Top 10 HelpDesk Alternatives for 2021

HelpDesk Alternatives

HelpDesk is an easy-to-use customer support tool that does not cost a fortune. But does a low price point mean high quality? Not always! 

Although HelpDesk users love its affordable pricing, they are still upset. While some complain of the lack of important features such as social media support, customer satisfaction surveys, etc., others feel they are losing important customer emails due to an ineffective spam filter.  

So If you are using HelpDesk and are badly looking for a better HelpDesk alternative, you have come to the right place. 

In this blog, we will explore the various features of HelpDesk and discuss some cons in detail to see why users are looking for a substitute. We will also discuss the top 10 alternatives to HelpDesk along with their features as well as pricing details. 

Here we go! 

HelpDesk Alternatives Feature & Price Table

Software Key Features Price
ProProfs Help Desk Create a knowledge base
Share automated email notifications
Parent-child ticketing
Export support tickets in PDF
Monitor key help desk metrics
Forever free plan
Essentials: $10/user/month
Premium: $15/user/month
Freshdesk Create canned responses
Merge similar tickets together
Manage social media tickets
Assist customers via live chat
Schedule customer service reports
Sprout: Forever free plan
Blossom: $15/user/month
Garden: $35/user/month
Estate: $49/user/month
Forest: $99/user/month
Spiceworks Automated ticket assignment
Create a self-service portal
Gain visibility into agent performance
Assign agent roles and access
Share tickets for efficient collaboration
Free
Zendesk Escalate issues and requests
Leverage AI-powered answer bots
Encourage a knowledge-sharing culture
Make the most of customer data
Get customizable reports and analytics
Suite Team: $49/agent/month
Suite Growth: $79/agent/month
Suite Professional: $99/agent/month
SysAid Create a self-service portal
Allow users to record their screen
Track key help desk KPIs
Customize agent access to your help desk
Communicate with customer via live chat
Price available on request
SolarWinds Service Desk Create an employee service portal
Leverage intuitive dashboards
Reduce tickets with knowledge base
Create a service catalog
Manage IT assets and track their usage
Team: $19/agent/month
Business: $39/agent/month
Professional: $69/agent/month
Enterprise: $89/agent/month
ConnectWise Multiple-channel communication
Monitor the time spent by agents
Take control of field agents
Leverage ConnectWise mobile apps
Generate reports on ticket details
Price available on request
Zoho Desk Interact with customers via live chat
Receive alerts with Zia Notifications
Track the time spent on tickets
Rebrand your help desk
Leverage ready-to-use email templates
Free: Forever free plan
Standard: $12/agent/month
Professional: $20/agent/month
Enterprise: $35/agent/month
LiveAgent Capture issues in the Universal Inbox
Automated ticket assignment
Collaborate with internal notes
Share automated email notifications
Track agent ratings
Free: Forever free plan
Ticket: $15/agent/month
Ticket + Chat: $29/agent/month
All-Inclusive: $39/agent/month
Intercom Automate workflow with SLA rules
Create interactive product tours
Share proactive messages
Segment customers into groups
Assist customers using Resolution bot
Start: $59/month
Grow: $119/month
Accelerate: $499/month
Scale: $999/month
HelpDesk Easy-to-use interface
Automated ticket assignment
Agent collision detection
Manage multiple shared inboxes
Easily integrate with other tools
Starter: $4/agent/month
Team: $19/agent/month
Enterprise: On request

What Is HelpDesk?

HelpDesk software

HelpDesk is a simple, easy-to-use customer support tool that helps you manage different email addresses and shared inboxes in one place. To enhance the power of your help desk, you can easily connect it with other tools such as live chat, chatbot, and knowledge base. For better team collaboration, the tool offers features such as private notes, canned responses, multiple inboxes, and automated assignment rules. 

So how much does HelpDesk cost? HelpDesk offers three plans- Starter ($4/agent/month), Team ($19/agent/month), and Enterprise (customizable based on your needs). You can enjoy a 14-day free trial with Team plan features. 

Why Look For HelpDesk Alternatives?

Now, that we have understood the various merits of Helpdesk, it’s time to focus on the other side of the story. Here are some common challenges that users face: 

Lacks important help desk features 

HelpDesk is a relatively young tool that needs a lot of improvements in terms of the features it brings to the table. Popular features such as social media support, customer satisfaction surveys, chatbots, ticket bookmarks, automated notifications, etc. are missing. So, if you have a customer service team of a decent size, HelpDesk might not be able to meet your requirements. 

The spam filter can make you lose important customer emails 

HelpDesk is built more around email support than any other channel. Naturally, it offers a spam filter to keep unwanted emails out of your inbox. However, many users have complained that the spam filter does more harm than good. Your business can miss out on quite a few important customer messages, resulting in lost communication and a poor customer service experience. 

