The heart of numerous businesses lies in communication. This could involve addressing customer concerns, troubleshooting service-related problems, or handling IT inquiries from staff. Sooner or later, businesses require a system to effectively manage these dialogues.
A highly efficient solution to achieve this is the utilization of help desk software.
What is help desk software?
Help desk software is an instrument utilized for coordinating, managing, and answering service-related inquiries. Certain help desks cater to external queries from clients, while others address internal service demands from team members.
These help desks can incorporate various tools such as a communal inbox, knowledge base software, and a live chat feature. Nevertheless, not every help desk comprises all these mentioned tools.
Employing a help desk system significantly enhances your customer experience. This is because 75% of customers prefer a unified experience, irrespective of their mode of engagement with a company – be it via social media, face-to-face, telephonically, etc. By consolidating all customer support interactions into a single omnichannel tool, help desk platforms ensure a seamless customer journey.
The best help desk software for 2023
To commence your exploration, it’s beneficial to be aware of a variety of possibilities. Presented here are 11 top-notch help desk software solutions currently available in the market.
- Help Scout
- Jira Service Desk
- Zoho Desk
1. Help Scout
Help Scout serves as a comprehensive customer service platform, providing all necessary tools for delivering an exceptional customer experience. As a team that puts customer satisfaction at the forefront, registering for Help Scout provides access to a wide range of beneficial tools.
Help Scout’s communal inboxes encompass teamwork features such as @mentions and confidential notes, allowing you to request assistance from others or offer additional detail to a client discussion.
Moreover, it includes collision detection to minimize repetition in tasks and has integrated workflows to streamline routing and regular duties.
Lastly, preset responses are available to simplify and expedite answers to standard customer inquiries.
Docs allow you to generate, oversee, and arrange self-service content seamlessly. The integrated WYSIWYG editor simplifies the content generation process, allowing you to upload diverse forms of content such as videos, images, and more directly to articles. It also allows for the embedding of videos to further enhance the quality of your self-service content.
The inclusion of performance data provides insightful visibility into the effectiveness of your articles. It aids in identifying top-performing articles, those that require improvement and guides you on what type of content should be developed next.
Beacon, a versatile tool Help Scout provides, incorporates live chat and proactive support solutions via its Messages feature.
The live chat capability offers both online and offline modes, ensuring customers can find the solutions they require exactly when and where they’re needed.
Utilizing Messages allows you to group audiences based on distinct customer characteristics, time your messages, and even access performance statistics to enhance your endeavors further.
Help Scout arrives equipped with ready-made dashboards, allowing you to instantly evaluate your team’s performance. Moreover, it offers the flexibility to design tailor-made reports emphasizing your preferred metrics.
For advanced data management, our API allows you to export your data to any business intelligence tool you desire.
Beacon automatically generates customer profiles for those you’ve engaged with. These profiles provide fundamental details such as their organization, position, and any past interactions you’ve had with them.
Customer profiles are flexible and can be modified or updated at any point to maintain the most current and pertinent information. The process of updating these profiles can be automated by incorporating a few lines of code into any Beacon application.
SysAid operates as an internal IT request management platform, primarily functioning as a help desk ticketing system. It offers numerous service level agreement (SLA) management capabilities such as workflow and ticket automation, which aid in reducing SLAs. A self-service portal can be constructed for knowledge management, enabling employees to address simple requests like password resets independently.
SysAid offers pre-designed templates and default forms to facilitate quick setup. However, the option to design custom ones is also available to better cater to the specific requirements of your team and organization. To boost efficiency and cohesion, the platform also provides a variety of third-party integration options, considering that most IT tools tend to be used in a complementary manner.
The platform boasts robust asset management functionalities, simplifying the management of all your network assets and offering visibility into each end user’s hardware and software.
For information regarding cost, SysAid encourages direct contact to discuss pricing.
Consider Hiver as a supplementary tool for your Gmail account. It empowers you to perform actions such as adding internal comments to discussions and assigning dialogues to particular agents.
Moreover, Hiver offers reporting features that help gauge team efficiency and discern common customer concerns.
It’s important to acknowledge, however, that Hiver’s features are primarily centered around a shared inbox, unlike many other solutions that offer more extensive tools, which may restrict its scalability alongside your team. Additionally, basic functionalities such as reporting are exclusive to their more premium plans.
Pricing: Commences at $12 per user per month.
Freshdesk is a versatile help desk ideally suited for larger teams, particularly those operating within a call center environment.
Upon registration, users gain access to features such as a shared inbox, a knowledge base tool, and chat functionality to manage support requests. Additionally, users are provided with a certain amount of minutes for customer phone interactions, with the exact quantity depending on the chosen plan.
Furthermore, Freshdesk offers integration with various third-party applications, enabling a more connected support tech environment. Despite its strengths, Freshdesk’s pricing structure can be a bit perplexing due to numerous optional add-ons, and some features, such as those mentioned above, are only included in their more premium omnichannel plans.
Pricing: There’s a free plan available. The cost for paid plans commences at $15 per agent per month.
Jira Service Desk is not only used predominantly by engineering teams but also finds its utilization among various support teams, serving as a common platform to log and monitor bugs.
It enables users to design personalized workflows and forms, ensuring efficient project execution. Users can also label tasks with specific statuses, facilitating effective communication among team members. In addition, support representatives can gain insights through reports about ongoing tasks and total workload, thereby enhancing their understanding of bug tracking and requests.
