Skip to main content

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)
Visit Website
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:

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

Cons:

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

Best for omnichannel help desk support

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $26/agent/month
Visit Website
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
Visit Website
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
Visit Website
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 internal communication and collaboration

  • 7-day free trial
  • From $19/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 5/5

Front is a customer service platform that offers a variety of tools and features to help businesses build stronger customer relationships and improve operational efficiency.

Why I picked Front: I chose this software because of its unique combination of tools for team collaboration. These include shared drafts and internal comments, which are not commonly found in other help desk software.

The platform is designed to provide exceptional customer service at scale, with a focus on efficiency, real-time collaboration, and practical AI. Its distinguishing value lies in its ability to combine the familiarity of email, the power of a help desk, and AI to deliver valuable service.

Front Standout Features and Integrations

Features include omnichannel inbox management, AI chatbots, shared inboxes, email templates, automated rules, internal comments, message reassignments and follow-ups, reminders, integrated calendars, real-time analytics, and multi-channel communication.

Integrations include over 110 systems, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Salesforce, Slack, Asana, Zoom, Gmail, Shopify, and more.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Provides data analytics for additional insight
  • Streamlines collaboration
  • Single communication portal

Cons:

  • Complex setup and optimization
  • Slower processing times for higher volumes

Best for connecting your knowledge base

  • 30-day free trial + free plan available
  • From $10/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

Guru is a knowledge management solution that integrates with your existing tech stack to super-charge your workflows with AI-powered intelligence. It brings advanced search to your systems, making information easily accessible to your teams.

Why I Picked Guru: This platform creates a unified company knowledge base or wiki, and then uses AI to infuse that information into your existing workflows and systems. The artificial intelligence surfaces relevant, up-to-date, and human-verified information for your team members, ensuring a speedy resolution to internal or external inqueries.

The AI Suggest tool pulls information from your database based on the content displayed on a user's screen. Its knowledge triggers automatically display information when certain conditions are met on a web page, for example if a specific URL is visited.

Guru Standout Features & Integrations

Features include advanced search capabilities, customizable dashboards, secure data storage, real-time collaboration tools, knowledge management, AI-powered suggestions, robust analytics and reporting, integration with multiple platforms, personalized user experiences, mobile accessibility, document management, workflow automation, social networking features, and multilingual support.

Integrations include Google Chrome, Google Workspace, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Outlook, HRIS solutions, Vimeo, Loom, Airtable, Sendesk, Salesforce, Intercom, Freshworks, Confluence, and more. Plus, you can use Zapier, Workato, or the custom API to connect more tools.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Tons of integrations with other tools
  • AI-powered helpdesk suggestions
  • Excels in organizing and managing knowledge

Cons:

  • Comes with a learning curve
  • Limited offline capabilities

Best for AI-powered personalization

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $25/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Salesforce Service Cloud is a helpdesk software that enhances customer service through AI and automation. It supports more efficient management of customer interactions across multiple channels, making it easier for small businesses to streamline their processes.

Why I picked Salesforce Service Cloud: The software's AI and automation features set it apart from other solutions. Tools like AI chatbots and automatic triaging not only save time but also ensure that customer inquiries are handled by the most qualified agents, improving both efficiency and support quality.

A drag-and-drop editor allows for the creation of a self-service center, enabling customers to find solutions on their own and lightening the load on support teams. All in all, the software helps to simplify workflows and reduce repetitive tasks for agents.

Salesforce Service Cloud Standout Features and Integrations

Features include AI chatbots, automatic triaging, unified service console, mobile app support, drag-and-drop editor, omni-channel routing, knowledge base, social customer service integration, proactive service recommendations, field service management.

Integrations include Freshdesk, CloudTalk, Twilio, Brandwatch, Paligo, Mailchimp, HubSpot CRM, Trello, TeamViewer, Smartsheet, Klaviyo, Aircall, Gainsight, and Conversocial.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Effectively simplifies support procedures
  • Customizable and adaptable to user needs
  • Multiple pricing tiers to support various stages of growth

Cons:

  • Some usability features are locked to higher-tier plans
  • Implementation can be time-consuming

Best small business help desk software for automated IT ticketing

  • 30-day free trial
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
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:

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

Cons:

  • Reporting functions need improvement
  • No transparent pricing

Best small business help desk software for Gmail integration

  • 7-day free trial
  • From $15/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
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:

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

Cons:

  • Automations lack customization
  • Mobile app needs improvement

Best small business help desk software for scalability

  • Free demo + free plan available
  • From $12.74/user/month
Visit Website
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:

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

Cons:

  • Landing page builder needs work
  • Steep learning curve

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
Front From $19/user/month (billed annually)
Guru From $10/user/month
Salesforce Service Cloud From $25/user/month (billed annually)
NinjaOne (formerly NinjaRMM) Pricing upon request
Hiver From $15/user/month (billed annually)
EngageBay From $12.74/user/month
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.

Compare Software

Other Options

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

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

And to stay up to date on all the latest trends and insight in the customer experience industry, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter!