The best help desk software solution for small business is Zendesk. It is a powerful and flexible customer support platform with features that let agents solve customer issues more efficiently, streamline numerous support processes to increase productivity, and automate redundant tasks to boost efficiency.
Since customer service is often the winning edge in a competitive market, small firms and startups can now leverage the benefits of affordable help desk software solutions even against bigger competitors.
However, what combination of features should you consider, and what terms to keep in mind? Which products are worth checking out first? To simplify your research, we’ve prepared this summary of the leading help desk software for small businesses. This will help you compare the important features and unique propositions of each popular vendor and quickly find one that will match your business requirements.
Many businesses tend to think they provide excellent customer service, but one study suggests the exact opposite: most customers believe they receive poor service. Companies that had closed this customer service gap were able to succeed and win more loyal customers.
Source: Bain CustomerLed Growth Diagnostic QuestionnaireDesigned by
Making substantial investments to enhance customer experience, such as the use of help desk systems to improve customer support quality, is gaining ground among businesses.
There are certain factors to consider when looking for the right help desk system. The key features to look out for include customer management, user interface, ticket management, collaboration, security, and integrations, among others.
You may also read this in-depth guide on what help desk software is if you need a refresher or want to know the fundamentals of this software category.
Zendesk is a go-to help desk solution with a suite of products that work together to help you leverage the quality of your customer support. Its intuitive interface and responsive design allow you to easily deploy the system in your workflows. It supports email, live chat, social media, phone, and SMS. It also allows for effective collaboration, letting your agents solve issues efficiently and be more productive.
There’s a wide range of processes you can streamline with the software. For instance, if you have frequent customer inquiries that are constantly recurring, your agents can create standard replies by developing their own macros.
Users can also see a personalized view of their queue according to conditions such as ticket status, group, and assignee. It also enables empowers your customers and agents to utilize available resources for self-service such as knowledge base, customer portal, help center, and online community.
Zendesk has various plans available to small businesses like yours to choose from. You may choose from products such as a knowledge base, call center, and live chat that are available for free and affordable premium plans.
Detailed Zendesk Review
Freshdesk is a leading help desk software solution for small businesses. Its robust software is packed with vital and advanced features for your customer support service at a cost-effective, scalable price. Some of its key features include ticketing, self-service, automation, customization, collaboration, reporting and analytics, and a multichannel helpdesk.
The product is intuitive and easy to use. Hence, you and your help desk team won’t have to spend much time learning how to navigate around the platform, and you can immediately utilize the solution. Its plans are great for small businesses as they are scalable to meet business demands as it grows. It even offers a free plan for an unlimited number of agents with basic customer support features. To know if it fits your requirements, you can sign up for a 21-day free trial to test drive the software and experience its features firsthand without commitment.
An area where Freshdesk excels is its dashboards. It gives you complete visibility and access to your contacts, tickets, reports, and forums, among others. Unresolved, unassigned, due, on hold, and open tickets are easily visible from the dashboard so you can ensure your team won’t overlook any tickets and requests. All conversations are tracked in a single place, and all support-related communications are centralized so your team can resolve issues together and increase productivity.
It now has a sandbox that generates a testing venue to allow admins to securely try new settings and functionalities within the app without affecting any customer or agent. The new Freshdesk audit log keeps you informed about what’s happening in your support desk and allows you to easily keep track of important changes in the desk. It also has a social signals feature, which uses AI that scours the internet searching for relevant tweets for your support team, as well as a “to-do” list to remind you and your team of customer call-backs and other important tasks.
Detailed Freshdesk Review
Salesforce Essentials is Salesforce’s answer to every small business’ CRM, sales, and customer support concerns. This software offers a plethora of functionalities for helping you manage everything from tracking your sales pipeline to routing inquiries. It consolidates service requests from multiple channels in one convenient location so you can sort, queue, and accommodate them more efficiently. Moreover, it has great contact management tools that will help you perform customer support operations in line with your sales goals.
What makes Salesforce Essentials really stand out is its simplicity. Setting it up is a straightforward process as you can use it straight out-of-the-box, while learning to use it is also easy, thanks to its feature called Trailhead—an online learning environment and interactive tutorial program. This app is also scalable, making it an ideal solution to accompany you on your journey as you expand your small business later on. Its Einstein AI comes in handy in automating many of your repetitive processes, enabling you to finish more tasks in a shorter time and focus on more critical aspects of your business.
