Best Customer Support Software 2021

Customer support software generally comprises features like live chat, ticketing, a centralized inbox, and a Help Center. These features come together to provide businesses with different ways of getting in touch with customers and resolving customer issues.

Businesses of all sizes and industries should have some kind of customer support software. Today, customers expect websites to offer a variety of both self-help and agent-based help options. Things like tickets and live chat are also able to be responded to instantly, so customers will feel appeased with quick responses.

Customer support platforms vary greatly in terms of pricing, the included features, and what kinds of businesses each is best for. For example, Zendesk is more appropriate for enterprise-level businesses, while solutions like Help Scout are better suited for smaller organizations.

Our reviews are designed to help you decide whether or not a product is right for you. To learn more about our research process, check out this article explaining SoftwarePundit’s review methodology.

Research Led By:
Analyst Image
Junior Research Analyst

We use a rigorous software review process to create our unbiased, in-depth research.
Learn more about our software review process.

Highest Rated Customer Support Software

We’ve chosen the highest quality customer support platforms to review. These tools are popular with small businesses and have different features to support meetings within and across organizations.

Rating: 93
Starting Price: $49 per user per month

Zendesk is a popular customer support software platform with top-of-the-line ticketing, chat, and help center features. It's more expensive than alternatives but correspondingly provides significantly more power.

  • Most advanced help desk software on the market
  • Scalable, so Zendesk will grow with your business
  • Advanced routing rules that take some strain off your support team
  • More expensive than many help desk alternatives
  • Customers have reported that customer support is difficult to reach
Rating: 93
Starting Price: $15 per month

HelpCrunch is a modern and powerful customer communication platform. With features that help streamline customer support and marketing, it’s a solution that will benefit most teams, ecommerce organizations in particular.

  • One of the most powerful and intuitive tools we tested
  • Includes website pop-ups, which few live chat solutions offer
  • Helpful and detailed metrics regarding campaigns and knowledge base
  • The Chat + Email plan can get expensive if you have a large team
  • The chat widget was somewhat slow to load during our testing
  • Slightly limited integrations list and doesn't integrate with Zapier
Rating: 91
Starting Price: Free

Freshdesk is a help desk software used by companies of all sizes to provide support to their customers. It's a reliable solution that won't break the bank for smaller businesses.

  • Free plan is fairly powerful and includes unlimited agents
  • Freshdesk is powerful and advanced, though still easy to use
  • Freshworks offers many products, so your software tools can all be in the same suite
  • More expensive than smaller competitors
  • The chatbot product is very expensive and is likely not worth it for most companies
Rating: 90
Starting Price: Free is a free live chat solution with over 3 million users. It focuses solely on live chat, with features like ticketing and screen sharing, and also allows customers to directly hire virtual assistants and chat agents. is the best free live chat software and would benefit any company searching for a free option.

  • Entirely free
  • More robust than competitors' free plans
  • customers can directly hire chat agents and virtual assistants
  • Not quite as user-friendly as paid competitors
  • No chatbot or email marketing features
  • Must pay to remove "Powered by" branding
Zoho Desk
Rating: 88
Starting Price: Free

Zoho Desk is a mid-tier customer support software with features like ticketing, a Knowledge Base, live chat, and more. It's best for small to mid-sized companies and for those who already use other Zoho products.

  • Zoho Desk offers a free plan, which many competitors do not
  • Analytics section is more advanced than competitors' analytics sections
  • Zoho has a full range of software platforms to connect
  • The interface is difficult to navigate at first
  • The tool is not laid out intuitively
  • Somewhat lacking in features for the price point
Rating: 88
Starting Price: $29 per month

Gist is a customer messaging software with over 10,000 customers. Its notable features include event tracking and cross-channel campaigns. It is ideal for anyone looking for an affordable mid-tier customer messaging solution.

  • Free plans are more robust than competitors' free plans
  • Advanced cross-channel messaging capabilities
  • Buildable forms and popups to capture and convert leads
  • Chat history feature is not designed practically
  • Customer support wait times can be long
  • Limited integrations list
Help Scout
Rating: 88
Starting Price: $25 per month

Help Scout is an affordable customer support software. Help Scout is used by over 12,000 businesses and has a straightforward interface.

  • Includes live chat, Help Center articles, and inbox sorting
  • Fairly affordable compared with larger customer support platforms
  • Help Center articles can be tagged with target keywords
  • Lacks a straightforward ticketing feature that most alternatives offer
  • Mailbox isn't the most intuitive to use

Customer Support Software Prices

Some customer support platforms offer free plans or are entirely free, like Others can cost upwards of $50 per person per month, which could get costly quickly if you have a large team.

Customer Support Software FAQs

Customer support software is used by companies of all sizes and industries to provide real-time support to customers through live chat, ticketing, email support and more.

There are numerous benefits that customer support software offers. These include:

  • Instant connections with customers
  • Providing self-help options to customers
  • Engaging with website visitors via chat

Generally, customer support software platforms range from free to upwards of $100 per user per month. The tools are generally priced per user, and platforms usually offer a discount if customers choose a yearly subscription over a monthly plan.

Some popular tools are Zendesk,, Freshdesk, and HubSpot Service Hub.

Why You Should Trust Our Recommendations

The team at SoftwarePundit has been testing software since 2017. We’ve hand-tested over 250 software products in that time. We applied the same rigorous process to each piece of customer support software that we analyzed. The specifics of our customer support category research process are outlined below.

Katelyn led our analysis of customer support software. She has spent more than 200 hours evaluating leading customer support software systems. To test the customer support tools, she set up an account with each platform and tested key user workflows. She examined key features and analyzed differences between the software products.

In addition, all research and content was overseen by Bruce Hogan, SoftwarePundit’s Co-founder & CEO. Bruce has more than a decade of experience researching, building, and reviewing the world’s best software products. His technology advice has been featured on a wide range of media sites such as AngelList, CMSWire, Dental Economics, iPhone Life, Reader’s Digest, Thrive Global, U.S. News, and the Zapier Blog.

How We Selected the Best Customer Support Software

We used the same rigorous process to evaluate customer support software as all other software categories. For the customer support category, Katelyn invested several weeks researching, testing, and writing about the tools.

We interviewed real customers of the tools to understand the perspective of paying customers. We asked them about how they selected the tools, their favorite aspects of the tool, and whether it works well for their businesses.

Katelyn also obtained a free trial of each software tool listed above. She spent several hours testing the key user journeys in each software product. This allowed us to validate the features offered by each product, and to gain an understanding of the software’s usability.