Zendesk Not Helping? Here are 8 Alternatives Based on Your Industry



Providing excellent customer support is crucial for the success of any business, but not all industries have the same needs for customer service. Choosing the right customer support platform based on your industry can make a significant difference in the quality of your customer support and ultimately affect your business’s bottom line.

Whether you are in healthcare, finance, retail, or any other industry, understanding the unique challenges and needs of your customers is essential.

For instance, healthcare organizations may require secure communication channels to comply with HIPAA regulations. Meanwhile, e-commerce companies may need features like chatbots to handle a high volume of customer inquiries. On the other hand, startups typically need a customer support platform that is sturdy and assists them in fostering customer relationships and developing quality products through user insights.

In this blog post, we will explore eight alternatives to Zendesk that cater to specific industries and their unique customer support needs. By choosing the right customer support platform for your industry, you can streamline your support operations, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive business growth.

8 Customer Support tools based on industries: A complete breakdown#

Customer Support tool to consider instead of Zendesk if you are in Retail 🛒#

An online retailer is one of the power users of customer support platforms. The online shoppers engage with the seller through live chat, email, social media, and phone frequently and for different requirements - shipment status, return policies, and more. So, a retailer should make sure that their customer support platform enables them to:

  • Provide customer support across multiple channels to meet the ongoing and diverse needs of the customers
  • Help them streamline their operations through automation (self-serve capabilities) to handle a high volume of support requests
  • Integrate with the key eCommerce platforms and tools they are using to enable context and personalization

The best Customer Support tool for Retail: Help Scout#

  • Shared inbox
  • Automated live chat
  • Integrated Knowledge base
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce & Magento


  • Starts at $20 per user per month

Customer support tool to consider instead of Zendesk if you are a Startup 💻#

A startup should be very particular and picky about the customer support platform since it plays a huge role in building, keeping, and growing a strong customer base and growing the business.

So, a startup should ensure that its customer support platform enables them to:

  • Be affordable and scalable and include all the essential features and functionalities
  • Enable ease of use and should be quick to set up and get things going so that there is no time and effort wasted on training
  • Choose a customer support platform that supports multiple channels, such as email, phone, chat, and social media, for a seamless customer experience

The best Customer Support tool for Startups: Freshdesk#

  • Multi-channel support
  • Make agents productive through automation
  • Tickets customization
  • Enterprise-grade security
  • Detailed reports and analytics
  • Ease of use
  • Affordability
  • Self-service with knowledge base


  • Starts at $15/agent/month

You can also check out some Freshdesk alternatives for Startups.

Customer Support tool to consider instead of Zendesk if you are in Healthcare 🏥#

A customer support platform for the healthcare industry should be secure, compliant, customizable, and provide a range of features and functionalities to meet the unique needs of healthcare organizations. The healthcare industry should choose a customer support platform based on ease-of-use and security features to make sure that the patients and customers can communicate with no hassle. Here’s what to look for in a Zendesk alternative for the healthcare industry:

  • Protects the patient data and hence be compliant, secure, and should have encryption
  • Customizable to create custom fields, workflows, and reports
  • Allows for personalized communication, such as addressing patients by name and providing tailored support based on patient needs, historical records for context, and more

The best Customer Support Tool for Healthcare: Salesforce Health Cloud#

  • Create canned responses
  • Context-rich hybrid ticket streams
  • Data security (security measures including HTTPS encryption and DDoS mitigation)
  • Easy to set up 1-1 appointments
  • Multichannel support


  • Starts at $9/agent/month

Customer Support tool to consider instead of Zendesk if you are in Education 🧑‍🎓#

The education industry has unique requirements for customer support platforms for providing support to students, teachers, and other stakeholders. When choosing a customer support platform, education institutions should consider the following factors:

  • Ability to integrate with other education tools like leave management system (LMS)
  • A community forum for teachers, students, and parents to communicate actively and engage with each other
  • Multichannel support to provide students and parents with immediate answers to pressing questions like exam dates, fees, admission procedures, scholarships, assignments, attendance, and more

The best Customer Support tool for Education industry: Zoho Desk#

  • Multichannel support
  • Share issues with other departments
  • Self-serve with FAQs
  • Community forums for students, teachers & parents
  • Intelligent automation, workflows & macros
  • Powerful integrations


  • Starts at $12/agent/month

Customer Support tool to consider instead of Zendesk if you are in Finance 🤑#

When choosing a customer support platform for the finance industry, there are several key features to consider, and here’s a quick rundown:

  • The finance industry deals with a lot of confidential data, and hence the customer support software must be compliant and secure
  • The platform should easily integrate with existing finance tools and platforms for more context and personalization
  • Automating workflows not only streamlines support operations and reduces response times but also requires the platform to offer comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities.

