A help desk software is a program that streamlines all customer conversations in one central location. You need not switch between tools – even if there are similar queries in multiple platforms (Twitter and Facebook, etc.) This allows you to track client requests and communicate with them easily.
As this could help you provide better support and service to your dear buyers, it’s best if you invested in any of these best help desk software programs.
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How to Select the Best Help Desk Software
As there are many help desk programs out there, it’s best if you consider these factors when making a decision:
There are different types of help desk programs. One is the multi-channel software, which allows you to respond through email, phone, chat, or social media websites.
Another is a social help desk, which, as the name suggests, makes customer support more ‘social’. Here, you can work on Facebook or Twitter posts and act on them as necessary.
If your company is running on multiple companies, then the best option for you is a global help desk. With this, your foreign clients need not wait for your country’s business hours. This allows them to receive support according to their preferred language and timezone.
Depending on the help desk type you use, it can perform the most basic of functions – to the most sophisticated. Whatever program it may be, it should have these essential features:
a. Multi-channel ticketing system
This feature helps you manage queries through automatic tagging, grouping, and assigning. This can help streamline tickets from multiple sources so your reps don’t have to log in and out of multiple platforms. After all, this would allow them to send communications through email, social media, or instant messaging, to name a few.
This feature helps improve visibility amongst team members. This also keeps them aware of ticket owners, as well as the appropriate responses and other priorities. As this ensures that all reps are on the same page, the team can focus on the concerns that matter the most.
Not only is this advantageous to the agent, but this is beneficial for the customers as well. With this feature, a help desk software can help you handle tasks based on time or event triggers. At the same time, it allows you to make custom workflows. As a result, the tickets are delivered to the agent who can best answer the query.
d. Reporting and analytics
As with any other software, you need to know your progress. As such, you need a help desk software that comes with built-in reporting features so you could analyze your team’s performance. This can help you address the areas that need to be improved – and what you need to do to improve the results.
Most help desk programs can be customized according to your team’s needs and priorities. Some can allow you to change the widget color and position, among many other things. As such, this feature can help you make a good after-sales experience for better client loyalty.
3. Support Method
How do your customers contact you? Is it through social media, email, or phone call? Depending on their preferred methods, you should choose a software that could address such channels. This will help you cover all the necessary bases.
You’d want a program that your support reps can use with relative ease. Should it be more complicated than usual, support and guidance should be easily available. A poorly-designed/instructed software can mean lost productivity, as your agents need to study the interface and whatnot.
This is perhaps one of the more important deciding factors when choosing a help desk software. The pricing is usually per agent per month, though some programs offer a one-time payment. After considering all the factors above, you should choose a product that meets your budget – all the while providing you with the specifications that you need.
Zendesk is a customer service company based in San Francisco, California. Founded in 2007, the company offers 2 major products – one of which is its help desk platform named the Support Suite. This offers a full suite experience that promotes natural conversations with the clients.
For one, this unified agent workspace allows you to keep all the vital things together. It enables you to combine all types of conversations for a more efficient response. At the same time, it helps you track the clients that need faster resolutions. You can even pull in prior events that may help improve the response process.
With its powerful tools, you can assign the best agent (via skills-based routing) for issue resolution. Zendesk’s customer analytics tool allows you to measure customer interaction throughout the process. You can even integrate this program into vital business tools for management and productivity.
Zendesk also has AI-powered suggestions that draw from content cues. With the help of machine learning, it can help you improve the knowledge base. After all, it gives you a chance to work on new topics – while you spin the existing ones.
- Essential – $5
- Team – $19
- Professional – $49
- Enterprise – $99
- Elite – $199
As for the all-inclusive Support Suite, the price is $89 for Professional and $149 for the Enterprise plan.
- The Zendesk interface is very user-friendly.
- The search function allows you to look up conversations/tickets with relative ease.
- Zendesk offers a free trial for prospective customers.
- The ticket information layout requires some practice to use.
- Zendesk can be costly for a large team.
Freshworks, which was founded in 2010 in India, is a company that offers a bevy of business software solutions. Its help desk program, aptly named Freshdesk, promises delightful customer service at multiple price points.
In terms of ticketing, Freshdesk allows you to prioritize and classify tickets accordingly. For one, it has a centralized team inbox that provides agent collision detection. As such, you don’t have to worry about multiple reps working on the same issue.
It also has SLA management for proper resolution, ticket field suggester for incoming queries, and a thank you detector that prevents reopening of closed tickets. Other features include quick canned responses, custom ticket status, and scenario automation.
