Customers show more appreciation and loyalty to businesses that offer them excellent customer service. Whether attending to external or internal clients, companies recognize that customer service is critical to business success. Teams that use help desk software are able to manage support requests more systematically and provide customers a better experience.
Table of Contents
- What Is Help Desk Software?
- Top Help Desk Software
- Types of Help Desk Software
- Help Desk Software Features
What Is Help Desk Software?
Help desk software enables teams, agents, or technicians to receive requests for information, assistance, and other types of support from customers. It is a software solution with specific features that connect customers to a representative of a group or organization responsible for helping them address issues with service or products.
Help desk software has built-in tools to organize customer information and requests, systematize the handling and workflow of tickets, and facilitate speedy resolution through team collaboration and other expert systems. Also, the software is able to measure, analyze, and report resolution time and other KPIs.
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Top Help Desk Software
A help desk system provides many benefits, but the best help desk software allows agents to serve any number of customers in an organized way. Agents are able to consolidate requests from different channels, translate the requests into tickets, and track the tickets through to resolution. The following are top solutions, in no particular order, to aid in your help desk software comparison.
Freshdesk provides a comprehensive support solution that gives agents the tools to understand customer needs so they can offer the best actions and solutions. It has collaborative ticketing and AI-powered suggestions to help prioritize, categorize, and assign tickets to the right agents. Agents can convert customer issues from any channel into tickets, ensuring that no conversation gets lost.
Freshdesk includes a team inbox that allows agents to track and manage support tickets from a single location. Collaboration is built in, so teams can work together to quickly solve customer problems. The omni-channel feature helps unify support-related communications coming from email, phone calls, chat, social media, and WhatsApp into a single platform for more efficient management. Other features include field service management, automation, self-service, analytics, and customization.
- Email to ticket conversion
- Easy-to-setup automations
- Responsive support
- Needs additional reports to measure agent performance
- Some noted instances of multiple accounts for a single contact in the database
Zendesk for service is customer service software that enables customers to get what they need conveniently. It lets users add messaging to websites, mobile apps, and social channels so they are reachable from different platforms. Users can build their help center and community forum so customers can resolve issues at their own time and pace.
Zendesk includes automation and AI-powered bots to help give customers a more personalized experience. A unified workspace with integrations enables agents to track, prioritize, and respond more efficiently. It also has collaboration tools like side conversations, built-in routing and intelligence, and knowledge management like team publishing, so content managers and expert agents can contribute directly from their workspace.
- Users praise the mobile apps
- Easy ticket creation
- Team communication and collaboration
- Price is at the higher end
- Users wish for more insightful reports
HubSpot Service Hub
HubSpot Service Hub is the customer service product for the CRM platform. The help desk software allows agents to deliver efficient service for various purposes such as onboarding, providing support, and improving customer relationships. It offers a free plan, several paid plans, free tools, and product bundles.
HubSpot Service Hub enhances team capabilities with automation features. Agents can add routing to tickets so the system prioritizes critical issues first. They can also set up a knowledge base to allow customers to help themselves, at the same time reducing the number of tickets. Other features include live chat, customer portal, VoIP calling, and automated customer service.
- Free plan and tools
- Contact database is useful
- Responsive support from the vendor
- Mobile apps do not provide the best experience to agents
- Users wish for additional integration to other apps for work orders
Front is a flexible customer communication platform with the simplicity of email and the intelligence of a CRM. Although not a standard help desk software, it provides agents a team inbox to collaborate and take care of all customer communication. Teams can draft responses together to save time and to ensure accuracy and quality.
Front provides a clean and familiar email interface. Users can create custom automated workflows like message escalation and task assignment. They can add automated routing and app integrations. The software can also provide actionable data and insights to help team performance, communication, and customer satisfaction. Other features include message flags and templates.
- Easy and accessible team discussion
- Custom templates
- App integrations
- Users wish for message organization for easier searching
- Needs a more intuitive UI for faster adoption
Agiloft IT help desk software enables users to close tickets faster and minimize interruptions. It enables IT technicians to deliver service across the enterprise with configurable ticket assignment and escalation rules. Workflow and process automation can guide technicians to improve consistency and control by automating email and other back-end actions.
Agiloft help desk is a component of the service desk suite, which includes other components such as asset management, change management, and external customer support. Other features of the software are end-user portal, live chat, and personalized home pages.
- Users like the contact database
- Helpful automations
- Responsive support from vendor
- Mobile interface needs improvement
- New users face a steep learning curve
Zoho Desk is omnichannel customer service software that enables agents to manage customer conversations across multiple channels like email, chat, phone, social media, and websites.