The software also provides comprehensive activity tracking options to help administrators get visibility over all cases at hand and improve the quality of support they give to customers. It also allows users to create self-service portals for them to utilize. For pricing, the vendor currently offers one affordable and straightforward plan that can support up to 10 users.
Detailed Salesforce Essentials Review
LiveAgent is a help desk solution built for small businesses. It’s equipped with essential solutions, such as ticketing, live chat, phone, social, and support portal. It transforms all your communications into tickets for a more organized and streamlined process of managing your customer support requests. The main products of LiveAgent are packed with tools and features that help you sort and keep up with your customer requests from various channels.
It is available in three SMB-friendly plans that are scalable according to the type of support you want to use, starting from basic tickets and live chat to all-inclusive, full-featured packages. Aside from the cloud-based deployment, you can also purchase the downloadable license for a one-time fee and install it on your server. These options give you access to its robust ticket distribution processes where you collect the information from your customers and route it to the right support representatives.
The app has an agent ranking feature that allows customers to rate your agents’ performance, which helps in ensuring high-quality customer support. It is also completely compatible with Emojis, which users can utilize for chats and in KB publications. LiveAgent’s new merge ticket functionality provides the capability to combine multiple tickets that share similar issues into a single ticket, which helps streamline actions and resolve issues faster.
Detailed LiveAgent Review
Zoho Desk is a context-aware help desk system that provides solutions for customers, agents, and managers. Customers get a timely response in an accessible channel. Agents have the right tools to increase productivity and provide quality support. Managers receive data-driven information for making informed decisions. Additionally, it automates redundant tasks so your team can focus on high-priority tasks.
It crunches performance metrics effectively to help you identify patterns and trends in your team. This helps you develop strategic improvements for better performance. With key features, including a multi-brand help center, multi-channel support, contract management, multi-department management, and role-based control, among others, this app is a robust solution for the help desk processes of small businesses. It’s also priced on a per-agent basis. It even starts with a free plan for up to 3 agents.
Zia, an enhanced, context-driven AI, is a new Zoho Desk offering that provides several critical support functions like anomaly recognition and sentiment evaluation. Zia also works in tandem with ASAP, Zoho Desk’s self-service tool, by guiding customers as they search for solutions. Zoho also recently launched a new process management tool called Blueprint to help your agents easily create processes to allow for more efficient, stable, and reliable customer experiences.
Detailed Zoho Desk Review
Wix Answers is an all-in-one help desk platform that is packed with smart tools like a multi-channel ticketing system, built-in call center, knowledge base, and other features that you need to provide efficient and timely customer support, all for free. Because all its functionalities are already integrated within the industry-leading Wix infrastructure, you can be sure that you’ll be able to deploy the correct and timely help desk solution that you need, and even much more.
Just like when building a Wix website, setting up your own Wix Answers help desk is easy and can be completed in a few minutes, even for non-tech users. Once you’ve chosen a template, you need to customize its features to match your brand, integrate the needed articles, publish it, and you have an elegant and functional help desk of your own, without costing you a dime.
Wix Answers’ knowledge base tool allows you to readily build and manage guides, product information, FAQs, and other library assets. Its multi-channel support ticket system enables you to easily handle customer concerns and achieve quick issue resolutions. You can even embed a widget in any area within your help desk portal so that your customers can self-serve themselves when searching for answers to their questions at their own convenience.
Wix Answers is also very flexible and scalable to suit your specific needs. It recently added the capability for help desk agents and support staff to open tickets on behalf of their clients. This innovative feature allows your team to assume a more proactive role in resolving actual issues that have emerged even when your customers have not communicated them directly to you and your team. Being able to solve an issue before it affects your customers does not only help you reduce the number of tickets, it also helps you increase customer satisfaction.
Detailed Wix Answers Review
Freshservice is a service desk built for IT support. Teams can easily use the system as its UI is intuitive and modern. Hence, minimal training is required. It is also customizable to the needs of IT and non-IT support. The multi-channel support automates tasks and handles support issues raised from various channels such as email, phone, chat, in-person, or self-service portals. It’s packed with features, such as incident management, asset management, service catalog, reporting, integrations, and gamification.
For support staff on the road, they can provide support with its mobile service desk app for Android and iOS devices. The plans for Freshservice are suitable for small businesses as it’s available for small and growing teams. You may even use its free plan if you have up to 3 agents and 100 end users.
