The best help desk software solution for small business is Zendesk. With over 145,000 paid customer accounts, Zendesk is a powerful and flexible customer support platform for admins, agents, and customers alike. It’s a popular choice thanks to its wide array of useful features, including letting agents solve customer issues more efficiently, ability to streamline numerous support process to increase productivity, and automating redundant tasks to boost efficiency.
The choice is now wide and varied for help desk solutions, but this can be both a plus and a minus. The good news is anyone can easily afford powerful help desk software nowadays, even small businesses working on a tight budget. This is possible, thanks to the flexibility and scalability afforded by cloud technology. Since customer service is often the winning edge in a competitive market, small firms and start-ups can now afford to leverage the benefits of help desk software solutions even against bigger competitors.
However, with so many vendors plying their trade as the best-in-class tool, you’ll need a lot of time to separate the wheat from the chaff. 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 platforms for small businesses. With our help, you will be able to compare the important features and unique propositions from 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.
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. This is because these solutions are equipped with capabilities that determine the future of your help desk operations such as self-service for customers, personalized support, and improved productivity with agility, agent collaboration, and automated tasks. Today’s help desk software platforms are becoming smarter and more effective in automating your processes.
There are certain factors to consider when looking for the right help desk system. The key features include customer management, user interface, ticket management, collaboration, security, and integrations, among others which are benchmarks we looked at in choosing products that made it to this list of 20 best help desk software solutions for small business. 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 another popular 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.
The vendor offers a free trial that allows you to see all key features in action first. You can easily sign up for Zendesk free trial here.
Users can also see a personalized view of their queue according to conditions such as ticket status, group, and the 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 for 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.
Freshdesk is a leader in help desk software solutions for small businesses. It’s robust software that’s 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 its feature-rich solution. Its plans are great for small businesses as they are scalable to meet your 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, it has a 21-day free trial to test drive the software and experience its features firsthand without commitments.
You can easily check its features when you sign up for a Freshdesk free trial here.
An area where Freshdesk really 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.
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 stands 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 your journey as you expand your small business later on. Its Einstein AI comes handy in automating many of your repetitive processes, enabling you to finish more tasks in a shorter time and focus on the more critical aspects of your business.
If you want to check out how else this platform can be of help to your operations, you can sign up for a Salesforce Essentials free trial here.
The software also provides comprehensive activity tracking options to help administrators get visibility on all cases at hand and improve the quality of support they give to customers. It also allows users to create self-service portals for customers to utilize. For pricing, the vendor currently offers one affordable and straightforward pricing plan that can support up to 10 users.
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.
It’s easy to test these features when you sign up for a LiveAgent free trial here.
The app has an agent ranking feature that allows customers to rate your agents’ performance, which helps in ensuring the high quality of 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.
Zoho Desk is 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 help desk processes of small businesses. It’s also priced on a per-agent basis so you only pay for your number of agents. It even starts with a free plan for up to 3 agents.
You may also try out the full capabilities of premium plans when you sign up for a Zoho Desk free trial here.
Zia, an enhanced, context-driven AI, is a new Zoho Desk offering that provides a number of 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 a more efficient, stable, and reliable customer experiences.
ConnectWise Control is designed to provide fast and effective remote desk support for 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 fast, high-quality 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 you can bring your brand into 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.
Wix Answers is an all-in-one help desk platform that is packed with smart tools like 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 is 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.
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.
To check the app firsthand you can sign up for a Vision Helpdesk free trial here.
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 (CMDB).
Some of its new features include a number of 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.
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, you 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.
If you want to try the features for a closer look you can quickly do so when you sign up for a Freshservice free trial here.
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.
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.
You may sign up for a TeamSupport free trial here or request for a live demo to get to know the software’s features if it matches your workflows.
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.
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 IT infrastructures of your SMB clients, automate their systems, and resolve their problems as they emerge, which enables cost-savings and preventing them from getting worse.
You check its full feature set when you sign up for an Atera free trial here.
With Atera, you can have the option of creating tickets in a variety of ways, for your IT support team and for 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.
xSellco Helpdesk is built for e-commerce businesses that centralize all your customer queries from various channels in a single, connected platform. Since it’s purpose-built for online sellers, it has the tools you need to manage tickets and resolve issues quickly so you can immediately revert to selling. It empowers your 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 xSellco Helpdesk is scalable as they charge per support ticket no matter the number of users. Plans start with up to 500 monthly support tickets. The software also integrates with a wide array of social channels, online stores, and marketplaces so you can easily maximize the software’s capabilities.
If you want to try its features at no cost you can sign up for a xSellco Helpdesk free trial here.
Users can now log in faster into their xSellco accounts using either Twitter or Facebook, instead of first completing the registration form. This is applicable for both existing and new xSellco users. The platform also announced several new integrations, including with Gmail, Skubana, and Veeqo.
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, code-less 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, knowledge base, 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.
HelpCrunch is an intelligent and innovative customer communication platform. It is designed to convert potential customers into actual and loyal ones, boost sales, and enhance customer retention using a robust integrated tool that includes email automation, ticketing, auto messages, in-app messenger, and advanced live chat.
This platform provides comprehensive management of your customer journey starting from transforming potential clients up to keeping them as devoted customers. HelpCrunch is designed to help businesses conduct both mobile and online transactions for enhancing sales and expanding market shares through quality customer relationships.