As for collaboration, Freshdesk offers a team huddle, shared ownership, linked tickets, and parent-child ticketing.
With its omnichannel support, you could respond to queries via email, phone, chat, social media, website, and Whatsapp.
For field service management, you can supervise operations through service tasks & groups, dashboard scheduling, mobile field service, customer signature, and time tracking.
With its automation, you can improve productivity through ticket dispatch & assignments, time or event-triggered automation, and email notifications.
It also encourages customer self-service through its AI chatbot, help widget, forums, and feedback mechanisms, to name a few.
As for analytics, you can improve efficiency through curated, scheduled & custom reports, as well as customer satisfaction ratings and widget customization.
Freshdesk also has complete customization facilities, as well as high-tech data security for its program.
- Sprout – Free
- Blossom – $15
- Garden – $35
- Estate – $49
- Forest – $99
As for the Omnichannel feature, the rate is $79 for Estate and $139 for the Forest plan.
- Freshdesk is very easy to set up.
- There are a free trial and service (Sprout) available for new customers.
- The system allows for seamless collaboration as it can accommodate most business processes.
- The company offers excellent client support to plan holders.
- New tickets can be a little bit hard to spot.
- Freshdesk‘s content management system needs some improvements.
LiveAgent is a help desk software that promises to ‘win clients over’. After all, it has 40 integrations and 180 features, giving it the best value for your money.
As a multichannel communication platform, it can help improve your agents’ productivity. Whether its email, calls, chats or social media, you can reach out to your clients in record time. It also has a self-service portal, which provides customers with the needed answers – right at their fingertips.
LiveAgent also comes with other advanced features, such as automated ticket routing, workflow automation, predefined templates, and merge/split tickets.
It’s also a highly-adaptable system, as it can be modified according to industry. It can be customized according to business (start-up, enterprise, government, educational institution, or NGO) or industry (E-commerce, travel, marketing, or entertainment).
Deemed as the best help desk by many small-medium sized businesses, LiveAgent offers the following plans on a per agent, per month basis:
- Free – $0
- Ticket – $15
- Ticket + Chat – $29
- All-inclusive – $39
- LiveAgent offers a free trial, as well as a free yet limited help desk account.
- It is a fully multilingual program that can translate queries into 40+ languages.
- It has an iOS/Android mobile help desk app that allows you to respond to client concerns.
Some add-on services can be quite pricey (costs about $39 per account).
4. Wix Answers
Wix Answers is a unified client service program that allows you to support multiple channels. With this, the software can help you centralize calls, chats, and tickets.
The program has a full ticketing system that provides you with a full picture of the situation. Reps get to know the client thoroughly, many thanks to the program’s customer info, custom fields, data & integration, and technical details.
Through the same interface, you can also see the ticket source, as well as the add or edit labels. It allows you to modify the ticket owner – even move it to another queue.
With its AI-powered reply box, agents can use generated responses or articles to reply. Any of these can be saved for international notes and collaboration efforts.
Wix Answers also allows you to create custom workflows for SLA, macros, and automatic actions.
Other useful features include insights, top issues, API & webhooks, advanced filtering, help widget, customizable templates, bulk actions, and multilingual support.
Wix Answers also provides a comprehensive knowledge base with its in-product contextual support, self-service, and knowledge library for onboarding and training.
Wix Answers Pricing
- Self-Service – $24
- Multi-channel – $60
- Unlimited – $80
- Call Center – $56
- Wix Answers is very easy to set up and configure.
- The interface is clean and intuitive.
- The knowledge base is powerful and comprehensive.
- This app is highly favorable for Wix site owners.
- No free version available.
- Its mobile version can still benefit from some improvements.
Salesforce is a cloud-based company located in San Francisco, California. It specializes in customer relationship management, as well as analytics, marketing automation, and application development.
Its help desk program is named Service Cloud, which is designed to help your agents respond to your clients – whatever channel it might be.
The help desk features a Lightning Service Console, where agents are given an overview of all inquiring customers. Here, reps can work on case management, workflow & approvals, macro automation, account & contact management, custom reports, and asset & order management. This also comes with omnichannel routing, telephony integration, and social customer service.
As for its self-service feature, you can directly embed services to help drive intelligent support to your customers.
Service Cloud also has an AI system called Einstein. It is built right into the software, and as such could help you minimize handle and hold times. It’s also easily deployable and customizable, which allows you to get the most out of AI best practices.
Salesforce Service Cloud Pricing
- Essentials – $25
- Professional – $75
- Enterprise – $150
- Unlimited – $300
- Service Cloud has a mobile app with intuitive tools that help improve customer service.
