When first starting out, many support teams opt to use a shared G Suite or Microsoft mailbox for interacting with customers. As almost anyone can tell you, though, it takes little to no time to learn that responding to customers from a Gmail account is not a scalable solution.
The reality is that standard email software simply wasn’t built for customer support. That’s where Hiver comes in. Hiver is basically Gmail+. With it you get some basic help desk functionality, like a shared inbox and internal notes.
Though Hiver certainly has its merits, there are some shortcomings. It really only works well for email communication and doesn’t have additional tools to create things like a knowledge base or live chat — two key support channels that improve the customer experience.
Below we give a basic overview of eight Hiver alternatives and offer some insight into which types of teams each may be best suited for.
The 8 best Hiver alternatives for team collaboration
Whether you’re currently using Hiver and are considering switching or are on the hunt for your next help desk, we have eight Hiver alternatives you should consider.
1. Help Scout
Best Hiver alternative for growing SaaS teams focused on customer support.
Help Scout is a complete customer support platform designed specifically for growing teams. When you sign up you get access to a robust set of customer service tools like a shared inbox, which includes collaboration features like private notes and @mentions.
There are productivity tools like collision detection to help prevent duplicate work, workflows to automate manual tasks, and saved replies to respond to routine requests quickly. You also get access to Docs — an easy-to-use knowledge base builder — and Beacon, which lets you offer live chat support and send proactive messages.
Reports let you see how your team is performing, where they’re excelling, and areas for improvement. Customer profiles let you see who you’re talking with to create a VIP experience and help limit back-and-forth interactions to save time for both your team and your customers.
Android and iOS mobile apps
API for advanced capabilities
Integrations with 90+ tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, Jira, and Asana
Advanced permissions for limiting access
Lastly, if you ever need assistance, you have access to world-class, 24/6 support, as well as a robust library of knowledge base content. Best of all, you get access to everything mentioned here — and more — for a similar cost to Hiver.
Price: Starting at $20/user per month.
Best Hiver alternative for teams wanting project management capabilities.
Gmelius is similar to Hiver as it’s also a Gmail add-on. It includes a number of similar features like internal notes, shared labels, ticket assignment capabilities, and reporting (though on their base plan, they only track up to seven days’ worth of metrics).
The key differentiator for Gmelius is the added project management functionality through Kanban boards (think Trello). You’re able to create tasks, add due dates, and assign those tasks to different users.
Though there is some expanded functionality over Hiver, Gmelius still lacks a lot of the core customer service tools most teams look for, like live chat or knowledge base software. Most of their plans also have limits on core features, so that’s something else to consider.
Price: Starting at $7/user per month.
Best Hiver alternative for multi-team collaboration.
Drag is very similar to Gmelius, as it’s a tool that works as an entention to your existing Gmail account. They also have a Kanban board you can use to manage different tasks and customer conversations.
Along with the somewhat standard features like internal notes and ticket assigning, Drag also includes some workflow automations and the ability to create custom email sequences (although both functions are limited based on your specific plan).
The additional features in Drag are particularly useful if teams outside customer support will also be using the tool. For example, salespeople could use the email sequences and track deal statuses in a dedicated workspace.
Price: Free plan available. Paid plans starting at $8/user per month.
Best Hiver alternative for account management.
If you want to respond from a personal email address but still have the features and functionality of a shared inbox, Front could be a good option. You’re able to connect different email and social media accounts and receive SMS texts all to one shared inbox.
Front includes a couple of collaboration features like internal notes, comments, and ticket assigning capabilities. There are preset rule templates and custom automations (only included on their higher-cost plans) to reduce manual work.
Finally, Front also offers metrics tracking to better understand team performance and a number of integrations to connect to other tools in your support stack.
But similar to other entries on the list, Front does lack some support-specific tools like live chat and knowledge base software. They also limit some more basic features, like reporting, to their highest-cost plans.
Price: Starting at $19/person per month.
Best Hiver alternative for phone-heavy teams.
Freshdesk is a Zendesk alternative that offers two varieties of plans: help desk and omnichannel. Their help desk plans are more basic and let you manage email and social (Facebook/Twitter) conversations in a shared inbox. These plans also include some reporting and collaboration features.
Their omnichannel plans — which start at $29/agent per month — provide access to multiple customer support tools like a shared inbox, knowledge base software, and live chat capabilities. They also offer some more advanced features like AI chatbots, but those are limited to the highest-cost plans.
The main differentiator is included phone minutes on their omnichannel plans. If you’re a team doing a decent amount of phone support, it can save time to have all those systems integrated.
Price: Free plan available. Paid plans starting at $15/agent per month.
Best Hiver alternative for low-volume ecommerce teams.
Gorgias is help desk software focused on small businesses working in ecommerce. They offer a couple of different customer support tools, like a shared inbox and a live chat tool.
The true differentiator for Gorgias is their Shopify, Magento (not offered on their base plan), and BigCommerce integration capability. Through those integrations you’re able to edit orders and even offer refunds directly from your help desk, which can save a lot of time and hassle for your team members and customers.
One important thing to note is that all of their plans do have ticket limits. If you exceed the limit for the plan, you’re charged an additional amount depending on how much you go over, making it somewhat difficult to estimate your costs month to month.
Price: Starting at $60 per month.
Best Hiver alternative for teams wanting time tracking.
ClientFlow is basically a combination shared inbox and project management tool. You get access to all the features you’d expect from a shared inbox, like ticket assignment capabilities, warnings to reduce duplicate responses, and internal notes.
On the project management side you’re able to create, assign, and update tasks. The interface is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. What really sets ClientFlow apart is the ability to do time tracking directly in the app.
If you’re an hourly-based team, having that functionality built in could save you a good amount of time and energy.
Price: Starting at $19/user per month.
Best Hiver alternative for multi-channel support.
Helpwise is a shared inbox tool that covers an impressive number of channels. Whether you talk with customers through WhatsApp, SMS, email, social sites, or Slack, Helpwise has you covered.
Along with covering a multitude of channels, they also offer basic features like internal notes and ticket assignments. It also includes collision detection to help reduce duplicate replies and save time for your team.
We should note, access to all the different channel integrations isn’t offered on their base plan. Also, Helpwise doesn’t include a lot of tools specifically built for customer service. If that’s your primary use case, there may be better options out there.
Price: Starting at $20/user per month.
Choosing the tool that's right for your team
Though Hiver is a step above a standard email tool, it’s still not robust enough for most growing teams. You could buy additional tools to supplement the areas where Hiver lacks, but that can get expensive quickly.
For most, the smarter path is to find a tool that can grow with you and address all your customer support needs — now and in the future.