Zendesk alternative

Is Zendesk the best universal Helpdesk solution?

By 7th May 2018 No Comments

Zendesk revolutionized the Helpdesk industry. Back in 2007, when the Danish trio Mikkel Svane, Morten Primdahl, and Alexander Aghassipour founded what that time was a Startup, customer service systems for large companies were very backwards and cumbersome, and definitely not a product that you would enjoy using, as Mikkel himself said to Forbes.

Today, the $500 million turnover giant has proven to have brought significant more value to the industry. Their success proved they were right about the need for change in the Helpdesk software industry. And it worked. It has been working for 100,000+ companies (and counting) Worldwide.

Zendesk has proven that companies DO NEED to have a dedicated system to provide customer support and that this system needs to be something intuitive and that employees enjoy using, what is naturally reflected on the quality of customer service provided. After all, 8 in 10 consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

The question here is:

Is Zendesk the best universal Help Desk solution for any company?

Each company is different

The first thing to have in mind is that companies are extremely different from each other. Companies vary in terms of size, industry, workflow, internal processes, staff background and age, vision, basically everything.

As a consequence of these differences, companies prioritize different things in their business. Naturally, it is reflected on the priorities they look for when deciding which and how much pay for every service:

  • some companies are willing to pay more for a solution to have an extra layer of security, to over protect their data. It’s like an insurance: you pay a higher premium for a higher value at stake. If another software is safe enough, would the extra layer and associated price be worth it for other companies?
  • other companies are willing to pay more to have dedicated personnel to install the software for then, train your staff and have a dedicated 24/7 customer support in case they need anything anytime. If another Software have a self-service onboarding process that is good enough, would the extra layer and associated price be worth it for other companies?
  • other companies are willing to pay more to have the tool with the biggest brand as an attempt to convey to their customers that they are a “serious business” that only use the “biggest tools” out there. If another Software does exactly the same thing as the big ones but is not as known as the others, would the extra “brand value” and associated price be worth it for other companies?
  • and your company? What is it willing to pay for?

Zendesk alternative solutions know that each company is different

As Dimitri Tarasowski perfectly described in “How to build the next Trello and sell it for $425 million or more”, Trello saw an opportunity to take over JIRA, from the giant Atlassian, on the task management space. According to Dimitri, JIRA listened to their customers and created a better and more complicated product. By adding new features, they sought to capture new customers. They went upmarket.

By moving upmarket, Atlassian’s product became more and more comprehensive and consequently expensive, to an extent for its price to be prohibitive to SMEs – and many of its features useless to small companies. SMEs were, many times, looking for a simpler, more affordable and easier-to-learn tool. And then when Trello came in.

Without any question, JIRA was a much more robust and complete tool than Trello. At the same time it was appealing to bigger and more complex companies, it was a lost of times considered as “too much” for others. The solution for Atlassian was to acquire Trello to stop the noise it was causing to them.

When looking for Helpdesk solutions, Zendesk is the biggest but not the only one. Many companies, like Drag, offer a different value proposition that might have a better fit with your company, especially if you are in a small team.

For example: does your company really need to leave your inbox to provide customer support in an external app, that will convert emails into tickets and tickets back into emails?

Maybe not. If not, Drag may be the best solution for your team.

Staying in your inbox in fact “kills” many features that Zendesk offers, but it also simplifies many of the processes that may be priority for you and your company, like saving time by staying in your Inbox. It all comes down to priorities.

The biggest is not always the best

When we were trying to find a live chat for Drag, we quickly saw ourselves browsing Intercom – of course, it’s the biggest name, quickly came up. After a few interactions with their massive sales staff, on the phone, we wanted to check some Intercom alternatives out there to make a more accurate decision on what would work best for us. In our specific case.

To give a bit of context: we were a few months down the line with Drag, small team working in a SaaS product, customer support team of 2, naturally very tight cash, wanting a live chat to be able to provide real-time support to our customers and convert potential customers. We naturally were looking for something simple, affordable and functional.

And then we found Crisp. Within 5 minutes, we closed with them. Why?

  • in the Crisp live chat itself, on their website, the staff was available, super friendly and immediately replied to all of our questions;
  • they were 10 times cheaper;
  • they had all the features that we needed;
  • their reviews were good when it came from companies similar to us.

For us, that was good enough to give them a try. We are with them until today, very happy customers. Although we know that Intercom is a much bigger company with a more established brand, we chose a smaller product that had a better fit for our needs.


When looking for a Helpdesk solution for your business, you need to first understand what kind of business you are and what are your priorities. What features do you need? How much are you willing to pay? What else is important for you when it comes to customer support?

Then, look for Zendesk alternatives. Maybe you will find out that, in fact, Zendesk is the right solution for you. Maybe it’s not. The things is that Zendesk is not the only Helpdesk solution in the World. And it’s probably not the best universal solution for any company in the World.

Then, choose your tool based on your specific context and priorities.

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

What now?

Drag is The Everything Inbox for Teams – one single place to support customers, manage tasks and close deals, from the place teams love – Gmail. We are Techstars-backed Company, trusted by 30,000 users around the World.

Try Drag for Free
Duda Bardavid

Author Duda Bardavid

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