- Its platform tools allow for easy customization of workflows and processes.
- Service Cloud has a robust program architecture that provides optimum data security.
- The system is a little bit slow to run.
- The interface requires some aesthetic updating.
ProProfs is a cloud-based software that provides help desk and customer support services. It comes with a shared inbox for managing all client requests. You can respond to issues easily via desktop or mobile apps. You can even prioritize, track, or solve tickets as needed. It also comes with a chat anytime, anywhere feature, so your agents can keep your clientele very happy.
Given its Smart Reports, ProProfs can provide tracking performance that helps improve customer service. This also comes with a Survey Maker, so customers can express their delight or dissatisfaction with the service that has been rendered.
ProProfs also allows you to create a self-service help center that provides customers with instant answers to their queries.
With the program’s Training Maker feature, you can create helpful courses for agents and clients alike. From documents, articles, to videos, these informative bits are sure to promote efficient service.
ProProfs is also very scalable, so you can modify the program as your business expands.
ProProfs Help Desk Pricing
- Free – $0
- Essentials – $10
- Premium – $15
- ProProfs offers a free trial and version for its help desk program.
- ProProfs eases ticket assignments and collaboration amongst members.
- The custom fields feature makes agent response more efficient.
- The system has a beautiful interface and intuitive features.
The reporting feature can benefit from some upgrades.
Hubspot is a company founded by 2 MIT classmates in 2004. Guided by the inbound movement, the company has created many ‘hubs’, one of which is a help desk system called Service Hub.
With this program, you can organize chaotic customer support services with relative ease. For one, it has a shared inbox where you can view all types of communication. You can respond via live chat, email, or whatever channel you prefer. With its conversational bots, you can source the best agent or document that will help the client.
It also comes with built-in automation and reporting, so tickets are better tracked and prioritized. At the same time, this can help you send automated emails or team notifications as needed.
ServiceHub can also help you create a Knowledge Base, so customers can look up their concerns right away.
With its feedback system, Service Hub allows you to gather feedback from your customers. This is very helpful, as you could use this to further improve your company’s performance. This jives with the reporting feature, which gives you an insight on ticket volume and response time, among many other variables.
The free customer service tool is gratis, while the Service Hub feature costs $400 a month.
- The interface is intuitive and easy to use.
- The notification feature reminds you to accomplish all the necessary tasks without fail.
- Tickets can be updated very easily.
- HubSpot offers a free plan/help desk software trial for clients.
- The knowledge base is limited and quite generic.
- Calls can be tricky to track.
The Jitbit Help Desk ticketing system is an on-premise program for your customer support team. Affordable yet fast, it offers a main screen with grids that provide all the info you need. Here, you can sort requests, view statistics, and complete multiple operations with relative ease. Since the ticket updates in real-time, there’s no need for you to refresh the interface every so often.
Apart from this, the Jitbit software also comes with 2-way email integration, ticket searches, file attachments, and a knowledge base.
Another one of the good things about Jitbit is that it’s easy to integrate. Whether you have a service desk or a call center, you can use this app with your existing tools.
With Jitbit’s Help Desk reports, you can keep an eye on your team’s outputs. Apart from built-in reports, there are custom reports that you can utilize as well.
As for automation, Jitbit can help with several tedious tasks. With this, your reps can focus on the most important thing: efficient customer service.
Whatever you need to do with Jitbit, you could do so with a few taps. Thanks to its iOS and Android apps, you can continue with customer support – wherever you may be.
Jitbit Helpdesk Pricing
- SaaS (hosted) – $24 per month
- Small – $1,699
- Company – $3,499
- Enterprise – $4,999
- The Jitbit interface is simple yet intuitive.
- It offers a perpetual license so you could use the software forever.
- The Jitbit mobile app has a very robust design.
- Unlimited technical support is free forever.
The dashboard lacks some vital info like the ticket number.
Paldesk is an omnichannel communication interface that allows you to interact with your eager clients.
In terms of customer engagement, the system can help improve responses and boost the overall workflow. Here, you can create tickets easily. Should your reps be unavailable, you can prepare predefined answers and set the hours of service.
Analysis-wise, Paldesk provides you with all the insights needed for enhancing team performance. Here, you can view visitor statistics, conversation history, and a weekly summary. You can even filter these details by user, channel, or status.
As for automation, Paldesk can help you maximize the labor of your reps. It has a chatbot for offline service, which can send clients with a copy of the chat as needed. You can even ask for their thoughts through the feedback form.
