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10 Best Free Help Desk Software For CX Teams In 2022

Free Help Desk Software Shortlist

Here’s the list of the best tools that I’ll cover in this article:

  1. Tidio

    Best for its mix of live support and chatbots

  2. Hiver

    Turn Gmail into a help desk

  3. LiveChat

    Help desk software for call centers

  4. ProProfs Help Desk

    Best for a CX shared inbox

  5. HubSpot

    Best for tracking tickets in one unified help desk

  6. Spiceworks Help Desk

    Best help desk software for IT teams

  7. Intercom

    Powerful chat widget for websites and apps

  8. Help Scout

    Help desk software for email and live chat

  9. Freshdesk

    Best for a free upgrade from email support

  10. ManageEngine Service Desk Plus

    Help desk software for IT support

Top-notch service must be a priority for any company hoping to offer an optimal customer experience. Of course, customer service software can be a great asset in that respect, ensuring that inquiries are responded to promptly and effectively. 

But the costs can soon add up, especially if you pay per user. So if you could enjoy the benefits of help desk software without paying through the nose, that would be a significant plus, right?

Fortunately, you can do just that. In this article, I’m reviewing the best free help desk software to help you save money while still managing customers efficiently. I’ll show you what’s available and discuss what makes each tool special. 

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when selecting the best free help desk system? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for ticketing software that everyone from support agents to senior managers can get to grips with easily.
  2. Usability: I’m seeking tools that help you find the features you need in just a few clicks.
  3. Integrations: I expect help desk software to integrate with sales, marketing, and business software platforms.
  4. Value for $: I look for apps that are affordable, regardless of how many agents are using the system.

Free Help Desk Software Key Features

When evaluating customer service ticketing systems for this blog, I’m looking for tools that offer most or all of the following: 

  1. Multiple points of contact: Customers and prospects should be able to get in touch through various channels such as phone, email, social media, and chat.
  2. Problem escalation: Customer issues that cannot be resolved on first contact should be moved up the management ladder until the case is closed in a satisfactory way.
  3. Ticketing management: Organizing inquiries into tickets and tracking their progress from receipt to resolution.
  4. Dashboards: A clear overview of current activities that allows agents and managers to understand what needs attention next.
  5. Knowledge base: The ability to compile documentation into a form that can be easily accessed by agents or used in a self-service manner by customers.
  6. Automation: Eliminating repetitive or routine tasks by taking care of them on autopilot. For example, converting inquiry emails into customer tickets.
  7. Analytics: Visual representation of customer service activity that highlights key metrics and isolates potential problem areas.
  8. Surveys: The ability to poll customers to determine their satisfaction with the level of customer service received.
  9. Performance tracking: Monitoring key metrics such as time from first contact to resolution, resolution rate per agent, etc.
  10. Access management: Allowing different levels of access for agents, support team leaders, and managers.

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Free Help desk Software Solutions 

Here’s a brief description of each free help desk app to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface. 

1

Tidio

Best for its mix of live support and chatbots

Tidio is a live chat software solution that helps customer experience teams cater to customer needs and queries. The cloud-based platform includes a ticketing system, knowledge base, chatbot builder, and live chat tool. It provides detailed insights into customer interactions, helping customer experience teams identify areas for improvement.

Tidio's platform is designed to help customer experience teams manage all aspects of the customer journey, from first contact to resolution. Its chatbots automate repetitive tasks such as providing information about product availability or answering FAQs, allowing users to provide 24/7 customer support.

Tidio also offers human agent assistance which helps resolve more complex issues. Its live chat feature can track data and analyze customer behavior, which can help you improve the customer experience. Additionally, you can use this feature to proactively reach out to customers and offer them help before they even have to ask for it. Finally, Tidio’s ticketing system allows you to prioritize inquiries and ensure that all customers receive a response on time.

Tidio offers 25+ integrations, including email integration, which is helpful for having multiple email inboxes. Integrations include Zendesk, Google Analytics, Pipedrive, Mailchimp, OpenCart, and thousands more through Zapier.

Pricing for Tidio starts at $19 /operator/month and offers a 7-day free trial.

7-day free trial

From $19/user/month

2

Hiver

Turn Gmail into a help desk

Hiver is software that adds help desk functionality to your Gmail inbox. This means you can run support without any extra software or tools. When you install the plugin, you see a set of extra options in your Gmail sidebar. Managers can use this to assign inbound messages to members of their support team.