Zoho Desk streamlines support processes with workflow automation. The Zoho platform can easily integrate with other tools and apps. It has an open API and SDK for developers. Other features include a knowledge base, mobile app, and an AI-powered assistant that can triage support tickets, analyze sentiments, and spot anomalies.
- Email-to-case conversion and other ticketing communication
- Interface customization
- Integration with accounting tools
- Complex setup needs more documentation
- Limited workflows
Help Scout is simple customer service software for growing businesses. It has shared team inboxes that let users consolidate support requests. Features like automated workflows, collision detection, and saved replies allow for faster resolution of problems. Users can build a knowledge base with help articles embedded in the website, so customers get instant answers.
Help Scout includes live chat to instantly connect to customers. Outside of service hours, users can configure the software to automatically route requests to email. Other features include interactive reports where users can filter, export, and drill down on data, as well as integrations to other tools. It offers several paid plans and provides a discount to startups and organizations focused on environmental sustainability and social impact.
- Ease of setup and use
- Ticket creation, conversion, and management
- Live chat feature needs improvement
- When customers reply to an assigned ticket, it does not show in the shared inbox
Hiver is Gmail-based help desk software. Companies using Gmail are able to deliver fast customer service right from their inbox without having to learn and adopt another tool. It is a help desk solution built for Google Workspace, allowing teams to easily access, assign, and track emails from their shared customer service account.
Hiver lets users assign customer emails to team members in one click. Users can add internal notes to discuss customer issues. It issues alerts when a team member is replying to a customer, as well as notifications when someone mentions another in a note. It also has features for status updates, automation of repetitive tasks, and reporting and analytics.
- Task assignment within a shared inbox
- Email tags to categorize and prioritize
- Seamless integration with Google
- Users wish for more detailed performance tracking
- Needs email organization for faster search
HelpCrunch is a customer communication platform with multiple tools that include a live chat widget, help desk software, email marketing, and mobile apps, among others. This easy-to-use software starts with a customizable chat widget and extends with popups, auto messages, and help desk capabilities.
HelpCrunch’s help desk software for customer support provides a single place for email and chat support. Detailed customer profiles allow agents to view information in context and know each customer better. Email forwarding and shared inboxes enable agents to respond to customer’s preferred channels using the same interface. The software sends follow-up emails automatically, gives agents more tools to process requests faster, and tracks performance with live reports and analytics.
- Live chat messaging
- Customization tools
- Responsive support
- Missing Facebook Messenger integration
- Users wish for a knowledge base with multi-language options
tawk.to offers free live chat software for websites. Users are able to monitor and chat with website visitors, respond to support tickets, and create a self-serve help center for customers. It is easy to setup and use, and provides a secure way to communicate with customers using live chat, ticketing, knowledge base, chat pages, and team chat.
- Live chat messaging
- App notifications
- Free software
- Navigation can be confusing for new users
- Users wish for more report customization
Salesforce Service Cloud
Salesforce Service Cloud is a customer support and call center software for businesses of all sizes. It lets users automate redundant admin tasks to increase agent productivity. Users can easily unify their help desk with customer data from across sales, marketing, and customer service. The software supports telephony integration, and allows agents to manage calls from within the console.
Salesforce Service Cloud allows for customization so users can configure their own workflows and personalize their consoles with a drag-and-drop interface. It directly integrates with many apps, and users can extend its functionality from tools in the AppExchange. Other features include case management, workflow and approvals, omni-channel routing, automation with macros, and custom reports and dashboards.
- Integrated account, contact, and case management
- Custom reporting
- Security and privacy settings
- Useful features are on the higher plans
- Users wish for time zone-specific support
HappyFox provides all-in-one help desk ticketing software that enables agents to give customers a unified support experience. It gives users the tools to understand customer needs so they can provide support in a timely manner. Private notes, an internal knowledge base, and agent collision alerts facilitates internal communication and collaboration.
HappyFox has an easy-to-use interface that simplifies ticket tracking, viewing, and organization. Agents can organize using different queues and categories. It also has automation features, real-time reports and analytics, self-service portals, remote control software integration, social media integrations, and other app integrations.
- Ease of use
- Ticketing creation and management
- Responsive support from vendor
- Needs improvements in automation
- Users wish for additional customization in reports
LiveAgent is simple, all-in-one help desk software for teams. Users can connect with customers from multiple channels like email, chat, calls, forums, contact forms, feedback, and social media. The software’s chat widget allows agents to provide personalized support with features like incoming message sneak peak, built-in CRM, and automatic chat routing.
