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With so many different help desk software solutions available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want software to help you manage and resolve your customer inquiries more efficiently, but you need to figure out which system is best. In this article, I'll help you make your choice easier by sharing my insights on the best help desk software to streamline customer communications and provide timely and consistent responses to service requests.

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The Best Help Desk Software: Pricing Comparison Chart

This comparison chart summarizes basic details about each of my top help desk software selections. You can view pricing details and the availability of free trials or demos side-by-side to help you find the right help desk software for your budget and business needs.

Tools Price
LiveAgent From $9/user/month (billed annually)
Zendesk From $19/user/month (billed annually)
Issuetrak From $26/agent/month
Zoho Assist From $12/month
Zoho Desk From $20/user/month
SysAid Pricing upon request
Front From $19/user/month (billed annually)
NinjaOne Pricing upon request
Hiver From $15/user/month (annually)
3CX From $175/year (10 users)
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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How to Choose Help Desk Software

Choosing the right help desk software can enhance organizational efficiency, automate support tasks, and provide insights into customer satisfaction..

As you're shortlisting, trialing, and selecting help desk software consider the following:

  • What problem are you trying to solve - Start by identifying the help desk software feature gap you're trying to fill to clarify the features and functionality the help desk software needs to provide.
  • Who will need to use it To evaluate cost and requirements, consider who'll be using the software and how many licenses you'll need. You'll need to evaluate if it'll just be the customer service team, or the whole organization that will require access. When that's clear, it's worth considering if you're prioritizing ease of use for all, or speed for your help desk software power users.
  • What other tools it needs to work with Clarify what tools you're replacing, what tools are staying, and the tools you'll need to integrate with, such as accounting, CRM or HR software. You'll need to decide if the tools will need to integrate together, or alternatively, if you can replace multiple tools with one consolidated help desk software.
  • What outcomes are important - Consider the result that the software needs to deliver to be considered a success. Consider what capability you want to gain, or what you want to improve, and how you will be measuring success. For example, an outcome could be the ability to get greater visibility into performance. You could compare help desk software features until you’re blue in the face but if you aren’t thinking about the outcomes you want to drive, you could be wasting a lot of valuable time.
  • How it would work within your organization Consider the software selection alongside your workflows and delivery methodology. Evaluate what's working well, and the areas that are causing issues that need to be addressed. Remember every business is different — don’t assume that because a tool is popular that it'll work in your organization.

Best Help Desk Software Reviews

To help you find the best help desk software for you, I’ve provided detailed summaries of my top 10 choices and explained why I included each system in this list. I’ve also highlighted their noteworthy features, best use cases, and pros & cons to help you determine which software solution best fits your business needs.

Plus, I’ve included 16 additional options below, for different use cases, to help you find the right help desk software for you.

Best help desk and knowledge base in one

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $9/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

LiveAgent is a help desk and knowledge base management software that helps customer support teams manage multi-channel ticketing flows and provide self-serve content for customers. Team members share an inbox where they can see all incoming tickets in one place, whether they're coming through via phone calls, email, or live chat.

Why I picked LiveAgent: I included LiveAgent in this list because their help desk software is known for its fast and easy customer onboarding and implementation process. They also offer excellent customer support for clients 24/7, and concierge migration services if you're looking to switch from a different help desk solution to theirs.

LiveAgent Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features for LiveAgent include automated spam filtering, ticket routing, and follow-up scripts, which can all be configured in the platform to help streamline workflows and alleviate busy work.

To create an abundant knowledge base to empower customers, you can implement the customizable themes available in the software and draft articles with the WYSIWYG content editor. Customer forums can also be established and moderated through the platform, giving customers an opportunity to share their advice and helping to nurture your community. Feedback buttons can be added to the customer-facing portal, helping teams collect insights into user needs, wants, and pain points.

