10 Best Zendesk Alternatives for Small Businesses to Check Out in 2024

Looking for an efficient alternative to Zendesk?

It is undeniable that Zendesk is a major player in the customer support field— and for good reasons. It provides industry-level tools, such as AI, integration capabilities, and live chat that can supercharge your customer service operations.

In fact, according to a recent study by Glassix, support teams that use the software’s AI features see an efficiency boost with a 71% faster resolution rate on tickets. 

It is evident from this figure that small business owners using Zendesk are witnessing an increase in ROI.

However, it falls short in 2024 with more customer support software offering better customization features with low costs of ownership, ideal for small businesses. 

If you are like me and have had frustrating experiences, like inconsistent customer support, then it is time to start looking for other options with just as great capabilities.

A current Help Scout user looking for a cheaper alternative? Be sure to check out my review last week of the best Help Scout alternatives for small businesses. You’ll discover some very pocket friendly alternatives with great features.

In this article, we will discuss the best Zendesk alternatives for small businesses that deliver seamless customer support and enhance team productivity.

Let’s get started.

Quick Summary

1. Glassix - The best complete support software alternative

2. LeadSquared - The best alternative for SaaS

3. HappyFox
- The best alternative for IT management

4. Customerly- The best affordable alternative for startups

5. Kustomer - The best for teams looking for CRM capabilities

3 Reasons to Move Away From Zendesk

a) Limited customer support

Users have expressed frustration with limited customer support, stating that it takes days or even months for Zendesk’s support team to send a reply. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a vendor you cannot even reach. 

In 2024, where great customer experience is key to customer retention, it defeats logic that a customer support platform fails at the same thing they are supposed to help with.

b) High costs of ownership

Zendesk is considered a premium customer support software with its pricing starting at $25 for every agent per month for small support teams. The basic plan of course has limited features and tools lacking essentials such as integration capabilities.

If such features are important to you, you will have to upgrade to a higher tier which can be expensive for small businesses. This is not to mention its hidden charges such as data exporting fees. 

c) Overwhelming setup process

On top of being expensive, Zendesk has a complex setup process that can overwhelm your team, making you rely on their self-service resources for deployment. Some users even said it took them nearly 3 months to fully deploy the software.

Additionally, it has a steep learning curve and requires a lot of patience and money for your team to fully get conversant with Zendesk’s features and functionalities.

1. Glassix

Glassix offers a complete customer support platform and it is considered by many as the best Zendesk alternative for small businesses and startups looking for a feature rich platform and affordable pricing.

Our software is a leading player in the customer support industry designed with leading-edge technology to help your business transform its customer service operations.

We are firm believers that customer support shouldn't be backbreaking and as a result, Glassix provides a one-of-a-kind unified inbox that consolidates all conversations across chatbots and channels.

It gets better. You can set conversation routing rules to automatically route conversation to qualified agents and establish an effective triage at scale. 

Similarly, thanks to our omni channel communication, you can maintain conversations across different channels - equipped with conversation history and customer data to deliver a personalized experience.

Besides, you can also leverage the power of our visual chatbot builder to create appealing and effective chatbots to automate interactions with a human touch.

Key features:

  • You can create custom chatbots powered by our powerful conversational AI to automate customer interactions on all platforms and deliver a personalized customer experience.
  • Real-time agent take-over enables your agents to monitor chatbot conversations in real-time and seamlessly take over in case of an escalation to enhance customer satisfaction.
  • Glassix integrates with multiple communication channels, ensuring seamless interactions in your customers’ preferred channels and speedy customer support request resolution.


  • Offers a 30-day free trial, no credit card required
  • Starting plan: $49 per user/month


With a readily available customer support team and rich knowledge base, you are assured of 24/7 assistance in case of anything. Our software might be a bit pricey but we offer a 30-day free trial and a comprehensive platform that delivers everything you need for customer support at no additional charges.

2. LeadSquared

LeadSquared unifies your customer journey. Manage support tickets, nurture leads with targeted campaigns, and automate marketing efforts – all within a single, user-friendly platform. It also streamlines your operations, boosts efficiency, and empowers your team to deliver exceptional customer service.

Key Features:

  • Streamlined Ticketing & Support: Manage inquiries efficiently with features like automated responses and self-service options.
  • Powerful Sales Automation: Automate repetitive tasks, nurture leads, and close deals faster.
  • Integrated Marketing Tools: Design and launch targeted email campaigns, manage landing pages, and track marketing ROI.


Available upon request.


