Zendesk provides a flexible and agile solution built specifically for customer experience (CX). Start your free trial and see for yourself how Zendesk stands out from the competition.
Discover why Zendesk is the #1 customer service software
Zendesk builds innovative software for innovative businesses.
Our platform is agile, adaptable, and easy to build on, equipped with the tools and flexibility needed for forward-thinking businesses to try new ideas. From small businesses to enterprises, Zendesk gives organizations the ability to move quickly, focus on innovation, and scale their growth—all while providing an immersive customer experience that’s second to none.
Whether your customer service team consists of one person or thousands of agents, Zendesk provides you with the customer experience software you need to build better customer relationships. But what sets Zendesk apart from our competitors?
- Exclusively focused on CX: We are the only vendor exclusively focused on the customer service experience.
- Business agility at scale: We are the only vendor that offers fast time to value and agility at an enterprise scale.
- Best total cost of ownership: We are the only vendor that delivers a consistently high ROI with a low total cost of ownership.
Learn more about how Zendesk stacks against the competition:
- Zendesk vs. competitors at a glance
- How Zendesk beats the competition
- Customer stories
- Try Zendesk for free
Zendesk vs. competitors at a glance
To create a successful customer service team, you need several key ingredients. Checking every box is difficult for many teams, as their features and tools force them to make tradeoffs.
For example, legacy enterprise systems—like Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Pega, and ServiceNow—provide tools that help personalize the customer experience and scale with growing businesses. However, they come with high costs and low agility.
On the flip side, emerging support platforms—like Freshworks, HubSpot, Intercom, Help Scout, Gladly, Kustomer, and Dixa—offer agile tool sets at lower price points but fall short with personalization and scalability.
Zendesk is built for customer service and intended to scale and adapt to businesses of all sizes, so our platform’s resume speaks for itself. But how does Zendesk compare to the competition?
Use the comparison chart below to see how Zendesk stacks up against legacy enterprise systems (like Salesforce, Microsoft, and SAP) and SMB support tools (like Freshworks, HubSpot, and Kustomer). Check out the software tools and features at a glance and discover which platform is the best customer service software for your business.
Legacy enterprise systems
(Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Pega, ServiceNow)
SMB support tools
(Freshworks, HubSpot, Intercom, Help Scout, Gladly, Kustomer, Dixa)
|Focus||Exclusively focused on CX||Broad focus (sales, marketing, commerce, service, database, business intelligence (BI), collaboration, and beyond)||Broad focus (sales, marketing, service, and beyond)|
|Agility and scalability||Fast time to value at enterprise scale||Enterprise scale with limited to no agility, long time to value||Fast time to value with limits to scale|
|ROI||Consistently highest ROI||Limited ROI because of complexity and high cost||Low ROI because of limited product depth and lack of customer success/support|
|Total cost of ownership (TCO) at scale||Best TCO because of transparent pricing and limited technical resources required||High TCO because of heavy technical/developer administration||High TCO because of the cost of product limitations|
|CX best practice expertise and community||Rich customer community and support with an exclusive CX focus||Rich customer community and support but limited CX focus||Light customer community and support and limited CX focus|
|Unified omnichannel support||Yes||
No native voice solution (requires a third party)
Disconnected channels, agent experience, and data
|Frictionless agent experience||Yes||
Not designed for users
|360 view of the customer||Yes||
Requires heavy technical investment to integrate
Unproven, unreliable integrations with key technology
|Deep operational and product insights||Yes||
Reliant on complex BI tools
No customizations, correlations, or attribution to understand root causes
|Robust self-service and knowledge management||Yes||
Workflows require technical setup
No content management and workflow capabilities
|AI and machine learning||Yes||
Broad AI models requiring heavy technical implementation
Manual “AI” built on broad data sets
How Zendesk beats the competition
What is the best customer service solution, and why is it Zendesk?
Zendesk is more than a team competing for a trophy in customer service excellence. Zendesk strives to separate from the competition and stand alone as the authority in the industry. Here are a few ways Zendesk outshines competitors.
Exclusive focus on the customer experience
If you want to create the best customer experience, you want a platform made specifically for customer service. Built with a focus on CX, Zendesk empowers your customer service team with the right tools to deliver personalized experiences across the customer journey.