They can also add notes to this contact to provide further details. Agents can easily see all their assigned tickets in the inbox. They can also collaborate on replies by leaving notes and tagging other team members. It’s also easy for agents to see when someone is working on a particular ticket, therefore reducing the chances of collisions. Once agents finish support, they can easily mark tickets as closed.

The tool also supports automation. You can assign tickets to particular agents when the message contains a keyword related to their area of expertise. Or you can use round-robin rules to evenly distribute tickets to active agents.

Pricing starts at $19 per agent per month. You need to sign up for the pro or elite plan to access advanced features like analytics or round robin ticket assignments.

7 days free trial

From $19 per agent per month

3

LiveChat

Help desk software for call centers

LiveAgent is help desk software with plenty of features and integrations. You can connect the tool to all your communication channels including calls, chat, email, video, and social. And you can bring in customer data from the other platforms your business uses including Salesforce, Pipedrive, and Shopify. The tool also has a powerful chat widget you can connect to your website.

This has features like the ability to proactively message customers based on triggers like time on site or the number of pages they visit. There’s also phone support with features like call recordings, IVR, transfers, and automated callbacks.

It has outbound calling features so you can contact customers when needed. And agents can login to handle calls anywhere with softphones.

LiveAgent starts at $15 per agent per month for the ticketing software. The all-inclusive plan with call center support costs $49 per agent per month. You can try each plan for free on the website.

14-day free trial

From $49/agent/month

4

ProProfs Help Desk

Best for a CX shared inbox

ProProfs Help Desk is a customer service tool that helps support teams keep track of customer request issues. Managers can prioritize, assign, and label tickets to ensure they are handled most appropriately.

Core features include a shared inbox, canned responses, collaborative email, ticket prioritization, and reporting. You can apply filters and sort by labels, assignees, milestones, status, or workflow configuration.

You can also use Round-Robin or advanced ticket assignment to ensure that tickets are evenly distributed. The Gmail-style interface ensures that agents will feel comfortable using the system.

This tool integrates with business tools such as Survey Maker, Chat, and Knowledge Base.

ProProfs allows you to start with a free plan and upgrade when you are ready.

5

HubSpot

Best for tracking tickets in one unified help desk

Using HubSpot’s help desk software, you can capture, organize, and track all customer inquiries in one dashboard. You can easily track metrics such as agent response time and support ticket volume. The routing and automation features reduce manual data entry and improve efficiency.

The system automatically converts customer emails or chats into tickets and routes them to the right person. Requests can be prioritized so that critical issues are handled first. You can also assign owners to individual tickets and organize them into a personal pipeline of work.

This tool integrates with software applications such as Salesforce, Survey Monkey, HotJar, and GoToWebinar.

HubSpot offers a free starter plan for new users.

14-day free trial + freemium version available

From $45/month

6

Spiceworks Help Desk

Best help desk software for IT teams

Spiceworks is a customer support system that combines a help desk and network monitoring. Designed for system administrators and IT professionals, it manages customer tickets, provides omnichannel support, and tracks agents’ performance.

Any support agent can monitor IT incidents and track changes in the network. They can manage tickets on their Android or iOS phones using the provided app.

Managers can control everything from a central dashboard and track key performance metrics. The software is available in both cloud-based and on-premise versions.

This tool integrates with business applications such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Spiceworks is free with no restrictions on usage.

7

Intercom

Powerful chat widget for websites and apps

It lets customers contact your support team from within your product or website, as well as via channels like social media and email. Meanwhile, agents can access important customer information such as past conversations and issue details. The stand out features are all the self-help options.

You can add resources to your chat widget and even customize what shows up depending on the page.Or you can use proactive support functionality to solve customer problems before they even occur. For example, you can send automated messages when users perform a particular action, such as spending a certain amount of time on a particular page.

Other self-help options include the ability to create product tours to help people get up to speed with your features, and automated messages that go out when customers show signs of struggling with your product.

The tool also has plenty of features that streamline live help. These include a help desk ticketing system, collaboration, ticket routing, and templated responses.

Intercom has a starter plan for very small businesses that costs $74 per month when billed annually. Larger businesses should contact the sales team for pricing information.

14 Days Free Trial

From $74/month (billed annually)

8

Help Scout

Help desk software for email and live chat

HelpScout is help desk software built for email and live chat. All contact is collected in the shared inbox which has plenty of features like private messaging, ticket management, and the ability for managers to assign tasks.