If you're looking for a comprehensive and cost-effective CRM solution, LeadSquared is a strong Zendesk alternative. It simplifies managing customer interactions, automates tasks, and helps you grow your sales and marketing efforts. Explore LeadSquared and see if it's the right fit for your business.

3. HappyFox

HappyFox offers a suite of products for service and support teams to help them navigate through the ever changing landscape of customer communications.

Its customer support tools are provided under the HappyFox Service Desk where you can automate tasks, streamline workflows, and enhance agent productivity.

HappyFox provides IT Incident Management tools that help identify, categorize, and prioritize incidents to streamline agent productivity and reduce disruptions.

Additionally, its service catalog offers a centralized platform to manage, showcase, and deliver a plethora of services, allowing your customers to get assistance without relying on support agents.

You will experience seamless service request management like never before with clear workflows, structure, and efficiency that guarantees chaos-free management and timely resolution.

This allows your customers and agents to submit service requests with ease using a user-friendly interface accessible from any device, easy routing to the appropriate department, and tracking to enhance user experience and reduce follow-up queries.

Key features:

  • Offers IT incident management tools to monitor, track, and prioritize incidences to reduce disruptions and allow your IT team to focus on core tasks.
  • The service request management feature provides a clear structure for service management ensuring streamlined request submission and prompt resolution.
  • HappyFox Service Desk’s asset management tools provide a single source of truth for all your assets and enable you to track them throughout their life cycles.


  • Offers a free demo
  • Starting plan: $29 Per agent/month


With HappyFox Service Desk, small businesses can simplify incident and service management ensuring fewer disruptions and quick resolution to enhance productivity. It also offers additional perks like asset management that help you track all your assets. However, unlike Glassix, HappyFox is not a complete customer support solution.

4. Customerly

Customerly’s AI is considered by many small businesses as a real game changer, especially for their day to day operations.

Tired of switching through software in the middle of handling a query? 

We understand the frustration.

With Customerly, that isn't the case as it centralizes all your customer communications into a single platform giving you a 360-degree view of all conversations so that none falls through the cracks.

The team inbox is just as good as Glassix’s unified inbox, allowing you to split tasks and conversations into teams. This way each team will automatically be assigned conversations to elevate agent productivity and accountability.

Unlike traditional customer support software that utilizes texts to communicate with customers, Customerly enables you to create relationships with your customers through video live chat.

This is paired with AI-powered live chats that allow you to always be available to your customers even during off-work hours. In such a case, Customerly’s AutoReply feature comes in handy, providing customers with helpful articles to help them before your human agents step in.

Key features:

  • Chat previews give your agents a sneak peek into what your customers are typing before they end it, giving them enough time to find the perfect answer.
  • Canned responses save you time by enabling you to quickly answer repeated questions such as order process to improve customer experience.
  • Its powerful conversational AI empowers your live chat by automatically finding answers and customizing them to deliver accurate and personalized responses.


  • Offers 14-day free trial
  • Starting plan: $7/month


Customerly is an affordable platform with essential customer support features such as AI integration capabilities, and a powerful live chat, making it a popular alternative to Zendesk users. The only issue with the software is that advanced AI tools are only available in higher tiers that are more pricey.

5. Kustomer

Kustomer is an omnichannel customer engagement platform that serves both enterprise and small businesses globally.

It provides an all-in-one comprehensive solution to all your customer support needs, focusing on ticketing, data, orders, and customer information.

In 2024, customer data is as important as any other aspect of your business and that is why Kustomer gives you a 360-degree view of your customers. 

Meet your customers where they are with the chat widget that provides CRM-powered chatbots and quick access to FAQs. Furthermore, you can elevate customer service using push notifications.

Additionally, Kustomer provides actionable insight that you can use to your advantage and anticipate your customers' expectations enabling you to deliver superior customer support.

This together with its Artificial intelligence that uses Natural Language Processing to identify customer intent, your agents can reclaim time and provide accurate and customized support.

Key features:

  • The reporting features help you boost human agent performance by identifying key insights such as busiest hours to help you manage your staff and resources.
  • The self-service features that include a knowledge base empower your customers at every touchpoint to independently find answers.
  • It has a no-code chatbot builder that enables anyone to build and deploy sophisticated chatbots that provide 24/7 assistance to your customers.


  • No free trial
  • Starting plan: $89 per user/month


Kustomer has great customer management tools incorporated enabling you to create better relationships with your customers while having a 360-degree view of their information and behavior. However, it does not offer a free plan like Glassix, to understand how its CRM features can transform your business.

6. Intercom

Intercom provides exceptional proactive support and it is vastly used by small businesses and startups regardless of its somewhat controversial pricing model.

