Top Kayako alternatives for busy teams

11 Kayako Alternatives for Busy Teams

Considering using Kayako to manage support tickets but aren't absolutely sure that it's the best choice for you? Wondering what other alternatives to Kayako might be worth trying?

Cody Duval

Last updated: September 2, 2022

13 mins read

FACT: Kayako is an amazing customer service platform. Teams, big and small, use its robust features to manage support requests and resolve customer issues fast.

At the same time, Kayako isn’t for everyone and sometimes, an alternative is simply a better choice.

The problem? With so many Kayako alternatives on the market, it’s almost impossible to decide which one would be the best for you.

But there is some good news, too. For one, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you, and identified 11 absolutely best alternatives to Kayako.

A complete help desk, inside Gmail?
Keeping turns your Gmail into a fully featured help desk. It's not magic, but it feels magical.

Before we get to them, though, let’s take one last look at Kayako, shall we?

What is Kayako? 

Kayako is a holistic dashboard used for managing customer tickets in customer service.

It brings together information such as order history, customer information, related conversations, and full contact details to enable any agent to respond to a customer request. With Kayako, you can create a highly personalized experience for customers – even as your business scales and uses more channels. 

Kayako is help desk software integrated with AI. It helps you instantly solve customer support tickets, for example by automatically constructing answers to common queries. Kayako has been around for a while, and includes features like reply timer, prevent duplicate replies, behind-the-scenes collaboration, and more. 

Kayako works by enabling you to switch between different channels including a help desk, live chat, and knowledge base. Kayako provides contextual information to help understand customer tickets as you work. As a full-featured help desk, Kayako is a centralized dashboard for incoming customer support tickets. 

What is Kayako used for?

Nothing slips through the cracks when you use Kayako to cover all your channels. 

Kayako allows you to focus on the customer journey so that every touchpoint is connected. This enables customers to have a consistent experience and obtain high-quality support at every stage. Kayako SingleView™ shows you the actions that customers have taken, helps you diagnose the correct issue, and to provide personalized support. 

Screenshot of Kayako.

Even if interactions take place on social media, Kayako gives you a full view of the customer inside the help desk. You provide contextual support without asking customers to repeat themselves or share their details. 

Another screenshot of Kayako.

Since Kayako is a shared inbox, multiple agents can collaborate on customer tickets. Conversations are clearly marked and tracked, enabling teams to use Kayako as a full-stack ticketing system. 

So Kayako is sensitive to the needs of customers who are interacting with your business in different ways. It’s flexible enough to suit your team while providing all the main features you’d expect from traditional customer service software. 

How much does Kayako cost? 

Kayako pricing begins at $15 per agent per month. 

What are Kayako’s top features? 

Kayako has a bunch of features that make this a viable tool for providing better customer service in your organization. One of its most unique features is the SingleView which tracks customer movements so you can provide more insightful and preemptive service. 

  • SingleView – you can see a visual timeline that displays customer site visits, past orders, shipping orders, self-help searches and marketing emails received. Kayako will prompt you to interact with customers when needed, such as when they reach their one-year milestone of being a customer. 
  • Shared inbox – the shared inbox for customer service teams is a centralized portal where agents can manage their incoming and outgoing messages. Think about it like an upgrade for traditional email with all the usual features such as assignment, prioritization and tagging. 
  • Knowledge base – Kayako integrates fully with its own knowledge base system to allow you to create self-service content for your users. In a weird way, customers sometimes don’t need to talk to your agents at all. You can deflect them to relevant articles in the help center. 
  • Live chat – many customers prefer the immediacy of live chat which becomes a possibility in Kayako. It’s integrated with Kayako’s SingleView for full context and allows agents to collaborate with shared notes to provide more comprehensive support. 
  • Social listening – monitor social media for brand mentions and jump into the conversation to provide proactive support. Kayako will tell you when users mention you on X (formerly Twitter) so you can reply back and maintain your brand reputation. 
  • Integrations – integrate Kayako with Slack and Salesforce out-of-the-box to connect your platforms. Kayako has compatibility with Zapier so you can also connect to hundreds of other apps without coding. 

What are some of the issues businesses have with Kayako?

Kayako is a great tool as it’s generally easy to use and suitable for different business cases. If you just want a basic shared inbox, then there might be some better options that just focus on email, for example. 

Some customers on G2 have been unhappy with the changes to Kayako’s pricing structure in recent years. That being said, it’s still in line with other comparable tools in the space offering similar functionality. 

Depending on your need for integrations, users report that Kayako can also come up short since the options are limited, especially for customers on the lower tiers. It’s not that Kayako is a bad tool, it just might not have the capabilities your team requires if you want to integrate natively with your other apps. 

According to other customers, they have found errors and bugs in the system – although users still like the software. 

“There are some bugs that happen in Kayako from time to time which interferes in assigning the priority. It can be made better by issuing an updated software patch. Other than that, the software is really good!”

User, G2

Software is always improving, though, and many of these errors will have been worked out for the newer versions. 

11 top alternatives to Kayako

1. Keeping

Keeping, the top alternative to Kayako.

Keeping is a shared email inbox with a plethora of features for collaboration and communication between agents. Customers will be happier when you decide to use Keeping alongside Gmail (it works as an extension) because you can meet customers where they’re currently at using email. 

As a shared inbox, you have access to all the features you need, including internal shared notes, shared templates, automations, tags and reporting so you can support your customers better. Keeping is as easy to use as Gmail but much more powerful, since it was built for customer service teams. 

If you’ve used anything like Google Groups Collaborative Inbox or a distribution list in Outlook in the past, you’ll definitely know you need Keeping. Agents can work together using Keeping without having to learn a complex help desk. They won’t be restricted by unsuitable workarounds. 

If you can use Gmail, you can certainly get used to Keeping in minutes. 

Here are Keeping’s top features:

  • Ticket assignment – assign a particular team member the responsibility for dealing with a ticket. 
  • Routing – decide which team or individual is assigned a ticket based on rules applied when it hits the inbox. 
  • Automations and rules – use conditional logic to trigger workflows that better handle your tickets.
  • Shared notes – share notes and conversations within the tool to collaborate on tickets. 
  • Shared templates – also known as canned responses or saved replies, these templates can help you reuse common responses. 
  • Collision detection – stop agents duplicating replies for customers by locking messages. 
  • Analytics and reporting – gain insight into team and agent performance with key metrics. 

Why Keeping is better for busy teams

Keeping is a simple solution for your customer service needs. When your team is busy, you don’t want to spend lots of time learning a complex help desk. After installing Keeping, your team will have no downtime and you can learn the system in minutes.

2. HelpScout


Help Scout is another option to consider if you’re looking for a Kayako alternative. It’s a highly reliable and popular help desk that also offers a help center, live chat, and proactive messaging. Help Scout slots in nicely with your existing tools to offer holistic support for your customers. It has an intuitive and simple interface. 

Made by customer support teams for customer support teams, Help Scout skips the typical pitfalls associated with some traditional help desk tools. Help Scout doesn’t take a great deal of learning but offers powerful automations and rules to take your customer service to the next level. 

There are a couple of issues with using Help Scout to do with workflows, where the UX is designed so that it’s too easy to trigger automated emails. Some customers have reported problems. Some users also believe that making your documentation in the help center look professional is too much of a challenge. 


  • Easy to learn this tool and quickly become a relative expert
  • Clean interface for managing customer support conversations


  • It’s quite easy to lose sight of tickets once they become archived
  • Confusion in the UX sometimes results in unwanted actions being triggered

Pricing: begins at $20 per user per month. 

3. Helpspot


Helpspot is an email ticketing system with the option to run on-premise if you need it. Combine this with Helpspot’s Knowledge Book, which is HelpSpot’s knowledge base for supporting customers with self-service. Managing hundreds of mailboxes becomes possible in Helpspot. 

AI is a key feature of Helpspot. Use AI to expand short notes into well-crafted replies that thoroughly support customers. For example, you could take bulleted notes which are then turned into full-length replies that are more comprehensive. You can also shorten wordier replies to make them more digestible. 

It’s not necessary to switch accounts in order to manage your multiple mailboxes. Helpspot is email management for teams that have either a single mailbox or many hundreds. The emphasis is on user control, and you can customize Helpspot to suit your needs with automations like triggers. 


  • Highly flexible solution for teams with strict requirements
  • Agents can manually create tickets for issues your team needs to work on


  • A few bugs in the system can be a problem such as failure to apply filters
  • Reporting can be limited for this tool

Pricing: begins at $699 per year for unlimited customers and tickets. 

4. OneDesk


OneDesk is a full stack solution for help desk and project management, and is perfect for customer service teams that need to collaborate. OneDesk is also available through the cloud or on-premise, depending on your individual business needs. Incorporating generative AI, OneDesk uses bot Odie to help you answer live chats, deflect tickets, and facilitate self-service. 

OneDesk allows your team to collaborate with internal chat, external chat, saved replies, attachments and notifications. Combined with automations and workflows, you can successfully triage tickets, change the status, and assign to the right agents. 

OneDesk also allows you to bill clients for services you render, track customer satisfaction with surveys, and implement SLAs to ensure tickets are resolved on time. The project management portion of the software is similar to a tool like Jira or Trello. It allows you to track tickets, manage time, and more. 


  • Many features that help you combine ticket and project management for faster service
  • OneDesk is a complex tool that is nevertheless easy to implement without development support


  • Permissions of individual users can be quite limited and hard to manage
  • Interface and UX can come across as a little outdated

Pricing: begins at $11.99 per user per month. 

5. TeamSupport


TeamSupport is customer support software powered by AI and machine learning, combining several channels such as email ticketing, knowledge base and live chat. Use Customer Health Score to analyze customer distress and proactively retain customers. Robust integrations with other inter-departmental tools such as Salesforce, Jira and Azure DevOps. 

With a focus on data to support the objectives of engineering, QA and product to track customer data and product records. TeamSupport offers a main interface that can replace your traditional email inbox for better email management. 

Automation and ticket management includes triggers that allow agents to be reminded when they need to follow up, or even prompt customers when they have an outstanding ticket. Routing and escalation is automatic with TeamSupport, and you can customize how you manage tickets in the interface. 


  • The system is easy to navigate for new users
  • TeamSupport targets the B2B support niche


  • The API can be unreliable when data cannot be accessed
  • Users report that issues can go neglected for a long time

Pricing: begins at $29 per agent per month. 

6. Intercom


Intercom uses AI to power customer support interactions in a proactive way on your website. Intercom makes it easy to incorporate AI Copilot as assistance for agents to provide next-level support to customers. AI Analyst provides AI insights and recommendations for support leaders, while Fin AI agent facilitates 24/7, automatic support for customers. 

Multiple channels coming together on Intercom make it easier to provide support. Offering a help center, email and messaging means customers can obtain help on their preferred channel. Intercom’s clean interface allows agents to smoothly perform actions on tickets, as a team. 

Setting up automations and workflows enable agents to combine their efficacy with the assistance of AI to provide better support. You can hop on a call with Intercom to support customers face-to-face, and target users with content to move them up the funnel. 


  • Intercom is a popular tool and many agents will be familiar with its system
  • Focus on outbound messaging means you can proactively support customers


  • Payment for usage and add-ons can end up being quite expensive
  • It’s impossible to perform bulk actions for users 

Pricing: begins at $39 per agent per month. 

7. LiveAgent


LiveAgent is customer support software with a beautiful interface that can support customers across multiple channels. LiveAgent began its life as live chat software but has evolved into a full-featured help desk much like Kayako. As a ticketing system, you can create accounts for agents, prevent duplicate replies, and track the ranking of your agents based on performance.

You can set business hours to configure your SLAs, use macros to communicate quickly with customers, navigate across different channels and manage contacts for the different companies you work with in LiveAgent.  

Divide LiveAgent into different departments so you can more effectively organize your agents and other users. The hybrid ticket stream means you can hop across different channels to support customers depending on their needs. 


  • Highly intuitive and flexible interface for big customer service departments
  • Bulk actions can help you manage multiple tickets at once


  • Integration with Outlook can be slow and cause delays in delivering support over email
  • Mobile app, though offered, is quite limited and restricts managing tickets on-the-go

Pricing: begins at $9 per agent per month. 

8. Zendesk Support Suite


Zendesk Support Suite is a widely-used help desk allowing you to support customers through email, messaging, AI, and help center. You can also talk to customers on the phone, use bots, access customer data and more. 

Zendesk offers powerful routing and intelligence to send tickets to the right agents based on pre-set characteristics, eliminating the need to manually route. Integrations with functionality such as live locations help you support customers more contextually and personally. 