The Starter plan does not offer real value 

Although the Starter plan starts at an extremely low cost of $5/agent/month, it does not offer much value. Most of these features such as shared inbox, basic reports, collaboration features, etc. are offered by other help desk companies in their free plan. 

The Features HelpDesk Alternatives Must Have

While help desk tools can differ from each other in a lot of aspects, there are always some must-have features that you cannot afford to ignore. 

Here are the top features that every HelpDesk alternative should have: 

  • Every alternative should offer an easy-to-use interface so that your team can get started in minutes. Such tools do not require long training sessions. 
  • Team collaboration features such as private comments, collision detection, etc. so that multiple agents can work together in a hassle-free manner. 
  • Every alternative should also have multichannel support capabilities. This allows your business to manage conversations on email, chat, phone, and other channels. 
  • Insightful reports and analytics for managers to measure team performance. This helps you identify the customer service agents who are performing well and those who need improvement.
  • All alternatives should also allow you to create a dedicated knowledge base for your customers. This way customers can resolve basic concerns on their own and agents can focus on more pressing issues. 

Our Selection Criteria for HelpDesk Alternatives

Finding your ideal help desk software can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. While one product might not fit in your budget, others might not have the features your team needs. 

To save you from this trouble, we have done the heavy lifting for you. All the HelpDesk alternatives have been carefully handpicked after days of scrolling through review platforms, product websites, and other sources. To make it to our list, all the alternatives must pass the following criteria: 

Core Help Desk Features: All HelpDesk competitors must possess key help desk features such as multichannel support, automation capabilities, ticket tracking, ticket prioritization, SLAs, and more. 

Listed on Top Software Review Platforms: The tools like HelpDesk should be listed on the top online software comparison platforms such as G2, SoftwareWorld, and Capterra. 

Minimum 10 User Reviews: All product alternatives should a minimum of 10 online reviews on these platforms. Genuine online reviews highlight the success of software in the eyes of its customers. 

10 Best HelpDesk Alternatives You Should Consider 

If you’re actively looking for a HelpDesk alternative, you’ve landed in the right place. We recommend these 10 amazing alternatives that can get the job done for you. 

1. ProProfs Help Desk 

ProProfs Help Desk is one of the best HelpDesk alternative

ProProfs Help Desk is one of the best HelpDesk alternatives that allows your team to manage multiple shared inboxes such as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc. in one place. In addition to this, you can even capture customer requests and issues via live chat, web forms, help center, and more. 

As a free HelpDesk alternative, ProProfs helps you offer support even when your team is not available. You can customize your own chatbots to assist customers with their basic queries and generate reliable leads for your business. Moreover, with sophisticated mobile apps for both Android and iOS, your team can offer support even when they are not at their desk. 

You Can Use ProProfs Help Desk To:

  • Build a dedicated knowledge base and reduce your ticket volume
  • Leverage pre-defined templates for email notifications and keep everyone updated
  • Break complex tickets into child tickets and assign them to relevant teams or agents
  • Export support ticket conversations in PDF and ticket details in Microsoft Excel
  • Monitor first response time, customer satisfaction, and other key help desk metrics

ProProfs Help Desk Plans Include: 

Forever Free: Forever free with limited features. 

Essentials: Starts at $10/agent/month

Premium: Starts at $15/agent/month

2. Freshdesk 

Freshdesk is another best alternative to HelpDesk tool

Freshdesk is another best alternative to HelpDesk tool that helps you deliver omnichannel customer experiences across all digital support channels. With the help of this tool, you can enhance visibility and communication among your team members and resolve issues faster. 

Freshdesk also uses the power of intelligent bots to make your team’s life much easier. For instance, AI-powered bots can understand customer intent and therefore, share instant answers and resolutions with them. Now, a lot of times tickets are reopened when customers respond with a simple thank you message. In such cases, Freshdesk automatically detects such messages and prevents the reopening of tickets, and saves everyone’s time. 

You Can Use Freshdesk To: 

  • Create canned responses to quickly resolve common customer questions 
  • Merge similar tickets together and save your agent’s valuable time
  • Manage your Twitter and Facebook communications from within the help desk
  • Assist customers instantly via live chat using chatbots
  • Schedule customer service reports to receive them in your inbox periodically

Freshdesk Plans Include: 

Sprout: Forever free with limited features

Blossom: $15/user/month

Garden: $35/user/month

Estate: $49/user/month

Forest: $99/user/month

3. Spiceworks

Spiceworks cloud-based help desk

With Spiceworks cloud-based help desk, your team does not need to worry about setup or maintenance as everything can be accessed anytime. Spiceworks also offers one of the most trusted IT communities where you can raise questions, get answers, and connect with other support pros and enthusiasts. 