Paldesk can be used seamlessly with other programs, as it can be easily integrated with 12 apps – Skype, WhatsApp, MailChimp, WordPress, Slack, and Messenger, to name a few.
The system is also customizable, as you can choose the position and color of your widget. As it has desktop, mobile, and web applications, SysAid allows you to communicate with your customers with the platform you find easiest.
- Rookie – $6.30
- Early stage – $9.80
- Rising star – $15.40
- Custom – varies
- The software is very easy to use.
- Paldesk can be easily integrated with common business apps and tools.
- Its customizable features make for better brand recognition.
- The free trial does not require your credit card info.
The chatbot function still has some room for improvement.
SysAid is a service desk and ITSM interface that helps you automate workflows and IT activities. This multi-layered solution is more than just a help or service desk, as it comes with remote control and automation for efficient user support.
With its help desk feature, you have a centralized area for IT activities. In terms of asset management, you get to track mobile, hardware, and software assets.
As for analytics, you get the reports and KPIs you need to evaluate team performance. It even comes with a manager dashboard for real-time visualization. With these, you have the guidance you need for making better management decisions.
As for tools, SysAid has everything you need to boost performance. It has a remote desktop feature, as well as third-party integrations with Google Apps, Salesforce, and SAP. With its mobile solution and system interface, you can manage your tasks in a matter of minutes.
SysAid pricing, however, is not available online. For interested parties, you need to request a quote from the official website.
- The program is very easy to use.
- SysAid reports are graphical, which make them effortless to understand.
- The interface is flexible as it can be integrated with several apps.
- SysAid offers a free trial.
- Plan prices are not available online.
- The mobile app is limited to ticketing functions.
Atera is a cloud-based remote monitoring and management (RMM) system that works best for IT professionals and managed service providers. This all-in-one solution promotes service streamlining, and as such can help users save a great deal of time and money.
Atera’s RMM comes with real-time alerts and monitoring, so your reps can address the problem before it gets bigger.
It also comes with IT automation and scripting, which allows for system restore points, history deletion, temp files removal, defragments, scripts & check disks, shut downs, and reboots. As for patch management, it can run updates as needed.
In terms of reporting & analytics, Atera provides details about customer, agent & system health, licensing, software inventory, inventory audits, and automation feedback, to name a few.
Atera’s Help Desk software comes with a ticketing service that is automatically synced to the client portal and UI. Its knowledge base serves as a storage hub of vital articles that can help clients with their concerns.
- Pro – $79
- Growth – $119
- Power – $149
Add-on monthly services include Network Discovery at $29 and Work From Home at $5.
- Atera doesn’t charge per agent, so business owners can have an unlimited number of reps onboard.
- The platform is fairly easy to use.
- Atera offers a free trial.
- It needs more options for integration.
- You need to pay for the Mail Antivirus and Online Backup add-on services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you have a small business or a big enterprise, your company can enjoy the following advantages of a help desk software:
Better Customer Service
Your support agents need not sift through multiple programs to respond to their clients. They can chat, talk, and email their customers through one centralized location. Since they also have access to past queries, they provide better answers as they already have a strong grasp of the concern.
Enhanced Client Loyalty
Better customer support equates to client loyalty. After all, 73% of clients remain loyal to a company with efficient client reps. With a help desk software, your buyers are sure to keep true to your brand.
As it can automate routine tasks, your team can focus on customer support rather than other unimportant tasks. They need not spend time on documentation and other processes that can be done automatically by the software.
As it allows you to see who’s in charge of responding to a ticket, team members can work better together. There’s no need to worry about 2 agents working on one case.
Faster Performance Analysis
You’d want your team to perform the best way they can. With a help desk program, you can see if they’re up to the test. After all, this software provides metrics that allow you to measure your rep’s performances. Not only will you know who’s lagging behind, but this also allows you to keep track of your deserving agents.
While procuring a help desk program is optional among companies, it is recommended.
After all, you may suffer from the following problems without this:
Your agents will need to spend a lot of time on logging calls and noting tickets made on various channels. They need to address concerns via multiple channels, which could be taxing and time-consuming.
Without a help desk, client data and concerns are spread out through various channels. Agents need to sift through each channel to get the information that he or she needs to address the concern. Again, this could lead to inefficiency as agents need to contact other departments (billing, payments, shipping, etc.) for the solutions to the problem.
A sudden inflow of client concerns can lead to an ineffective workflow – especially in companies without help desk programs. This can result in overburdened agents who are no longer effective in managing customer concerns.