Integrations are available with 200+ other SaaS tools like ActiveCampaign, BigCommerce, Clockify, Gmail, HubSpot, Jira, Pipedrive, Shopify, Slack, and Trello.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Includes the ability to merge or split help tickets as needed
  • White glove implementation services
  • Numerous third-party integrations are available

Cons:

  • An additional fee is required if you want to host more than one knowledge base (multi-knowledge base feature)
  • Some social media integrations require an additional fee

Best AI-powered customer service solution for companies of all sizes

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $19/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.2/5

Zendesk offers customer service software with AI-powered help desk functionality. Their customer support software is also customizable and scalable, allowing you to add more features as your operation grows. It lets you organize support from multiple channels including messaging, email, voice, and social media in a single inbox.

Why I picked Zendesk: I included Zendesk because they're a well-known platform and their combined features help your team offer fast support. You can create automatic routing rules so agents can answer tickets that best match their abilities, whether that's based on language preferences or a particular type of product expertise. You can also use the chat widget to automatically collect extra details about your customers' problems or identify intent so you can route them to the most relevant agent.

Another cool feature is the ability to create a customer community you can use to offer support. Your team can use this as an extra support channel, or you can encourage members to help each other. It’s particularly useful because any community member can benefit from the help you give in the community, not just the people who ask the question.

Zendesk Standout Features and Integrations:

One standout feature worth noting is how easy it is to create new self-service articles to help customers get future answers proactively. To do that Zendesk helps you identify common questions that are trending. Upon answering the initial customer's question, you can take that answer and transform it into an article, then feed it to the platform's chatbots. Then, the next time that same question comes up, the link to that article with the answer will pop up in the chat widget immediately. This feature can save teams a lot of time and cut down on the overall volume of help desk requests your team will receive.

Integrations include Asana, Google Workspace, HubSpot, Jira, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Shopify, Slack, Trello, Zoom, and over 1200 more options on the Zendesk Marketplace.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Internal ticketing system combines email, chat, voice, and social messaging queries into one system
  • Has a user-friendly interface with robust features
  • Supports localized content in over 40 languages

Cons:

  • Self-service portal isn't available in their basic plan
  • Analytics dashboard is pre-built (not customizable)

Best for omnichannel ticket submission

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $26/agent/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.1/5

Issuetrak is a ticket management software designed to handle and track issues across multiple channels, providing a centralized platform for businesses to manage customer support queries, internal helpdesk requests, and issue tracking. The tool's capability to accept tickets from various channels such as email, web forms, and phone, coupled with its adaptability to different business sizes and industry needs, positions it as a leading solution for omnichannel ticket submission.

Why I picked Issuetrak: The platform supports task collaboration for efficient problem-solving, a knowledge base for quick reference to common issues, and asset management for tracking organizational resources. Additional features include system integrations, professional services for customization and training, dedicated product support, cloud hosting options, data services for in-depth analysis, notifications and reporting tools for monitoring operations, and entities and permissions for secure data access.

Issuetrak Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include omnichannel ticket submission, which allows for the capture of customer interactions across multiple channels, and automatic ticket assignment, ensuring that issues are promptly directed to the right team members. I particularly like the round-robin feature which automatically assigns an incoming issue to the next available agent when you have enabled this feature for a specific group.

Integrations are available with thousands of apps through Zapier (which requires an additional subscription). Additionally, you can build custom integrations using its API and connect the tool to other software in your tech stack.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Quick and simple setup
  • Limitations on field customization
  • User-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Limitations on field customization
  • Steep learning curve for new users

Best for providing remote access support

  • 15-day free trial available
  • From $12/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

Zoho Assist is a customer support and remote access software. It can be used to provide customer support through both on-demand and unattended remote access sessions, and is compatible with other Zoho products.

Why I picked Zoho Assist: This software allows customer success teams to remotely accessing customer (or team member) devices. The unattended remote access capability also allows you to push updates, diagnose issues, and reboot devices even if the customer is not at their computer. High-level security features are included, providing peace of mind for agents and customers alike.

Customer service reps can also support customers via live chat, video, and voice calling. The software also has a scheduling feature to set up support sessions as needed. Files can be shared between support agents and customers seeking assistance.

