Our 9 favorite Front App alternatives in 2022

Our 9 favorite Front App alternatives in 2022
By Rachel Cravit | On May 26, 2022
13 min read
Share

If you’re exploring customer service solutions, you may have already encountered Front. This popular platform offers a wide range of features to help you streamline communication—but is it the best fit for your customer support team? Are there better Front app alternatives worth looking into?

Fear not. Finding the best customer support software can be overwhelming, but TestBox is here to help. This guide will help you determine if Front is the best option for your team and, if not, what other options you should consider. 

Across each tool, we’ll walk through factors including pricing, popular integrations, core features, and customer reviews.

Ready? Let’s get started!

In this article:

A quick overview of Front app

Front is a self-described “customer communication hub”, but what does that actually mean? Is Front a CRM? 

Not exactly. 

Instead, the platform functions as a one-stop-shop for customer messaging, including email, live chat, and social media. With its Gmail-inspired design, Front combines a familiar inbox-style interface with powerful, omni-channel functionality, automated workflows, internal collaboration tools, and detailed analytics to monitor team performance and health of customer relationships. 

Front App

Who uses Front app? 

Front is designed for customer-centric organizations across several industries, including B2B technology, logistics, manufacturing, professional and financial services, and travel. Their 7,500+ customers include Cisco, Dropbox, Airbnb, Better.com, Mailchimp, and Shopify.

Our favorite Front App features

Front is equipped with robust capabilities to help improve your customer support. A few of our favorites include:

  • Shared inbox: Front’s shared inbox centralizes customer messages, so support teams can access all their communication channels in one place. Users can also take advantage of tags and filters to keep on top of messages, as well as snooze and close tickets. We believe omni-channel support is crucial for exceeding customer demands, so this is definitely one of our favorite Front app features.
  • Inbox conversations: Instead of forwarding emails, users can tag team members on customer messages directly within the shared inbox. This makes it easier to assign emails, collaborate on responses, or share conversations for coaching and feedback.
  • Templates: Users can create templated responses to common questions on both an individual and team basis, cutting down on repetitive replies.
  • No-code automation: Front users can easily create if-then workflows to trigger actions across different channels, including routing and escalating messages.
  • “Round-robin” assignments: Front can auto-assign messages at random, so employees can’t cherry pick which customers they’d like to respond to. 

Front App limitations

Front has a lot to offer, but it’s not perfect. These shortcomings may or may not be a dealbreaker, but should still be considered during the evaluation process:

  • Pricing: Front’s multi-tiered pricing structure makes the platform accessible to more modest budgets, starting at $19 per user per month. However, some plans can’t access more advanced features, which has prompted multiple customers to express disappointment in their reviews. Also keep an eye out for the minimum number of seats required, which start at 2 but go all the way up to 10 for Front’s fully loaded Enterprise tier. This could make the platform a tougher sell for smaller support teams.
  • Notifications: According to customer reviews, Front’s notification feature doesn’t fully stack up to its counterpart in Gmail. Some reported alert lags from the time they were tagged, while others felt notifications were either too excessive or difficult to dismiss. 
  • Syncing: A number of reviewers complained about Front’s integration glitches with tools like Google Suite, Gmail, Pipedrive, Intercom, and Slack.

Front App pricing

Front’s pricing ranges from $19- $99 per user per month (Billed annually). However, certain plans have minimum seat requirements which range from 2-10 seats.

Rating

⭐ 4.7/5 Based on 1,300+ verified customer reviews on G2

Test and compare customer support software before you buy

Our selection criteria for Front alternatives

In effort to make this guide as helpful as possible, we’ve established three main criteria for recommending Front alternatives:

  1. Feature parity: There’s no sense comparing apples to oranges, so we only looked at customer service software with similar core features.
  2. Customer reviews: We wanted to see which Front alternatives teams were actually using, so we headed straight for the verified user reviews on G2.
  3. Rating: We only looked at software with a G2 rating of 4+ out of 5.

Let’s dive in!

Freshdesk

Helpdesk heavy hitter Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer service platform backed by the likes of Google and Accel. Over 50,000 businesses use Freshdesk, from school districts and craft breweries to companies like Klarna, Fiverr, and 7-Eleven.

