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With so many different help desk software solutions available, finding the best fit for your small business is tough. You know you want software to help your team manage customer queries more efficiently so you can provide consistent and accurate customer service, but you need to figure out which option fits your needs the best. In this article, I'll help you make this choice easier by sharing my insights on the best help desk software for small businesses, based on my own CX experience.

What is Help Desk Software?

Help desk software is a tool that assists in tracking, prioritizing, and resolving customer support requests or queries. Small businesses can use them to streamline their customer-facing communications and ensure their responses are quick, consistent, and accurate. They achieve this through features like multi-channel ticket management (from email, chat, or social media), automated responses, and advanced reporting to analyze customer service performance.

Investing in help desk software offers numerous benefits for small businesses, including increased operational efficiency, better organization, and improved customer service thanks to faster and more effective responses. These systems also gather insightful data to support data-driven decisions and enable continuous improvement.

Overviews of the 20 Best Help Desk Software for Small Business

Here’s a brief description of each help desk software for small business, showcasing each tool’s best use case, their noteworthy features, and some pros and cons. I’ve also included screenshots to give you a snapshot of their user interface.

Best AI-powered help desk software for scaling businesses

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $19/user/month (billed annually)
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Rating: 4.2/5

ZenDesk is an AI-powered help desk software for small business with a modern, well organized interface.

Why I picked ZenDesk: ZenDesk’s design-forward branding is visibly skewed to a younger audience. Their offering speaks to startups that are eager to add a human element to their customer service, placing a conversational approach at the heart of their features. The platform boasts a self-service portal and knowledge base, satisfaction trend reporting, and workflow automations for IT and HR.

The ZenDesk help desk solution is scalable, and can grow with you as your organization expands into new markets. With offices in Melbourne, Dublin, London, and Copenhagen, ZenDesk team members will be available to help as you extend your global reach.

ZenDesk Standout Features and Integrations

Features include API access, CRM integration, call integration, chat, contact management, customer management, email integration, instant chat integration, knowledge base, real-time alerts, self-service portal, social media integration, support forum, ticket management, and workflow management.

Integrations include Asana, Google Workspace, HubSpot, Jira, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Shopify, Slack, Trello, Zoom, and over 1200 more options on the Zendesk Marketplace.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Excellent query management
  • Centralized customer service operations

Cons:

  • Chat service only available in higher tiers
  • Steep learning curve to customize

Best for omnichannel help desk support

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $26/agent/month
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Rating: 4.1/5

Issuetrak is a help desk tool designed to assist organizations in tracking, managing, and resolving issues and tasks.

Why I picked Issuetrak: Issuetrak enables small businesses to submit tickets via email, web forms, or directly within the application, automate workflows, and ensure that customer inquiries are addressed in a timely manner. Features such as customizable forms, automated alerts, and a self-service knowledge base also allow small businesses to maintain high levels of customer service without requiring extensive resources.

Additionally, Issuetrak's reporting function helps small businesses analyze performance and identify areas for improvement. Moreover, Issuetrak's scalability ensures that it can grow with the business, making it a suitable choice for small enterprises that need an effective way to handle customer support as they expand.

Issuetrak Standout Features and Integrations

Features include issue tracking, task management, a searchable knowledge base, asset management, user permissions configuration, cloud hosting options, data services, and automation of repetitive tasks.

Integrations include Google Analytics, Gmail, Onelogin, Okta, Azure AD, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and Power BI.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Offers mobile accessibility
  • Useful reporting and analytics tools
  • Provides customizable workflows

Cons:

  • Learning curve for new users
  • Some email notification setup bugs

Best small business help desk for providing remote access support

  • 15-day free trial available
  • From $12/month
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Rating: 4.6/5

Zoho Assist is a remote access support software that lets you provide assistance to customers from a distance by accessing their devices.

Why I picked Zoho Assist: Your customer success team can provide real-time support to clients and customers via remote access to their devices with this help desk platform. For small businesses with digital products, this can be an especially helpful means of providing customer support.

Support staff can access devices remotely whether the customer is with their device or not. This means you can push updates, diagnose issues, and enable reboots through unattended remote access. Meanwhile, on-demand remote access allows you to provide live assistance with live chat, video, or voice calling.

Zoho Assist Standout Features & Integrations

Features include the high level of security offered by the platform. 256-bit encryption keeps communications secure, and the action log viewer lets you keep track of events in the system. Inactive sessions will time out automatically, too. Another helpful feature is secure file sharing, which lets support reps and customers exchange documents as needed.