Intercom is a leader in the customer support field with a focus on help desk services, AI, chatbots, and proactive support, empowering you to enhance team performance and customer experience.

Powered by one of the most powerful AI, Intercom’s Fin can automatically a chunk of your customer issues, saving you time to focus on complex issues.

When issues escalate, Fin (Intercom's bot) can route them to your help desk to ensure customers are getting accurate and appropriate answers.

Your team has access to a powerful inbox backed by AI Assist to help them work smarter and faster. They can also create tickets for issues that take time allowing your customers to track progress in real time.

Additionally, its omnichannel customer service feature consolidates all communication into one place ensuring efficiency. And whenever you answer a question, you can save them as snippets for your chatbots to use in the future.

Key features:

  • Its inbox is backed by AI Assist which empowers your team to work faster and more efficiently to deliver personalized customer support and enhance customer satisfaction.
  • Has powerful AI that understands customer intent to automate, deliver accurate answers, and route complex issues to human agents, saving you time to focus on core support aspects.
  • Provides an efficient ticketing system that turns complex issues into tickets for streamlined management and updates customers on the progress of their issue resolution in real-time.


  • Offers a 14-day free trial
  • Starting plan: $39 per seat/month


Just like Glassix, Intercom is a complete customer support software with features such as AI, inbox, and collaboration tools to help your business deliver superior customer support. Intercom, however, has poor customer support, taking long to respond to customer requests.

7. Gorgias

Gorgias is a powerful e-commerce tool.

It is designed to help your small e-commerce business drive engagement and boost sales through an out-of-the-box ticketing system that secures a spot for Gorgias on our list of the best Zendesk competitors.

Forget about manually sorting hundreds of tickets in 2024 and leverage Gorgias’s AI that automatically prioritizes, assigns, and tags every single ticket the moment it hits your inbox.

You can achieve more by running your store on autopilot. 

For instance, you can automatically generate discount codes, send tracking information, and process returns allowing you to focus on more important business aspects like sales.

Additionally, Gorgias gives access to all your customer information including order history, subscriptions, and customer profiles, enabling you to customize each experience to increase customer satisfaction and increase conversions.

Key features:

  • You can integrate Gorgias with your favorite e-commerce tools such as Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce, eliminating the need to juggle between software. 
  • Provides agents with important customer information such as previous orders, reviews, and subscription details, enabling them to deliver support services.
  • Its automation features enable you to build efficient workflows that auto-reply and auto-assign tickets saving you time and simplifying customer support.


  • Offers a 14-day free trial
  • Starting plan: $10 per month


Gorgias integrations and customer support tools can help your small e-commerce business turbocharge sales and increase profits. It also offers affordable plans better suited for startups. However, it provides limited features such as the number of tickets, which you can increase at additional charges.

8. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is a multi-channel platform well known for its live chat feature.

It offers a great option for Zendesk users for its exceptional customer communication and organizational tools including a live chat and ticketing system. 

This is not to mention the cloud-based call center equipped with features such as call transfers, IVR, and call-back requests.

The live chat features help you turn website visitors into customers and answer questions in real-time, reducing wait times, redefining customer support, and enhancing customer experience.

Similarly, the ticketing system gathers customer conversations from all channels, consolidates them into one inbox, and turns them into tickets that are easy to manage.

But you don't have to spend all your hours responding to repetitive and basic queries. 

Set up a customer portal to give your customers access to valuable knowledge base articles that empower them to independently find the answers they are looking for.

Key features:

  • The customer portal gives your customers access to knowledge base articles that empower them to find answers independently without having to contact support.
  • Provides an inbuilt call center that enables your agents to engage better with your customers, increase resolution rate, and deliver personalized customer service.
  • It has a robust ticketing system that converts all customer conversations into tickets that are easy to manage, elevates customer support efficiency, and reduces resolution time.


  • Offers a 30-day free trial
  • Starting plan: $15 per agent/month


LiveAgent’s communication and ticketing tools are ideal for small businesses looking for an affordable solution to help them manage tickets and engage with customers on a personal level. The free plan, of course, comes with limited features that are only available in the paid tiers.

9. Front

Front is a user-friendly (but not so cost effective) customer support software.

If you are looking for a Zendesk competitor that prioritizes user-friendliness in 2024, Front should be at the top of your list because of its familiarity with Gmail, which most users are acquainted with.

Managing customer conversations doesn't have to be nerve-wracking. Say goodbye to tab juggling and integrate unified customer communication into one platform enabling you to improve customer experience.

