The 10 Best Help Desk Software for Small Business

Ludovic Armand
by Ludovic Armand

As a small business owner, you know that excellent customer support is essential for customer satisfaction and success in today's competitive business environment.

Help desk software

However, with limited resources and personnel, managing many customer inquiries and support requests at the same time can quickly become overwhelming.

That’s where a help desk software can be a real asset. The tool that can help you master your support game.

In this guide, we'll help you choose the best customer service software for your needs and by giving you a list of the best software on the market today.

The 10 Best Help Desk Software for Small Business

We reviewed the best solutions with a focus on important characteristics including scalability, pricing, integrations, and ease of use.

1. Missive

Best for companies that want one software for all communications

Instagram DMs in Missive

While Missive might not be the typical help desk, it’s a wonderful tool for companies with limited resources. It provides great features like shared inboxes, live chat, rules, multiple communication channels, shared labels, flexible email setup, canned responses, and a wide range of  integrations with other tools like CRMs.

Missive also gives you the ability to assign conversations to a whole team, a specific person, or multiple people. With rules, you can decide how support conversations are routed to each team member.

Unlike other solutions on the list, Missive isn’t ticket based. It works like a regular email client would. This makes it easier to be used for more than customer service, it is also a Team Inbox and team collaboration tool, enabling all your teams to work together and collaborate on almost any communication they receive.


Missive pricing is one of the most affordable on the list. However, small business budget-friendly plans don’t mean that you’ll miss out on features and quality.

Free Starter Productive Business
$0 / month $18 / month per user $30 / month per user $45 / month per user

2. Help Scout

Best for companies using email primarily and in need of knowledge base

Help Scout UI for customer support

Help Scout is an email-based help desk that also offers some email management software functionalities. It can help you simplify your communications and manage your client service operations.

Help Scout offers features like a knowledge base (self-service portal), ticketing system, and live chat. It also offers integrations with external tools, shared inboxes, and rules.

Just like Missive, Help Scout has a shared inbox, which allows your team to manage shared emails, assign co-members to conversations, chat with teammates, and tag conversations for easy organization. The platform also includes live chat support.

Overall, Help Scout provides companies with a complete solution for their customer service needs.


Help Scout pricing starts at $25 per month per user for their basic plan. They also offer a free 15-day trial.

Standard Plus Pro
$25 / month per user $50 / month per user Pricing information is not available

3. Helpwise

Best for companies that need to integrate a Twillio number

SMS shared inbox in Helpwise

Helpwise is a user-friendly help desk aiming at simplifying customer service email management for small businesses. It offers features like shared inboxes, email templates, notes, rules, and assignments to make email collaboration easier and improve customer support.

Similar to Missive, Helpwise provides a shared inbox platform that allows teams to collaborate on SMS, social media, and live chat accounts. It also offers functionalities like assigning team members to conversations, tagging, and internal chatting for better communication.

With Helpwise, you can manage support requests, prioritize them, and respond to them in a timely manner.

In summary, Helpwise is a good helpdesk solution that combines shared inboxes, email management, and live chat in one place, making it a great option for small businesses to provide customer service.


Helpwise pricing starts at $15 per month per user for their standard plan. They also a free 7-day trial.

Standard Premium Advanced Enterprise
$15 / month per user $25 / month per user $50 / month per user Pricing information is not available

4. Zendesk

Best for companies that are using Zendesk CRM

Zendesk help desk software

Zendesk is a popular tool used by businesses to provide customer service. It's a cloud-based solution that can help your small business efficiently manage and resolve customer inquiries and support tickets across different channels.

It offers features like ticketing, a knowledge base, live chat, and reporting. Zendesk makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to interact with customers and deliver great support. Plus, it integrates nicely with their CRM to seamlessly manage customers across their whole journey.

Overall, Zendesk is a good support platform that offers businesses everything they need to provide customer service.


Zendesk pricing is for an annual plan billed on a monthly basis. They also offer a free 14-day trial.