If your employees are working remotely, you can support them by starting a remote support session right from the help desk ticket. Moreover, with the Spiceworks mobile app, you can receive ticket updates and push notifications right into your phone even when you are not at your desk. 

You Can Use Spiceworks To:

  • Leverage ticket rules to automatically assign tickets to relevant agents
  • Allow customers to submit and track tickets using the self-service portal 
  • Track key metrics and gain visibility into your help desk performance
  • Assign different roles to different team members so they only see what they need to
  • Allow agents to share tickets with each other for efficient collaboration

Spiceworks Help Desk Plans Include:

Spiceworks is completely free for all users. However, you will have to see some ads every now and then. 

4. Zendesk 

Zendesk is undoubtedly one of the most popular alternatives to HelpDesk

Zendesk is undoubtedly one of the most popular alternatives to HelpDesk that deserves your attention. Their customer service solution is easy to use and can be easily scaled as your business grows. You can manage customer conversations over messaging, live chat, email, social media channels, etc., and provide support that is fast yet personalized. 

With Zendesk. you can do full justice to your self-service efforts. You can build a robust help center and community forum, deflect basic support tickets, and allow customers to help themselves. Moreover, with Aariticifial Intelligence-powered bots and automation rules, your agents can get all the context they need to offer personalized customer service. 

You Can Use Zendesk To: 

  • Escalate issues and requests to team members best suited to help
  • Leverage AI-powered answer bots to assist customers round the clock
  • Encourage a knowledge-sharing culture by allowing reps to contribute to help articles
  • Understand your users better by creating a unified view of your customers
  • Get real-time insights with the help of customizable reports and analytics

Zendesk Plans Include:

Suite Team: $49/agent/month

Suite Growth: $79/agent/month

Suite Professional: $99/agent/month

5. SysAid 

SysAid Help Desk

SysAid Help Desk allows your team to easily handle support tickets, resolve issues, manage IT assets, and much more. With the help of ticket automation features, your team can sort, prioritize, and close tickets to reduce efforts and focus more time on urgent issues. 

As one of the leading HelpDesk competitors, SysAid allows you to make the most of self-service automation. Both your customers as well as employees can skip the long queue and resolve common issues on their own. Moreover, with the help of remote control capabilities, your agents can connect directly to users’ machines and resolve their issues no matter if they working from the office or from their home. 

You Can Use SysAid To:

  • Allow customers to resolve issues on their own with a dedicated self-service portal
  • With Hotkey, end users can record their screen and upload it to their support ticket 
  • Track key help desk KPIs and stats and make smarter business decisions
  • Customize the level of access users have to your help desk
  • Communicate with users using live chat and improve their support experience

SysAid Pricing:

For pricing details, you need to make a request on their website. 

6. SolarWinds Service Desk 

SolarWinds Service Desk is another software like HelpDesk

SolarWinds Service Desk is another software like HelpDesk that can help your business with incident management, IT asset management, service catalog, and more. Moreover, to keep all your agents on the same page, you can share email and SMS alerts in case tickets are left unattended or unassigned for long. 

You can even link unlimited incident child tickets to a parent ticket for keeping your support tickets and incidents well organized. In addition to this, managers, lead technicians, or supervisors, can generate reports to gauge agent performance and monitor customer satisfaction metrics. 

You Can Use SolarWinds Service Desk To:

  • Allow employees to connect with each other and find relevant information using the employee service portal 
  • Gain more visibility into your service desk with intuitive dashboards
  • Create a help desk knowledge base for customers and reduce ticket volume
  • Create a service catalog that lists all support services offered by your business
  • Automatically update your IT assets and track their usage

SolarWinds Service Desk Plans Include: 

Team: $19/agent/month

Business: $39/agent/month

Professional: $69/agent/month

Enterprise: $89/agent/month

7. ConnectWise

ConnectWise is another popular product like HelpDesk

ConnectWise is another popular product like HelpDesk that allows you to capture customer requests no matter if they contact you via email, phone, or live chat. With the help of this tool, you can create a sophisticated, detailed, and 360-degree view of your customers and start delivering personalized experiences at scale. 

With the help of its intelligent dispatching feature, ConnectWise Help Desk offers complete visibility into service team availability and helps you assign the right tasks to the right people. Now, we all know that a single high-priority issue is powerful to derail your support operations. To help your team rise above this challenge, the tool automatically escalates service tickets that demand immediate attention. 

You Can Use ConnectWise To:

  • Capture customer issues and support requests via multiple channels
  • Gain insights into time spent by your agents with the help of time entry management
  • Take control of your team’s efficiency not just in the office but also in the field
  • Manage support workflows on the go with ConnectWise mobile apps
  • Generate reports on ticket details, issue resolution times, and overall team performance.

ConnectWise Plans Include:

ConnectWise offers three plans- Basic, Standard, and Premium. However, for pricing details, you need to make a request on their website. 