The best Customer Support tool for Finance Industry: Intercom#

  • Easy to set up FAQs
  • Configurable set-up
  • Self-service
  • Integrated knowledge base
  • Automated assignment rules
  • Custom bots
  • Advanced Reporting


  • Starts at $39/month

You can also check out some Intercom alternatives for the finance industry.

Customer Support tool to consider instead of Zendesk if you are in Manufacturing 🏭#

A customer support platform for the manufacturing industry should be able to integrate with existing systems, have powerful automation, manage product information, and provide robust analytics and reporting capabilities. Here are some specific features required in a Zendesk alternative for the manufacturing industry:

  • Include tight integrations with ERP and inventory management software to provide a seamless experience for customers and support agents
  • Store and manage product information, such as product specs, manuals, and more, to resolve customer queries with context and ease
  • Provides robust analytics and reporting capabilities, allowing the manufacturing organization to track metrics

The best Customer Support tool for Manufacturing: Groove#

  • Knowledge base
  • Omnichannel support
  • Robust reporting
  • Live chat
  • Ticketing
  • Integrations (Stripe, Messenger, Slack, etc.)


  • Starts at $20/user/month

Customer Support tool to consider instead of Zendesk if you are in a Non-profit 💟#

When choosing a customer support tool for your non-profit organization, consider specific features like donation management, fundraising campaign tracking, etc.

  • Integrates with a plethora of tools used by non-profit organizations, like fundraising software, event management systems, and more
  • Includes secure and compliant tools as non-profits deal with sensitive donor information

The best Customer Support tool for Non-profits: Salesforce Service Cloud#

  • Automation and workflows
  • Seamless Slack integration
  • Case management
  • Omnichannel routing
  • Remote help
  • Self-serve
  • Omnichannel support
  • Reporting & analytics


  • Starts at $25/user/month

Customer Support tool to consider instead of Zendesk if you are in Real Estate 🏢#

The real estate industry relies heavily on customer relationships, as buying and selling a property is a very elaborate, time-consuming, and complex process. Therefore, a customer support platform should handle many inquiries, provide quick and accurate responses on all channels, and allow for easy collaboration between real estate agents and customers. Here are some key features a real estate industry should look for in a customer support platform:

  • Allows seamless communication across email, phone, chat, and social media as the end-users are diverse and communicate across multiple channels.
  • Integrates with CRM data so that the agent gets a complete overview of the customer’s history and profile to provide tailor-made support based on their preferences
  • Encourages tight collaboration through chat, co-browsing, screen sharing, and more because agents and customers chat frequently

The best Customer Support tool for Real Estate: Hubspot#

  • Conversations
  • Tickets
  • Automation and Routing
  • Knowledge base
  • Omnichannel support
  • Conversational bots
  • SLAs
  • Mobile inbox


  • Starts at $20/user/month

Looking for a solution that is industry agnostic?#

DevRev is a 2-in-1 platform for Customer Support and Product Management to reduce waste, have a direct line to your customer, and build beautiful products. While there are several competitors to Zendesk available based on industry type, choosing one often requires making trade-offs between certain features. However, with Devrev, you can have it all. This powerful platform offers a comprehensive solution that addresses all your needs without sacrificing any critical features. DevRev is the only platform encompassing all the features in a customer support platform that serves the unique needs of every industry. Here’s how DevRev is industry agnostic:

  • In-App product support combined with a scalable and customizable ticketing platform and live chat that turns agents into customer engineers
  • Product-led channels to communicate with customers across emails, chat, Slack, Discord, and more
  • Bi-directional, synchronous views into real-time customer conversations across PLuG, Slack, and email
  • Snap-ins to install powerful automation or integrate with your favorite apps
  • Conversational AI that learns from your knowledge base to generate a conversational response to any customer request
  • Responses to customer queries with GPT-powered replies
  • Ticket grouping with smart clusters that find semantic similarity across customer feedback to auto-generate product insights

If you’re interested in learning more about how DevRev can help you own customer delight, go ahead and try it out!

I’m Nandhini, a content writer and storyteller with a passion for helping businesses grow. I believe that powerful stories and well-optimized content are the keys to organic growth, and I’m here to make that magic formula work for DevRev.