The 7 Best Help Desk Software for Small Businesses to Consider in 2023
You must be able to help customers online if you want to achieve the ability to answer questions, offer support, and increase conversions. Adopting the best help desk software for small business is the answer to many customer service problems.
Customers are king. Businesses must embrace helping them if they are to succeed in today’s marketplace, especially for small businesses competing against the big giants. To help customers efficiently, you need the right software with all the requisite features to put a support process in place.
You must be able to help customers online if you want to achieve the ability to answer questions, offer support, and increase conversions. Adopting the best help desk software (also known as customer service software) for small business is the answer to many customer service problems because you will no longer be battling against inefficiencies and bottlenecks.
Customer service is what will distinguish your company from the herd. The right help desk software helps you on your journey.
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.” – Ken Blanchard (Mollie Beck)
89% of customers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience, so there’s real ROI from investing in help desk software for small business.
What is help desk software for small businesses?
Help desk software is any software that provides functions to help you support customers across various online channels. This may range from email to phone, to social to live chat. Customers expect businesses, even small businesses, to be able to respond instantly, and help desk software enables you to achieve this.
So, service desk software allows you to manage these channels and keep up with incoming customer queries. For this to happen, you must track tickets, assign them to agents, set priorities, and more.
Help desk software takes the effort out of the need to manage customer support, providing you with a host of features that make this task easier. That being said, not every help desk software is the same, which is why we’ll be helping you decide which solution to choose.
The benefits of help desk software
Now, we will look at some of the top benefits of using help desk software.
Helps triage customer requests
If you’re just starting out you might be able to get by without a help desk system but soon you’ll find the need to triage customer requests. As the volume increases, some requests will be more urgent than others and you’ll need to find a way of dealing with them according to priority.
Read More: The 10 Best Help Desk Software for 2023
Provides vital context for customer inquiries
Help desk software usually gives you the history of the customer’s interactions with your company alongside their customer data. With the best will in the world it’s impossible to get to know every customer individually but help desks enable you to administer the personal touch.
Allows teams of agents to work effectively together
If you have more than one support agent in your team then it helps to have help desk software on your side. They’ll be able to collaborate more effectively over tickets and ensure that customers aren’t receiving duplicate answers or missing out on a response altogether.
Enhances agent productivity
Help desk software enables agents to get through more tickets in less time, thus helping you save valuable resources. Customer service goes up a notch with faster response times, more effective responses, and more consistent and reliable service.
How to choose the best help desk software for small business
Now we’ll look at the factors to consider when choosing help desk software for small business.
Aim for good ROI
You don’t want a solution that costs a lot to set up only to find that you’re not getting a good ROI on customer support. Or worse, one with fees steadily increasing as you expand your team. Appraise yourself of hidden fees so you can make sure you won’t pay more than you need to, with a good value for money solution.
Choose a solution that scales
You might be a small business now but if all goes well your support team is likely to grow in the near future. You don’t want to choose a solution that won’t scale with your needs, but at the same time you shouldn’t be paying for more features than you need at present. Pick a vendor that offers tiered pricing plans tailored for small but growing businesses.
Consider usability and adoption
The whole point of adopting help desk software is to make the lives of your customer support agents much easier. A complex and overly technical tool will be slow to adopt, and agents might spend more time wrestling with software than they do in helping customers. An intuitive user interface and good overall usability is key for adoption.
Integrations with existing tools
One of the many reasons that businesses choose a help desk tool like Keeping is because it integrates directly with Gmail, so agents need not leave a familiar interface to access help desk features. Choosing a tool that plays with existing tools is an important consideration so you can improve the overall agent experience.
What are the most important features to look for in help desk software for small business?
Look out for these features when deciding on your software.
One of the best things about adopting help desk software is that you have access to analytics that help you improve your customer service. You can view metrics like First Response Time, Average Time to Resolution, and more, allowing you to benchmark and set goals.
When teams of agents are collaborating on customer tickets, being able to assign tickets to particular agents significantly helps with productivity and clarity. Agents know exactly what they need to work on and it enables you to fairly share the workload, or assign tickets to the most
If your agents are on the ball, more than one might work on a ticket at the same time. This runs the risk of sending duplicate replies to customers, confusing them and looking unprofessional. Collision detection prevents all that by locking a ticket after an agent starts work on it.
Let customers know they have received their inquiry by sending automatic replies, with templates customizable for your unique purposes. Link to your knowledge base to deflect common queries, and give customers an expected response time.
Many help desks will integrate with your e-commerce software to show customer order history, adding vital context to your conversations and sometimes allowing you to amend orders directly from the help desk.
You need to conduct conversations internally around particular customer tickets and it’s easy for key points to get lost when you’re jumping between tools. Shared notes allow agents to communicate with each other directly from the help desk.
You may be fielding inquiries from multiple email addresses such as info@ and help@, so it’s wise to pick a tool that can handle multiple mailboxes without requiring you to log in and out.
There are numerous ways you can automate your help desk processes such as routing inquiries to particular agents or set priority and tags. Automating repetitive tasks saves your agents time and frees them up to help more customers.
Shared templates eliminate the need to manually type out every single reply when you are responding to a common query. Templates can be customized to suit your needs and shared among all agents.
Read More: How to Set Up an Internal Helpdesk
Look for a solution that offers high-level security to protect your and your customers’ data, and absolutely never share it with third parties. Help desk software is inherently more secure than sharing passwords among agents and confidential information regarding customers is kept private.
When you have teams of agents working on large numbers of tickets, you can keep track of the status of every ticket by marking them as open, closed, or pending (with automations to help) and tickets reopen when customers reply to the conversation.