Zoho Assist Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include the system's session recording tool. You can record any remote access session, which is super helpful for record-keeping but also for auditing purposes. Session recordings can also be used for training new staff or reviewing performance with support agents.

Integrations include the Zoho product suite, Zendesk, ServiceNow, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Freshdesk, Spiceworks, and the Google Suite, among others.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • On-demand and unattended remote access
  • Ability to deploy bulk updates
  • High-level security (SSL, 256-bit AES encryption, 2FA)

Cons:

  • Some features may require coding knowledge
  • Might not be ideal for non-Zoho users

Best workflow builder with automations

  • 15-day free trial
  • From $20/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Zoho Desk is omnichannel help desk software. It allows you to connect all the contact methods your customers use including email, social media, web chat, and even telephony. Respond to contact from all these channels in a single inbox. The tool also has powerful workflow automation features.

This allows you to create best practices—known in the tool as blueprint—to help you respond to common requests. You build these blueprints with a visual drag and drop editor that allows you to add actions with different outcomes depending on specific conditions. Use these workflows to ensure agents follow the correct process when offering support.

This is especially helpful for quickly getting new hires up to speed because the tool tells them the correct response to take in different situations. Beyond this, the tool has all the features you’d expect from customer service software, including self-service resources, collaboration, reporting, and integration with other business tools.

Zoho Desk costs $20 per agent per month for the standard plan. You can grab a free trial on the website.

Best help desk software for IT services

  • 30-day free trial
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 1/5

SysAid is a comprehensive help desk software for IT teams. It offers tools for managing tickets, resolving issues, and handling assets, as well as automating these processes.

Why I picked SysAid: The self-service automation this software offers is what really made it stand out to me, and what earned it its spot on my list. The self-serve capabilities include automated password resets and one-click issue submissions. This allows staff to resolve common IT problems independently, reducing your IT support staff's workload and freeing up their time for more technical tasks.

You can opt to implement this platform either in the cloud or on-premise, which is nice flexibility for an IT solution. The company also provides exceptional technical support and training programs to help your team get onboarded quickly and effectively. It's an uncomplicated and efficient IT service management solution, but it can also be used for other purposes like HR and healthcare.

SysAid Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include the platform's built-in asset management. You can cross-references tickets, users, and assets in the system to help you resolve issues more quickly with full context. The software also has remote control capabilities, which enables IT staff to troubleshoot issues by accessing devices from afar. Finally, the codeless configuration simplifies the setup process and makes the platform exceptionally user-friendly, especially for those without coding expertise.

Integrations include Azure, ADFS, Bomgar, CAS, Jira Software – Cloud Service, Microsoft Teams, Nagios, Office 365, and Okta.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Integrates with IT service management (ITSM)
  • Includes task automation
  • Easy to implement

Cons:

  • Restricted customizations
  • Pricing not transparent

Best for efficient team communication

  • 7-day free trial
  • From $19/user/month (billed annually)

Front is a customer operations platform that consolidates communication channels into a single interface, aiming to improve the efficiency and visibility of business operations. Overall, Front strives to offer a balance between email flexibility and help desk organization, providing scalability for businesses of different sizes. 

Why I picked Front: Front assists help desk operations by providing a platform that centralizes customer communications from various channels into a single interface, enabling teams to manage and respond to customer inquiries efficiently. It is designed to help businesses manage customer interactions, improve response times, and maintain a high level of organization in their customer service efforts.

For example, Front supports collaboration among team members by allowing them to share inboxes, comment on conversations, and assign tasks to one another. The tool also automates workflows to direct messages to the appropriate team members and provides analytics to track performance and customer satisfaction. Additionally, Front's knowledge base feature allows for quick access to information, and its live chat enables real-time customer engagement. 

Front Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include the platform's customer insights. Front's contact profiles consolidate customer information, providing a holistic view of previous interactions, contact details, and relevant context, which empowers teams to deliver personalized and informed responses. Front also enables teams to add internal notes and collaborate within contact profiles. Agents can share important updates, observations, or specific instructions with their colleagues.