Without a centralized area for tickets, you need to make repeated calls and follow-ups regarding the state of client queries. This is not only unproductive for the boss, as it could be troublesome for the agents as well.
The lack of a help desk software usually brings about tedious performance metrics. Despite this, it usually lacks a central element. This could lead to management pitfalls due to the need for viable information.
A help desk software can help the following industries:
Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Both of these enterprises will benefit a lot from automated help desk software platforms. That’s because these industries aim to grow their businesses. As such, they need programs that allow them to be highly efficient.
A good help desk software will allow customer support teams to focus on client tickets while the automated process completes workaday office tasks. That’s because it can help tag, group, and prioritize requests and assign team members to respond accordingly.
Compared to email, a help desk software is better because your support agents don’t have to work in the same inbox and folders as the others.
At the same time, it can help your company observe service-level agreements to ensure that your support team remains dedicated to offering solutions. In the rare event that deadlines are not met, a help desk program can elevate this issue to the concerned managers.
More importantly, a help desk software can help avoid redundancy. It ensures that tickets are only answered by one team member – and not the others. This will save your customer from receiving multiple tickets for the same concern.
As bigger companies have more customers, they need to work harmoniously to respond to client requests efficiently. With a help desk software, the team members’ performances can be measured – so they can enact interventions that help improve the customer service process.
For one, enterprise-grade programs can help streamline agent availability throughout time zones, countries, languages, and shifts for an immediate response. It can also be integrated with most business tools, including billing & payment systems, CRM programs, and package trackers, so an accurate reply can be given.
Better yet, a help desk software can bring multiple teams together. By linking your customer support, sales, and marketing teams, better customer outputs can be provided.
More importantly, help desk software that follows the industry standard for data safety (TRUSTe, ISO, HIPAA, SOC I-III) can ensure the privacy and confidentiality of client information.
There are several things you need to consider when determining the best budget for a help desk software.
Most programs gauge their prices according to the number of agents. If you have a big team, then you need to find a plan that carries all your requirements – at a competitive price. But if you are working with a small team, you need to go with a flexible plan. After all, you may need to increase the number of your support staff anytime soon.
What is the best allowance that your business can provide? While it’s mighty beneficial to have a help desk software, you can’t squander all of your company’s money here if some departments need more financial assistance. It’s a matter of getting the best features at a price point that won’t choke the accounting department.
Apart from the installation process, you also need to consider the cost of integration. Most help desk programs are economical, but the integrations that come with them may be pricey. It’s best to ask about the cost of integrations – if any – to determine if it fits your budget.
As with integrations, you need to check if your existing programs are compatible with the software. If not, then you may end up wasting more money as you may need to update your current tools to work with the help desk. As such, you need to consider the costs that may come with making these platforms work with one another.
All companies need to know if their technological investments are all worth it. While there is no doubt that a help desk program comes with many benefits, you need to ascertain its effect on your services.
Here are some ways on measuring the impact of a help desk software:
Incoming Responses vs. Outgoing Replies
If the incoming concerns are greater in number than the outgoing tickets, then your team may be on a standstill. As this can lead to overdue tickets, this can help you design responses (i.e. adding agents) that can help address the issue.
Average Response Time
This pertains to the duration of client interaction, from the time of collaboration to the end of follow up. This is one of the best indicators of your team’s ability to manage queries. As such, you should keep this time at the lowest measure possible.
You can determine this by checking the number, type, and response time for client concerns. Should there be backlogs, these metrics can help you devise a plan to improve performance.
Average Time for the First Response
This refers to the time it takes to first respond to a client’s inquiry. A low first response time means that your agents immediately answer to your customer’s needs. A prolonged response time, on the other hand, could make the client impatient. He or she could resort to sending queries through other channels, which could end up flooding your interface even more.
Number of Open and Closed Tickets
Having more open tickets than closed ones means that your agents are very responsive to customer concerns. This will help you earn a positive impression, a thing that contributes greatly to client loyalty.
A help desk program is highly effective if it helps in reducing the total number of overdue queries. It can also help you construct workflows that can help your agents work before the deadline.
Again, a help desk software can help you limit the number of tickets for escalation. After all, this means that your agent is unable to solve a certain issue. By doing so, your company can do its part in ensuring quality service.
A help desk software is a program that unifies all customer concerns in one central location. It is vital for each business, as it can help enhance customer service, agent efficiency, team collaboration, and performance analysis. It can help improve client loyalty as well.
When choosing this platform, you need to consider a variety of factors: type, features, support methods, usability, and price.