As a customer service manager, you know how important great service is for attracting and retaining customers. To manage customer support operations, many businesses turn to a SaaS platform to handle customer inquiries, and Help Scout is known to be one of the industry leaders.
However, there are many other platforms that rival Help Scout and are worth considering. Here's a guide to 10 Help Scout alternatives for customer service teams that deserve a closer look.
Help Scout is a popular customer support option for many SaaS and small to mid-size businesses. The intuitive user interface makes it easy to jump in without extensive training, allowing agents to get started quickly.
With Help Scout, there are also advanced automations that allow businesses to customize their workflows based on a variety of triggers. If you can imagine a scenario where automation could be useful in your day-to-day support operations, Help Scout probably offers it.
Help Scout’s knowledge base feature allows businesses to build a customized database of answers to common questions and issues. Having this information readily available allows customers to access information on their own without having to contact an agent. Last but not least, Help Scout also offers a HIPAA-compliant plan, making it ideal for healthcare organizations.
Despite Help Scout’s robust features and available customizations, it’s not always the best solution for every business. Certain use cases call for an alternative that meets specific business needs, such as responding to customers on social media.
As you explore the different features available in each customer service SaaS platform below, consider how your business operates and what your greatest needs might be. Make a list of the pain points and opportunities available for your particular type of business. This will help you identify the best customer support solution for your organization.
Considering that Help Scout is not always the best solution for every business, it’s worth your while to comb through our list of Help Scout alternatives below. Here are 10 options we think could better serve certain businesses as they work to provide stellar customer support experiences.
If you’re looking to completely, or partially, outsource your customer support, Chatdesk is an excellent option. The platform provides you with real, US-based agents who can answer tickets in your existing help desk solution or CS software. As such, Chatdesk makes for a great tandem product to use alongside Help Scout and other customer service platforms.
With Chatdesk, you also get additional features to help you provide top-quality customer support on numerous channels, including social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, email, SMS, or chat — a feature that most platforms lack.
Benefits of Chatdesk include:
Pricing: Zero upfront costs; pay per ticket resolved. Get started with the free pilot and scale up as you grow while decreasing the cost per ticket.
Gorgias also works well with Chatdesk or as a standalone product. Ideal for ecommerce businesses, the platform provides a personalized shopping experience for visitors, helping to boost conversions. Gorgias’ collaborative tools and omnichannel support capabilities allow agents to handle customer service issues seamlessly.
Benefits of Gorgias include:
Pricing: Free trial available; pricing starts at $10 and allows you to scale to higher tiers as you grow.
It’s not uncommon to see Gorgias and Zendesk discussed in the same breath. That’s because the two platforms offer similar capabilities in terms of easy automation and collaboration, along with the ability to integrate with Chatdesk. Zendesk is also a solid Help Scout alternative that offers easy setup and robust tools for businesses that are more than just ecommerce brands.
Benefits of Zendesk include:
Pricing: Free trial available; paid plans start at $49 per month per agent.
Freshdesk is a solid free platform that’s ideal for startups and anyone who isn’t quite sure what their customer service needs are yet. While the free version has limited capabilities, it offers some useful features that could be just what you need when first getting started.
For instance, the free plan allows you to respond to emails and social messages from a shared inbox. However, setup might not be as quick and simple as it is on other platforms.
Benefits of Freshdesk include:
Pricing: Free plan available; paid plans start at $15 per month per agent.
While pricier than other Help Scout competitors, Kayako offers powerful functionality that makes it simple for teams to get up and running quickly. Easily manage requests and conversations from any channel and provide the top-notch experience your customers require. Advanced personalization tools provide context around conversations and offer a complete picture of the customer’s journey leading up to each interaction with your team.
Benefits of Kayako include:
Pricing: Free trial available; paid plans start at $125 per agent per month.
With a client roster that includes Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft, Intercom is no small player in the help desk software space. The platform touts itself as being able to power customer service teams to scale without an additional investment — even while providing personalized, efficient customer experiences. As such, it’s ideal for anyone from startups to existing enterprises, primarily in the ecommerce, healthcare, financial services, and education industries.
Key benefits of Intercom include
Pricing: Free trial available; paid plans start at $74 per month.
HubSpot Service Hub is part of the HubSpot CRM platform. This makes it a convenient option for those who already use the CRM and want a simple way to demonstrate ROI.
The idea is to deepen your customer relationships and drive your team’s efficiency so that opportunities can more easily turn into sales. HubSpot also makes it easy to build a library of guides and resources for your support agents to follow, ensuring a consistent customer experience.
Key benefits of HubSpot Service Hub include:
Pricing: Free trial and free plan available; paid plans start at $45 per month.
LiveAgent offers over 130 ticketing system features, making it one of the most robust platforms available. Built-in cloud-based call center software decreases hold times and enhances the customer experience, providing callbacks, video calls, and more.
LiveAgent has also been in business since 2006, making it a long-time player whose capabilities have only grown over the years. Some 150 million users and 40,000 businesses use LiveAgent worldwide, so you know you’ll be in good company.
Key benefits of LiveAgent include:
Pricing: Free trial and free plan available; paid plans start at $15 per agent per month.
Zoho Desk aims to help small businesses “deliver happiness” to their customers, providing quick resolutions and convenient access points. Omnichannel and self-service options ensure you’re engaging with customers wherever they are and empowering them to find resolutions. Contextual support, sentiment analysis, and an advanced response editor help agents send out great responses every time.
Key benefits of Zoho Desk include:
Pricing: Free trial available; paid plans start at $14 per user per month.
Enchant puts your live chat, knowledge base, and contact form in one convenient spot, making it easy for customers to find what they need. Omnichannel shared inboxes keep customer conversations connected and drive better engagements with customers.
The platform’s personalized, customer-centric approach allows for quick resolutions, while the intuitive interface makes it easy to get started.
Key benefits of Enchant include:
Pricing: Free trial available; paid plans start at $15 per user per month
Help Scout is one of the leading customer service platforms on the market today, but it still has its shortcomings. Depending on how you plan to use this customer service app, those shortcomings might not be deal breakers for you. Our guide to Help Scout alternatives above should help you decide which platform is best for your company's needs.
No matter what customer success tools you decide to use, though, there will always be benefits and caveats. Evaluate the pluses and minuses of any Help Scout alternatives to determine whether a solution will work for you before diving in. With most platforms offering free trials, it’s easy to try out the various features to see which ones are most helpful and which ones you don’t need.
Consider, too, that your needs may change as you grow. While you might not require support on social channels initially, for example, you might find that you need it later. After all, the goal of any business is to grow, and that includes growing on the channels where your customers are. So if they’re spending a lot of their time on TikTok, then that’s a place where you should be offering customer support.
Although the options above are all great options, we’ve found Zendesk or Gorgias to be our top choices for Help Scout alternatives. It all depends on your use cases for your particular type of business. With Zendesk and Gorgias, too, you can maximize customer support on these platforms by using them in combination with Chatdesk. Chatdesk gives you US-based agents who not only handle customer support issues but also serve as brand champions who provide a marketing and sales function.
There is perhaps no perfect solution to customer support, as each software has its own strengths and weaknesses. By carefully considering your needs and use cases, however, you can whittle down your options to the product you need based on the features that matter most — and help make your support efforts a success.