If you’re in the market for help desk software, you’ve probably heard of Freshdesk — or maybe you’re already using it. Whatever the case, you might not be aware of how Freshdesk’s competitors compare.
There’s no denying that Freshdesk can be a good tool for some businesses, but certainly not for all of them. One of the main issues is that the app has a whole laundry list of features, which might sound like a good thing. However, most teams only use a few specific features; the rest is clutter.
Another important issue is that the user interface and functionality aren’t as intuitive as many others, and setting up your whole customer support team can take weeks.
This guide will give you an overview of the best Freshdesk alternatives, looking at their key features, unique selling points, pricing, and best use cases.
The 11 best Freshdesk alternatives
Below, we look at the 11 best Freshdesk alternatives, list the key features of each, and offer some insight into what types of teams each alternative works best for:
HubSpot Service Hub
Salesforce Service Cloud
1. Help Scout
Best Freshdesk alternative for growing teams.
Many small or medium-sized companies can become overwhelmed with the features and pricing structures offered by companies like Freshdesk. It’s not so much that the features aren’t valuable to anyone, but more that they aren’t valuable to everyone. Some teams may not be at a point in their growth where the features are useful, and others may never need them at all.
With Help Scout, there isn’t a massive Rolodex of features to learn or complicated pricing structures to decipher. Instead, the platform provides meaningful tools that improve the user experience for your customers and your team.
View all of your support requests in a shared inbox so your team can always see which conversations need replies. Beyond increased visibility, Help Scout’s shared inbox improves collaboration and productivity through features like:
Assignments: assign conversations to specific employees or teams to ensure that each customer always receives an expert reply.
Collision detection: helpful features that prevent teammates from duplicating work and stepping on each other’s toes as they move through the queue.
Saved replies: shared email and chat templates that you can insert into any conversation in just a few clicks.
Customer profiles: see relevant customer data inside every conversation, enabling you to provide more personalized support.
Light users: light users can’t speak directly with customers, but they can view and follow conversations, leave private notes, view reports, and more, all without adding additional cost to your plan.
Workflows: build workflows that automate tedious tasks like tagging or assigning conversations, improving your team’s speed and efficiency.
When your customers need help right away, offer live chat support from any page on your website using Help Scout’s customer engagement widget. Agents manage chats from Help Scout’s shared inbox and use many of the same features to help get your customers the support they need — fast.
Help Scout’s easy-to-use knowledge base builder, Docs, lets you create a knowledge base that is organized, searchable, and easy to reference. Articles can be displayed in a personalized help center or accessed on any page of your site via Help Scout’s web widget.
Messages allow you to proactively reach out to your website visitors and deliver helpful information when they need it most. Surface knowledge base articles or offer live chat if customers seem stuck, make product or service announcements, solicit user feedback, and more.
Help Scout comes loaded with pre-built reporting dashboards so you can see how your team is performing from day one. Need to do more? You can use an API to connect with other data-management tools.
Easy to deploy; expertly supported
Help Scout’s user interface is clean, simple, and easy to understand. You can get your whole customer support workflow up and running within hours, but if you run into any issues along the way, Help Scout is there to help.
Help Scout is a customer-centric company that follows a whole company support model. This means that in addition to their world-class customer team, all employees, from engineers to the CEO spend time in the support queue assisting and learning from customers.
This approach helps ensure that Help Scout’s product and experience are always firmly grounded in the needs of its customers.
Pricing: Starting at $20/user per month.
Best Freshdesk alternative for teams who prefer to stay on Gmail.
Are you a fan of Gmail? Or would you prefer to not have to log into a dedicated tool to answer support requests? If it’s the latter, then Keeping might be for you. Keeping works by turning Gmail into a fully featured help desk.
If you need to tweak workflow automation or view reports, its clutter-free admin area is one of the most streamlined on this list.
Even though Keeping works inside Gmail, it still has a host of features you expect from help desk software:
Unlimited help desk ticketing
Keeping is a great option for startups with smaller budgets, as well as for those who prefer a small tech stack.
Pricing: Starting at $6/user per month.
Best Freshdesk alternative for teams with smaller budgets.
Another help desk and customer service software all-rounder is ProProfs. A great option for mid-sized businesses, it’s also bursting with lots of features to help your team members deal with support issues.
ProProfs comes with all the features you expect and on a clean and easy-to-read dashboard:
Internal notes and chats
Mobile app for agents to support via iOS and Android
All in all, ProProfs can help you streamline your customer support service at a reasonable cost, even if you have multiple teams.
Pricing: Free plan available with limited features.
4. Zoho Desk
Best Freshdesk alternative for sales-focused teams.
You might know Zoho as an email service provider, CRM provider, or even as a website builder. If so, it may not surprise you to know that Zoho also has a help desk product — Zoho Desk.
If you’re already a user of any of Zoho’s other products, it would make sense to keep your customer service under the same umbrella. In any other case, it could take some time to get used to everything Zoho offers.
Zoho Desk has features that work for lots of different-sized businesses, from freelancers to enterprises:
Agent productivity tools/reports
Call center functionality
Self-service knowledge base
A chatbot, “Zia,” which works with voice and text
With its telephone features, Zoho Desk is the service on this list most similar to Freshdesk.
