The 8 Best ServiceNow Competitors and Alternatives

Discussion of the top ServiceNow competitors that may be a better choice for businesses looking to manage digital workflows.

Written by: Josh Brown

Published: April 08 2020

If you've been searching for a CRM and help desk platform to streamline your organization's internal processes while improving your customer-facing initiatives, then you might know about ServiceNow.

A one-stop shop for modern businesses across industries, ServiceNow provides smart IT support solutions, internal collaborative tools, employee workflow technology, and customer relationship management functionality.

ServiceNow is powerful, versatile, and offers access to a wealth of business-boosting insights. 

From IT support and technical development to HR service delivery and customer support enhancement, this popular platform has almost every business base covered.

But while it may be an ideal solution for many, ServiceNow doesn’t suit every business.

According to a wealth of user reviews, ServiceNow isn't as intuitive as some of its alternatives or competitors, with certain functions difficult to understand or navigate. It also appears that particular aspects of the interface are clunky or challenging to customize.

There’s no denying that ServiceNow is a robust business tool. But for some small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) or business owners looking for a more ‘out of the box’ solution, it may be worth exploring viable alternatives.

Fortunately, in our digitally driven age, there are plenty of robust options.


ServiceDesk Alternatives and Competitors

To help steer your commercial success and pick the perfect tool for your business, we've put together a definitive list of ServiceNow competitors and alternatives for your reading pleasure:

  • Helpjuice
  • ConnectWise
  • Spiceworks Help Desk
  • Jira Service Desk
  • SupportBee
  • Zendesk
  • Help Scout
  • Zoho Desk


Without further ado, let’s explore each option in more detail.

Helpjuice

Naturally, we've put Helpjuice at the top of the list. We're incredibly proud of our platform (and it just makes sense), after all.

For those who don’t need everything that ServiceNow has to offer, HelpJuice boasts a specialized knowledge management solution that will enhance your content while empowering your customers with access to valuable self-service information.

As an industry-leading knowledge base expert, our slick interface and navigatable dashboards are designed to empower your organization to evolve beyond its expectations through increased access to critical information.

Offering the perfect balance between price and functionality, Helpjuice’s intelligent analytics and powerful customization options make it simple for users across the business to discover information. Not only does it improve internal cohesion, but it also increases customer engagement and, ultimately, conversions.

Here are what some of our clients and customers have to say about Helpjuice:

  • Marco from Valant: "It's so easy to customize by having direct access to the HTML and CSS files in addition to the themes/templates they provide. You can build a complex solution and integrate email support, SSO, subdomains, etc. or a very basic knowledge base."
  • David for Cartier Informatique remarked on the platform's accessibility: "Easy-to-use friendly interface. The content is indexed so fast.”

ConnectWise

A trusted business-enhancing software provider, ConnectWise offers a range of solutions from process automation to security optimization and more.

ConnectWise’s client support solution, Continuum, boasts cutting-edge features including automation and intuitive help desk features that make connecting with valuable solutions simple.

It’s a platform worth considering if you’re a tech-centric startup with a growing client or customer base.

ConnectWise Pros

ConnectWise’s tracking features are powerful and easy to navigate, and much of its interface is customizable.

The customizable nature of ConnectWise means that you can tailor all aspects of the platform to meet your specific needs, which will aid your ongoing success both internally and externally.

ConnectWise Cons

While the platform is very versatile, a common theme among users is its inconsistency in terms of platform performance.

Some users feel that the platform is somewhat dated in parts and can prove to be a little slow or unpredictable at times.


Spiceworks Help Desk

The basic version of Spiceworks is free. Considering it's not a paid service, Spiceworks offers a number of excellent Helpdesk and self-service features.

The platform's streamlined interface makes sharing knowledge and tracking internal users’ issues swift and seamless, and the platform's inclusive nature makes setting it up and integrating it into the business a reasonably straightforward experience.

This is a potentially solid option for a small business or startup venture.

Spiceworks Help Desk Pros

The fact that it’s free is a bonus. In addition to its non-existent (or small) sign-up fee, the platform’s simple, to the point nature means that mastering the platform is easy.

Plus, Spiceworks’ highly-visual nature makes accessing important information at a glance completely possible.

Spiceworks Help Desk Cons

It’s true that Spiceworks is excellent in terms of internal help desk support and it, therefore, offers good value for money; however, it does have its limitations.

If your organization is in search of a cutting-edge CRM or a more comprehensive knowledge base-centric solution, then you will hit the Spiceworks ceiling quite quickly which, in turn, will mean changing platforms again.

Jira Service Desk

A fully-functional ticketing system and service desk, Jira is a platform that provides end-to-end support for internal users as well as business partners and, of course, customers.

The platform’s service desk offers a comprehensive, interactive snapshot of all internal IT and support activities, empowering users to share insights and collaborate with ease.

Jira Service Desk is a good option for companies looking to encourage transparency and break down internal communication barriers.

