HubSpot is known as a maker of customer relationship management (CRM (opens in new tab)) software, but it also has apps for a variety of different purposes, including HubSpot Service Hub (opens in new tab) for customer service, which aims to make companies more organized at providing help and answers.
- Want to try HubSpot Service Hub? Check out the website here (opens in new tab)
In this HubSpot Service Hub review, we’ll look at just what the software has to offer. As we cover pricing, features, support, and ease of use, we’ll consider whether it’s worthy of being considered one of the best helpdesk software (opens in new tab) solutions.
Plans and pricing
Like many of the providers in the online helpdesk space, HubSpot Service Hub comes with a choice of free and paid plans. The free plan (opens in new tab), which is available for unlimited users, actually comes with quite a long feature list. All the plans also include the free features from HubSpot’s CRM software.
Pricing for the paid plans (opens in new tab) is based on both the number of users and the features available. Pricing ranges from $40/month for two users on the Starter plan (opens in new tab) (if billed annually) to $1200/month for ten users on the Enterprise plan (opens in new tab). Each plan adds to the features available on the previous plan. If you need to add more users, you can pay extra for each one above the number included per plan. So, for example, the Starter plan comes with two users, and each one above that would cost $20/month (if billed annually).
The Starter plan can be purchased directly from the HubSpot website. For the Professional and Enterprise plans, you need to fill in a form to speak to a sales agent. HubSpot also offers a 90% discount to businesses that are eligible for its Startups Program.
The free version of HubSpot Service Hub offers one of the longest lists of features for a free helpdesk software product that we’ve seen. Ticketing, of course, is available for logging customer issues so they can be assigned, organized, and prioritized.
Service Hub also includes live chat for your website, a conversations inbox for storing customer questions so that they’re available to your entire team, and detailed reports on closed tickets, agent productivity, and time-to-close.
It also includes integrations with Gmail, Outlook, Facebook Messenger, and other apps; meeting scheduling, email templates for reusing the most useful emails, and “snippets,” reusable answers to most commonly asked questions. Not to mention email tracking, email notifications, and conversational bots.
Paid plans come with increased quantities of items such as email templates, canned snippets, VoiP (opens in new tab) call hours, reporting dashboards, files in your resources document library, custom properties to help sort your data, and more. They also remove limits on email tracking and notifications.
You also gain access to additional features, including a knowledge base, a variety of survey methods, ticket pipelines, support for multiple currencies, Salesforce integration, custom reports, automation workflows, and more.
Interface and in use
To get started, create a HubSpot account, which gives you access to HubSpot CRM, not just Service Hub.
When you log in to your dashboard via a web browser for the first time, what you see is a dashboard for the full HubSpot suite of software. However, if you initially sign up for a free account, many of the menu items you can see in the dashboard’s main menu won’t actually be enabled for your account unless you upgrade.
To get access to Service Hub, choose the Service dropdown menu item, which has two options, Tickets and Service Hub. Somewhat confusingly, to get access to the Service Hub page, users of free and Starter accounts will be informed that they need to upgrade to the Professional plan; the only page these users can access is Tickets.
The Tickets listing page includes plenty of different ways to sort and filter your tickets. The ticket detail page contains a wealth of information about each ticket and actions you can perform, such as scheduling meetings or adding notes, calls, and logs. You can also add contacts, companies, deals, and attachments. This is one of the more detailed and comprehensive approaches we’ve seen while reviewing different helpdesk software packages.
That said, we found moving around other sections of the dashboard to be a bit slow at times, with some pages failing to load at all the first time and requiring a refresh. And quite often we clicked on links only to find that the actions or features required us to upgrade our plan before being able to use them.
HubSpot offers a tiered approach to supporting its software products. For people using its free products, support is only offered by community forums. Starter account holders add email and chat to community support, with Professional and Enterprise account holders gaining the option of phone support, with numbers to call offered in more than 40 different countries.
For people with multiple HubSpot products, their support tier is based on the product with the highest subscription level.
HubSpot implements a range of security measures to ensure the safety of its customers’ data. At the application level, all data is transferred using high-grade encryption, with web application and network firewalls and DDoS-prevention defenses in place. The company protects data centers with security staff, tight access controls, and video surveillance. And regular auditing and testing are carried out to identify vulnerabilities.
The helpdesk software market is quite a crowded space. Fewer companies offer CRM capabilities alongside their helpdesk solution; however, there are some alternatives to consider.
Freshdesk (opens in new tab) offers a large selection of features through a variety of plans. There is a free plan for unlimited agents, and paid plans range from $15/agent/month up to $99/agent/month, with all plans available for a 21-day free trial. Sales CRM capabilities are offered through the separate Freshsales product.
Zendesk (opens in new tab) also offers both sales CRM and a helpdesk package with comprehensive features called Zendesk Support (opens in new tab). There is no free plan, but prices start from just $5/month/agent and go up to $199/month/agent. All plans are free to try for 30 days.
Service Hub comes with one of the longest lists of features available for free and standard accounts, as well as one of the most comprehensive sets of controls, actions, and information for managing tickets we’ve seen. But there are limits on the number of users available for each plan, and not all support methods are made available to each plan level.
If you already have a CRM that you’re happy with, HubSpot Service Hub probably isn’t for you. If, on the other hand, you’re after a solution that will integrate seamlessly with your sales and marketing software, HubSpot is an excellent, feature-rich choice.
- We've also highlighted the best helpdesk software (opens in new tab)