Integrations include the Zoho product suite, Zendesk, ServiceNow, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Freshdesk, Spiceworks, and the Google Suite, among others.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Custom branding and user management
  • Ability to deploy bulk updates
  • High-level security (SSL, 256-bit AES encryption, 2FA)

Cons:

  • May not be the best choice for non-digital products
  • Some features may require coding knowledge

Best for AI-driven support automation

  • 14-day free trial + free plan available
  • From $18/user/month
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Rating: 4.4/5

Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer support software that offers businesses a platform for handling customer service interactions. 

Why I picked Freshdesk: Freshdesk assists small businesses with help desk software by providing a centralized system to manage customer service and support. It includes ticketing, automation, and reporting features that help organize and address customer inquiries efficiently. 

Freshdesk also integrates with AI, live chat, and solutions for IT and business team management, CRM, and marketing automation, aiming to provide a consistent experience across all communication channels. The platform additionally uses AI to automate repetitive tasks, such as sorting and routing tickets, sending acknowledgment emails, and suggesting solutions to common problems.

Freshdesk Standout Features and Integrations

Features include a self-service portal, collaboration tools, analytics and reporting tools, a full customer service suite that includes AI-powered conversations, and personalized customer support capabilities.

Integrations include WhatsApp, Slack, Shopify, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Microsoft Teams, and other tools from the Freshworks suite, such as Freshchat, Freshservice, Freshmarketer, and Freshsales.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Designed to scale with growing businesses
  • Offers continuous development of new features
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Provides customizable features
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • Limited flexibility for creating custom reports
  • Pricing structure can be confusing

Best for its self-serve portal

  • 30-day free trial
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 1/5

SysAid is an IT service automation platform that is designed to automate several tasks a help desk team is responsible for, such as ticketing, service requests, and personalized support services.

Why I picked SysAid: It offers multi-channel support, enabling businesses to efficiently manage customer queries across various platforms. The ticketing system helps organize and prioritize support requests, ensuring no issues are overlooked, while automation streamlines routine tasks for small teams with limited resources.

SysAid's customization options allow small businesses to tailor the software to their unique needs and branding, and its mobile accessibility ensures support agents can work remotely. The software prioritizes security, safeguarding sensitive customer data and ensuring compliance.

SysAid Standout Features & Integrations

Features that stand out are its knowledge base and routing rules. SysAid's knowledge base feature empowers customers to find answers independently, reducing the workload on support staff. Routing rules, on the other hand, help users define how incoming requests from users should be routed within the team to reduce turn around times.

Integrations can be accessed through SysAid's marketplace and include pre-built integrations with Jira, Teamviewer, Solarwinds, Azure, Openam, Slack, Okta, and Google Apps. You can also connect to thousands of additional apps using a paid subscription with Zapier.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Ability to create a self-learning org
  • Customers can reset their own passwords

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve for first-time users
  • Interface looks outdated

Best small business help desk software for automated IT ticketing

  • 30-day free trial
  • Customized price upon request
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Rating: 4.8/5

NinjaOne is a help desk software for small business that’s designed to meet the needs of IT teams.

Why I picked NinjaOne: NinjaOne helps small businesses improve service delivery outcomes and ticket resolution times by automating the process. Essential actions like scripting, installing apps, and remote access are available directly from the service ticket, and unified endpoint management and ticketing makes it easy for IT teams to provide efficient support.

Users can automate ticketing workflows by creating things like customized response templates, time and event-based routing rules, and condition-based ticket creation. The shared activity feed makes it easy to communicate with other agents about a ticket, using public and private messaging, as well as @ mentions. Their in-depth process documentation aligns well with knowledge recording best practices, and creates a context-rich query history. 

NinjaOne Standout Features and Integrations

Features include ticket tracking, query prioritization, context-rich ticket automation, single click tasks, live device inventory, endpoint security, one click remote access, stealth remediation tools, and integrated documentation.

Integrations are not mentioned on the NinjaOne website.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent customer support
  • User-friendly UI
  • New features added frequently

Cons:

  • No transparent pricing
  • Reporting functions need improvement

Best small business help desk software for Gmail integration

  • 7-day free trial
  • From $15/user/month (billed annually)
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Rating: 4.7/5

Hiver is a help desk software for small business that is integrated within the Gmail platform.

Why I picked Hiver: For small businesses with little time to waste, Hiver presents an easy way to increase the efficiency of customer support. Rather than learning an entirely new interface, Hiver is brought to you from within Gmail; their solution sits overtop of the existing Gmail interface, making it super easy to learn and onboard new team members.

Help desk ticketing can be managed via custom workflows, and live agents can assign tasks, create automated responses, prioritize requests, and pull data for reports. Customer relationships will benefit from Hiver’s ability to send out updates as their ticket is moved through queues and towards a resolution.

Hiver Standout Features and Integrations

Features include Google apps integration, batch permissions & access, live chat, contact management, customer management, dashboards, data export, data visualization, email integration, notifications, and workflow automation.

