Top HubSpot Service Hub alternatives for Customer Support teams

Top HubSpot Service Hub alternatives for Customer Support teams
By Alex Kinsella | On Sep 07, 2022
11 min read
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Meeting customers when and where they need support is critical for every business. The challenge is that today’s customers don’t want to simply sit on hold for the next available agent. They’re contacting support on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, starting chats from websites, emailing in questions, just to name a few.

When it comes to customer service software, HubSpot Service Hub is often the go-to choice. HubSpot Service Hub builds on the industry-leading HubSpot CRM platform to provide an all-in-one solution for businesses of any size. It connects all your communication channels into one CRM to support sales, customer support, and more with automation and self-service tools.

But is HubSpot Service Hub the right customer service solution for you? Before we walk through alternatives, let's have a look at HubSpot Service Hub pricing and features to help you make the right decision.

In this article:

A quick overview of HubSpot Service Hub

HubSpot Service Hub provides visibility into the entire customer journey. It connects your customer service team with sales and marketing data to give a holistic view when supporting end users. One of the best features of HubSpot Service Hub is how easy it is to get started. You can get started with support inbox and live chat functionality on their free tier and upgrade to more features as your business needs change.

Test and compare customer support software before you buy

Why you shouldn’t pick HubSpot Service Hub

While the platform has a lot to offer, there are some drawbacks.

  • No keyword recognition: Service Hub doesn’t offer keyword recognition and automated support request routing based on ticket contents. This is a common feature in Service Hub alternatives.
  • No tagging: There’s no tagging for customer support requests. Instead, Service Hub uses a combination of lists, views, and filters. The good news is that this gap doesn’t limit the workflow automation features.
  • Reporting needs improvement: The reporting in the free and starter plans is not as robust as you’d expect. There are also no custom reporting features in the free and starter plans.

So what are your alternatives to using HubSpot for customer service? Here are 9 alternatives you should take a look at.

Zendesk Support Enterprise Plan

Zendesk

Zendesk is often the first name that comes to mind when thinking about support platforms. More than 170, 000 customers use them globally to provide support, sales, and engagement tools that build better customer relationships. 

Already using Zendesk? Check out the top Zendesk alternatives.

Key features

  • Ticketing: Tickets are the core of every great customer support system. Zendesk’s ticketing is the central hub in the agent dashboard for all customer interactions, connecting all your channels to help your agents provide fantastic customer service.
  • Conversation experiences: Zendesk offers widgets and an API to provide built-in chat across your website and mobile app. Their no-code and low-code tools let anyone build chat experiences that will amaze your customers.
  • Knowledge base: Give a person an answer; you’ve helped for a day. Give a person access to a comprehensive knowledge base, and you’ve helped them for a lifetime. Zendesk’s knowledge base feature makes it easy for customers to find answers on their terms.
  • Voice: We may have gotten rid of our landlines, but when it comes to support channels, voice can often be the fastest way to get an answer. Zendesk offers built-in voice calls directly from their agent dashboard.
  • Community forum: Many customers today prefer to get answers from fellow users who have been there and done that. Zendesk allows your customers to collaborate within their own community forum. Ask questions, share solutions, and learn directly from power users facing the same challenges you may run into.

👉 Want more? Learn about our top challenges with Zendesk.

Key Integrations

Zendesk offers apps and themes to customize your Zendesk experience. Some of the more popular integrations include:

  • Trello
  • Zoom
  • Slack
  • Shopify
  • Hubspot

Pricing

Zendesk has a basic support plan for $19 per month, with advanced plans from $49–$99 per month. All of their plans have a free trial option.

G2 rating

⭐ 4.3/5 Based on 4,100+ 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.

ZOHO Desk - Catalyst Connect

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk’s “context-aware” help desk is used by over 50,000 businesses to manage customer support workflows. Zoho Desk brings all channels—phone, email, live chat, SMS text, and social media—into one unified inbox that simplifies customer service interactions.

Key features

  • Multi-department ticket management: This is a feature that separates Zoho Desk from the rest. You can configure Zoho Desk to match your company’s structure so the right person can be assigned a ticket to get your customer’s question answered as fast as possible, whether it’s sales, marketing, or support related.
  • Self-help: Zoho Desk’s ASAP Plugin enables businesses to embed self-help tools into their websites and mobile apps to help customers find the answers they need when they need them.
  • CRM: Zoho Desk integrates directly with Zoho CRM to provide a seamless customer data management experience.
  • Automation: Automate everyday tasks to free up valuable agent time. That way, your agents can spend more time tackling harder tickets, while automation can resolve common questions in an instant. Zoho Desk’s automation tools also allow automatically assigning tickets to the correct agents or departments, so no issue gets left unanswered.

Key Integrations

  • Twilio
  • Jira
  • Salesforce
  • Trello
  • Zapier

Pricing

Zoho Desk has a free plan for up to three agents. Advanced tiers have monthly pricing that ranges from $19–$50 per agent.

