Help desk software is a suite of tools that enable you to provide information or support to customers with concerns, complaints or inquiries about your product or service. It is a platform that unifies queries from various customer-facing support channels, such as, live chat, email integration, web contact forms, phone, mobile and social media.
Among its key benefits, help desk software automates cumbersome tasks, including ticket sorting, routing, updating and answering FAQs through self-service, allowing a small support team to handle volumes of tickets daily with efficiency. It also generates reports to help you assess the team performance or drill down to agent metrics. These are the standard features. Like most business solutions, help desk apps come in many shapes.
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Customers are not only after the lowest price, they are after value, especially after sales, a.k.a., customer service. Ace Hardware proves this fact, allowing its much smaller stores to compete with retail giants Home Depot and Lowe’s by leveraging quality customer service, as this Forbes article pointed out. Help desk solutions can give you the same leverage. With ticketing automation, intuitive knowledge base and smart alerts, your support team is always on top of incidents.
Likewise, when faced with tons of repetitive questions, it pays to have a robust knowledge base that a help desk app can deliver, especially in light of A Dimension Data survey findings as reported by Forrester: “Customers of all ages are moving away from using the phone to using self-service.”
Not only that, help desk apps almost always feature analytics that can run the numbers on your overall customer service rating. It’s easy to keep tab of your KPIs, such as, resolution time, response time, underperforming agents, ticket volume and recurring issues.
In our 20 best help desk software solutions guide, we discuss the merits of each app, what makes them to stand out, why it’s a good fit to certain companies and, also, why it is not. Read through the guide minding the nuances because, yes, except for our top five apps, which lend to themselves obvious advantages, the rest in the list share the usual feature set and it takes an eagle’s eye to spot each one’s unique attribute.
Freshdesk is the top choice in our list of 20 best help desk software solutions. It’s as comprehensive as it is simple to use built on an intuitive and scalable architecture, which makes it suitable for myriad business sizes and types. There’s a fitting plan for freelancers, small businesses and enterprises. The vendor also offers a great free trial plan that lets you try out all the key features of the software first. You can easily sign up for Freshdesk free trial here.
What’s more its mobile apps for Android and iOS are one of the most robust we’ve seen not just in the help desk space, but in the entire SaaS industry. Many mobile apps are a pared desktop version, but not Freshdesk’s, it lets you take the system and your data with you, wherever.
The UI is neat and navigation is smooth, which may deceive you to think it’s a simple app. Look closely and you’ll realize it’s an end-to-end help desk, replete with standard features plus more. From ticket management automation to social media integration and self-service, the app covers the basics; it also features added useful tools, such as, time-tracking to help you gauge agent performance; a unified email that declutter your email messages with smart sorting and automated routing; and powerful analytics to help you benchmark agent performance and other KPIs such as ticket volume, resolution time and recurring customer complaints. If you want to push the quality of your customer service, you need an efficient, powerful app like Freshdesk.
Salesforce Essentials is an out-of-the-box CRM solution designed for small businesses. It helps you provide excellent customer support to make your customers loyal. To quickly respond to customers in the right context and with the right information, it unifies your multiple support channels with relevant customer information on a single page. The software also offers a branded self-service support site to empower your customers in looking for answers independently.
Collecting and tracking information is streamlined as the software automatically syncs your meetings, calls, and emails right from your inbox. This frees up your time from manual data entry and information retrieval. It also centralizes all the relevant details you need – leads, key contacts, and updates – with a 360-degree customer view in one platform. By automating repetitive tasks, your help desk agents can focus on providing outstanding customer support. Questions and concerns are routed to the right agent to ensure they are handled with expertise, knowledge, and availability.
Salesforce Essentials is a complete CRM solution. It goes beyond helping you provide high-quality service to your customers. It also has built-in intelligence so you can sell faster and increase conversions. Priced for SMBs, it also offers a free trial for you to explore its robust features. You can sign up for Salesforce free trial here to immediately start using the software for 14 days at no cost.
Zendesk has all the elements of an efficient help desk app, including flexible ticketing management, multichannel support and advanced reporting and analytics. It also features knowledge base and allows you to build communities. The app fits the needs of a small business, but can scale to standard enterprise requirements.