Integrations include Aircall, Asana, Clickup, Dialpad, Bugpilot, FullContact, Chatra, Gainsight, Drift, and Calixa.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Robust customization and automation
  • Easy multi-channel integration
  • Enhances team collaboration

Cons:

  • Potentially slow response times
  • Wide array of features can result in a steep learning curve for new users

Best for endpoint management & alerting

  • Free demo
  • Pricing upon request

NinjaOne is a unified IT management platform, designed to simplify and optimize the way IT teams work. It offers a suite of tools that cater to various aspects of IT management, including remote monitoring and management (RMM), endpoint management, patch management, backup, and disaster recovery.

Why I picked NinjaOne: As a help desk software, NinjaOne excels in streamlining IT support and enhancing customer service efficiency. It offers a robust ticketing system that allows IT teams to efficiently track, prioritize, and resolve user issues and requests. The platform's strength lies in its intuitive interface and seamless integration with other IT management tools, enabling a unified approach to IT service management.

NinjaOne provides detailed reporting and analytics, which help in identifying common issues and trends, leading to proactive problem resolution and improved IT support strategies. Additionally, its automation capabilities significantly reduce the time spent on repetitive tasks, allowing IT professionals to focus on more complex issues. The software's ability to offer remote support and access further enhances its effectiveness, enabling IT teams to provide timely and effective assistance regardless of location.

NinjaOne Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include its user-friendly interface and design, which is tailored to enhance user experience and productivity. The platform's intuitive design stands out in a field often characterized by complex and technical interfaces. This focus on user experience simplifies the learning curve for new users and enhances efficiency for experienced IT professionals. 

Integrations include TeamViewer, Splashtop, Connectwise, Sentinal One, Bitdefender, Webroot, Alwarebytes, OKTA, OneLogin, Accelo, CloudBlue PSA, SherpaDesk, HaloPSA, IT Glue, BightGauge, ScalePad, PagerDuty, and Slack. 

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Robust automation capabilities
  • User-friendly interface
  • Comprehensive feature set

Cons:

  • Learning curve for advanced features
  • Focused on IT customer service only

Best for Gmail-based team collaboration

  • 7-day free trial
  • From $15/user/month (annually)

Hiver is an innovative email management solution designed to optimize and streamline team collaboration and customer service operations directly within Gmail. It transforms the familiar Gmail interface into a powerful collaboration platform, enabling teams to manage shared inboxes efficiently without the need for external helpdesk software.

Why I Picked Hiver: Hiver excels as a help desk software by seamlessly integrating with Gmail, providing an intuitive and familiar interface for users. This integration allows for efficient management of shared inboxes, ensuring that customer emails are never missed and are responded to promptly. Hiver's strengths include its ability to assign emails as tasks, track their status, and collaborate within the email thread itself, which significantly reduces response times and improves team coordination.

Hiver's features—like automated workflows, email templates, and analytics tools—enable teams to streamline their processes, analyze performance, and improve overall customer service quality. The simplicity of Hiver's design, combined with its powerful functionality, makes it an effective tool for teams seeking a user-friendly yet robust help desk solution within the Gmail environment.

Hiver Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include that it operates directly within Gmail. This integration allows teams to manage shared inboxes, assign emails, and track their status without leaving their Gmail environment. This feature is particularly beneficial for teams that rely heavily on Gmail for communication, as it streamlines workflow and minimizes the need to juggle multiple platforms. 

Integrations include Aircall, Asana, Jira, Okta, QuickBooks, Salesforce, Slack, and WhatsApp. You can also connect Hiver to a paid Zapier account to unlock additional integrations.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy to use, right in Gmail interface
  • Includes reporting and analytics
  • Comprehensive communications hub

Cons:

  • Many integrations require Zapier
  • Rules automation only available in higher-priced plans

Best for managing multiple communication methods

  • Free for up to 10 users
  • From $175/year (10 users)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

3CX is a modern business communications system that is based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standard. It is suitable for any business size across different industries.