Freshdesk

Key features

Freshdesk is jam-packed with features, including:

  • Omni-channel helpdesk: Freshdesk consolidates customer communication across email, live chat, and social media into one inbox. Users can cut down on repetitive tasks with canned responses and bulk actions to assign, respond to, and resolve tickets. Freshdesk’s help desk additionally supports localization for multi-lingual teams.
  • Ticketing: Freshdesk leverages automation into their sophisticated ticketing system, enabling users to auto-assign and prioritize tickets based on keywords, requesters, or properties. Tickets can also be split into smaller tasks, which different teams can then work on in tandem.
  • Thank you detector: To improve efficiency, Freshdesk’s “thank you detector” prevents tickets from being reopened when customers thank agents for assistance.
  • Chatbots: Freshdesk’s AI-powered bots can provide step-by-step instructions to customers, as well as detect frustration, so the conversation can be forwarded to a live agent.
  • Self-service knowledge base: Users can build out customizable knowledge bases for multiple products, complete with approval workflows to accommodate internal submissions, as well as community forums where customers can share questions and answers with each other.

Key integrations

Freshdesk supports over 600 integrations, including:

  • BigCommerce
  • Google Suite
  • Hootsuite
  • Infusionsoft
  • Jira
  • Microsoft Teams 
  • Office 365
  • Quickbooks
  • Shopify
  • Slack
  • Xero

Pricing

Freshdesk’s pricing ranges from $15-$69 per user per month when billed annually. They also offer a “free forever” basic plan.

Rating

⭐ 4.4/5 Based on 2,600+ verified customer reviews on G2

👉 Test drive Freshdesk in TestBox and compare it with the leading help desk software. No demos, no pitch decks. Evaluate software on your terms.

Trengo

Envisioned as a “next-generation inbox”, Trengo consolidates customer messages across email, social media, voice, and SMS channels. The Dutch customer communication platform is used by more than 2,000 companies across 60+ countries, including Smeg, PPG, and Audi.

Trengo

Key features

  • Inbox chat: Trengo can accommodate both group channels and private conversations within a central inbox.
  • Chatbots: Users can build their own “no-code” chatbots with Trengo’s drag-and-drop blocks. In addition to self-hosted live chats, chatbots can be deployed on popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and WeChat. 
  • Multi-channel CSAT: Trengo’s customer satisfaction surveys can be distributed via email, as well as channels like WhatsApp and Instagram.
  • Push notifications: Users can send templated push notifications to connect with customers on WhatsApp.
  • Self-service help centers: Instead of going on a wild goose chase for information, customers can be auto-directed to a self-service help center every time they type a question in the search bar. Trengo’s help center also has multi-language support.

Key integrations

  • Facebook Messenger
  • Gmail
  • Hubspot
  • Instagram
  • Mailchimp
  • Outlook
  • Pipedrive
  • Salesforce
  • Shopify
  • Slack
  • WhatsApp
  • WooCommerce
  • Zapier

Pricing

Trengo’s pricing ranges from $18-$40 per agent per month when billed annually.

Rating

⭐ 4.5/5 Based on 45+ verified customer reviews on G2

👉 Test drive Trengo in TestBox and compare it with the leading help desk software. No demos, no pitch decks. Evaluate software on your terms.

Help Scout

Help Scout is what happens when you take a feature-rich shared inbox, combine it with a knowledge base, and throw in live chat capabilities.  Over 10,000 teams trust Help Scout across several industries, including SaaS, e-commerce, education, and finance. Some notable customers include Reddit, AngelList, Basecamp, and Buffer. Help Scout is also HIPAA-compliant, making it a suitable customer communication platform for health care organizations.

👉 Already using Help Scout? Check out these Help Scout alternatives.

Help Scout

Key features

If you’ve hung around the TestBox blog before, you may have spotted our posts about Help Scout, including a round-up of our favorite features. Here are some of the biggies you should know about:

  • Shared inbox: It’s easy to toggle between different channels, while a real-time request queue helps agents keep on top of inbound messages. Additionally, users can create a searchable library of answers to common questions, and insert them into replies in just a couple clicks.
  • Tagging: Users can create tags to categorize different types of requests, build out detailed reports, and even automate workflows.
  • Conversation-oriented design: Tickets are referred to as “conversations”, with each customer’s contact information, previous interactions, and data/activity from other apps conveniently displayed in the sidebar. 
  • Knowledge base: Users can create and categorize knowledge base articles, as well as incorporate support team contact information, in case customers require additional assistance. Articles can also be deployed in a dedicated help widget, which can be embedded on any webpage.
  • Live chat: Help Scout’s live chat can be mixed and matched with help articles and other contact options to create a seamless, step-by-step support process. For example, visitors may be prompted to view help articles before they can initiate a live chat. Users can also choose to direct support requests to an email queue when live chat is unavailable.

Key integrations

  • Freshbooks
  • Google Suite
  • HubSpot
  • Infusionsoft
  • Jira
  • Magento
  • Mailchimp
  • Pipedrive
  • Salesforce
  • Shopify
  • Slack
  • Zapier

Pricing

$20-$60 per user per month (Billed annually).

Rating

⭐ 4.4/5 Based on 340+ verified customer reviews on G2.