A standout feature, hosting communities enhances the self-service portal. Customers can share and exchange answers in a structure forum, easing the burden off your agents’ shoulders. The self-service module also features a smart search tool and 24/7 access to guidelines and FAQs. You can use it for internal and external users. Other key features include mobile support, off-the-shelf integrations, group rules, macros, and automated processes.
Should you like to learn more about this platform, you can try it out at no cost if you sign up for a Zendesk free trial here.
LiveAgent is also a topnotch help desk solution with a comprehensive feature set, mainly its multichannel support. It pulls together live chat, email and social media to give your customers a choice they prefer when reaching out to you. The app is designed for small business, but can easily scale to enterprise requirements with features for gamification, web-embedded contact forms and a collaboration space. You can easily sign up for LiveAgent free trial here.
Small teams can handle volumes of tickets daily with ease by leveraging the unified inbox and smart automation. All tickets are consolidated in one location, preventing missed tickets and allowing for quick spotting of overdue tickets. The app also integrates with your social media pages, mainly Facebook and Twitter; you can post, reply and manage these pages inside the system. And if you want to align the functions with your workflows, the app offers a richly documented open API for third-party apps.
Zoho Desk is a powerful support desk platform that has all the needed tools to boost any company’s customer support processes while improving reporting and agent productivity. The reports the system generates are very useful in monitoring agent performance, along with making data-driven decisions. It also delivers automation capabilities and multi-channel support, allowing users to deliver timely and accurate support to customers. Such capabilities can lead to better customer relationships and ultimately, increased earnings.
Customers also get to benefit from using Zoho Desk as it enables them to request for support and post queries via social media. Responses to such can be made directly from the platform so that agents need not leave the system. You can also choose what system to use in addressing issues, be it through ticketing or live support. Among all Zoho Desk features, perhaps the most notable is its ability to allow you to create knowledge bases that customers can use to find solutions to their concerns on their own.
If you want to explore the features that the tool has to offer, you can easily sign up for the free Zoho Desk trial here.
What is unique about Zoho Desk?
Freshservice is the IT service desk of the vendor that brought us Freshdesk. It’s ITIL-ready and suits both the needs of small business and enterprise. It features standard modules for ticket management, CMDB and knowledge base, and advanced modules for change, incident and problem management. It likewise provides business of any type and across industries a scalable, robust way to manage IT service requests and assets. A free trial for the software is also provided by the vendor. You can easily sign up for Freshservice free trial here.
The main advantage with this software is its native integration with Freshdesk, our top help desk choice. Beyond that, the solution still impresses. Its risk detection algorithm uses historical and current incidents to assess potential technical problems in the future, greatly aiding you in planning and forecasting.
Unsurprisingly, we find its Android and iOS apps robust, too, like with its sister Freshdesk, allowing you to stay in touch with tech support and technical incidents that may require your decision or urgent attention. Likewise, we find the self-service portal appealing for its ecommerce-like interface. Users will find the UI easy to navigate for answers, much like shopping for items on an online shop.
JitBit HelpDesk is a ticketing management system that leverages machine learning to automate customer service tasks. Created for businesses of all sizes, this platform offers a simple and streamlined user interface that makes it easier to track support requests, assign tickets, as well as monitor the overall performance of help desk agents. You can sign up for JitBit HelpDesk free trial here if you’d like to try these functionalities first-hand.
Aside from the abovementioned, JitBit Helpdesk also comes with a unified mailbox that consolidates all service requests and inquiries. This not only makes tracking more convenient for your staff but also allows you to ensures that no message is ever overlooked.
In case these tools are still not enough for your business, this ticketing system is also equipped with a powerful REST API capability. By using this, you can integrate the software with a variety of third-party applications. Be it your existing CRM tool, email, or active directory, this platform is designed to work seamlessly alongside them for a more fine-tuned workflow.
Samanage is an IT service desk that offers modularized features including IT asset management. It suits companies that need more than just servicing break-fix cases; they need to manage IT-related requests from hardware purchasing to software license renewal. The system can handle technical requests of both your customers and employees. Likewise, the solution helps the tech team track the company’s IT assets with risk detection tools and conduct regular maintenance to prevent breakdowns and workplace disruptions. You can easily sign up for Samanage free trial here.