Why I picked 3CX: As a software-based PBX solution, 3CX significantly improves productivity, customer service experience, and personnel mobility. Their contact center solution is tailored for in-house contact center agents, allowing them to save time by resolving various customer issues more efficiently.

The software is easy to use, cost-effective, and highly flexible, as it can be self-managed on-premise or hosted on a remote server in the cloud. Users can also streamline their processes by integrating 3CX’s contact center and helpdesk solution with existing CRM and ERP software. A click-to-call function is also available, which enables contact center agents to initiate calls directly from their CRM app.

3CX Standout Features and Integrations:

With 3CX’s contact center solution, customers have more ways to connect with the helpdesk and customer service team using other means of communication such as SMS, live chat, and WhatsApp. The software can help simplify the call management process with multiple queues and interactive voice responses (IVRs). It can also automate repetitive tasks by allowing users to create custom voice apps.

Other useful features include video conferencing, CRM integration, and access to secure communication via mobile apps. Their Microsoft 365 and native CRM integrations help extend their helpdesk and customer service capabilities even more. For example, users can match the caller ID feature to their Microsoft 365 and database contacts to unify all customer information.

Integrations are available with Bitrix24, Connectwise, Freshdesk HubSpot, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Teams, mongoDB, Salesforce, vtiger, Zendesk, Zoho, and others.

3CX is completely free for up to 10 users, which makes it ideal for small businesses and startups.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Includes helpful features such as Listen in, Whisper, and Barge in
  • Available as a cloud-based help desk (hosted) or self-managed
  • Includes mobile apps for iOS and Android devices

Cons:

  • Skill-based routing is limited to their top-level paid plan (Enterprise)
  • Microsoft 365 integration is limited to their Pro plan or above

Other Help Desk Software

Here are a few more worthwhile options for help desk management. Even though they didn’t make it into my top 10 selections, they’re still worth checking out if you need more options:

  1. Hiver

    Best help desk software that works inside Gmail

  2. Tidio

    Best for its mix of live support and chatbots

  3. Help Scout

    Best help desk software for creating no-code automations

  4. Intercom

    Best help desk chat widget for websites & apps

  5. HelpDesk

    Best help desk and ticketing software for ease of use

  6. Gladly

    Best for advanced telephony features

  7. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus

    Best help desk software for IT support

  8. Jira

    Best help desk software for internal departments

  9. Freshdesk

    Best for an advanced customer self-service portal

  10. Salesforce Service Cloud

    Best cloud-based help desk and customer service software suite

  11. Re:amaze

    Best help desk software for online businesses

  12. TeamSupport

    Best for a B2B focused customer service platform

  13. SolarWinds Service Desk

    Best IT service management (ITSM) solution

  14. ProProfs Help Desk

    Best for managing customer emails using shared inbox

  15. Front

    Best ticketless help desk software

  16. Symphony SummitAI

    Best AI-powered service management solution for enterprise organizations

  17. Gorgias

    Best help desk tool for ecommerce businesses

  18. Hubspot Service Hub

    Best help desk software with additional CRM and marketing outreach features

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these related customer experience management tools that we've tested and evaluated.

Selection Criteria for Help Desk Software

If you're wondering how I selected the best help desk software, I'm happy to break it all down for you. First of all, I started off by reviewing recent help desk software market data and publicly available user satisfaction ratings to create my long list of help desk vendors to assess.

Next, using my own experience in customer experience as a guide, I created a list of the key criteria that are most important for help desk software. I then used these criteria to compare how each help desk provider stacked up against the rest:

Core help desk software Functionality: 25% of total weighting score

Common features for help desk software typically include ticket management, multi-channel support, automated routing, knowledge bases, collaboration tools, analytics and reporting, self-service portals, chat widgets, and integration capabilities.

To be considered for inclusion on my list of the best help desk software, the solution had to support the ability to fulfill common use cases:

  • Have the ability to track customer support tickets using a ticket number, tag, or by some other means.
  • Offer some sort of customer self-service portal, where customers can access key information themselves, proactively. This could include an FAQ section, a community forum, or an integrated knowledge base.
  • Channel integration capabilities that combine requests from popular sources (email, live chat, phone, social media, web forms, etc.) into one unified user interface for your agents.