The 7 best help desk software for small business
Finally, we’ve got the top help desk software for small business in the following list.
If you want to keep your help desk software right inside Gmail, Keeping should be your first option. Keeping has all of the features listed above, and more. It’s easy to install, easy to learn, and no lock-in so you can leave at any time with all your data in tact.
Keeping makes managing multiple inboxes a breeze and creates a great experience for your agents, especially small businesses looking for reasonably-priced software that integrates with their existing systems. There is no new system to learn as Keeping slots in seamlessly with the Gmail interface.
Businesses love Keeping for its simplicity, which sets it apart from cumbersome help desk tools which require days or even weeks of training. All you need to use Keeping is a Gmail account, then you and your agents can get started collaborating on tickets.
Pricing: Starts from $10 per user per month.
2. Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk is another great choice for small businesses looking to improve their customer service game. Making quality technology accessible for all, Zoho Desk combines features like ticket management, self-service and process automation. Consider Zoho Desk if you want to offer an omnichannel support experience combining email, social media, live chat and telephone.
Zoho Desk automates many manual tasks such as automatic ticket assignment using Assignment rules. View all your tickets at a glance with intuitive ticket view to make managing your workload easier.
One of the advantages of Zoho Desk is integration with the other tools in Zoho’s suite, so you can view data from Zoho CRM containing customer information. This provides a much better experience than treating each ticket in isolation, with potentially different agents working on the solution.
Pricing: Starts at $15 per user per month.
While you might associate Zendesk more with the enterprise, their help desk software offers flexible options for small businesses. With an intuitive user interface and a system that doesn’t require technical support to set up or configure, Zendesk helps you create a better customer experience with the capabilities to scale.
Personalized messaging across channels, a self-service portal, and powerful automations combine to enable your agents to focus on helping more customers. Zendesk can be modified to meet the needs of any organization and meets the needs of even the most stringent security requirements.
Zendesk’s integrated ticketing system means you can offer support through omnichannel, and agents can collaborate internally within Zendesk. The Zendesk Marketplace offers integrations with popular third-party apps such as MailChimp and Spotify, enabling you to build a coherent agent experience.
Pricing: Starts at $20 per user per month.
HappyFox is help desk ticket management software for small business. HappyFox offers a range of features from ticketing system, to self-service knowledge base, to community forums, enabling you to support users in your preferred manner.
HappyFox offers major capabilities for customer support with the ability to add subscribers to tickets, print tickets with one click and collaborate with shared notes or requests for internal help. Email, phone, chat and web requests are combined to create a coherent customer experience.
Accessible help desk metrics enable you to analyze performance and improve your workflows. Automations combine with analytics to result in a powerful help desk software that allows you to use smart rules and auto-assignments to significantly increase productivity.
Pricing: Starts at $26 per user per month.
Groove is help desk software aimed at growing businesses that offers a powerful shared inbox for email, social media and live chat. It comes with all the features you’d expect from a help desk platform such as conversation assignments, collision detection and private eternal notes, making collaboration between agents much easier.
SLAs can tell you whether you are meeting your time-based targets if you set your business hours, and automatically categorize your tickets as they hit the inbox. To help you with your automations, Groove offers more than 50 templates to define the rules of your inbox.
Self-service is normally expected by customers and Groove includes a knowledge base that all of your agents can contribute to. Embed the knowledge base widget on every page of your website or app so customers can benefit from contextual help. Utilize the power of AI with automatic conversation summaries and instant replies created from past conversations.
Pricing: starts from $12 per user per month.
6. Help Scout
Help Scout is a popular help desk software for small business because it allows you to access a shared inbox, help center and live chat all in one place. Aiming for simplicity above all, agents can learn Help Scout in a matter of hours and finally organize their inbox for better customer service.
Affordable for small businesses, Help Scout provides contextual data about your customers so you are always able to provide a personalized service, even as you scale. Customers have their own profiles so you can keep track of their history, as well as integrating with many other tools such as Salesforce and HubSpot.
Reporting means you can view key metrics like total conversations and number of conversations, as well as sorting customers by tags. Treat customers as conversations rather than tickets, which is what Help Scout is all about.
Pricing: starts at $20 per user per month.
7. HubSpot Service Hub
HubSpot is well-known for their suite of tools but they also offer help desk software suited for small businesses, HubSpot Service Hub. It includes all the necessary features to provide top-notch customer service such as ticketing, customer feedback capabilities and a knowledge base.
The advantage of Service Hub is its integration with HubSpot CRM so you can have access to all of your customer data for a coherent experience. Shared inbox and help desk automation means you can communicate with customers more efficiently through organizing and managing inquiries.
Live chat connects you to customers in real-time and you can build a self-service knowledge base to help customers 24/7. You can also call your customers directly from the HubSpot platform, integrating all your main channels into one place for superior service.
Pricing: starts from free, making this a super-value platform for small businesses.
Help desk software for small business is essential for scaling up your customer service operations and improving customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention and advocacy. When you aren’t hampered by your lack of technology, you can focus on providing amazing service. The right solution will have all the capabilities and features needed to improve productivity and efficiency.
If you adopt a tool like Keeping, you can stay right within Gmail to give your agents a better experience. There’s no need to learn complex software and waste time wrestling with configurations, or a back-and-forth with a technical team. It’s Gmail, but with extra power to make it highly tailored to customer service.
While most small businesses tend to start out with the basic tools, soon you’ll need to upgrade to a more specialized solution. It’s what customers expect and all part of the service you agree to offer them. Keeping helps you to fulfill that promise.
Join 150+ teams that are sharing inboxes with us
The easiest way to upgrade your shared Gmail account. There’s no credit card is required.