Thanks to recent enhancements, users can now use APIs to create, list, view, delete, and update locations. In its project management function, all-time entries will now be monitored in the task activities of a project. In asset management, group-level access controls can now be performed. For instance, asset management can allocate assets to groups, while agents who are part of the corresponding group are the only ones with the permission to view or change these assets. Support for several new regions in the AWS (Amazon Web Services) integration is now possible, including for Seoul, Ohio, Mumbai, Beijing, and Ningxia.
Detailed Freshservice Review
Atera is an easy-to-use, all-in-one help desk suite designed to help IT professionals and managed service providers address their remote monitoring and management and professional services automation needs. Along with its intuitive ticketing, billing, and reporting functionalities, Atera enables you to closely collaborate with your clients and take care of their concerns without any difficulty.
As a complete IT management platform, you can have total control over the entire gamut of your business. Atera allows you to remotely manage and monitor the IT infrastructures of your SMB clients, automate their systems, and resolve their problems as they emerge, which enables cost-savings and prevents them from getting worse.
With Atera, you can have the option of creating tickets in a variety of ways, for your IT support team and your clients. Each ticket is instantly synced between your Atera platform and your client’s Customer Portal, which guarantees real-time communication. The Customer Portal also features a knowledge base which supports self-service among your clients, helps further hasten issue resolution, enhance your IT team’s expertise, and improve your clients’ user experience.
Detailed Atera Review
HubSpot Service Hub provides the tools necessary for a more organized, efficient, and frictionless customer service. It is a complete business suite that offers a built-in automation and reporting feature, allowing you to turn customer chat and emails into tickets. The software lets you organize, prioritize, track, and resolve your tickets.
With powerful customer service tools, HubSpot Service Hub helps you connect with your prospects and turn them into loyal customers. One particularly handy feature is the conversations inbox, which turns your email inboxes, live chat, forms, and social media conversations into tickets and places them in one universal inbox.
ServiceHub also comes with powerful automation tools for ticket routing, escalation, and task creation. Plus, automated feedback responses give you a head start on your marketing strategies. You can also use the live chat function for contextual and personalized conversations with your customers.
As part of the HubSpot suite, Service Hub works well with the other HubSpot tools–Marketing Hub and Sales Hub. Together, they make up the whole HubSpot CRM system, which gives you complete functionalities to boost customer satisfaction and improve business efficiency.
Detailed HubSpot Service Hub Review
Jira Service Desk is built for B2C and/or tech companies with a significant IT backbone. It centralizes all your customer queries, whether internally or externally, from various channels in a single, connected platform. Since it’s purpose-built for IT departments, it has the tools you need to manage tickets and resolve issues quickly. It also empowers your IT team to work collaboratively by simplifying how you equally spread the load and assign queries to the right agent who can solve that specific type of issue. It also expedites response time with pre-built templates and snippets where you can personalize replies in a few clicks.
The pricing scheme of Jira Service Desk is scalable as they charge monthly per agent, up to 15 agents. Plans start with up to a completely free plan for up to 3 agents, but if you want to upgrade, they have three paid plans: Standard ($20 per user monthly), Premium ($40 per user monthly), and a quote-based plan for teams with over a hundred users. The first two support up to 15 users.
The software also integrates with a wide array of third-party apps on the Atlassian marketplace. It’s also designed on the Jira platform, allowing it to work seamlessly with other Jira products.
Detailed Jira Service Desk Review
JitBit Helpdesk is a software that’s offered in a hosted version and an on-premise version for small and growing businesses. It is quick to set up so you can immediately start processing support tickets, especially in the cloud-hosted version. The ticketing system has an IFTTT (if this then that) engine that lets you automate tasks with Automation Rules. These include enabling you to send automatic replies, setting due dates, assigning tickets to technicians, and sending HTTP requests to third-party servers. All this saves time for your team to focus on providing quality customer support.
It also has a team mailbox for collaboration, canned responses and knowledge base, and integrations. JitBit Helpdesk offers plans for its two implementation models that cater to freelancers, startups, and small businesses, which are priced on the total amount of monthly payments, not priced per user. It’s also scalable as it supports the needs of large companies and enterprises.
Some of its recently added features include KB reporting, various API methods, mobile device login form, enhanced live chat and widget, assets import from CSV, manager-level option for priority modification, various translation improvements, support for out-of-process sessions (for on-premise version), and support for CSV import numeric category ID.