Additional Standout Features: 25% of total weighting score

  • Unique functionalities that distinguish the software from competitors, such as AI-driven insights or advanced automation capabilities.
  • Solutions offering exceptional customizability to adapt to specific business workflows.
  • Examples of innovative features include real-time customer satisfaction tracking or predictive analytics for ticket volume.

Usability: 10% of total weighting score

  • A balance between powerful features and ease of use, ensuring software is accessible to all team members.
  • A design aesthetic that simplifies navigation and task execution, such as drag-and-drop interfaces for scheduling or intuitive tagging for asset management.

Onboarding: 10% of total weighting score

  • The presence of resources like training videos, templates, interactive product tours, and webinars to facilitate quick adoption.
  • Assessing how easily a new user can migrate to the platform and start benefiting from its features.

Customer Support: 10% of total weighting score

  • How the provider's customer service stacks up against others, looking for responsiveness, knowledge, and support channels offered.

Value For Money: 10% of total weighting score

  • Comparing the pricing of the software with its feature set, looking for affordability without sacrificing essential functionalities.

Customer Reviews: 10% of total weighting score

  • Gathering insights from user feedback to gauge overall satisfaction and identify any recurring issues or highly praised features.

Choosing help desk software requires a thoughtful approach, weighing features against specific business needs. The right software simplifies customer service management, aligns with budget constraints, and grows with your organization.

In 2024, help desk software trends are shaping around the drive to streamline customer service workflows, enhance user experience, and integrate AI-driven solutions for better inquiry management. These developments are pivotal for organizations looking to elevate their customer service capabilities.

Evolving Features

  • AI and Machine Learning Integration: Press releases and product updates highlight the integration of AI for automated ticket routing, predictive analytics, and personalized customer service experiences. AI's role in understanding customer sentiment and automating responses to common inquiries is becoming increasingly sophisticated, addressing the need for efficiency and scalability in customer support.
  • Omnichannel Support: The emphasis on omnichannel support is growing, as seen in the latest software updates. Companies are enhancing their platforms to seamlessly integrate communications across various channels, including social media, live chat, and email, ensuring a unified customer experience.
  • Self-Service Portals and Knowledge Bases: There's a noticeable trend towards expanding self-service options. Updates to knowledge bases and self-service portals include more intuitive search functions and AI-driven content suggestions, helping customers find solutions quickly and reducing ticket volumes.

Novel and Unusual Functionality

  • Voice and Conversational AI: Some of the most novel features include the use of conversational AI and voice recognition technology to handle customer inquiries. These tools can interpret voice commands and engage in natural language processing to provide more human-like interactions through chatbots or voice assistants.

Most Important and In-Demand Features

  • Real-Time Analytics and Reporting: The demand for real-time analytics and detailed reporting features is high. Organizations are looking for ways to instantly access data on customer interactions, support ticket trends, and agent performance to make informed decisions and improve service quality.
  • Integration Capabilities: The ability to integrate with CRM, sales, and marketing software is highly valued. This connectivity ensures a cohesive workflow, allowing for a more comprehensive view of the customer journey and enabling personalized customer interactions.

Declining in Importance

  • Email-Only Support: The reliance on email as the sole channel for customer support is decreasing. As customer preferences shift towards instant communication methods like chat and social media, email support is being supplemented or even replaced by these faster, more interactive channels.

These trends underline the shift towards leveraging technology to create more efficient, personalized, and responsive customer service experiences. Help desk software is evolving to meet these needs, with AI, omnichannel support, and advanced analytics leading the way.

What is Help Desk Software?

Help desk software are tools that help businesses manage and track their customer support requests. They act as a central hub where businesses can respond to customer inquiries from multiple sources (including email, phone, chat, and social media platforms) within one interface. Standard features include ticket tracking, automated responses, knowledge base management, and reporting capabilities. Many also include the ability to automatically route requests to specific agents based on their skills and the nature of the query.