The platform combines human support with bot-driven AI so you can provide automated experiences for customers that still feel personal. Zendesk integrates with popular messaging tools like WhatsApp and Facebook so you can reach customers on their usual platforms. 


  • Powerful and customizable platform used by large companies
  • Multichannel support enables you to prevent customers falling through the gaps


  • Steep learning curve and training required for teams serious about using Zendesk
  • Too many features for teams who just want a straightforward shared inbox or basic help desk

Pricing: begins at $19 per agent per month. 

9. Freshdesk


Freshdesk is similar to Zendesk in that it provides comparable features for a much lower price. Driven by AI, Freshdesk offers a clean interface making it easy to provide filters and tags to each ticket. Since self-service is so important, Freshdesk also includes a knowledge base where you can publish your customer FAQs and guides. 

Custom widgets help customers find information faster. AI-powered automations and workflows work in the back end to help you create actions and rules, generate AI-inspired text in your answers, and prioritize and auto-assign. AI assistant Freddy automatically learns from past tickets to appropriately categorize and tag tickets, for example. 

Cross-functional collaboration is essential for modern, busy customer service teams. Conduct in-ticket discussions, add collaborators, and track progress all within Freshdesk. This means that tasks are less likely to fall through the cracks, even when you have to involve teams like Accounting, Engineering, or Product. 


  • Eliminates administrative work with AI features so agents can focus on customers
  • Integrates well with Microsoft tools like Office 365 mailboxes


  • Necessary add-ons quickly make the price less budget than it may appear first glance
  • Incomplete documentation hinders users from learning features or troubleshooting issues

Pricing: begins at $0 per agent per month. 

10. ProProfs Help Desk


ProProfs is a help desk and support ticketing tool that can integrate with other customer service-based tools such as chat and surveys. It’s a shared space for all your customer-facing emails, robust automations and reports that make your customer service operations more efficient. 

Your help desk also lets you track bugs by assigning urgency, track who is responsible for the bug, and understand the workload of your development team. Allow customers to report bugs through your survey software. 

ProProfs is more than just simply a help desk. Creating chatbots to support your agents is easy. All the usual features like collision detection, prioritization and spam filtering are included with ProProfs. 


  • Powerful automatic ticket assignment keeps your inbox organized and easy to manage
  • Agents can manage multiple support channels simultaneously


  • Keeping track of your ticket backlog or archive is limited up to six months which is a drawback for teams
  • Interface appears outdated and in need of a refresh

Pricing: begins at $0 per agent per month. 

11. HappyFox


HappyFox is a help desk ticket management software that allows you to convert email, phone, chat and web requests into tickets. You can tailor HappyFox to suit your custom workflows, and clone, relate, merge or split tickets to manage complex queries. Create new tickets for recurring issues with prefilled templates that your agents can use to save time. 

Integrate with the online knowledge base to deflect tickets. The knowledge base can be internal or external, and multilingual. AI-powered chatbots serve your knowledge base content to customers automatically. 

Use phone, email, social media, live chat, or a knowledge base to communicate with customers who need your help. HappyFox brings them all together. Integrations with Slack and Microsoft Teams enable agents to collaborate on tickets using their favorite tools. HappyFox also offers a further suite of tools such as Chat, AI Assist, and Chatbot. 


  • Use HappyFox for task management to break each ticket down into constituent parts
  • Contact portal allows customers to log and track their tickets


  • HappyFox can be harder to implement than it should be based on the demo
  • Notifications can be delayed by several days, leading to a poorer customer experience

Pricing: begins at $26 per agent per month. 


Kayako is a brilliant solution for busy customer service teams. However, there are some more appealing options to suit your budget and at the same time provide all the features that you need to deliver top-notch service. Alternatives like Keeping are regularly updated, and include every essential email management feature so you can serve customers and offer simplicity. 

Whether you’re switching from Kayako or considering all your options before you commit, you might want to give Keeping a try. Keeping offers an exceptional 14-day free trial so you can get to know the platform and see how well it works within Gmail. 

Delivering great customer service isn’t rocket science. You just need the right tools to create meaningful relationships with customers.

Cody Duval

Cody is the Founder and CEO of Keeping. He's a self-professed nerd about processes and operations and loves helping others grow and build their businesses.

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