Detailed JitBit HelpDesk Review
SysAid is a help desk and IT service management solution that combines asset management, automation, and business intelligence in one platform. It offers all the essential tools you’ll need to manage your IT support–ticket management, chat system, industry benchmarking, IT asset management, and more. It also has a self-service portal where end users can submit tickets, check IT announcements, request services, and access the knowledge base by themselves.
Another notable feature is Sysaid’s automation feature. With it, manual and repetitive tasks are automated, reducing the amount of workload of your service desk agents and allowing them to focus on more productive tasks.
Moreover, Sysaid lets you customize incident forms for more detailed reports. For instance, you can detail to your IT team the urgency of the issue. For common issues, you can use a pre-populated service record template or load it depending on the category indicated in the ticket.
Detailed SysAid Review
RingCentral Engage Digital aggregates all your email, social media, and website interaction in one unified customer engagement platform. In one user-friendly interface, your agents can communicate with your customers via team messaging, voice calls, social media, or email.
Moreover, EngageBay offers a contact center solution that lets you route inbound calls to the right agent. Real-time collaboration with cloud technology allows the system to automatically send every caller’s information to the agent’s desk. This way, you can provide fast and accurate answers to customer queries.
Also, integrations with most-used business systems help you deliver better customer support. With EngageBay’s CRM integrations and open APIs, you can customize and optimize your workflows. You can also connect your contact center with a customized system tailoring to your unique business needs.
Other useful features include analytics, easy-to-use dashboards, video conferencing, file sharing, and task management.
Detailed RingCentral Engage Digital Review
Paldesk is an omnichannel communication platform where you can talk and connect with customers and web visitors in real-time. Whether it’s via chat, email, or third-party apps like Messenger and Telegram, customers can easily reach you, and you can respond right away from a single dashboard.
Paldesk has customizing tools that allow you to tinker with the look and feel of your widgets. You can modify their color and place them in a strategic location on your website. Also, you can set up a pre-chat question that appears as customers open the chat window. Paldesk also allows you to install more than one widget on your website.
Detailed Paldesk Review
Groove is an integrated customer support platform that helps you deliver an outstanding customer experience. It provides all the essential tools for team management and customer service, such as shared inboxes, intuitive communication dashboards, collaboration tools, and reporting features. The application is also accessible via mobile devices, so you can always connect with your customers on the go.
Moreover, Groove provides automation tools to simplify your processes. You can easily set up rules that define your workflow. For instance, you can create a rule that automatically routes you to a new conversation, or you can add tags to each conversation, making it easier for you to navigate through customer queries.
Groove also functions as a collaboration platform, providing the essential tool that you need to manage your team efficiently. It has a centralized system that gives your team access to the support history of each customer. Groove also allows you to mark conversations as opened, snoozed, or closed and assign them to specific team members.
Detailed Groove Review
Built for B2Bs, TeamSupport is a customer-focused help desk system. Its primary features include customer management, ticket management, products and inventory, collaborative, integrations, customer self-service portal, and reporting and analytics. The software integrates with your internal applications seamlessly, which helps improve the overall quality of your support service and expedite response times. It also gives you a collaborative view of your customer’s issues.
The platform provides visibility of customer details and contact tickets to ensure your agents won’t overlook any issue. Equipped with the vital features for help desk operations, Team Support is a reliable choice for small businesses. Its subscriptions are paid based on your number of agents. This already includes features for assigning, tracking, and managing customer support requests.
TeamSupport had recently launched several robust new business intelligence features, such as its new advanced reporting, user interface, and calculation functionalities. These program improvements enable help desk teams to acquire more critical customer insights in actual time.
Detailed TeamSupport Review
Cayzu is a help desk portal that lets you easily manage all your support inquiries. Using automation, it streamlines your workflows such as redirecting emails with specific subject or descriptions to the right agent and labeling it with high priority—for instance, billing. It also ensures all tickets are active by automatically following up customers who don’t reply to your email and closing the ticket if there’s still no response within a certain number of days.
The software lets you utilize multiple channels for support, whether from your website, email, and social media sites, among others. While not as robust as the other products mentioned, it’s among the most affordable products in the niche that contains the necessary features for a small business’ virtual helpdesk. It has five plans packed with different features that fit your needs, and they’re priced based on the number of your agents.