Samanage is important to keep your software licenses and contracts in one easy-to-retrieve but safe location. It also features a self-service portal, where you build a catalog of FAQs and SOPs for submitting tickets. The system also has great integration with other help desk apps, productivity apps and key business systems.
Front is an email-based support app that centralizes your multichannel support in one platform. It handles messages, posts, comments, replies, etc. on your email, chat, SMS, Facebook and Twitter inside the Front unified inbox. No time is wasted shuffling between apps and, using a single location, customer queries are easier to account for.
The app also uses rule-based automation, which speeds up the resolution of issues and gives you visibility into your team’s task progress. Likewise, it features powerful analytics that measures KPIs such as response time, message volume and resolution rate. You can make data-driven decisions to improve agent performance and team workflow.
The app integrates with important third-party apps for customer surveys, project management and communication. If you’d like to try it out first the vendor offers a free trial plan as well. You can easily sign up for Front free trial here.
AzureDesk is a cost-effective help desk with a free app for sole agents. Its paid plan, starting at $5 per month, is also one of the most affordable in the category. It is primarily a ticket management system that automatically converts emails into tickets and display them on the Ticket Management dashboard.
The tickets are shown in a browser-like tab system, which helps agents to work on multiple tickets at once. Likewise, the app features a self-service portal with a dynamic search that helps customers find answers quickly by filtering topics, FAQs or articles. You can also leverage the knowledge base to encourage customers to stay longer on your site and create sales opportunities. AzureDesk also features collaboration tools that let agents to work together on a difficult ticket in real time. A free trial for the software is also available. You can easily sign up for AzureDesk free trial here.
ManageEngine ServiceDesk is both a help desk and asset management system ideal for businesses that are new to ITSM-compliant processes. It features code-free configuration and integration, allowing non-technical managers to easily adopt this solution into their workflows.
It works with myriad communication channels and works with all the important OS. Likewise, it allows mobile access and third-party integration to extend its functionalities to other important business systems like CRM, help desk, project management and business intelligence.
ManageEngine ServiceDesk is also among the few vendors that offer hybrid setup. The system can be deployed on premise and cloud and, in fact, can gradually migrate your processes either way for a smooth transition. You can easily sign up for ManageEngine ServiceDesk free trial here.
Techinline FixMe.IT is designed to help IT professionals provide remote support via 2-way desktop sharing. The app acts as the middleware that lets tech support and the ticket issuer view a single desktop simultaneously and communicate clearly during troubleshooting even if both parties are in different locations. Admin can assign user control, for instance, allowing new users to take over the system during training.
It can also be used to conduct product demo for client calls or onboarding new users. Likewise, Techinline FixMe.IT allows direct access to your remote machines even if they are unattended, a useful feature for scheduled remote maintenance. Other key features include: file and clipboard transfer, multi-monitor support and IM chat. You can easily sign up for Techinline FixMe.IT free trial here.
Nectar Desk is a cloud call center system that handles inbound and outbound calls. It is easy to set up and deploy and comes with scalable with features for basic and premium feature set. The platform suits both small business and enterprise.
The system gives you visibility on all calls, agent performance, call statistics and other KPIs. And because it is cloud-hosted, Nectar Desk is cost-effective. It bypasses capital intensive hardware, software licenses, rented workspace and tech maintenance team. It also features advanced tools that include interactive voice responsive, agent analytics and instant number purchasing. Likewise, it features analytics and reporting that let you identify bottlenecks, problems or issues. You can easily sign up for Nectar Desk free trial here.
TeamSupport is designed for B2B industry. It lets you consolidate all client interactions in one platform to make it easy to track and manage relationships. A centralized customer database gives you complete visibility on tickets, issues, requests and conversations. Powerful analytics can digest myriad insights by running the numbers on this database, such as, identifying the most common demands of clients.
TeamSupport also uses parent/child hierarchies to organize tickets and allows a multi-brand structure that associate specific clients to specific products. Likewise, the system has a robust ticketing management that features email integration, automated ticketing and custom fields, properties and statuses to match with your workflows. Other key features are: Products & Inventory; Collaboration; Customer Self-Service; and Reporting & Analytics.