LiveAgent includes a cloud-based call center software that has callback, IVR, video calls, and call transfer features. It has a simple ticketing system and a centralized platform to track all conversations. Users can integrate tools, automate tasks, collaborate as a team, and make decisions based on real-time data.
- Live chat support
- Ticketing creation and case management
- Free plan and affordable pricing
- Requires some coding skills to add chat buttons
- Users wish for more comprehensive online documentation
Gist is an all-in-one email marketing automation, live chat, and help desk platform. It offers a CRM platform with tools and integrations to grow an online business. The software brings together all company communication with leads and customers, allowing teams to use a single app to manage, monitor, and deliver service.
Gist help desk software lets agents assist customers in real time with tools like a collaborative inbox, automation, and self-service support. Live chat allows agents to talk to visitors to answer questions instantly. Users can easily add and edit articles in the knowledge base to help educate customers. An AI-powered customer support chatbot available 24/7 allows a company to engage with customers at their convenience.
- Live chat messaging
- Trigger-based automation
- Mobile app experience
- Reports and analytics need enhancements
- Instances of missed notifications
Types of Help Desk Software
All help desk software aims to improve communication between customers and agents, as well as among the support teams themselves. Vendors classify different types of help desk software to help buyers distinguish one from another based on use case, licensing, and deployment.
Enterprise Help Desk
Enterprise help desk software provides large organizations a robust software solution capable of operating at scale. Aside from being capable of handling greater number of requests, tickets, and agents, this help desk software has additional tools or integrates with other systems like account management, asset management, enterprise routing, or multi-brand support.
IT Help Desk
IT help desk software is a system internal to an organization. It aims to support requests from employees from different company departments to fix computer- or system-related problems. Some companies outsource their help desk from managed service providers (MSP), which offer incident management services through remote monitoring, control, and management systems.
Cloud-Based vs On-Premise Deployment
Help desk software this is cloud-based is a product offered by a SaaS provider. Companies subscribe to a plan that allows them access to user seats and a set of features. On-premise help desk solutions reside inside company-owned computers, and employees are responsible for configuring, upgrading, maintaining, and scaling up both the software and hardware components. On the other hand, companies can also host their help desk software on their own private cloud if they have the infrastructure.
Commercial vs Open-Source Software
Enterprise and SaaS help desk software solutions are proprietary commercial software where users do not have access to the source code, but are allowed some customization as a feature. Open-source help desk software allows users access to the source code for them to configure as much as the system allows. Customers can customize their help desk to their unique needs and settings at no additional cost, but are responsible for maintenance and administration.
Help Desk Software Features
Today, help desk companies are offering buyers a variety of features to distinguish their product from the competition. However, some features are core to all help desk systems, enabling agents to provide the best quality of response and support to their customers. Those features are:
- Support for multi-channel points of contact like email, phone, chat, and social media
- Systematic ticketing management that converts, routes, and tracks tickets
- Self-service tools, such as a knowledge base or customer portal
- Ticket escalation to route more difficult cases to subject matter experts
- Automation tools to efficiently handle repetitive, routine, and predictable tasks
- Dashboards and reports to provide important information at a glance
- Tracking and analytics to help uncover data and provide critical insights, including customer satisfaction surveys
- Integration with other tools and scalability
Features for Small Businesses
Small businesses try to do more with fewer resources, so they need some essential features to provide great customer service.
- Integrations: Small businesses will not need a full-blown enterprise solution at the start. However, as the business grows, integration with other apps will allow them to customize their workflow and processes to their exact needs.
- Automation: A small team can let automation in a help desk ticketing system handle routine work, so they can focus their time and energy on complex tasks.
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Features for Midsize Businesses
Midsize companies need to continuously build customer relationships and the right help desk features will contribute significantly to growth.
- Escalation: Teams in midsize companies need a help desk system with intelligent escalation features to avoid delayed responses and poor customer experiences. With escalation, businesses are confident that the right agent is in charge of each case.
- Scalability: Midsize businesses are at the stage where they may need to expand sooner than later. A scalable help desk solution will make implementation smooth and painless.
Features for Enterprise Businesses
Enterprise businesses face the greatest struggle in meeting customer expectations. The right help desk features can boost efficiency and improve customer satisfaction at a fraction of the cost.
- Multi-channel: Enterprise business brands are already on multiple channels. They need a help desk that can accept customer questions, requests, feedback, or complaints from these channels and use them to respond, resolve, and support customers.
- Self-service: Self-service tools like knowledge bases and customer portals can handle many requests, depending on how companies maximize these tools. In addition, enterprises can take advantage of automation and bots to resolve tickets without human agent intervention.
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