G2 Rating

⭐ 4.4/5 Based on 3,700+ verified customer reviews on G2.

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

Help Scout CRM Integration

Help Scout

Companies like Honey and YETI choose Help Scout as their help desk software for many reasons, from its shared inbox to powerful knowledge base tools. These features are just some of the reasons that Help Scout has been ranked Best ROI by customers on G2. 

Already a customer? Check out these common Help Scout alternatives.

Key features

  • Shared inbox: Help Scout uses a familiar email-like interface to make responding to customers easy—no matter how they contacted your support team.
  • Live chat: All of the alternatives we’ve suggested have a live chat feature, and Help Scout is no different. Their Beacon product gives your customers options for how they want to contact you and can even take requests when you’re unavailable.
  • Knowledge base: Fewer conversations and happier customers. That’s what Help Scout says their knowledge base feature provides with an easy-to-use CMS and secure customer portal.
  • Messaging: Help Scout’s messaging tool, Beacon, can be embedded on your website, enabling your customers to start a message or share answers from your knowledge base without searching for your contact info.

👉 Want more? Learn about our top challenges with Help Scout.

Key Integrations

  • HubSpot
  • Jira
  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Google Apps
  • Shopify
  • Zapier

Pricing

Help Scout has monthly plans ranging from $20 to $60 per user.

G2 rating

⭐ 4.4/5 Based on 350+ 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.

What does the Freshdesk - Freshchat integration do? : Freshdesk

Freshdesk

Freshdesk is an omnichannel cloud-based platform that takes all your customer conversations and transforms them into tickets along with the necessary context for your customer support team. They’re on a mission to make it easy for businesses to delight their customers and employees. 

Key features

  • Ticketing: Like Intercom and HubSpot Service Hub, Freshdesk lets you take customer communication from any channel and turn them into tickets. From there, you can assign those tickets to the right people in your business to resolve the issue quickly.
  • Collaboration: Freshdesk’s built-in collaboration enables multiple agents to take over a ticket without losing helpful context or history.
  • Automation: Freshdesk lets you save time by automating everyday tasks and questions to help your customers find the correct info at the right time.
  • Help Widget: The Help Widget can be embedded on any page to provide customers with answers or start a customer support ticket if needed.
  • Analytics: Like our other alternatives, Freshdesk offers rich analytics to help optimize support flows and processes.

👉 Want more? Learn about our top challenges with Freshdesk.

Key Integrations

FreshDesk has over 1,000 integrations available in their Marketplace.

  • Salesforce
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Shopify
  • Slack
  • WhatsApp
  • MailChimp
  • Stripe
  • Squarespace
  • HubSpot

Pricing

Freshdesk’s free plan includes support for up to 10 agents with email and social ticketing, a knowledge base, and ticket management. Their paid plans range from $15–$79 per agent per month.

G2 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.

Customer Support Software | Intercom

Intercom

Intercom describes itself as the Engagement OS—a platform to connect businesses to their customers wherever they are. Instead of managing multiple channels, Intercom provides teams across the business with a unified inbox. Intercom serves over 25,000 customers, from ​​e-commerce startups to Fortune 500 companies, including Amazon, Shopify, and Microsoft. 

Already a customer? Check out these popular Intercom alternatives.

Key features

  • Live chat and bots: If you’ve ever started a chat on a website, there’s a good chance Intercom powered it. The platform provides businesses with live chat and interactive bots to connect customers with knowledge base articles, FAQs, and support agents. 
  • The Inbox: Intercom brings all your customer communication into one simple-to-use inbox. The Intercom Inbox enables businesses to create workflows to help automate customer journeys and tasks such as directing customers to knowledge base articles. 
  • In-app messaging: Intercom offers app developers a powerful toolkit to build messaging directly into their apps. In-app messaging enables teams to send product update alerts, offer support, or promote new deals or products in the right place, at the right time. As an added bonus: it’s all done with your branding!
  • Knowledge base: Customers want fast answers. Businesses want to reduce the time customers spend finding those answers. Intercom’s knowledge base tools provide businesses with one central location to create knowledge base and support articles available in a mobile app or website. The knowledge base can also power self-service support chat bots to help customers 24/7.
  • Product tours: Intercom’s product tours feature enables developers to create rich, interactive onboarding experiences. Reducing friction points for new users and introducing new features to existing ones can help reduce churn and turn users into advocates.

Key Integrations

  • Instagram
  • Jira
  • Stripe
  • Google Analytics
  • Hubspot

Pricing

Intercom’s Starter plan is $74 per month. They do not provide public pricing for their other plans.

Test and compare customer support software before you buy

G2 Rating

⭐ 4.4/5 Based on 2,200+ verified customer reviews on G2

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

Salesforce Service Cloud Review: All-in-One Customer Support Solution |  TechRadar

Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce and HubSpot have a lot in common, from their industry-leading CRM tools to their marketplaces with hundreds of integrations that extend their functionality. Salesforce Service Cloud builds on its Customer 360 foundation with AI-powered workflows and automation that connect customers across different touch points like email and chat.