8. Zoho Desk 

Zoho Desk is another free alternative to HelpDesk that deserves to be on your list. Your agents can use the power of customer context to better understand your users and offer personalized interactions. Even if you don’t have a global team, you can provide 24/7 support by building a robust self-service portal for customers to find the right answers. 

Now, some situations such as initiating a refund for a product require permission from a senior. Zoho Desk makes your agent’s life easier as they can simply use the Approvals tab to submit the request and seek approval from the manager. Moreover, an artificial intelligence called Zia can help you auto-tag tickets and enhance employee productivity. 

You Can Use Zoho Desk To: 

  • Be available to your customers in seconds with live chat
  • Get notified of any unusual activity in your process with the help of Zia Notifications
  • Track the time spent by your agents on every task and ticket
  • Rebrand your help desk to match the design of your unique brand
  • Leverage ready-to-use templates for emails and ticket forms 

Zoho Desk Plans Include:

Free: Forever free plan, limited to 3 agents

Standard: $12/agent/month

Professional: $20/agent/month

Enterprise: $35/agent/month

9. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is another remarkable help desk ticketing system

LiveAgent is another remarkable help desk ticketing system that has garnered popularity in the last couple of years. With the help of intelligent automation capabilities, you can enhance the productivity of your agents. You can set up automation rules to reduce the workload on your team and improve the average response time at the same time. 

With LiveAgent’s robust chat widget, you can engage your prospective as well as existing customers in real-time and assist them with their buying decisions. Moreover, for a better return on investment (ROI), you can invite people to chat depending on the time they’ve spent on your website, landing pages, or help center. 

You Can Use LiveAgent To:

  • Capture issues and requests from multiple channels using the Universal Inbox
  • Assign & distribute support tickets among agents & departments
  • Discuss complex tickets internally using internal notes
  • Share automated email notifications with your agents on receiving new tickets 
  • Receive agent ratings after each interaction and identity your top performers

Live Agent Plans Include: 

Free: Forever free plan with some limitations

Ticket: $15/agent/month

Ticket + Chat: $29/agent/month

All-Inclusive: $39/agent/month

10. Intercom

Intercom is another HelpDesk alternative

Intercom is another HelpDesk alternative that provides your team with all the features they need to offer personalized support to customers from across the globe. No matter if customers approach your support team via the website, email, or social media, your agents can manage and respond to conversations easily. The tool offers an intuitive inbox that helps you keep your conversations well sorted. 

Intercom is also known for its incredible self-service features. For instance, you can easily create and share relevant help articles via your website, mobile app, etc., and allow customers to help themselves. In addition to this, you can even share engaging product tours with customers for an awesome onboarding experience. 

You Can Use Intercom To: 

  • Automatically prioritize important conversations with the help of SLA rules
  • Create interactive product tours and point out what is new
  • Share proactive messages to inform customers about scheduled outages
  • Segment customers based on their spending, business type, etc. 
  • Resolve basic customer queries using the Resolution bot

Intercom Plans Include: 

Start: $59/month (includes 1 seat)

Grow: $119/month (includes 5 seats)

Accelerate: $499/month (includes 10 seats)

Scale: $999/month (includes 10 seats)

Comparison of Best Alternatives of HelpDesk

Software Price Forever Free Plan Shared Inbox Multi-channel Communication Alerts & Escalations Live Chat Self-Service Portal IT Help Desk
ProProfs Help Desk $10/month Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Freshdesk $15/month Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Spiceworks Help Desk $0/month Y N Y Y N Y Y
Zendesk $49/month N Y Y Y Y Y Y
SysAid Not Mentioned N N Y Y Y Y Y
SolarWinds Service Desk $15/month N N Y Y Y Y Y
ConnectWise Not Mentioned N N Y Y Y N N
Zoho Desk $12/month Y N Y Y Y Y N
LiveAgent $15/month Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Intercom $59/month N Y Y Y Y Y N

Final Verdict: Which HelpDesk Alternative Should You Go For?

In this HelpDesk comparison blog, we have discovered that the tool offers several benefits such as:

  • User-friendly interface that is easy on the eyes
  • Live chat and other important integrations
  • Collaboration features such as internal notes, collision detection, etc.
  • Shared inboxes to manage multiple email accounts

However, despite these benefits, HelpDesk falls short on many occasions. For instance, you do not get important features such as social media support, customer satisfaction surveys, chatbots, ticket bookmarks, automated notifications, etc. Moreover, the spam filter can make you lose important customer emails.

To put an end to your search for the right HelpDesk alternative, you can go for ProProfs Help Desk. It comes at a similar price point and helps you offer 360-degree customer service. If you wish to enjoy marketing capabilities, you can choose Intercom. If your team is looking for a hardcore tool with IT support capabilities then Spiceworks can be a good bet.

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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, 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

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