Using help desk software can help you improve the efficiency of your customer service operations, leading to faster resolution times and enhanced team productivity. They also make it easier to analyze your support activities to spot areas for continuous improvement, helping your company stay competitive in the market.

Features of Help Desk Software

The specific features included in each help desk software will depend on the type of platform you choose (a standalone tool versus a module within a customer relationship management system or an IT service management system). However, these are the key features I assessed when selecting the best help desk software for this list:

  1. Scalable customer service desks: Essential for adjusting the support capacity based on ticket volume. This flexibility ensures efficiency during peak times and cost savings during slower periods.
  2. Omnichannel support: Integrates all support channels into one inbox. This feature is key for a unified customer experience, allowing support to be seamless across email, chat, social media, and more.
  3. Automated routing: Directs support tickets to the most suitable agent based on their expertise and the nature of the inquiry. This ensures that customers receive the best possible assistance without delay.
  4. Collaboration tools: Facilitates teamwork among agents. Features like tagging, messaging, transfers, and whisper mode are crucial for resolving complex issues swiftly.
  5. Chat widgets: Enables direct communication with customers via your website. These widgets can also provide self-service options, enhancing customer satisfaction.
  6. Templates and processes: Standardizes responses for common inquiries, ensuring consistent quality and efficiency in customer support.
  7. Telephony integration: Allows seamless handling of calls and SMS within the help desk. Advanced features like routing, automatic call distribution (ACD), and interactive voice response (IVR), are valuable for managing voice support effectively.
  8. Analytics and reporting: Offers insights into support activities and customer interactions. Analyzing data helps identify trends and areas for improvement.
  9. Knowledge base and self-service: Empowers customers to find answers on their own, reducing the volume of incoming tickets and increasing satisfaction.
  10. Extra support tools: Includes additional resources like community forums and knowledge bases. These tools are invaluable for building a comprehensive support ecosystem.

These features ensure that customer inquiries are managed and resolved with greater efficiency and precision. By automating routine tasks, routing inquiries to the appropriate agents, and continuously analyzing support activities, businesses can provide superior customer support and drive continuous improvement.

Benefits of Help Desk Software

Help desk software is engineered to streamline customer support operations, aiming to elevate the customer service experience while boosting organizational productivity. By choosing the ideal help desk software for your requirements, you stand to gain the following advantages:

  1. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction - Provides timely and effective solutions to customer inquiries. This software ensures customers receive prompt and accurate responses, significantly improving their overall experience and satisfaction. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction levels and a better overall customer experience.
  2. Increased Efficiency and Productivity - Automates routine tasks and routes inquiries to the appropriate agents. By reducing manual workloads and optimizing ticket management, teams can handle customer issues more swiftly and with greater precision.
  3. Improved Issue Resolution Times - Enables faster problem-solving with organized ticket tracking and management features. Help desk software streamlines the process of identifying, prioritizing, and resolving customer queries, thereby reducing the time taken to address issues.
  4. Valuable Insights from Reporting and Analytics - Offers detailed analytics on customer interactions and support efficiency. These insights allow organizations to identify trends, pinpoint areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to enhance service quality.
  5. Centralized Communication - Consolidates customer support channels into a single platform. This centralization ensures that no customer inquiry goes unnoticed and allows for a cohesive communication strategy across emails, chats, social media, and more.

Investing in the appropriate help desk software can revolutionize how organizations interact with their customers, establishing a robust foundation for exceptional customer support and long-term customer relationships.

If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at our article covering the key benefits of help desk software too.

Cost & Pricing for Help Desk Software

Help desk software is essential for managing customer inquiries, automating support tasks, and providing valuable insights into customer satisfaction and support efficiency. For those new to this software, understanding the various plan and pricing options is crucial to selecting the best solution for your organization. These options range from basic free plans for small teams or startups to more comprehensive, feature-rich packages designed for large enterprises with complex support needs.