Support Team Support Professional Support Enterprise
$19 / month per user $49 / month per user $99 / month per user

5. Front

Best for companies looking for an alternative to Missive

Shared inbox in Front

Front is similar to Missive in the sense that it’s a platform that helps teams manage shared email aliases, SMS, social media, and live chat all in one place.

While it’s not a help desk platform, it centralizes customer requests in one place. Front also provides automation capabilities like rules to make everything run smoothly. It is a good solution for businesses looking to efficiently manage their customer support operations.

Front also offers advanced features like CRM and analytics to help you go deeper in metrics. However, as we’ll see below, those features come with a hefty price tag.


Front pricing is for an annual plan billed on a monthly basis and starts at $19 per month per user for their most basic plan.

Starter Growth Scale Premier
$19 / month per user $49 / month per user $99 / month per user $229 / month per user

6. Gmelius

Best for companies that want to keep using Gmail

Gmelius help desk software

Gmelius is a helpdesk platform that transforms email into a collaborative and efficient tool for customer support. This Gmail add-on offers features like shared inboxes, team collaboration, and workflow automation.

Gmelius makes managing customer inquiries and tickets easier for your team if you’re already using Gmail. Since it adds itself on top of the Google email client, it has an intuitive interface that will help your team resolve customer issues in a timely manner.

Gmelius also offers project management capabilities. It also comes with features like chats with your coworkers in an email thread, adding labels, and assigning team members to an email.

On the downside, Gmelius only support emails as a communication channel and is only an option for Gmail users.


Gmelius pricing starts at $15 per month for 10 users on a pay-per-usage plan. They also offer a free 7-day trial.

Flex (Pay for what you use) Growth Pro
$15 / month $29 / month per user $45 / month per user

7. Hiver

Best for campanies looking for an alternative to Gmelius

Hiver shared inbox in Gmail

Hiver is a help desk add-on for your Gmail account. It helps you assign emails to team members, set up reminders, track email threads, and tag emails to keep things organized and efficient.

Some key features of Hiver include shared inbox management, email delegation and assignment, email notes and comments, and email templates for standardized responses. Hiver also offers real-time collaboration features such as internal chat, making it easy for teams to work together on shared emails and tasks.

Hiver makes it easy for teams to manage their help desk operations and improve customer support processes, however it only supports emails and live chat as communication channels. You'll also need to be a Gmail user to take advantage of Hiver.


Hiver pricing starts at $19 per month per user for 2 shared email inboxes. They also offer a free 7-day trial.

Lite Pro Elite
$19 / month per user $49 / month per user $69 / month per user

8. Groove

Best for companies looking for a cheaper alternative to Help Scout

Groove help desk software

Groove offers a unified inbox for managing your customer communications in one place. It provides features like ticketing, knowledge base, email automation, and reporting improving your customer support processes.

Groove also offers integrations with popular tools, so you can incorporate it into your existing workflow.

Groove is similar to Missive since it is built as an email client and works in the same fashion. It's designed to help businesses deliver exceptional customer service and support through efficient and organized communication management.

You can also assign the conversation to a team member, leave notes in a conversation and mention someone in the conversation just like Missive.


Groove pricing starts at $25 per month per user for one mailbox. They also offer a free 30-day free trial.

Starter Plus Pro
$25 / month per user $50 / month per user $80 / month per user

9. Freshdesk

Best for companies using the Freshworks suite

Freshdesk help desk software

Freshdesk is a help desk software that helps small businesses manage customer interactions across multiple channels such as email, phone, chat, and social media.

Some of its key features include multichannel support, automation, and collaboration options for team members to work together on resolving support tickets.

With Freshdesk, businesses can improve their support operations, save time with automation, and provide a great experience for their customers.

Unlike Missive, which has a more “human” approach to support requests, Freshdesk uses a ticketing system for customer inquiries. It also offers additional features such as a support desk, contact center, and customer feedback management.


Freshdesk offers a free option with basic features, and paid plans starting at $18 per person per month, which increase based on the number of agents and features needed. However, to access live chat functionality, a subscription to their Freshchat tool may be required.