Integrations include Gmail, Slack, and Zendesk. Further integrations are available by connecting a paid Zapier account.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Completely within Gmail interface
  • Super easy to learn
  • Shared mailbox enhances team communication

Cons:

  • Mobile app needs improvement
  • Automations lack customization

Best small business help desk software for scalability

  • Free plan available
  • From $14.99/month (750 contacts)
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Rating: 4.7/5

EngageBay is a help desk software for small business that can grow with you.

Why I picked EngageBay: EngageBay provides small businesses with unlimited support tickets and unlimited personalization right out of the gate. Rather than being locked into a plan that you could quickly outgrow, EngageBay gives you space to scale. The tool offers features like ticket routing, automated resolutions, and SLA tracking to enhance efficiency. You can customize workflows to ensure that team members can easily respond to incoming tickets.

EngageBay’s user-friendly interface pulls conversations from multiple channels like social media and email to gather omnichannel customer profiles. The tool integrates marketing, sales, and CRM capacities to truly offer a one-stop-shop for customer management and revenue growth. 

EngageBay Standout Features and Integrations

Features include live chat, SLA, ticket management, help desk reports, service automations, canned responses, customer ticket views, and support groups.

Integrations include A/B testing, API, CRM integration, live chat, click-to-dial, contact management, conversion tracking, data export, data visualization, email integration, landing pages, lead management, marketing automation, project management, and social media integration.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great for internal team communication
  • Extensive automation capabilities
  • Excellent CRM integrations

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Landing page builder needs work

Best small business help desk software for mobile functionality

  • 14-day free trial is available
  • From $19/user/month
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Rating: 4.4/5

Avochato is a help desk software for small business that prioritizes SMS communications.

Why I picked Avochato: Avochato’s help desk software solution empowers users to support customers across SMS, live chat, Slack, and WhatsApp from a single interface. You can create reusable templates to automate answers to frequently asked questions, and auto-responses based on keywords in the live chat function.

Teams can create one or more shared inboxes, and can set rules around how customer support queries are routed. When customer issues need to be reassigned, the escalation process allows customer support agents to add private notes for context. Additionally, every text can be personalized with custom fields to ensure that service requests receive the exact resolution to suit the issue.

Avochato Standout Features and Integrations

Features include keyword auto-responses, SMS campaigns, pre-saved templates, auto assignment, custom fields, photos + emojis, tags, shared inboxes, analytics, and a mobile app.

Integrations include Google Sheets, HubSpot, Salesforce, Shopify, and Slack. Further integrations are available by connecting a paid Zapier account.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • User friendly
  • All conversations synced with Salesforce
  • Excellent customer service

Cons:

  • Occasionally slow load times
  • Scant reporting data

Best small business help desk software for alignment with ITIL best practices

  • 30-day free trial available
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.6/5

InvGate is a help desk software for small business that has been designed to align with Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices.

Why I picked InvGate: InvGate’s intuitive ticketing solution organizes work based on priority, SLA, and urgency. By highlighting the actions that can be solved easily in just one click, their platform helps IT companies avoid bottlenecks when responding to customer requests. The system has been designed with industry best practices in mind, so it prioritizes factors like security, response time, and collaboration.

The platform is built for collaboration and provides agents with full visibility on configuration items, linked requests, and ticket changes. Customized dashboards can be adjusted to adapt to your company’s needs, and reports can be pulled on over 150 metrics. You can also track agent performance via response time and customer ratings.

InvGate Standout Features and Integrations

Features include ticket management, problem management, gamification, AI, analytics, SLAs, knowledge base, self-service, and workflow automation. 

Integrations are not mentioned on the InvGate website.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent workflow automation
  • Customers can access search bar in tickets
  • Gamification features

Cons:

  • Some difficulty onboarding
  • Report creation is complicated

The Best Help Desk Software For Small Business Summary

Tools Price
Zendesk From $19/user/month (billed annually)
Issuetrak From $26/agent/month
Zoho Assist From $12/month
Freshdesk From $18/user/month
SysAid Pricing upon request
NinjaOne (formerly NinjaRMM) Customized price upon request
Hiver From $15/user/month (billed annually)
EngageBay From $14.99/month (750 contacts)
Avochato From $19/user/month
InvGate Service Desk Pricing upon request
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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Other Options

Here are a few more worthwhile options that didn’t make the list of best help desk software for small business:

  1. Creabl

    Best small business help desk software for user tracking and analytics

  2. Gorgias

    Best small business help desk software for monitoring agent performance

  3. Jira Service Management

    Best small business help desk software for IT teams

  4. Tidio

    Best small business help desk software for live visitor tracking

  5. LiveAgent

    Best small business help desk software for in-depth customer knowledge

  6. Zoho Desk

    Best small business help desk software for multi-channel ticket support

  7. HaloITSM

    Best small business help desk software for customer self-service portals

  8. Freshservice

    Best small business help desk software for rapid deployment

  9. SysAid

    Best small business help desk software for automated features

  10. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus

    Best small business help desk software for codeless customizations

How I Selected the Best Help Desk Software for Small Business

Curious about how I curated this list? I began my search by evaluating and comparing a wide range of help desk software for small businesses with positive user ratings. After gathering my long list, I trimmed it down by investigating how each platform stacked up against the next using the below selection criteria.