👉 Test drive Help Scout in TestBox and compare it with the leading help desk software. No demos, no pitch decks. Evaluate software on your terms.

Test and compare customer support software before you buy

Hiver

Hiver is the first omni-channel help desk solution built for Google Workspace. Rather than trying to do all the things, Hiver is focused on optimizing a single tool for fast, efficient customer support, all directly from Gmail. Hiver’s 1,500+ customers include Pluralsight, Upwork, and Harvard University.

Hiver

Key features

  • Shared inbox: Users can manually assign or reassign customer emails within a shared inbox, or turn on rules-based auto-assigning.
  • Collison alerts: Hiver prevents multiple users from responding to the same email to mitigate risk of conflicting replies.
  • Status tracking: Every customer email can be easily categorized and tracked by resolution status.
  • Team collaboration: Team members can access shared drafts to collaborate on replies in real-time, as well as use @ mentions to loop in specific agents.
  • Email organization: Users can create color-coded tags for visual inbox filtering, as well add internal notes to customer emails.

Key integrations

  • Gmail
  • Google Workspace
  • Slack
  • Zapier

Pricing

Hiver’s pricing ranges from $15-$59 per user per month when billed annually.

Rating

⭐ 4.6/5 Based on 700+ verified reviews on G2.

Helpwise

Helpwise is a simple team inbox and knowledge base with some impressive features. With Helpwise, support teams can answer all customer queries across multiple channels from one single place in less time including SMS, email, social media, and more.

Helpwise

Key features

  • Shared inbox: In addition to consolidating customer messages across email, live chat, SMS, social media, and WhatsApp, Helpwise syncs old customer conversations from Gmail and Microsoft Outlook. The shared inbox also includes helpful features like tagging, assigning, and team chats.
  • Separate log-ins: To increase security, users with access to the same email address have their own separate passwords.
  • Customer feedback: Users can create templates for customer satisfaction surveys and automate review collection.
  • Knowledge base: Users can build out a knowledge base customized with their company branding, as well as share articles with customers via email, SMS, or WhatsApp.

Key integrations

  • HubSpot
  • Shopify
  • Slack
  • Pipedrive
  • Zapier
  • Zoho CRM
  • WhatsApp

Pricing

Helpwise’s pricing ranges from $12-40 per user per month when billed annually. They also offer a free plan for teams up to 3. For enterprise pricing, you’ll have to reach out and talk to their team directly.

Rating

⭐ 4.5/5 Based on 150+ verified customer reviews on G2.

Kustomer

Kustomer is an omni-channel customer support platform imagined as “CRM for customer service”. With customers like Ring, Glovo, Glossier and Sweetgreen, Kustomer is equipped with a wide range of e-commerce integrations, including Amazon Connect, Big Commerce, and Shopify. It was acquired by Meta in 2022.

Kustomer

Key features

  • AI: Kustomer’s self-learning AI models can automatically tag and route conversations and reply to frequently asked questions.
  • Automation: Kustomer’s automation capabilities extend to manual support tasks, from updating customer profiles to creating entire workflows with custom logic. Users can also deploy automated responses to customer messages on social media and WhatsApp.
  • Knowledge base: Users can design multi-brand knowledge bases with customizable themes and localized content in 76 languages.
  • Chatbots: Users can also build their own code-free chatbot workflows with Kustomer’s visual interface.
  • Custom push notifications: Kustomer’s appeal to e-commerce brands is evident with custom push notifications, which can be used to communicate delivery updates or delays.

Key integrations

  • Amazon Connect
  • Big Commerce
  • Chargify
  • Gmail
  • Jira
  • Klaviyo
  • Magento 
  • Salesforce
  • Shopify
  • Trust Pilot
  • WhatsApp

Pricing

Kustomer’s pricing ranges from $89-$139 per user per month when billed annually. They have a 4-seat minimum. 

G2 rating

⭐ 4.4/5 Based on 345+ verified customer reviews on G2.

Gmelius

As their name might suggest, Gmelius is another customer support tool built specifically for Gmail. Based in Switzerland, Gmelius originated as a dorm room project at Oxford and has since expanded to 280,000 users across a global customer base, including companies like Justworks, Grab, and HomeLight. 

Gmelius

Key features

  • Shared inbox: Gmelius turns standard customer emails into actionable tickets, which can then be assigned, tagged and updated by status. The shared inbox is also equipped with email tracking and auto-scheduling.
  • Kanban boards: Users can visually organize their shared inbox with kanban boards, converting emails into task cards with subtasks, priorities, and deadlines.
  • Email templates: Users can create and insert their own email templates directly from the compose window.
  • Team collaboration: Users can collaborate on shared drafts, delegate conversations with @ mentions, and leave notes for other team members on customer emails. Gmelius can also sync with Slack for easy notifications.
  • Automation: If-then workflows in Gmelius enable users to automatically assign emails based on agent bandwidth, send out autoresponders, apply SLA policies, and label conversations.