Free Growth Pro Enterprise
$0 / month $18 / month per user $59 / month per user $95 / month per user

10. Crisp

Best for companies looking for real-time shared browsing

Crisp help desk software

Crisp is a messaging platform that can be used as a help desk. It provides businesses with features to improve their communications with customers. These features include shared inbox, live chat, CRM, and email marketing campaigns. While Crisp does offer a free plan, its features are limited and do not include support for emails or social media.

Crisp's paid plans unlock advanced features and functionalities that can help your customer service team when interacting with customers, improve team collaboration, and improve customer engagement.


Crisp offers a free plan with basic features, and paid plans starting at $25 per person per month.

Free Pro Unlimited
$0 / month $25 / month per workspace $95 / month per workspace

What Is Help Desk Management Software?

A help desk software is a specialized tool that helps you organize, manage and respond to customer requests. It makes it easy to receive, track, prioritize, and resolve customer requests and issues by assigning anyone in your team to a specific inquiry.

Help desk software typically includes features such as customer request management, automation, and integration with other tools and communication channels such as email, chat, and social media.

Some help desk management software can also be used to provide self-service options for customers, such as a knowledge base or live chat widget.

Why Do Small Businesses Need a Help Desk Software?

Small businesses often face unique challenges when it comes to managing customer support. Limited resources, small teams, and high customer expectations can make it difficult to provide efficient and effective support. 

Considering that nearly 33% of customers consider switching brand after only one bad interaction with customer service, it's more important than ever to provide good support.

That's where help desk software can come to the rescue!

Using help desk software can help centralize all customer support in one place, making your entire support team more efficient.

Benefits of Using Help Desk Software for Small Businesses

Here are some reasons why it can be beneficial for your business:

  • Centralized communication: Help desk software provides a single platform to manage all customer requests in one place, making it easier to streamline your customer interactions and respond promptly to important requests.
  • Improved productivity: Some help desk software comes with automation features that can handle tasks such as assignment and categorization, saving you and your team time and allowing you to handle a higher volume of requests more efficiently.
  • Improved customer experience: With features like automated responses and live chat, help desk software enables you to provide quick solutions, resulting in a seamless support experience for your customers.

Give your small business the support it needs with help desk software and enjoy the benefits of streamlined communication, increased productivity, and improved customer satisfaction.

How to Choose a Help Desk Software for Your Small Business

Choosing a help desk software for your small business might not be rocket science, but with so many options out there, it can be hard to choose the right one.

Before digging into the features of each platform, you should ask yourself some questions:

  • Management system: What type of ticketing/management system do you need? At the very least, the solution should allow you to create conversations, assign them to a team member, and track their progress.
  • Communication channels: What are the communication channels that need to be supported? Are you using email, social media, SMS, live chat?
  • Integrations: Do you need to integrate other software you’re using like a CRM?
  • Mobile app: Do you need it to work while on the go? Is being able to view and manage customer inquiries from anywhere important to you?
  • Pricing: What is your budget? Does the pricing make sense with all the features and seats you need? There are many free and affordable options that can be great alternatives to Intercom hefty price tag.

While features are an important aspect of the tool you’ll choose, you should also consider other things:

  • Think big: Your business may grow fast, so choose a solution that can keep up and scale with you.
  • User-friendly: Complicated software that requires your time and money to learn are not a good option. Do you really want to train employees on new software for multiple days? Find a help desk that's easy to set up, configure, and use.
  • Support that got your back: The solution you choose should have your back, and that includes customer support. Look for  reliable and responsive support.
  • Learn from others: Chances are, other customers of the tools we have shared in this list have shared their positive and negative opinion about it. Read reviews and testimonials from other business owners to get insights into the pros and cons of your different options.
  • Test drive it: Don't commit without trying it out first. Take advantage of free trials or demos offered by the different help desk to see if they suit your needs.

By keeping these tips in mind and choosing the right help desk software, you'll be able to level up your customer support game and keep your customers happy. After all, satisfied customers are the secret sauce to your success.

Ludovic Armand

Digital Marketing Lead at Missive
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