Recently, Cayzu has launched a new agent ticket screen design; main ticket grid’s merging functionality, new internal notes for improved visibility, visualization enhancements for better merging, extended agent summary and SLA reports, new timesheet export function through the API, and breadcrumbs in end-user websites.
Detailed Cayzu Review
For businesses that need an IT help desk software, ManageEngine Service Desk is a robust choice. It’s equipped with key features such as integrations with IT management apps, ITSM workflows, automation, reporting capabilities, codeless customization, and in the cloud or on-premise implementation models. It also has push notifications and ticket progress tracking to ensure you’re on top of your tickets.
It’s available in flexible plans where you can start from its Standard plan for the help desk module only and upgrade as soon as you need to scale. This already includes incident management, self-service portal, knowledgebase, multi-site support, SLA management, and help desk reports. Known for having an easy-to-use interface, you can immediately get the software up and running and start using its features.
Recent app enhancements include ManageEngine’s new customizable user interface, which provides greater control to users, project templates for faster and more efficient creation of new project docs, more service request fields, custom schedules, user profile images, and a host of integrations with several online and custom apps.
Detailed ManageEngine ServiceDesk Review
ConnectWise Control is designed to provide fast and effective remote desk support to today’s technical customer support teams. This help desk app enables technical support staff to become more efficient using its remote support functionalities, especially the capability for better access to manage equipment, to share information, and to repair computers and other devices. As certified experts in their field, they can also use ConnectWise Control for preparing technical presentations for online meetings and for conducting web-based seminars.
A part of the popular ConnectWise business suite, this smart help desk tool enables small businesses to provide proactive customer service, as well as guarantee seamless collaboration between technicians and agents. ConnectWise Control is fast, dependable, efficient, and affordable. With its low price, it includes almost similar features that high-grade, complex help desk systems typically offer.
ConnectWise Control is also highly customizable so that you can bring your brand to the forefront of your remote support activities. You can also change many key components of its user interface, from the language used in your website, to icons and logos. ConnectWise Control works perfectly with a partner app, ConnectWise Automate, and offers flexible pricing schemes designed to suit customer requirements.
Detailed ConnectWise Control Review
Vision Helpdesk is a full-suite help desk solution for businesses, big and small. This multi-awarded help desk platform uses an integrated solution of advanced tools for providing quality customer support. From offering sophisticated process improvement and progress monitoring assistance to top-notch customer support services, Vision Helpdesk can be the help desk solution that you need to help your business grow and expand its market reach.
The Vision Helpdesk approach, which seeks to make customer support a simple and efficient process, centers on its three core components, namely, service desk tool, satellite help desk, and help desk application. Its help desk software, which is a multi-channel ticket management tool, enables your agents to accept, handle, and act upon service requests or incidents.
Meanwhile, its satellite help desk app supports both the management of IT and customer support desks for a number of products, services, brands, and business organizations all under a single channel. PINKVerify Certified ITIL/ITSM Compliant, Vision Helpdesk’s service desk app is rich in features such as release management, change management, service catalog, knowledgeable management, problem management, incident management, asset management, and configuration management database.
Some of its new features include some changes in its design architecture, such as a totally-responsive, mobile-optimized display and features, smarter design for better user experience and fewer clicks, enhanced speed, PINK Verified for change management, problem management, and incident management, several security improvements, and GDPR compliance.
Detailed Vision Helpdesk Review
Most of the leading platforms presented here epitomize what an ideal help desk solution should be–features that include easy setup, positive customer experience, intuitive interface for both agents and customers, custom reports, deep integrations, mobile apps, multi-channel support, sufficient knowledge base, automated help ticket management, and brand-friendly customization. You can also lookup help desk ticketing system comparisons to see which ones would work best for you.
We encourage you to try the top choices, but of course, this doesn’t mean you forget the rest of the help desk software products included on the list. There will always be a software solution that’s not only suitable for your business but offers functionalities that can further enhance your operations and can truly support expansion and customer loyalty. This is why it is highly recommended that before you select and buy that help desk solution for your business, you must follow several best practices when choosing a platform. These include:
Ultimately, a comprehensive business evaluation is needed to help you determine the issues your small business is facing and what part of the customer support processes you want to enhance or fill in the gap. Again, you can easily check the robust features of today’s best help desk app, for instance, when you sign up for Zendesk free trial.
You may also read this article on what the purpose of help desk in a business is if you need to learn the fundamentals of help desk software.
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