Zendesk provides businesses with a unified, integrated omnichannel solution that allows them to build meaningful connections through rich conversations on any channel. These channels—like social messaging apps, phone, email, and SMS—are available out of the box so you can meet customers where they are with fast, convenient service. You can also deploy AI-powered chatbots that can engage with customers and provide a unique interactive experience.
Fast time to value at enterprise scale
When time is money, seamless implementation of a new customer service platform is crucial. Zendesk offers a low cost of ownership due to its quick and simple setup, ease of use, thousands of out-of-the-box and customizable integrations, and minimal administrative needs—allowing you to see the value of your investment immediately.
Flexible software that adapts to business growth and evolving customer needs is imperative for success. Zendesk is an open platform built to grow with scaling businesses. Investing in Zendesk can help you level up your customer experience and enhance the employee experience with the right tools that set them up for success.
Consistently highest ROI
To build a loyal customer base, combine great customer service with a solution that helps your team provide that high level of service. Zendesk offers an omnichannel solution that gives you the tools to improve customer support and boost your ROI.
In a 2021 study by Forrester, Zendesk for enterprise increased the ROI of some businesses by 286 percent over a three-year period. They were able to achieve this through:
- Cost savings from deflected tickets and reduced handle time
- Balanced staffing due to improved agent efficiency
- Faster integration and time-to-value savings
- Additional annual revenue
As a trusted leader in the customer service industry, Zendesk can help your teams deliver an immersive CX experience that keeps customers coming back. Our flexible and agile platform provides AI-powered chatbots, self-service portals, a unified agent workspace, and other features to foster a great experience for employees and customers. Easy, convenient support means less customer churn, higher customer satisfaction, and stronger customer loyalty—the ingredients of a consistently high ROI.
Learn how Zendesk can increase your ROI with our ROI calculator.
Best total cost of ownership (TCO) at scale
The total cost of your customer service software is often more than your monthly subscription price. Many platforms have hidden costs that can include:
- Implementation costs by a third-party consultant or internal resource
- Training costs to get your agents up to speed on a new system
- Maintenance costs for bug fixes and software updates
- Add-ons or upgrade costs
- Staffing costs to fill the gaps from missing features, like automations
- Downtime costs for unstable systems
Zendesk is simple to set up and has several out-of-the-box features that allow you to jump right in on day one. The intuitive interface makes it easy to use, shortening the agent learning curve. It also comes equipped with self-service options, reporting and analytics tools, and a marketplace full of apps and integrations so you can build the best system for your business.
Seamless omnichannel customer experience
The best customer service solutions eliminate all barriers for customers to get the help they need. Using Zendesk, you can truly create a seamless omnichannel customer experience that enables agents to quickly resolve issues, deliver personalized experiences, and build customer relationships.
An omnichannel customer experience is about more than simply providing multiple communication channels for customers. It’s about delivering a richer experience by creating connected and consistent customer interactions across channels.
For example, an agent can invite a customer to join them on an alternative channel that can enhance the experience, like switching to voice when messaging back and forth is taking too long. The conversation history and context travel with them from channel to channel, so they can pick back up right where they left off.
Our complete messaging solution provides a convenient way to maintain a continuous conversation with your customers. Zendesk features messaging tools that work right out of the box so you can meet customers wherever they are. They’re customizable, too—with low or no coding—so you can tailor them to fit your business needs.
Zendesk also makes it easy to add channels to your website or mobile app. These messaging options include:
- SMS and WhatsApp for Business
- Social messaging channels like Facebook Messenger
- Business productivity tools like Slack
Frictionless agent experience
Zendesk creates a frictionless agent experience by empowering teams with a complete and unified toolset. A frictionless agent experience begins with an intuitive interface that lets you connect easily with your customers, no matter the channel.
The Zendesk Agent Workspace is a customizable interface with tools and customer conversations all in one place. Agents can access the information and customer context they need when an interaction begins, allowing them to maintain relevant, personal conversations. All departments have the same view, too, breaking down data silos and fostering better collaboration across the business.
Automating repetitive tasks helps streamline workflows, and self-service options deflect tickets, keeping the workload more manageable for your agents. Simply put, our support platform makes it easier for agents to do their jobs, allowing them to spend less time navigating different systems and apps and more time providing a seamless customer experience.
360 customer view
A 360-degree view of the customer means facilitating data and integrations across the entire business and tech stack in one place. This unified view helps you align customer support with the rest of your business. It gives anyone touching the account the context they need to better serve the customer and provide a more personalized experience.
Zendesk comes equipped with a 360 customer view that gives team members better visibility into the entire customer journey—like previous interactions, order history, channel preferences, behaviors, resolved issues, and open tickets—instead of only showing the current customer request.
With all information in one place, your agents don’t need to waste time toggling between systems and apps to find important customer data. This improves the agent experience and boosts the customer experience by eliminating a major pain point for customers: repeating themselves.
Additionally, integrations with collaboration tools like Salesforce, Shopify, JIRA, and Slack make internal communication easier. Meanwhile, the Zendesk API lets you add functionality to boost the agent experience—you can create automations for migrating ticket data, make bulk edits, create custom tickets, and more. Zendesk customers and industry leaders are leveraging the Zendek API and the wealth of integrations from the Zendesk Marketplace to form a tailored, 360-degree view of the customer across their business.
Deep operational and product insights
Zendesk offers robust reporting and analytics software that allows you to capture the insights you need to make informed decisions. Our tools show you where your business excels and where you can improve—whether that’s your business operations, customer service, or product performance. For example, you can see which help center articles are the most effective with self-service for a particular issue or measure the efficiency of AI at solving tickets across channels.
Our native analytics tools come with pre-built dashboards for every channel, so you can see valuable information in real time, out of the box. Zendesk allows you to customize reports, metrics, charts, filters, and dashboards with point-and-click configuration, so you can easily create a tailored experience.
Your solution should permit you to drill into your data to better understand what contributes to the metrics you see. The best customer service software should also allow you to store user profile attributes so you can personalize every customer interaction and improve the overall experience.
CX best practice expertise and community
With Zendesk, you can leverage world-class experts to help you build the best customer experience. With our active online community forums, Zendesk empowers customers to connect, collaborate, and share their expertise. We also feature partner programs that offer customer onboarding and support training.
Customer experience best practices evolve with changing customer preferences and behaviors—Zendesk helps you stay on top of trends so you can position your business as a CX-pert. Zendesk will also be with you throughout your customer journey to help you get started, fine-tune your CX, and guide you through transitions as your business grows.
Zendesk is on the cutting edge of technology, using AI and machine learning to create a great experience for customers and employees. Zendesk uses chatbots that employ natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers across channels. Zendesk also features intelligence in the context panel that offers agent assistance, skills-based routing, and intelligent triage to simplify agent workflows.
Zendesk AI is an advanced bot that comes pre-trained to understand the top customer service issues. It can understand customer sentiment, intent, and language and continuously learns to provide better CX. It sets up quickly with almost no technical support required, so you can start reaping immediate benefits.
With automation, self-service, and AI on the rise, leveraging these features can help you deliver high-quality support while establishing yourself as an industry leader and expert.
According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2023, 37 percent of customers get frustrated when they can’t complete simple tasks on their own. Zendesk offers a variety of self-service tools that provide customers with convenient support on demand. These self-help resources include:
- AI-powered chatbots
- Customer portals
- Help center articles
- Community forums
Self-service options are also beneficial for your support team because they help deflect tickets, reducing agents’ workload.
Additionally, Zendesk bots enable you to provide 24/7 customer service, so buyers can get help even when agents are offline. Bots can immediately greet customers to deliver proactive support and provide knowledge base content (such as help center articles and FAQs) to help customers find quick answers.
Making the switch is easier than you might think. Check out the companies that switched to Zendesk and see how their business and customer base benefited.
Limeade: From Salesforce → Zendesk
It’s hard to make Limeade when your customer service software keeps serving you lemons. The employee well-being software pioneer needed an agile customer support solution to help the team understand customer pain points and where they could make improvements.
Limeade first tried Salesforce, but the product’s complexity and inability to adapt without help from a developer made it difficult for the company to achieve its goals. Ticket management with Salesforce was complicated to prioritize, too. The analytics tools only provided limited metrics and information the team needed to create solutions for customer pain points.
