Competitive pricing points;
  • UI/UX interface
  • Trust on the brand.

Zendesk free alternatives you must try

Since Zendesk can be pricey, it’s good to have some options that offer the same features as it does, but for much less. Take a look at some free alternatives to Zendesk that we have found, that surely will surprise you.

Drag: the best Zendesk alternative

We are simply the most intuitive of all the free Zendesk alternatives. Drag is a shared inbox that works straight from the Gmail inbox, which means it doesn’t require a separate account or log in.

Drag’s Kanban view converts emails from your help desk into cards, which is great for when emails are also tasks. Team members can drag and drop these cards to arrange them in order of priority and status.

Zendesk alternatives
You can also have some other features, such as:

  • Ticket delegation, when you need to delegate tickets for other teammates.
  • Due dates and reminders inside your cards, to set a term for tasks that need to be done on time.
  • Checklists to keep track of small actions you need to perform inside a ticket.
  • Internal notes to write down every piece of information you need about a ticket.
  • Calendar integration to see everything you have scheduled on your Google Calendar.
  • Workflow automation to put repetitive tasks in autopilot.
  • Team reports and analytics to understand how your support team is performing.

You can start using Drag for free. And did I mention that Drag isn’t just a help desk solution? You can also use it as a CRM, a project manager, and of course, as a shared inbox.


freshdesk - zendesk alternativeFreshdesk differentiates itself from Zendesk by making the customer success workflow more collaboration-driven. They have a huge concern about sounding too robotic. Agents can chat with each other while working on problems so that there are less collision and better sharing of knowledge.

They also allow peers with different knowledge to gather in the same conversation, avoiding restarting tickets.

Freshdesk also starts with a free plan, which is great to try them out and buy it later — in case their software works better for you.

Zoho Desk

zendesk alternativeZoho Desk calls itself the first “context-aware” help desk solution. The software presents customer issues against the backdrop of prior activities. Managers also can monitor broad trends such as happiness ratings and negative feedback.

Zoho Desk is free for up to 3 seats.


Zendesk has its strengths, but do you need all of its features? There are many alternatives to Zendesk on the market offering core help desk features, and some of them are even free of charge.

To make the right decision, you first have to understand your needs based on your team size, workflow, and budget, and see which of the options out there match your priorities.  

Lastly, check out Drag for a help desk solution that scales along with your team!

The best Zendesk alternative.

Drag turns Gmail into your Team’s Workspace – One single place to support customers, manage tasks and close deals, from the place teams love: Gmail. We are a Techstars-backed Company, trusted by 30,000 users around the World.

Try Drag for Free
Samantha Anacleto

Author Samantha Anacleto

More posts by Samantha Anacleto
Close Menu