Simply sign up for a HelpCrunch free trial here to access its range of features now.
By seamlessly integrating your customer service with its help desk, email automation, and live chat, HelpCrunch allows you to take advantage of your various customer contact points. Transitioning from one channel to another is simplified and messages are synchronized using a single window.
While responding via chat, you can continue the conversation using email straight from the chat window, and continue engaging your customer via social media with the same conversation sustained. With HelpCrunch, your leads, contacts, and exchanges are without limits as it offers a simple scalable pricing scheme to suit your actual business needs.
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 and 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. This includes 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.
You can try all its features now when you sign up for a free 21-day trial of JitBit Helpdesk here.
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 categoryID.
ProProfs Help Desk is a cloud-based help desk platform designed for quicker customer issue resolution and smooth support team collaboration. This customer support solution uses an efficient combination of features that include live chat, knowledge base, and shared inboxes to make your customers highly engaged and notably satisfied.
Its line-up of intelligent collaboration tools, customer service insights, ProProfs Chat, and ProProfs Knowledge Base are meant to streamline help desk ticketing, enhance customer service, and generate critical customer service insights. Overall, ProProfs Help Desk aims to help customer support teams to establish a capable, customized customer service approach using a holistic customer perspective.
You can sign up for a ProProfs Help Desk free trial here to test drive the features yourself.
The platform is built with a robust customer analytics functionality to make an impartial rating of each agent and each customer transaction. It is designed with one, comprehensive system to allows simple and fast training, education, and support to both help desk agents and customers. Among others, ProProfs Help Desk features a live chat for quick ticket resolution, a knowledge base that helps cut the volume of tickets by up to 80%, and intelligent collaboration tools to streamline help desk ticketing.
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 in a certain number of days.
The software lets you utilize multiple channels for support whether that’s from your website, email, and social media sites, among others. While not as robust as 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 according to your needs and they’re priced based on the number of your agents.
You can also sign up for a Cayzu free trial here so you get to check if the features match your needs.
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.
Deskun is a multi-channel, Gmail-based help desk platform that allows a business to provide excellent customer support and communication through intuitive email and chat tools. Integrating all viable Gmail communication channels, your agents can introduce new functionalities to Gmail, such as creating email templates and sending messages with track, snooze, or delay functions.
Your agents can utilize any single or combined communication channels—with popular social messenger apps such as Viber, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter—into Gmail. By integrating various help desk approaches inside Gmail, providing customer support becomes quicker, simpler, and more efficient for businesses, while at the same time overseeing support staff and activities. It also provides a shared mailbox feature to allow internal communication between your teams smooth and unrestricted.
A recent Deskun update includes a number of enhancements such as the new WhatsApp messenger support and a much-improved control panel interface. For messages inside tickets, users can now schedule emails. Deskun’s chat widget now has a file upload functionality.
Kayako is a cloud-based help desk software using unified customer service to provide better case resolution efficiency. This comprehensive suite of help desk tools features a systematically shared inbox that makes customer solutions user-friendly and cost-effective and a live chat that is fast and simple to adapt to your business processes.
This completely integrated help desk platform allows businesses large and small to offer excellent multi-language, multi-channel customer service. Designed to make customer support better and more personal, Kayako’s features include a robust self-service portal, real-time messaging for help centers, live chat, and support ticketing with email integration.
Some of its latest features include unified conversations, automation, social support, and help center editing. Instead of acting based primarily on tickets, Kayako allows you to have productive, deeper conversations with your customers across various channels. You can also create a wide array of automation to allow greater efficiency using both event-based triggers and time-based monitors. You can now connect Kayako to both your Twitter and Facebook accounts, which helps increase your handling capacity for support requests sent via social media. You can also personalize your Help Center CSS and HTML for complete control of its appearance and for other personal preferences.
Help Scout is an easy-to-use help desk and customer support solution for freelancers and small businesses. It personalizes customer interactions with ticket numbers, robo-emails, and customer portals. The platform unifies multiple mailboxes and manages several products or brands across departments. It also has collaboration features such as collision detection, tagging, saved replies and notes to ensure everyone stays on the same page.
While it focuses on personalizing interactions, it doesn’t mean all tasks have to be done manually. Help Scout has automation for repetitive tasks to save time and be more efficient with your workflows such as sending bulk replies and creating custom folders. It integrates live chat, voicemails and phone calls for customers to reach out to your customer support easily. You may try out the software with its 15-day free trial to see its capabilities.
A notable recent Help Scout enhancement is its live chat called Beacon, which is designed to initiate self-help among customers by giving them ready access to the knowledge base instead of seeking help immediately. Beacon is integrated into Help Scout Mailbox, so only a single click is needed to quickly access it. The vendor also introduced a new company plan for businesses with 25 or more users, featuring unlimited users, mailboxes, Docs sites, etc. for an affordable price.
Most of the leading platforms presented above epitomize what an ideal help desk solution should be, which should have features that include easy setup, positive customer experience, intuitive interface for both agents and customers, custom reports, wide integrations, mobile apps, multi-channel support, sufficient knowledge base, automated help ticket management and brand-friendly customization.
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 in this. 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 selecting the appropriate 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 here.
You may also read this article on what is the purpose of help desk in a business if you need to learn the fundamentals of help desk software.
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