Jira Service Desk Pros

One of the major plus points of Jira Service Desk is its simplicity. With seamless functions and easy-to-follow processes, getting everyone in the organization on board should be a relatively pain-free task.

Moreover, tracking and creating knowledge base content and tagging others is also fluid and easy to do. 

Jira Service Desk Cons

It’s true that Confluence, Jira’s knowledge base solution, is robust and reliable, but it does come at an additional cost.

Based on the fact that some users see a performance lag when too many tickets or issues are active on the system, you should make sure that Jira suits all of your business needs before making an investment to avoid a poor return on investment (ROI).

SupportBee

With a seamless ticketing system to enhance internal collaboration and connectivity, SupportBee offers both customer portal and knowledge base software.

In addition to its core internal features, it’s also possible to use SupportBee to create customer-facing search bar-based FAQ portals and ticket tracking options, making it a robust, versatile solution.

SupportBee is an excellent option for organizations looking to create a more collaborative culture while streamlining customer communications.

SupportBee Pros

The platform is easy to navigate and is widely acclaimed for its exceptional level of user support.

As well as its accessibility, SupportBee also facilitates a wealth of platform integrations, allowing users to consolidate insights and data from the likes of Slack, Insightly, and FlowDock, to name a few.

SupportBee Cons

While SupportBee’s user support is solid, it doesn’t offer a direct option to rate your experience and provide regular feedback for future improvements; although, rumours suggest that this is in the pipeline.

Some users have also reported issues with loading times and general platform performance, stating that the interface is either sluggish or sometimes crashes unexpectedly.

Zendesk

There's no denying it: Zendesk is one of the most respected CRMs, helpdesks, and knowledge management platforms in the industry.

For both internal and external knowledge-centric solutions, Zendesk boasts unique functionality and advanced features to suit businesses across industries.

But as acclaimed as it may be, the Zendesk platform doesn’t suit everyone. It’s certainly worth considering other options before making a firm commitment.

Zendesk Pros

Zendesk has a big reputation, and for good reason. One of the standout elements of Zendesk, aside from its all-round capabilities, is the fact that its internal desk is completely intuitive, transforming internal queries into consumer-like experiences.

Also, Zendesk’s overall platform performance is excellent, making it a reliable option for rapidly scaling organizations.

Zendesk Cons

The platform is certainly an industry leader, but its ever-growing range of advanced features can make it a little bewildering for some users or businesses in general.

That said, if you have very specific requirements or you’re a budding business, many of Zendesk’s features may be redundant, making it a poor investment.

Help Scout

Another acclaimed help desk and customer service support provider, Help Scout offers a range of valuable services under one roof.

With a strong focus on the customer experience, Help Scout’s communications-based offerings ensure that queries are dealt with in a personable, human way, rather than treating people like tickets or numbers.

Also, Help Scout provides features that empower businesses to develop consumer-facing self-service platforms such as knowledge bases or FAQ portals.

Help Scout Pros

Due to its intuitive, accessible nature, it's possible to hit the ground running with Help Scout. As such, the learning curve is steep, so people within your business will be able to use the platform to its full potential faster than some of the other solutions in the list.

Also, Help Scout is renowned for its exceptional level of end-to-end user support—a big plus-point for any CRM platform.

Help Scout Cons

Help Scout is incredibly accessible and intuitive, but in terms of functionality, it doesn't quite stack up to the likes of Helpjuice.

One of the biggest setbacks of Help Scout is the performance of its mobile app, which is fairly sluggish and doesn’t match up to its desktop offering. 

Zoho Desk

With a host of business-enhancing features in one centralized interface, Zoho Desk is a CRM and help desk platform with plenty of scope for growing businesses.

The platform's comprehensive omnichannel and process management tools not only help companies build relationships across touchpoints (from email to social media and beyond) seamlessly, but also help in terms of fostering internal efficiency.

Its robust analytics interface also offers a depth of insight that will help users to optimize their knowledge base and customer-facing initiatives significantly.

Zoho Desk Pros

Considering the level of functionality and the sheer scope of the platform compared to its pricing options, Zoho Desk offers excellent value for money. 

The platform is also fairly easy to set up and reliable in terms of performance, with glitches and slow loading times rarely reported.

Zoho Desk Cons

Some users feel that Zoho Desk’s user support is lacking and its colossal range of features can be quite overwhelming.

As such, Zoho Desk isn’t quite as intuitive as some of its competitors, making it inaccessible to those who are perhaps less technically or analytically minded.


How to Choose the Right ServiceNow Competitor

Every one of the options or alternatives in our rundown is notably different but has an individual set of strengths.

When choosing a CRM or help desk-based platform for your business, you should consider what value each feature or service will bring to your organization specifically, rather than being lured by the most sophisticated innovations.

Consider your key business aims and goals and commit to a platform that provides an immediate solution while offering the potential for future growth and evolution. 

Doing so will give you a fighting chance of making the best possible investment for your business.

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