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Based on weighted criteria below
Low Pricing icon

Low Pricing (weighted 11%)

LiveAgent

LiveAgent offers 3 pricing plans:

Ticket

$12 per agent/mo

Plan price $27/mo with 3 agents included

Main features include:

Custom domain parking
E-mail support - Ticketing
Contact forms
Forum & Knowledge base
iPhone/Android app

Ticket + Chat

$20 per agent/mo

Plan price $47/mo with 3 agents included

Main features include:

All Ticket features
Live Chat
Real-time visitors monitoring
Chat invitations
Feedback management

All-inclusive

$25 per agent/mo

Plan price $57/mo with 3 agents included

Main features include:

All Ticket + Chat features
Facebook & Twitter
Call center support
Video call
Time tracking
Gamification

Features like Live Chat, Real-time visitors monitoring, Chat invitations or Feedback management are only available starting with the Ticket+Chat. And Facebook & Twitter, Call center support, Video call, Time tracking, Gamification are only available for the All-inclusive plan.

The 14-day free trial starts with the All-inclusive plan, and there's no credit card required during your trial period.

Help Scout

Help Scout offers 3 pricing plans:

Free:

Main features include:

1 Mailbox
Beacon
Saved Replies
Help Scout for iPhone
Help Scout branding

Standard:

$20/mo/user

Main features include:

All Free features
5 Mailboxes
1 Docs knowledge base
Reports
Workflows
Satisfaction Ratings

Plus:

$40/mo/user

Main features include:

All Standard features
Unlimited Mailboxes
3 Docs knowledge bases
Teams
Custom Fields
Free inactive Users

Annual payment earns you one month free. You can start with a 15-day free trial, with no credit card required. For annual billing you'll get a 10% discount.

Design icon

Design (weighted 11%)

LiveAgent

LiveAgent's design is not as up to date, the dashboard is a bit clutterd but intuitive. You may customize it up to one point by adding custom branding.

The interface seems to be geared towards users that have some experience with this kind of software, so if you're just starting out you might need to go through some video tutorials first.

Help Scout

Help Scout integrates with your email service, therefore the interface is quite simple and the UI has a clean look and feel.

Features icon

Features (weighted 11%)

LiveAgent

LiveAgent has more than 170 support features and some of the most important include: Automation, SLA, Ticketing, POP3 accounts, Email piping, Departments, Priorities, Statuses, Tags, Rules, Ticket Routing, Canned/Predefined messages, Macros, Email templates, Performance Reports, Voice integration and Call recording. Most importantly, LiveAgent also has an integrated live chat feature.

Help Scout

Helpscout's main features include: shared email inbox for managing tickets, Docs (for building a help center), saved replies, reports, office hours filtering, phone conversations, or voicemail integration.

Help Scout is packed with great features and some of them are only available with the Plus plan. Be sure to check the full features list before committing to a plan.

Backend Features icon

Backend Features (weighted 11%)

LiveAgent

The Dashboard gives you overall information about what's happening into your account.

In the Chat section you can see your online visitors running in pending chats.

Next is the Tickets section. Here you can view all the communication between you and your customers.

The Reports tab gives you insights on overall performance, agent performance, department or channel reports.

Customer portal allows you to create, manage and customize your online knowledge base.

Help Scout

The user interface is uncluttered and pretty intuitive.

There are five menu items on the top left side of the screen:

Home: This is where you go when you first login. Once you get started you can add several brands, products or email addresses into your account. These options will appear on the dashboard.

Mailbox: You can support several brands, products or email addresses from a single account. Each mailbox has unique permissions, settings and folders.

Docs: Here you can create up to 5 knowledge base sites so customers can find answers from any device.

Reports: This section will help you keep track of all the important support metrics, employee performance, and customer satisfaction.

Team size icon

Team size (weighted 11%)

LiveAgent

LiveAgent is the most affordable help desk software we have reviewed. The $12/agent fee makes LiveAgent great for small businesses and independent freelancers. The interface is simple and intuitive, making it an application that is easy to learn, use, and implement when you’re just starting out.

Help Scout

Although Help Scout is suitable for small teams because of its pricing and simplicity, the Plus plan offers a feature that will allow you to group users into teams. This way if your business and support team grows you can still keep things simple and organized.

Reports icon

Reports (weighted 11%)

LiveAgent

LiveAgent has a strong reporting section. Even if you're running a one-man business or a medium size organization, every report tool is available, from department reports, usage statistics, performance reports, agent rankings, customer satisfaction ratings and detailed insights of every communication channel: Email, Live Chat, Call Center, Contact Forms, or Social Media messages.

Help Scout

The reporting interface is really great.

The reports available (four or five, depending if you have Docs installed or not) can be viewed at any time via the Reports dropdown menu.

The Conversations report shows you how much volume you're handling during a certain time period, the Productivity report measures efficiency across the help desk, the Team and User will give you insights about how members of your team are doing. The Happiness report will show how your team is being rated by customers. If you have Docs installed, this report will help you understand what your customers are searching for in the knowledge base you have created, and how helpful the information is, as well as what percentage of customers are still sending an email after browsing the knowledge base.

Flexibility icon

Flexibility (weighted 11%)

LiveAgent

LiveAgent has a great set of features making it one of the most competitive help desk software out there, therefore a native iOS and Android app is available, so you can provide customer service while on the go. The app will allow you to transfer and respond to tickets, chat with your customers  or get push notifications of new tickets or chats.

Most importantly, LiveAgent has an integrated live chat feature that is included starting with the Ticket + Chat plan.

A big plus for LiveAgent are the 39 translations available, so your agents can use LiveAgent in a language they prefer.

Help Scout

An iPhone app is available for replies on the go. You can check in on your mailboxes, manage conversations, and share tickets with your team members.

A well-documented APIs is available for developers to create their own integrations.

Right now a live chat option is not available out of the box but you can easily integrate third party apps like Olark or ClickDesk, HipChat and many more.

If you're looking for a live chat option out of the box then go with LiveAgent.

Extensibility icon

Extensibility (weighted 11%)

LiveAgent

There are only 41 integrations at the moment but most of the popular online services are available: MailChimp, AWeber, Braintree, Shopify, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you're code savvy and you're really tied to a particular web service, there is an API available for creating integrations.

Help Scout

Help Scout has 40 web app integrations available, so you can account with your favorite apps, and services like: Talkdesk, FollowUpThen, Hively, Capsule, Nicereply, HipChat, Campfire, Slack, MailChimp, Shopify, Mixpanel, Bigcommerce, Campaign Monitor, KISSmetrics, Infusionsoft, Olark, WooCommerce, Constant Contact, Google Apps Integration.

The free plan doesn't give access to integrations.

Support icon

Support (weighted 11%)

LiveAgent

The support section is not as friendly and well organized as you would expect. There are 25 video tutorials available, a getting started section, a technical section (including FAQs), and a support forum.

If you need some fast answers, a live chat option is available on the homepage or you may reach their support by email, phone, and social media.

Help Scout

There are more ways in which you may contact their support:

Email: via a direct email address or a web form
Phone: you may schedule a call with one of their experts.

A decent knowledge base is available (with walkthroughs and video tutorials available), as well as a Blog.