Vision Helpdesk is a robust help desk that can be integrated with ITIL/ITSM service desk. It provides multi-channel support, such as, email, website, Facebook, phone and chat, and centralizes all customer conversations in one platform.
It also features standard modules for ticket management, task management, knowledge base and self-service. Likewise, the platform offers tools for SLA and escalation, customer satisfaction surveys and reports. You can also customize fields to match certain processes and outputs with your workflows.
One advantage we see with this software is its scalability, whether you’re adding features or integrating a service desk for internal and customer tech requests for change, release or asset management.
JIRA Service Desk is an open source service desk designed by Atlassian to help product and IT to collaborate on the technical aspects of projects. The system helps to identify, monitor and address bugs and system glitches during product development, beta testing and post-launching.
The system is complex but with an intuitive UI, ITIL-ready templates and automation that makes incident management runs smoothly. It features standard modules such as a ticketing system, self-service portal and dashboards. You can configure dashboards with widgets to display the KPIs that matter to you.
JIRA Service Desk also provides real-time updates and performance metrics to help you gauge the health of your service. You can deploy it via cloud or on-premise.
xSellco is a help desk that consolidates and associates customer queries and order data from all your sales channels on a single dashboard for quick lookups. It lets you easily spot support buildup or weaknesses from one location.
This customer support solution also runs smart reporting that leverages customer queries into business intelligence. Plus, it allows you to create reports to measure team performance or drill down to individual performance metrics. KPIs include response time, ticket volume, heatmaps and trends.
LiveChat enables you to provide the fastest way to help your customers via real-time chat. It enables you to talk at once with customers and prospects on your website or Facebook page via integration, making this app a potential lead generator, too. Aside from the enterprise web chat, it features a web-based control panel that lets you configure settings and operator app for cross-platform access. The app also has a neat UI and can be customized to reflect your workflows and branding. It also allows real-time web traffic analytics and reporting.
Provided you have a dedicated team to handle chat messages 24/7, this tool can give you immediate leads and impress customers with quick response. In the hands of a savvy manager, LiveChat can transform the support team into a quasi sales team that feeds the funnel with leads.
The apps also allows pre-chat and post-chat surveys, capture web chat log through email and transfer customers to another agent. It is also loaded with analytics tools for measuring average talk time, response time and traffic volume.
MSP Anywhere lets you solve tickets via remote access. It provides a collaborative space between headquarters and remote teams and is also ideal to keep managers and key employees in touch with the support team during business trips. It suits companies with remote teams or offshore staff. As it provides constant communication anywhere there’s internet, this app is also an excellent collaboration platform for product teams.
Ticket escalation is quick; the app features a simple request-to-support interface that allows even non-technical users to join the conversations and collaborate for a solution. Key features include live chat, silent file transfers, session recordings and productivity reports.
ProProfs Help Desk features a robust set of features designed to simplify one’s help desk and customer services. The software centralizes all tickets and enables users to manage all customer-facing inboxes for easy management and inter-department collaboration through internal notes, labels, and other tools. This ensures all departments are on the same page, allowing for frictionless collaboration and faster resolution of tickets. It also comes equipped with live chat, reporting and analytics, and surveys.
Each agent can focus on attending to the needs of their customers, as ProProfs Help Desk automates ticket creation. Basically, agents will no longer need to waste time inputting ticket details manually. The software also features an internal knowledge base to help agents quickly access guides, documents, tips, and other information that can assist them in delighting their customers.
And we’re just about done here. By now you should have figured out for yourself how much you need a help desk system. Indeed, these platforms contribute greatly to corporate earnings by improving customer service. There’s no question that getting one can benefit your organization. There are as many tools as there are vendors in the market and finding the right one can be a tedious undertaking. But make no mistake, you really have to get one.
But don’t get all pumped up and reach for the one that has the most features. Get to know a tool’s functionalities first and see if they fit your needs. You can do this by reading user reviews and see firsthand how the tool performs in a real-life scenario. You can also find out for yourself by availing of free trials, which vendors usually offer. Be patient in your search and you will find the perfect tool for you.
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