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10 Best Help Desk Software for Small Businesses in 2024

Best Helpdesk software for small business

I think startups and small businesses are like the endangered species of the business world. And, when every day is a fight for survival, how do you delight and retain customers? 

The right help desk software for small businesses can bring some ray of hope. As a small team, you can track complaints from multiple channels, collaborate with other departments, and encourage self-service to reduce your team’s workload. 

Whether you are a startup founder or a small business owner, this blog will help you find the best tools for your support team. Allow me to share the top 10 small business ticketing systems to make every service interaction count this year. 

Let’s go! 

Help Desk Software Best for Pricing
ProProfs Help Desk Customer Service Automation FREE for a single user. Plans start at $19.99/user/month for 2 or more users.
Freshdesk Omnichannel Support Starts at $15/user/month
Zendesk Reports & Analytics Starts at $55/user/month
Cayzu CSAT Surveys Starts at $4/user/month
HappyFox Help Desk Customization Starts at $26/user/month
Jira Service Management IT Incident Management Starts at $22.5/user/month
LiveAgent Social Media Service Starts at $9/user/month
Kayako Internal Collaboration Custom pricing
HelpSpot Knowledge Base Starts at $699/year
Help Scout Shared Inbox Starts at $20/user/month

10 Small Business Help Desk Software You Can Consider

Even if you are a small business on a tight budget, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. 

All the tools mentioned below are powerful, feature-rich, and offer flexible pricing plans to suit your unique needs. While I have used some of these platforms personally over the years, others were recommended to me by industry experts. 

Let’s explore each tool’s unique features, pros and cons, and pricing details for a fair comparison. 

1. ProProfs Help DeskBest for Customer Service Automation 

For small business owners, budget and effective functionality of the tool are the two biggest concerns. This is where I think ProProfs Help Desk deserves the top spot, as it blends affordability with powerful help desk features

With this free help desk software for small businesses, my team can monitor communications on channels such as email, live chat, web forms, help center, and more. 

I’m sure you will love how easy it is to implement automation workflows. For instance, I can easily automate repetitive tasks such as ticket assignments, survey sharing, notifications & alerts, and other tasks. More automation means less load on my team! 

Besides this, you can create an online knowledge base with ready-to-use templates. Once your KB is live, customers can find solutions independently and help reduce your ticket volume. 

What you’ll like: 

  • Proactive live chat greetings to grab the attention of website visitors
  • Agent roles and permissions to control help desk access 
  • Agent collision alerts to avoid work duplicity
  • Track ticket response time, resolution time, agent ratings, and other help desk metrics

What you won’t like: 

  • A wide array of features can be overwhelming for some users
  • Channel-specific reporting metrics should be added for better insights

Pricing:

FREE for a single user. Plans start at $19.99/user/month for 2 or more users. No hidden fees. A 15-day money-back guarantee.

2. FreshdeskBest for Omnichannel Support

Image Source: Freshdesk 

Over the years, I have noticed that different customers prefer different channels to contact a business for support. This is where Freshdesk has done a commendable job. 

Freshdesk is an omnichannel tool designed to meet the needs of small to mid-sized businesses. I used the tool to communicate with our customers on a variety of channels, such as email, phone, live chat, social media, and more. 

You can secure your help desk by assigning different roles and permissions to your agents. If you have field agents, Freshdesk has a lot to offer. You can automatically track agents’ time spent working in the field using a dedicated mobile app and log billable hours.

That being said, I wasn’t particularly impressed by their customer support team. They took a lot of time to solve my ticket, leading to a poor experience. 

What you’ll like: 

  • Canned responses to share quick responses with customers using 
  • Parent-child ticketing to resolve complex, multi-stage tickets
  • SLA management helps you set deadlines for ticket response and resolution 
  • Automated notifications to keep agents updated on ticket progress

What you won’t like: 

  • Many users feel that Freshdesk’s support team is slow to respond at time 
  • Attaching images to a ticket can be a time-consuming process

Pricing:

Starts at $15/user/month 

3. ZendeskBest for Reports & Analytics

Image Source: Zendesk

I haven’t met a single support manager who doesn’t love a good report. 

After using Zendesk for a while now, I must say its reporting capabilities are impressive. The ability to generate detailed and customizable reports has allowed me to gain valuable insights into our support operations. 

We can track key metrics (like ticket backlogs, new tickets, first reply time, etc.), analyze customer satisfaction ratings, and identify trends, all of which have been instrumental in making data-driven decisions to improve our customer service. 

On the downside, some small business owners might find Zendesk’s pricing quite expensive compared to other tools in the market. 

What you’ll like: 

  • Articles recommendations can be shared inside support tickets
  • Digital onboarding and resources to get users up to speed
  • Ticket forms to collect only the information you need 
  • Zendesk seamlessly connects with Mailchimp, Salesforce, and Slack 

What you won’t like: 

  • Expensive pricing plans can make Zendesk an unsuitable option for small businesses
  • The tool comes with a steep learning curve

Pricing:

Starts at 55/user/month 

4. CayzuBest for CSAT Surveys

Image Source: Softwaresuggest.com

You might be sharing super-fast responses to complaints and queries, but are customers happy with the service quality? There is only one way to find out – customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys. 