Key integrations

  • Google Workspace
  • Loom
  • Slack
  • Trello
  • Zapier

Pricing

Gmelius pricing ranges from $7-49 per user per month when billed annually.

Rating

⭐ 4.4/5 Based on 540+ verified customer reviews on G2.

Zendesk

As a multibillion dollar SaaS company, Zendesk’s customer support platform is stacked with a suitably massive list of features, with plans tailored to SMB and enterprise teams alike. After all, it’s the go-to customer support software for most teams. Zendesk counts companies like Grubhub, Instacart, Mailchimp, Udacity, InVision, Vimeo, Uber, and Pinterest among its 170,000+ customers.

👉 Already using Zendesk? Check out these Zendesk alternatives.

Zendesk

Key features

  • Agent workspace: Zendesk pulls every communication channel into a single dashboard, where agents can track, prioritize, and respond to customer queries, as well as update forms and fields.
  • Live chat: Zendesk’s advanced live chat functionality includes behavior triggers, live visitor tracking, file sending, and chat ratings. Agents can also view when customers are typing a response and reply to queries natively across Facebook Messenger, WeChat or WhatsApp.
  • Chat bots: Users can create code-free, multilingual chatbots and deploy across several support channels, including on their website, social media and Slack. Chatbots can even collect customer information and pre-populate ticket fields.
  • Knowledge base: Users can build expansive knowledge bases for different brands, regions, and audiences, with localized content supported in over 40 languages. Content can also be distributed inside products, embedded on any webpage via widgets, and incorporated in support tickets through AI-enabled recommendations. 
  • Community forums: Users can create forums for customers to connect, ask questions, and share information.

Key integrations

Zendesk comes equipped with 1,000+ pre-built integrations, including:

  • Hootsuite
  • Jira
  • Magento
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Shopify
  • Slack
  • Trello
  • Zoom

Pricing

Zendesk pricing ranges from $49-$215 per agent per month (when billed annually).

Rating

⭐ 4.3/5 Based on 4,000+ verified customer reviews on G2

👉 Test drive Zendesk in TestBox and compare it with the leading help desk software. No demos, no pitch decks. Evaluate software on your terms.

HubSpot Service Hub

Service Hub is a natural extension of HubSpot’s popular CRM platform, designed to consolidate customer data and communication channels for service and support teams. HubSpot’s Service Hub is used by companies like Frontify, OceanSpray, Soundcloud, and GoFundMe Charity.

HubSpot service hub

Key features

  • Omni-channel messaging: Agents can switch between multiple channels and respond to customer queries via email, social media, and live chat from a single dashboard.
  • Chat bots: HubSpot’s chatbots can answer common support questions and direct customers to both live agents and relevant help documentation.
  • Knowledge base: Users can build a searchable library of help articles and videos, as well as tap content performance insights from the reporting dashboard. 
  • Customer portal: Customers can access a designated portal, complete with status updates, ticket conversations, and access to the knowledge base.
  • VoIP calling: Service Hub seamlessly integrates with other HubSpot products, including their VoIP software, which can be used to call customers directly.

Key integrations

  • Asana
  • Databox
  • Hootsuite
  • Jira
  • Pandadoc
  • Zapier
  • Zoom

Pricing

Beyond their free plan, HubSpot Service Hub pricing ranges from $45-$1,200 per month. 

Rating

⭐ 4.4/5 Based on 1,100+ verified customer reviews on G2.

👉 Test drive HubSpot Service Hub in TestBox and compare it with the leading help desk software. No demos, no pitch decks. Evaluate software on your terms.

Test and compare customer support software before you buy

Back to you

Choosing the right customer support platform for your team involves a lot of time and research. We hope the information we’ve shared is helpful, but sometimes it’s better to actually see these tools in action. With TestBox, you can test and compare different software products in just a few clicks. We’re also free to use. Compare and test help desk software side-by-side for free.

Sam's Face
Rachel Cravit

Rachel is a Marketing Content Writer at Spiff and freelance writer for TestBox. When she's not nerding out over B2B content, you can find her exploring dog-friendly spots around Charleston with her Cavalier, Louis. She also loves all things design.

TestBox empowers you to have a self-serve, customer-led experience so you can buy new software and feel confident that you made the right choice. Currently focused on Customer Support, TestBox allows you to test out Zendesk, Freshdesk, HubSpot, Dixa, and other products side-by-side. It takes a matter of minutes to sign up and take these products for a test drive. Find out more at TestBox.com or follow on LinkedIn.