Were the tools user-friendly? Were they visually appealing and well-organized? Did they cover a variety of price points and offer great value for the money? The best of the bunch made it onto this list.

Selection Criteria

Let’s take a closer look at the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best help desk software for small businesses for this article:

User Interface

When a customer takes the first step towards contacting your small business, they should feel supported from minute one. They shouldn’t have to sort through layers of confusion in order to complete the action they desire to complete. All the tools on this list have a modern, visually appealing user interface for both customers and internal users. They’re well organized and easy to navigate.

Usability

All the help desk software for small businesses on this list are easy to learn and easy to customize. You shouldn’t have to spend weeks onboarding your team before you can dive in and start helping customers on your new platform. I chose help desk software that are straightforward and don’t require any specific subject matter expertise before use.

Features

The best help desk software offers a variety of features to meet the full spectrum of customer needs, via multi-channel support. The tools on this list help you centralize communications from email, SMS, social media, and more into a single dashboard. They also contain in-depth analytics, collaboration tools, and automation options.

Software Integrations

Not only do the help desk software on this list offer the regular customer support functionality, they take it a step further by integrating with many of the other platforms you’re currently using. For example, many of these tools integrate with CRM platforms like Salesforce to help you gather client data that can be used later on for targeted marketing campaigns. Many also integrate with ecommerce platforms, creating a seamless flow between your online store and customer service help desk.

Pricing

The help desk software on this list represents a range of price points, and some of the tools even offer a freemium option. In most cases, the tools have multiple monthly plans – some with a higher price point and a lengthy list of features, and others at a lower price point with a pared-down features menu. Whatever your budget, I’ve made sure that there’s a tool on this list to suit your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your small business is just beginning the search for a customer support solution, you probably have a number of questions about help desk software in general. I’ve gathered some of the most common FAQs here for clarity.

What type of help desk software is used in a small business?

Small businesses and startups have very different needs from those of a large enterprise. You probably won’t need hundreds of live agents to respond to thousands of support tickets on any given day. But you might need a way to safely store customer history data as your business grows, or the ability to delegate the more repetitive admin tasks to AI. All the customer service software platforms on this list cater to the unique needs of small businesses with a host of tailor-made features.

Before you dive into your selection process, I recommend reviewing these recommendations for how to choose the best help desk software first.

How does help desk software work?

A help desk is an online space in which customers can communicate with your small business to address concerns like:

  • Product questions
  • Help navigating your platform
  • IT issues

The help desk interface presents your customers with an easy way to get in touch with you and receive support quickly, and can make a huge difference in increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction. Did you know that 80% of consumers would be willing to pay more to receive better customer support? Help desk software for small business can assist you in delivering an enhanced customer experience.

To learn more about help desk software, read this handy article:

What is Help Desk Software and How Can it Help Your Business?

How can help desk software benefit a small business?

Help desk software can help small business by streamlining your customer service tasks, making it easier for your team to clearly communicate with customers and efficiently resolve their concerns.

When a customer encounters a problem and is quickly and kindly offered a solution, their trust in your brand grows. Sure, at first blush, helping someone navigate a 404 error may seem like no big deal. But it’s actually planting the seeds of brand loyalty, which is a critical factor in revenue growth for small businesses.

In this sense, help desk software for small business doesn’t just offer the practical elements of communication and analytics. It also offers the more intangible but immensely beneficial opportunity to nurture customer relationships.

How do I create a help desk system?

The good news is – you don’t have to! When you work with a help desk software for small business, they create the help desk system on your behalf. You just need to install the software and begin using the tool. After a little time spent onboarding and customizing the interface, you can get started interacting with customers via your new help desk system faster than you can say “5-star rating”.

Happy Customers = Return Customers

Statistically speaking, 65% of your revenue is likely to come from existing customers. When you nurture your customer relationships, you naturally increase their loyalty to your small business, and in turn create more sales.

Ensuring that your customer touchpoints are characterized by helpful, clear, kind, and efficient interactions will let your customers know how deeply you value them. An investment in help desk software for small business can dramatically improve the quality of your interactions within each touchpoint. So what are you waiting for?

Looking for more awesome help desk tools? Check out this additional article from our subject matter experts:

Best Help Desk Software for Customer Service

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