Pricing: Free plan available for up to three agents.
If you're considering Zoho Desk, you might want to take a look at our run-through of the best Zoho Desk alternatives, and see whether it's right for you.
Best Freshdesk alternative for enterprise companies.
Zendesk is another big name in the customer support software space. If you’re running a large business (more than 500 employees), Zendesk is likely a great option for you. While setting up can be daunting at first, the payoff is a solid system that can cope with huge demands.
As you’d expect from a company that specializes in enterprise, Zendesk boasts some large-scale features:
Industry-leading support ticket system
1,000+ apps and integrations
Multilingual support and content
A community forum builder
Whether your customers are contacting you through social media, email, phone, or SMS, Zendesk’s ticket management can help your team manage those requests.
Pricing: Starting at $19/user per month.
Zendesk is a great customer satisfaction software for enterprise, but there could be better options for small businesses. If you have a small business or want something a bit more personal, then our breakdown of the best Zendesk alternatives can help you find the right software for you.
Best Freshdesk alternative for self-service support.
Intercom provides a useful suite of tools designed to improve your customer engagement. As a Freshdesk alternative, Intercom ticks several boxes when it comes to features:
A shared inbox
Self-serve help articles
In-app product tours
Intercom is well suited to businesses that are looking for a tool that does heavy lifting for marketing and sales communications in addition to customer support.
Pricing: Starting at $79 per month, with an extra $19/user per month.
Best Freshdesk alternative for teams using HubSpot CRM.
HubSpot is another familiar name for many marketers and sales professionals. If you already use HubSpot for its CRM product, integrating it with the Service Hub is an option for tool consolidation. You can connect your HubSpot CRM data to the Service Hub so your team can get a better context for customer communication.
HubSpot Service Hub has all the tools small to large businesses need (though the prices increase quickly if you need more functionality):
Team email and shared inbox
Live chat functions
Deep integration with Sales and Marketing Hub
If your team prioritizes the need to connect your marketing efforts to customer service, HubSpot Service hub can help.
Pricing: Free plan available.
HubSpot comes with so many bells and whistles that can help you run your CRM, Email marketing, and even ecommerce store. But if you're looking for a more straightforward help desk solution, then our guide on the best HubSpot alternatives is here to help.
Best Freshdesk alternative for email-only support.
Front resembles a normal email inbox with the ability to respond with either a team/group email or a personal email. It's a good option for support teams who only need email features.
Front is flexible, and as your team grows, you can add more functionality to your help desk by upgrading your subscription
Connect unlimited email, SMS, and socials
Assign, comment, and @mention team members
Use basic rule templates
Build your own integrations
Use personal email addresses alongside group email addresses
Pricing: Starting at $19/user per month.
Front is a great email marketing tool, but it isn't a complete service desk for customer support. If you're looking for a help desk software that's customizable to your needs, then our list on the best Front alternatives is a good place to start.
Best Freshdesk alternative for live chat support.
If chat widgets are your most wanted feature, LiveAgent is the live chat specialist. If you want more than a live chat bubble, LiveAgent’s comparable plans offer familiar features.
With LiveAgent, you’ll find features suited to lots of different business types and sizes:
Fast live chat
Customer portal/knowledge base
Call center functionality
Popular service integrations
A WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor for emails, templates, and knowledge base articles
LiveAgent offers a basic free plan with live chat, phone routing, and a customer portal for the solopreneur, but teams will need its premium plans.
Pricing: Free plan available.
Best Freshdesk alternative for teams using Salesforce CRM.
Salesforce also provides a help desk product. Like HubSpot Service Hub, picking up the Salesforce help desk is an option if you already use its CRM or marketing products.
Many of the key features mentioned here will be all the more helpful if you integrate other Salesforce products into your stack:
Automated admin tasks
“Einstein” self-service recommendations
Live chat and chatbot functions
Personalized support using data from sales and marketing
You can get a feel for Salesforce’s more premium features with a free trial, without the need to give your credit card information.
Pricing: Starting at $25/user per month.
Best Freshdesk alternative for teams wanting project management features.
If your business is the type that moves quickly and is always building new projects, HappyFox might be a good option for you. Startup builders are probably familiar with project management tools like Kanban-style boards and task lists, and HappyFox builds these right into the help desk software.
HappyFox comes with a suite of tools that help to create a memorable experience:
Advanced ticketing system
Canned actions (templates)
Knowledge base creation
Help desk reports
A baked-in task management system
With its task management functions, HappyFox can help your agents break down tickets into manageable pieces.
Pricing: Starting at $29/user per month.
Find the right help desk for your company
When it comes to deciding which help desk software is right for you, it often comes down to the details. Freshdesk can be a great option for your business — especially if you want to expand your team into a fully fledged call center.
However, you might want to keep your business online with live chat, email, and social. Whichever the case, finding the right solution involves asking yourself what your business needs are and what tools will best help you address them.
Most of the providers on this list have either a free plan or a free trial, so you can test your options to see what solution fits best.