I’ve used Cayzu’s free trial and found it a great option for startups and small businesses. The tool impressed me the most when it came to feedback collection. 

Let me explain how this worked. After a ticket was marked closed, a CSAT survey email was automatically sent out. All the customer had to do was pick an option from an emoji scale and leave their rating. It’s that simple!

Also, you can create custom rules for ticket management and prioritization using this help desk platform. However, it’s quite disappointing that Cayzu doesn’t offer a built-in live chat feature.  

What you’ll like:

  • Ticket tags to keep customer conversations well-organized
  • Agent roles and permissions to control access to your help desk system 
  • Automated surveys to monitor the customer experience (CX)
  • Cayzu’s native mobile apps help you provide support on the go

What you won’t like: 

  • The Basic plan lacks automation features and time tracking 
  • The tool does not offer live chat functionality

Pricing:

Starts at $4/user/month 

5. HappyFoxBest for Help Desk Customization

Image Source: HappyFox 

HappyFox brought together a robust ticketing system, knowledge base, and community forums to bring much-needed order to our support process.

It easily converted emails, phone calls, chat conversations, and web requests into tickets, keeping everything organized in one centralized place.

If you’re running a small business and you’ve used HappyFox before, you know that it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to customization. 

I was able to create custom fields to add that extra layer of information to our tickets, customize workflows to match our specific needs, and personalize the support experience for our customers. It’s a tool that I can confidently recommend based on my past experiences.

What you’ll like: 

  • Ticket templates to simplify ticket creation for repetitive issues 
  • Break down complex tickets into manageable tasks
  • Public knowledge base to enable customers to help customers find solutions on their own
  • HappyFox integrates with popular apps such as Slack, Salesforce, Shopify, and more

What you won’t like: 

  • The interface can be overwhelming for some users
  • HappyFox lacks performance metrics 

Pricing:

Starts at $26/user/month 

6. Jira Service ManagementBest for IT Incident Management 

Image Source: Altassian

Jira Service Management offers multiple features related to incident management, request management, asset management, and even change management. 

It empowers IT technicians and agents to swiftly detect, prioritize, and resolve incidents, ensuring minimal disruptions and maximum customer satisfaction.

With robust features like automated incident assignment, real-time status tracking, and insightful incident reports, Jira Service Management simplifies the incident resolution process. 

Overall, I think It’s a vital tool for small to mid-sized businesses looking to maintain service reliability and promptly address issues. However, if you are prioritizing an easy-to-use solution, Jira might not be the best option for you. 

What you’ll like: 

  • Custom ticket forms can be embedded in your self-service portal 
  • Intuitive mobile app for field service
  • Skill-based ticket routing to ensure every ticket has the right owner
  • Slack and Microsoft Teams integration for improved internal collaboration

What you won’t like: 

  • The tool comes with a steep learning curve
  • 24/7 support is only offered in the higher-end plan

Pricing:

Starts at $22.50/user/month 

7. LiveAgentBest for Social Media Service

Image Source: LiveAgent

Social media is no longer used solely to connect with friends and family members. Today, we all use it to engage with our favorite brands and share our reviews. 

This reminds me of LiveAgent, which seamlessly connects with leading social media platforms. While using this tool, my team could efficiently manage conversations from all the major social media sites, including Twitter, Viber, WhatsApp, and Instagram, all from one centralized location.

With features like automated ticket assignment, workflow automation, and canned responses, this intuitive ticketing system will help you save time and reduce agent effort. 

On the downside, some important features such as custom roles, time tracking reports, help desk branding, etc, are only offered in the higher-priced plans. 

What you’ll like: 

  • Automated ticket assignments to ensure a fair distribution of work  
  • Ticket Tags to easily categorize and sort different tickets
  • Spam filtering to avoid spam messages and emails  
  • Private notes can be attached to help desk tickets to give context to other agents

What you won’t like: 

  • LiveAgent needs to offer more advanced help desk metrics for better performance analysis
  • Project management integrations need improvement 

Pricing:

Starts at $9/user/month 

8. KayakoBest for Internal Collaboration

Image Source: Kayako

Kayako was recommended to me by an ex-colleague, and right after a few days, I became a fan of its internal collaboration features. 

With real-time team collaboration tools, it simplified internal communication, ensuring support agents and teams could work seamlessly together. Shared notes, internal discussions, and the ability to collaborate on resolving complex issues in one place made Kayako a powerful platform for boosting our internal teamwork. 

Also, you can use Kayako to provide real-time support to customers via live chat. The tool also enables self-service, empowering your customers to solve queries at their convenience. 

On the flip side, the tool comes with a steep learning curve. Many first-time users might find it difficult to navigate the interface and get started with the tool initially. 

What you’ll like: 

  • Multiple help centers can be created, each with unique content and design 
  • SLA management to never miss ticket deadlines
  • Kayako seamlessly integrates with other tools such as Zapier, Salesforce, and Slack
  • Automated article suggestions help enhance agent productivity 

What you won’t like: 

  • Features such as two-factor authentication is not offered in the on-premise version
  • For non-technical users, the learning curve can be a bit steep

Pricing:

Custom pricing 

9. HelpSpotBest for Knowledge Base 

Image Source: Capterra

A couple of years ago, I used HelpSpot as my preferred help desk software, and it made a significant impact on our team’s productivity. 

Fast forward to today, and I can still vouch for HelpSpot’s excellence. With a simple WYSIWYG editor, your team members can easily write, edit, and publish knowledge base articles. 

The best part is that you can give customers the option to rate your KB articles. For instance, at the end of each article, they can mark the content as either helpful or not. 

In addition, you can automate the assignment of incoming issues to agents, categorize tickets, and share essential notifications with key stakeholders for streamlined support operations.

What you’ll like: 

  • Customizable customer contact forms to capture all the relevant ticket details 
  • KB search history to track what customers are searching for in your knowledge base
  • Saved replies for common issues can be shared across different teams
  • HelpSpot users can create reports on custom fields

What you won’t like: 

  • The on-premise version can be slow at times and needs improvements
  • An account manager is only provided in the Enterprise plan 

Pricing:

Starts at $699/year 

10. Help ScoutBest for Shared Inbox 

Image Source: Help Scout

I used Help Scout, and it was a great solution for managing customer service emails for my small business. 

The shared inbox tool was a lifesaver, allowing us to consolidate customer inquiries from various email addresses like help@, info@, or billing@ into a single, manageable location.

Looking back at my experience, one of the standout features of Help Scout was its ability to provide agents with a comprehensive view of important customer data right within the ticket. 

They could easily access the customer’s conversation history and profile data, which enabled us to offer a personalized and meaningful service experience. It’s a feature that has certainly contributed to the success of our customer support efforts.

What you’ll like: 

  • Collision detection feature to prevent duplicate replies 
  • Bulk actions on tickets can be performed, such as sending bulk replies
  • Track outreach volume, response times, customer satisfaction, and other metrics
  • Easily add videos, tables, and images to help articles 

What you won’t like: 

  • The Standard plan is limited to only 2 mailboxes
  • Help Scout does not offer chatbot capabilities

Pricing:

Starts at $20/user/month 

Which Is the Best Ticketing System For Small Businesses?

So, which tool deserves to be a part of your small customer service team? 

Well, the answer would depend on your team’s objectives, feature requirements, budget, and multiple other factors. 

Generally speaking, most small business owners will want a solution that is affordable, comes packed with all the essential features, and offers high scalability. Considering these points, I have narrowed down my list to just three options. 

Option A: ProProfs Help Desk 

In my opinion, ProProfs Help Desk is the best help desk software for small businesses. Using this platform, you can automate tasks like ticket assignments, notifications, and reports for time-saving efficiency. I recommend you deploy customer service chatbots on your website to offer round-the-clock assistance, even when your team isn’t available to take chats. 

Option B: HappyFox 

Now, if you want a customizable help desk solution for your small business, you can give HappyFox a try. You can easily create custom workflows and add custom fields to store additional information about tickets. The platform brings together a powerful ticketing system and knowledge base to help you streamline your support process.

Option C: Help Scout

If email is your primary customer service channel, look no further than Help Scout. With the shared inbox feature, you can manage multiple support email accounts in one place. Also, agents can view the ticket history to get all the context needed for personalization. 

Lastly, I would recommend ProProfs Help Desk for its powerful ticketing and automation features that do not cost you a fortune. Simply select the tool that meets your needs and go for a free trial. This will help you explore different features and functionalities without making any financial commitments. I have also included a small FAQ section at the bottom to help with any further questions. Good luck! 

Learn More About Small Business Ticketing Software

Q. What are the important features of helpdesk software for small business?

Here are some top features you can look forward to in your ticketing system: 

  • Ticket Management: Convert customer inquiries, requests, and complaints into tickets.
  • Multi-Channel Support: Manage requests from various sources.
  • Knowledge Base: Provide self-service resources.
  • Automation: Streamline repetitive tasks.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Track performance and customer satisfaction.
  • Customization: Tailor the software to meet your needs.
  • Integration: Connect with other business tools.

Q. Why does your small business need help desk software?

Small businesses need help desk software to efficiently manage customer inquiries, streamline support processes, and enhance customer satisfaction. It centralizes communication, automates tasks, and provides insights for better service, ultimately saving time and resources.

Watch: What Are the Benefits of Help Desk Software

Q. How much does help desk software for small businesses cost?

The cost of help desk software for small businesses varies widely depending on features and vendors. On average, it can range from $15 to $50 per user per month for cloud-based solutions, while on-premises options may have a higher upfront cost, starting at a few thousand dollars. Some tools, such as ProProfs Help Desk, offer a forever-free plan with limitations.

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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, CoSchedule, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn