Best Zendesk alternative for small companies

José Victor Matos
4 min readMay 30, 2018


Small companies are always looking for the best cost/benefit solution, and there’s no blame on that. If there’s anything we can do to minimize costs, we will at least try it.

On the other hand, we don’t want to get rid of quality, and when the subject is Helpdesk, Zendesk is a great software.

But what should you do when looking for a Zendesk alternative which is better suited for small companies?

Okay, their service is full of features. Do you need them all?

Starting there, you will regain perspective. Scratch off every feature you don’t really need at the moment and make a list of what is really important for your company.

Zendesk: is it for small companies?

As products evolve, like Zendesk, their feature sets also increase and in turn they can command a higher price point for their product. In other words, as they improve their product, they increase pricing and it costs you more.

Of course they have smaller plans with less features, but because it belongs to the same system, it feels like you’re missing tools, and the software will always try to sell you more.

What do small companies look for in a helpdesk tool?

On the other hand, there are aspects for smaller businesses that are truly important:

– Intuitive: small companies don’t have the time to learn a complex tool. Instead, they need tools that are quick and obvious. Thus making work more affordable for everyone. As your team increases, new people need to get onboard right away;

– Simple: you potentially don’t need every feature Zendesk offers, but the features you need, you really need them. It’s quite important to have the essential, but it has to work properly. If you choose simpler softwares, you should want — and need — everything they have for you;

– Agile: bigger companies tend to get slower as they grow, and it keeps gradually more difficult to maintain a personal relationship with their user base. Smaller softwares tend to offer a better customer support, be updated more frequently and be more personal to its customer, making its users feel listened more often. The whole relationship developed feels closer with smaller companies.

What are the best Zendesk alternatives for small companies?


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.


Groove works very well with both browsers and email clients. From your emails you can access reports and tickets, making it easy to reach useful information right away.

An important feature provided is live chat, which makes work very handy, straight from your website and social media — which are channels users look up in the first place. They also help you out with creating the FAQ in your website.

Pricing has only one plan. It costs $22/month/user, and covers every feature they have.


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.

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.

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



José Victor Matos

UX | Product Design | Service Design | UI | Problem solving | Creative | Content