Pricing: Offers a free tier. Premium plans begin at a monthly rate of $7.50 per user.
Zendesk is a name familiar to nearly everyone in the customer support field. They provide a comprehensive support solution that encompasses a shared inbox, a knowledge base, and live chat capabilities.
Moreover, they present advanced AI-driven features such as chatbots and autoresponders, although these are only incorporated in their premium-tier packages.
Furthermore, they provide numerous productivity and automation functionalities along with the opportunity to integrate with over 1,000 different tools to bolster your support system. Frankly, there aren’t many tasks Zendesk isn’t equipped for or communication channels it doesn’t cater to.
Nevertheless, this comprehensive nature comes at the expense of complexity. Zendesk is a highly intricate product that demands significant time, energy, and resources for deployment and operation.
This complexity entails additional costs above the monthly subscription, and since not all teams require all the features provided by Zendesk (e.g., is there a real need to manage community forums?), it’s quite feasible to find a more affordable solution that meets their specific needs.
Pricing: Commences at $19 per agent each month.
7. Zoho Desk
Zoho may be known to you as a customer relationship management platform, yet they also provide a customer interaction support solution, called Zoho Desk.
Zoho Desk incorporates many standard features such as a communal inbox and a knowledge base tool, but it also offers more sophisticated services like AI-aided responses and intricate automations for tasks like conversation categorization and tagging.
If you are already utilizing other Zoho applications, such as the CRM tool, you’ll find that Zoho Desk integrates effortlessly with them. However, note that more complex features, and even some fundamental ones like live chat, are only available on their premium enterprise plan, which might exceed the budget for some groups.
Regarding cost: A free plan is available, and premium plans begin at $14 per agent monthly.
In customer communication, a collective email address (for example, [email protected]) is typically used by most teams to handle support tickets. Nevertheless, there are teams who favor communicating via individual email addresses but also want the benefits of help desk software. Front provides this exact feature.
Front permits the connection of email, SMS, and social media accounts to a single shared inbox, which also incorporates productivity enhancements like internal notes and automation capabilities to decrease manual tasks. Analytics and integrations are additional offerings, although these are restricted to their more expensive packages.
It’s worth mentioning that Front doesn’t provide a knowledge base for frequently asked questions or a live chat tool for instant support, as many of our other recommendations do.
Pricing: Commences from $19 per person each month.
Gorgias serves as a customer support platform primarily designed for ecommerce businesses. It features a shared inbox tool, a knowledge base tool, and a live chat tool. Its unique edge over other platforms lies in its integrations with Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce. However, the Magento integration is only included in the more expensive subscription plan.
These integrations empower you to view, edit, and even refund orders directly from your help desk, potentially saving your team considerable time and effort. One significant downside to consider is that all Gorgias plans come with ticket restrictions, which means your expenses could fluctuate each month depending on your ticket volume.
For instance, their basic plan accommodates 350 support tickets per month, translating to about 12 tickets daily. Most teams would likely surpass this limit, resulting in additional charges of $25 per 100 tickets exceeding the limit.
Pricing: Plans start at $60 per month.
Kustomer has ingeniously integrated help desk and project management software to establish a novel form of solution. It extends multi-channel support, covering email, chat, phone, and social media platforms. As part of its project management capabilities, it allows you to create, delegate, and schedule tasks.
Moreover, Kustomer provides a comprehensive view of each client and permits simultaneous updates across various systems, thereby saving time and effort. Although it boasts a range of remarkable features, it comes with a substantial price tag, and the cost structure can be somewhat perplexing due to the assortment of add-on tools.
For a comparison of Kustomer with its rivals, refer to our guide that lists the top alternatives to Kustomer available in the market.
Pricing: Begins from $89 per user per month.
Spiceworks is an additional tool for constructing an IT help desk. It simplifies the task of organizing and overseeing communications, and it also allows for the creation of a self-service portal, providing individuals with the means to seek solutions and answers independently.
Furthermore, it can automate several labor-intensive tasks, liberating valuable time for your IT staff. If you are an organization delivering IT services to multiple clients, you have the ability to generate distinct sites and user portals for each one. Impressively, Spiceworks comes at no cost.
What are the different categories of help desk software?
Similar to the numerous methods of peeling a cucumber, there exist various approaches to classifying help desk software. One possible categorization involves dividing it based on software type, leading to three primary categories:
- Cloud-based: A cloud-based help desk, also referred to as a web help desk or a SaaS-based help desk, entails the utilization of proprietary software that is hosted on the internet, either through a vendor’s website or an application. To utilize this tool, users are required to log in to the designated site or application and typically pay a recurring fee, either on a monthly or yearly basis.
- On-Premise: Also known as self-hosted, this option involves installing the software directly onto your own servers. You have the flexibility to either develop it in-house or acquire it from a third-party vendor. Like cloud-based solutions, on-premise software is also proprietary in nature.
- Revised: Open source software, specifically open source help desk software, provides developers with direct access to the program’s source code, enabling them to customize the software according to their preferences. Unlike proprietary software, open source programs are typically non-proprietary, meaning they lack a single own.
While the aforementioned factors may influence your purchasing decision, in the case of buying an external solution, it is highly likely that it will be cloud-based. All the options mentioned below are cloud-based.
There might be certain instances where you opt for a solution that is directly installed on your own servers, but this is not very common or practical for most teams due to the associated costs involved in software installation and maintenance.
An alternative and potentially more valuable approach to categorizing help desk software is considering the intended users. In this regard, there are two categories: internal and customer-facing.