If you have a lot of experience with customer support, you have probably heard of Help Scout. It's an amazing software program that has absolutely revolutionized online support systems.
There are over 9,000 businesses in the world that use Help Scout, but there are many alternatives out there, too.
Since customer support is one of the business processes that can always benefit from upgrades and optimization, it's always a focal point for innovation and disruption.
In this article, we explain what Help Scout is all about and present the best alternatives to this service. Check it out and launch your support efforts to success!
How does Help Scout work?
Help Scout, formerly known as Brightwurks, is a service that aims to optimize your customer support and communication with your audience/users. It's an incredibly successful service that has over 9,000 customers worldwide.
It consists of several different tool sections that help support team thrive in keeping customers happy:
- Help Desk – personalized email messages
- Docs – creating and sharing documents among team members
- Beacon – cutting-edge technology for live chat systems
- Reports – analytics on support efforts, stats and insights
It's also highly integrated with all services most today's businesses use, like Salesforce, Slack, MailChimp, Shopify, Jira, WooCommerce, Shopify…
How much do all these beautiful perks cost?
Well, here comes the catch.
Help Scout's pricing system definitely isn't affordable by everyone. It could be cost-effective if you're a one-person support team (but who is?), in other cases it comes with a quite hefty price tag.
The cheapest, Standard plan costs $25 per month per user. There is also a $40/month/user plan and a custom pricing option for bigger teams.
Now, let's do the math.
Say your company has 30 support team members. In this case, a year of using the basic plan would be 12*25*30, which amounts to 9000 bucks per year for software. Of course, most companies can afford this, but for enthusiastic startups who are just starting out their industry journey, this price tag can be incredibly detrimental.
It's more clear now why many users are looking for Help Scout alternatives. Without a doubt, Help Scout is an amazing software program with fantastic features, but is there a way to get something similar for a lower price?
1. Support Hero
Support Hero is our absolute favorite when it comes to customer support software. It can significantly lower your response time and make your problem-solving faster and more efficient. It also helps a lot in connecting and organizing interactions between members of staff.
Support Hero Features
Support Hero is a service that helps reduce the clutter in your support inbox. Instead of helping you manage the support tickets that arrive at your team, it actually introduces a system that will reduce the number of user queries in the first place.
This is done through extensive help and support articles that are designed to provide an answer to your user without them contacting customer support.
Support Hero uses keywords and AI recognition to link your user's question to the appropriate response.
Of course, as a support management software, it also consists of a section that will allow your team to organize their issue base and reply to users' questions and comments.
You can also integrate the service with other existing helpdesk options like Drift or Salesforce.
Support Hero Pricing
The pricing of the Support Hero software comes in 4 levels: Small, Medium, Large, and Custom.
- Small = $49/month
- Medium = $99/month
- Large = $199/month
If you want to have a plan that can do more, you can contact the team in order to set up a custom plan, with pricing to be discussed.
As you can see from the list, there are definitely other support tools that come at a lower price, but Support Hero definitely justifies its pricing with extra cool features.
Freshdesk is a combination of decades of experience running support teams; all poured into one, all-encompassing software. It's definitely one of the best support software programs out there that will significantly increase the efficiency of your team.
Basically, Freshdesk's aim is to get customer support as far away from emails as possible. With the rise of new technology and systems, using email to respond to your customers' questions is outdated. It also disables any kind of a birds-eye perspective over your customer care system.
Freshdesk introduces a solution that will receive, edit, organize, and answer to customers' requests, all in one dashboard. It also makes team communication easier, and it's very transparent who's working on what.
Freshdesk has a well-segmented pricing plan that enables each team to pick the plan that suits them the best and take advantage of it to the mask. Currently, Freshdesk offers the following plans:
- Sprout – unlimited number of agents, email ticketing, knowledgebase, collabs = free
- Blossom – automation, detection of collision, marketplace apps = $15/agent/month
- Garden – time tracking, performance reports, multilingual knowledge base = $29/agent/month
- Estate – automated ticket assignments, custom roles, enterprise reporting = $49/agent/month
- Forest – skill-based automated assigning, HIPAA-compliance, IP whitelisting = $109/agent/month
3. Team Support
Even if your team is currently using some other support software, the easy-to-use dashboard and user-friendly interface will make migration extra easy. According to support team leaders, one of the main reasons for sticking with your current support software provider (often Help Scout) is the difficulty of migration. TeamSupport solves this issue and welcomes all new users!
Features of TeamSupport
TeamSupport has one of the widest and inclusive features in its customer service portfolio. The software is so extensive that you really won't need anything else for your support team, especially if you're running a smaller business.