Agents can access customer data from within the inbox, including information from other apps. For example, you can connect Shopify to see the customer’s purchase history.

You can also create automations using a simple if/then No-Code builder. Just choose an action to act as a trigger and then select what happens when this occurs. For example, you could assign all messages with the keyword “product demo” to someone in your sales team.

The tool has a powerful website chat widget. This allows customers to contact your support team from the webpage they are browsing. You can also add information to the widget, for example, documents or a knowledge base search bar. With thisin place, customers can access the information they need without contacting your support team, therefore reducing inbound contact volume.

You can also provide relevant help by proactively sending automated messages to people as they browse your website. HelpScout integrates with plenty of business tools including Slack, Google Apps, and Mailchimp. Further integrations are available via Zapier.

The tool starts at $25 per user per month but proactive messaging to over 2,000 unique website viewers costs extra. You can sign up for a free trial on the website.

Free trial

From $25/user/month

9

Freshdesk

Best for a free upgrade from email support

Freshdesk is a ticketing system that converts all incoming emails and social media conversations into tickets. Thanks to the built-in workflow automations, you can simplify ticket routing and assign tickets to the right people.

Agents can change ticket status and priority as required, as well as collaborate with other team members directly from the ticket interface. Using the knowledge base, customers can find answers to their questions so that agents are free to focus on more complex matters.

The software keeps track of critical metrics relating to ticket creation, deletion, and lifecycle. You can also monitor real-time trends in the dashboard to identify bottlenecks before they become serious.

This help desk tool integrates with popular apps such as Whatsapp, Slack, Shopify, and Microsoft Teams.

The free plan supports up to 10 agents.

21-day free trial

From $35/agent/month

10

ManageEngine Service Desk Plus

Help desk software for IT support

ManageEngine Service Desk is software built for IT help desks. The tool offers both cloud-based and on premises solutions. It has tons of relevant features built for these teams. Incident management helps you reduce product outages and improve agent productivity.

Meanwhile, problem management helps you classify problems so you can fix the root cause, thus reducing the chances of the issue reoccurring. The tool also has asset management features so you can track all hardware and software assets.Reports are another useful feature.

You can create custom reports or use those that come out of the box to gain critical insight into your IT team performance.ManageEngine Service Desk offers three pricing plans, you can contact the company for a demo and further information. You can also request a free trial on the website.

30-day free trial

Pricing upon request

The Best Free Help desk Software Solutions Summary Table

Tool Free Option Price
1
Tidio

Best for its mix of live support and chatbots

7-day free trial

From $19/user/month Visit Website
2
Hiver

Turn Gmail into a help desk

7 days free trial

From $19 per agent per month Visit Website
3
LiveChat

Help desk software for call centers

14-day free trial

From $49/agent/month Visit Website
4
ProProfs Help Desk

Best for a CX shared inbox

Free Plan

Visit Website
5
HubSpot

Best for tracking tickets in one unified help desk

14-day free trial + freemium version available

From $45/month Visit Website
6
Spiceworks Help Desk

Best help desk software for IT teams

Not available

Visit Website
7
Intercom

Powerful chat widget for websites and apps

14 Days Free Trial

From $74/month (billed annually) Visit Website
8
Help Scout

Help desk software for email and live chat

Free trial

From $25/user/month Visit Website
9
Freshdesk

Best for a free upgrade from email support

21-day free trial

From $35/agent/month Visit Website
10
ManageEngine Service Desk Plus

Help desk software for IT support

30-day free trial

Pricing upon request Visit Website

Need expert help selecting the right Support & Helpdesk Software?

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It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:

Other Free Help Desk Software Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Web Help Desk (WHD) Free - Best for linking multiple incidents with specific problems
  2. osTicket - Best for filtering tickets to the correct department
  3. help desk - No-nonsense approach to help desk software for small business users
  4. UVdesk - Best free help desk software for eCommerce companies

If you have outgrown your free help desk software, take a look at our 10 best customer service software suggestions.

What Do You Think About This List?

So is free and open-source help desk software up to the mark, or should you pony up for a paid service? Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

If you found this article on the best help desk software helpful, you might also like our blog posts on the best customer support software. With the right free help desk software, you can turn customers into raving fans. And that means you will be on course for unstoppable success!

Oh, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter, too. That way, we can keep you up to date with all the latest developments in the CX world. 

By Finn Bartram

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