Zendesk provided a seamless implementation process over the course of only three weeks. Since switching to Zendesk, Limeade’s user base has increased by 60 percent—and it didn’t have to increase its customer support staff. Limeade now has six branded knowledge bases with feedback loops that help the team boost their overall CX.
“Moving to Zendesk is going to save us money in the long run,” says Ryan Putnam, Limeade’s director of customer service. “With more repeatable processes, macros, automations, triggers, and better insights, we can reduce our incoming volume. And with the translation and localization capabilities supporting our global strategy, it will pay for itself.”
Clutter: From Kustomer → Zendesk
Clutter, formerly MakeSpace, is an innovative storage space service that originally used Zendesk as its customer support solution. After some staff changes, Clutter switched to Kustomer, which promised lower pricing, a simple interface, and a personalized experience. Kustomer did not fulfill these promises and even became unresponsive to communications.
Sean Benedict, CX operations manager at Clutter, wanted to move from Kustomer to an experienced company with proven long-term success, like Zendesk. “The thinking was, if we’re going to move, it should be to Zendesk because I don’t want to move to another younger company, another startup, and then just be in the same position that we’re in two or three years from now.”
Clutter sent Kustomer packing and returned to Zendesk. The company seamlessly picked up where it left off, made additional upgrades, and even had Zendesk build a custom app. Since switching back to Zendesk, Clutter has seen an 11 percent improvement in CSAT, a 63 percent increase in agent efficiency (year over year), and a 28 percent improvement in first reply time.
Monese: From Intercom → Freshdesk → Zendesk
For Monese, the third time was the charm. The creators of the banking app that makes it easy for people to transition their finances when relocating to another country rely on their customer service for success. Monese initially used Intercom as its live chat provider. But Monese quickly learned that it needed a single platform that could centralize conversations and adapt as the company scaled.
Monese tried Freshdesk but had issues integrating the Intercom live chat software and received spotty service that tanked the quality of its customer service.
“We were having some difficulties with the Freshdesk call side,” said Lauri Haav, Monese’s head of customer loyalty. “We had massive problems with call drops, mixed calls—calls would just mysteriously disappear, never actually reaching the agents. The Freshdesk voice product wasn’t good enough for us.”
After two strikes with customer service software, the company switched to Zendesk. Zendesk provided Monese with fast, reliable API and strong omnichannel support. With Zendesk, Monese saw a 10 percent increase in CSAT and a 59 percent decrease in first response time.
Why is Zendesk so popular?
Zendesk is the customer support software of choice because we specifically built it to enhance the customer and employee experience. Here are a few reasons why Zendesk continues to be a popular solution:
- Easy implementation: Our products are simple to set up and use.
- Powerful reporting and analytics: Pre-built and custom dashboards can be tailored to your unique needs.
- Built to scale: Our flexible platform can handle the scale as your business grows.
- Innovation: Our development teams continuously focus on improving our product.
- Partnership: Account and success teams are always available for support.
Why is Zendesk better than any other alternative out there?
Businesses see Zendesk as a better alternative to their current customer service software because we’re a trusted advisor and considered experts in the market. We empower customers with the tools to become CX experts and provide a reliable platform that’s easy to implement, resulting in the best ROI.
Is Zendesk better than Salesforce?
Although Zendesk and Salesforce are both leaders in the customer service software market, these five core differentiators set Zendesk apart:
- Fast time to value
- Low total cost of ownership
- Strategic partnerships
- Omnichannel conversations
Additionally, you can supercharge your system with a Salesforce and Zendesk integration that improves customer satisfaction with streamlined conversations, increases the effectiveness of reporting and analytics, and keeps sales and customer support teams in sync for easier collaboration.
Which is better: HubSpot or Zendesk?
Zendesk is a proven leader in CX, providing a flexible solution built to support businesses throughout their entire journey. Unlike HubSpot Service Hub, Zendesk prioritizes the agent experience as much as the customer experience. HubSpot does not offer a true omnichannel workspace for agents, and many public reviews describe a slow user experience—most notably around switching between tickets.
Try Zendesk for free
Everybody loves trying something for free. Zendesk offers a free trial so you can experience the many ways that you can boost your CX. Thanks to the intuitive interface, you can start leveling up your customer service from day one. Start your free trial now.
Learn more about how Zendesk compares to the competition
Check out these resources to learn more about how Zendesk crushes the competition.