Routing rules make things even easier eliminating the need for distribution lists and enabling you to automatically route conversations to qualified agents.

Additionally, discover how much you can achieve through Front’s collaboration tools such as response drafts that enable your team to collaborate on creating better responses that enhance customer satisfaction.

Similarly, your team members can comment internally on customer messages to collaborate behind the scenes without the customer seeing anything.

Key features:

  • Front’s knowledge base empowers customers to independently find answers and helps you save time by deflecting FAQs and allowing your agents to focus on complex issues.
  • Collaboration tools such as private communications within customer conversations enable your team members to work together on delivering great customer support.
  • Front supports over 100 integrations including WhatsApp, Facebook, and Asana that eliminate the need for switching between systems to enhance team performance and efficiency.


  • Offers a 7-day free trial
  • Starting plan: $19 per seat/month


Front is a popular Zendesk alternative with relatively affordable plans and incredible collaboration tools. it's also an easy-to-use solution that will take your team a short time to know where all the functionalities are. On the downside, it lacks the AI capabilities offered by Glassix which can transform customer support. 

10. Hiver

Hiver will help you with unanswered emails and to stay on top of your inbox.

It is built to live in Gmail, helping you enhance collaborations and strengthen customer communications.

Since it lives within an already popular platform, Hiver is extremely user-friendly, saving you training time and costs.

This software has email management tools that help you turn incoming emails into tasks that you can assign or reassign to the right team or agent. This way, you can ensure accountability and gain visibility into which team is working on what.

Assignees get real-time email assignment notifications to ensure prompt resolution that enhances customer satisfaction.

Measure key metrics and create custom reports that provide you with actionable customer insight you can use to make informed decisions and improve customer support.

Additionally, you can connect your favorite tools such as Slack, Jira, and Asana to your Gmail app for more efficiency and enhanced productivity.

Key features:

  • Hiver’s rule-based automation enables you to easily create workflows that automate mundane tasks such as email routing to appropriate departments based on keywords. 
  • Hiver’s AI Bot uses Natural Language Processing to power Gmail-based capabilities such as identifying conversation context and offering suggestions to agents to empower them to work faster.
  • You can integrate Hiver with tools that you use every day to avoid switching between software and applications.


  • Offers a 7-day free trial 
  • Starting plan: $15/user/month


Unlike most shared inbox tools, Hiver goes a step further to offer advanced collaboration tools such as @mentions and notes that ensure seamless collaborations to deliver top-tier customer service. Compared to Glassix, Hiver’s 7-day free trial may not be enough to explore all its collaboration features.


It's not all about the cost.

Although it is a key consideration when looking for a Zendesk alternative, other factors come into play, including features, user-friendliness, and integration capabilities.

In 2024, there are more vendors offering solutions that solve issues Zendesk is failing at such as reliable support and affordable cost of ownership.

In fact, according to research by Acumen, the Global Customer Service Software Market Size is set to grow to $58.1 Billion by 2030, indicating how fast the industry is growing.

Glassix, Tidio, and HappyFox offer top-rated alternatives to Zendesk with collaboration tools, advanced integration and AI capabilities, and robust support features that can help you create better customer experiences.

However, our software tops the list for its top-rated unified inbox and complete customer support platform.

Sign up for Glassix’s 30-day free trial and explore our collaboration features and the powers of our unified inbox in redefining customer support.

3 Reasons to Consider Glassix for Your Customer Support Software Needs

a) Truly omni-channel 

Besides consolidating all your communication into one platform which is really convenient ensuring no customer queries fall between the cracks, Glassix provides a truly omni-channel experience. Your agents do not need to keep switching between communication channels.

Omnichannel communication also enables you to maintain conversation continuity across channels and departments without losing context, eliminating the need for asking for repeat information and enhancing customer experience. 

b) Top-rated chatbot builder

Our software arms you with an effective visual chatbot builder that enables you to build and deploy AI chatbots with no code, meaning you can save on developer costs.

The generative AI chatbots can handle a wide range of queries, providing instant and round-the-clock assistance to customers. You can also deploy the same chatbot across all your platforms to ensure a uniform presence.

c) User-friendly Interface

Our platform is easily the most user-friendly customer support solution in the market, designed with agents in mind, making it easy to learn and navigate.

Its straightforward nature also means that it requires short training periods and new agents can be up and running in no time, ensuring reduced training costs. This makes Glassix ideal for small businesses with tight budgets.

Don’t take our word for it. Start a free Glassix trial and experience our top-grade inbox tools firsthand to learn how our software can help you sharpen your competitive edge.