Key features

  • Agent Workspace: Salesforce Service Cloud’s agent workspace provides a unified view of all customer interactions across email, social, and voice. Agents can easily see a customer’s history and current tickets.
  • Dashboards: Service Cloud leverages Salesforce’s powerful and customizable dashboards so teams and agents can create the right views to get their work done.
  • Chat: Service Cloud’s chat feature is easy to integrate into your website so your customers and prospects can interact with your agents without having to leave what they’re looking at.
  • From email to ticket: Salesforce Service Cloud takes customer emails and automatically creates tickets for support or sales inquiries. These tickets are integrated into the agent workspace along with social and voice interactions.

Key Integrations

  • PagerDuty
  • Google Worksuite
  • Slack
  • Outlook 365

Pricing

Salesforce Service Cloud starts at $25.00 per user per month.

G2 Rating

⭐ 4.1/5 Based on 1,600+ verified customer reviews on G2

Customer Success Platform | Gainsight

Gainsight

Gainsight is a top-rated platform for customer success teams designed to build robust customer communities. A strong community can help triage customer support issues before a chat is started or a ticket is created. Gainsight is used by leading companies like GE Digital, SAP Concur, and Box to give their teams a 360-view of their customers.

Key features

  • Customer insights: Gainsight monitors customer interactions to provide agents with customer health scores. These help identify potential issues before they become major problems.
  • Product engagement: Leveraging Gainsight Product Experience (PX), businesses can see where customers are having problems in mobile apps—or identify areas that are underused to help drive product roadmap decisions. These insights can help support teams prioritize what knowledge base articles and macros to produce.
  • Predictive actions: Gainsight’s predictive AI tools can spotlight potential churn issues and upsell opportunities, giving your agents the information they need to take action. This is especially helpful when the support queue is full. Your agents will be able to prioritize supporting at risk customers first in an effort to retain them.

Key Integrations

  • Salesforce
  • SAP CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Hubspot
  • Google Worksuite
  • Office 365

Pricing

Gainsight does not provide pricing information.

G2 Rating

⭐ 4.4/5 Based on 850+ verified customer reviews on G2.

Overview

Front

Front brings context and collaboration tools together to make every customer interaction an amazing one. The Front platform helps build strong customer relationships while increasing productivity. It’s often mentioned as being one of the top customer service platforms along with Zendesk and Hubspot.

Key features

  • Shared inbox: Front is known for its innovative shared inbox feature. The shared inbox brings together customer messages from every channel into one place for customer support and success teams. Users are able to manage tickets, respond to messages, and collaborate with colleagues all from one screen. 
  • Response templates: Common questions means having standard answers. Front lets you create templated responses to speed up customer interactions and improve team productivity. 
  • No-code automation: You don’t have to be a developer to make Front work for you. Their easy-to-use no-code workflow creation tools allow anyone to create simple if-then workflows to route calls or escalate messages. 

Key Integrations

  • Asana
  • Hubspot
  • Jira
  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Twilio
  • Zapier

Pricing

Front App’s pricing ranges from $19—$99 per month.

G2 Rating

⭐ 4.6/5 Based on 1,400+ verified customer reviews on G2.

Gorgias Review | PCMag

Gorgias

Most of the HubSpot Service Hub alternatives we recommend are built to support any business—but that’s not the case with Gorgias. Instead of being made to support any help desk team, Gorgias is designed to be the best help desk platform for e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.

Key features

  • Unified inbox: Gorgias combines email and social channels into a unified inbox for your support agents. The inbox syncs with Gmail and Outlook so your agents can send and receive emails without ever leaving Gorgias. The unified inbox also lets you manage and respond to comments on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with support for macros for commonly asked questions.
  • Voice support: Gorgias doesn’t just offer a way for customers to call your store. You can create your own custom interactive voice response system to help customers get the answers they need faster.
  • SMS: Connect with customers over SMS by instantly creating tickets when customers text your store. You can integrate Gorgias with Klaviyo, Attentive, or Postscript to turn your SMS support into SMS marketing.

Key Integrations

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Yopto
  • Klaviyo
  • Octane AI
  • Smile.io

Pricing

Gorgias’s pricing is based on the number of tickets generated per month and ranges from $50 for 300 tickets to $750 for 5,000 tickets.

G2 Rating

⭐ 4.6/5 Based on 300+ verified customer reviews on G2.

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

Wrapping Up

HubSpot Service Hub has a lot to offer—especially its deep integrations with the rest of HubSpot’s offerings. But while that gives it a lot of advantages, alternatives like Help Scout and FreshDesk bring you better reporting and a lower monthly cost per agent. Not sure where to start? 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.

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Alex Kinsella

Alex Kinsella is a freelance writer based in Waterloo Region, Ontario. He's worked with some of Canada's most well known tech companies in roles including customer success, development, product management, PR, social media and marketing. Alex has contributed to publications including BetaKit, The Community Edition, and Grand Magazine.

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.