It consists of the following sections: Customer Management, Ticket Management, Product and Inventory, Collaboration, Integration, Customer Self-Service, Reporting, and Analytics.
TeamSupport has two editions: Enterprise and Support Desk. If paid on a yearly basis, the subscriptions total to:
- Support Desk – $50/agent/month
- Enterprise – $65/agent/month
If you choose to pay on a monthly basis, the prices will go up by $10/agent/month. Since this is one of the more expensive customer support software providers, it's definitely recommended that you first see the demo and use the free trial before going with the yearly subscription.
Super simple to use with the basic features that any support team requires. Customizable (and scheduled) reports help to save you time, money, and a lot of stress. The data provided is super helpful when it comes to decision making and improving your customer satisfaction rates.
Kayako consists of a shared inbox and live chat feature that supports multiple languages. Even the basic plan already includes multiple channels for communication, so you won't need to upgrade to go beyond basic email ticketing.
The Kayako software has one of the best social integration programs out there. It's easily connected to Twitter and Facebook, which allows you to manage your social communications within the same dashboard as customer service. This personalized approach can turn your fans and followers into loyal customers!
Kayako has three pricing plans:
- Inbox – $15/agent/month
- Growth – $30/agent/month
- Scale – $60/agent/month
Compared to other customer support software, Kayako's inbox plan will give you a lot of features for only 15 USD per month. Namely, it includes a shared email inbox, live chat integration, and social integration.
Of course, you get all of these perks in higher-value plans, too; only there are additional features like advanced reporting, multi-language support, and customization of the interface.
If you want to integrate your Gmail inbox to your customer support software simply, Hiver is the perfect answer. It's a shared email inbox software perfect for companies and businesses that receive most tickets via email. Email is the focus of their feature portfolio, but it definitely reflects on the price.
Within Hiver, you have the option to manage shared email inboxes or Google groups. The software is directly targeted to business users who run all their communication on G-suite products.
There is also a collaborative inbox where a team member can quickly and efficiently speak to each other without getting lost in their forest of emails.
Hiver extended its offer not only to support teams but specialized for Finance teams, Account Management, IT Admins… Every type of team has a tailor-made solution with Hiver software.
There are three pricing options when you use Hiver:
- Plus = $14/user/month
- Premium = $22/user/month
- Enterprise = $34/user/month
If you want to see how it all works before committing for a longer time, you have a 14-day free trial.
If you're running your customer support buttons and links on multiple locations, it can be hard to keep track of them and organize them. That's why LiveAgent allows you to respond to your customers' issues, whichever channel they may come from. LiveAgent is an award-winning customer support software that was ranked number 1 support program for small and medium businesses.
Whichever plan of LiveAgent you choose, you will have access to the biggest benefit of the software: an amazing user interface with neatly ordered customer questions and replies. Each customer email contains a multitude of information: from the urgency level of the issue to alerts if too much time had passed without a reply.
LiveAgent is split into four categories: Ticketing, Live Chat, Call Center, and Reports.
Reports enable you to keep track of any agent metrics that you're interested in and get a better insight into how each member of the team is doing.
Depending on the channels where you receive your customer communication, you can opt for the plan that will encompass all of your business support needs. Of course, you can sign up for a free trial to see whether LiveAgent is the right choice for you.
LiveAgent has three pricing plans:
- Ticket – custom domain + email ticketing = $15/agent/month
- Ticket + Chat – email ticketing + live chat + visitor monitoring = $29/agent/month
- All-Inclusive – email + live chat + cloud call center + advanced reports = $39/agent/month
As you can see, there's not that much of a price difference between the plans, but you get a whole new support channel included in a higher-value plan. This makes LiveAgent perfect for businesses that run their support efforts on many channels.
Ticksy is a cute little nifty program for tiny support teams who want to take their customer service to the next level through optimization and personalization.
Features of Ticksy
Considering its lower price, Ticky actually offers a lot of the features that its more expensive peers do. One of the peculiarities of Ticksy is that you have an option to opt for public and private tickets. Public tickets are just like mini-forums, where your support agents can engage with the customers.
Pricing is one of the greatest benefits of using Ticksy, which is why many users opt for it.
- Single agent = $8.3/month
- 1-3 agents = $12/month
- 4-9 agents = $40/month
- more than 10 agents = $120/month
The latter option can be incredibly beneficial for teams that consist of a large number of agents.
While Help Scout may be the closest to the industry standard in the customer support field, not everyone is prepared to pay its price. Luckily, there are many alternatives to it, some of them we've covered in this article. Go ahead and try them out – maybe some of them will be a better fit for your business than the Help Scout!