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features
Free$0Basic ticket management, email integration, limited reporting, access for a small number of agents
Basic$10-$25 per agent/monthTicket management, email and social media integration, basic reporting, knowledge base
Standard$25-$50 per agent/monthAdvanced ticket management, multi-channel support, performance analytics, automation tools
Premium/Pro$50-$100 per agent/monthFull omnichannel support, advanced analytics, AI capabilities, higher customization, priority support
Enterprise$100+ per agent/monthCustom integrations, dedicated support, unlimited agents, enterprise-grade security, bespoke features

When selecting a help desk software plan, consider both your current needs and potential future requirements. Opt for a plan that not only fits your budget but also offers the flexibility to scale as your organization grows.

New & Noteworthy Product Updates

Below, you’ll find my take on the latest and greatest help desk software product updates. Discover what’s now possible through feature releases, improvements, and updates on web, desktop, and mobile apps. Learn what’s new, if it’s hot—or not, and why it matters for managing and resolving your customer inquiries more efficiently.

April 2024: Help Desk Software Updates

Zendesk Update Notes

Zendesk's update enhances agent productivity by enabling them to summarize ticket comments, expand responses, and adjust the tone to be more friendly or formal using generative AI.

In April 2024, Zendesk introduced a new feature called "Generative AI for agents" for customers with the Advanced AI add-on. This feature includes capabilities such as summarizing, expanding, and tone-shifting comments on tickets. Summarize recaps public comments, expand adds additional language to agent-written comments, and tone shift adjusts the tone of comments to be more friendly or formal. These tools leverage generative AI powered by OpenAI’s Enterprise GPT and are available in any language supported by OpenAI across all channels within the Agent Workspace.

This update enhances the efficiency and productivity of customer support agents. Agents can quickly generate more detailed and appropriate responses, saving time and ensuring consistent communication quality. The ability to tone-shift comments helps in maintaining the desired tone, whether formal or friendly, depending on the context. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and a more personalized support experience. The summarization feature is particularly useful for providing quick overviews of ticket histories, facilitating faster decision-making and issue resolution. 

Verdict: Hot! This update solves the pain point of slow and inconsistent ticket responses by enhancing efficiency and communication quality for agents using Generative AI.

March 2024: Help Desk Software Updates

LiveAgent Update Notes

In March, LiveAgent began the migration of all its user accounts to Amazon data centers. This AWS migration promises to enhance the stability, speed, and overall performance of the LiveAgent platform. By moving to Amazon's robust server infrastructure, LiveAgent aims to provide a smoother and more reliable experience for its users. This update is part of a broader effort to ensure that the platform can handle increasing loads and deliver faster response times, which are crucial for customer support operations.

Users benefit greatly from this migration because it significantly improves the reliability and speed of the LiveAgent service. Faster response times lead to more efficient handling of customer inquiries, which in turn can enhance customer satisfaction and retention. The improved stability means fewer disruptions and downtime, ensuring that support teams can operate smoothly without unexpected interruptions. This is particularly valuable for businesses that rely heavily on real-time customer support to maintain their operations and keep their customers happy. 

Verdict: Hot! Migrating to Amazon servers can contribute significantly to ensuring a smoother and more efficient user experience.

SysAid Update Notes

SysAid's update allows end users to inquire about recent Service Records without leaving the chat interface

In March, SysAid introduced an update to Copilot allowing end users to ask about their recent Service Records without leaving the chat interface. Users can inquire about specific Service Records or receive general or topic-specific overviews of multiple Service Records within the chat. This update is designed to streamline the user experience by keeping all necessary information readily accessible in one place.

Quick access to service record information helps users stay informed and resolve issues faster which can lead to improved user satisfaction.

Verdict: Not! While this update adds convenience, it doesn't significantly enhance the core functionality of the software.

Help Desk Software: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have general questions about what help desk software has to offer or how to choose the best option for your organization? These answers to FAQs should point you in the right direction:

What is help desk software used for?

Help desk software is a specialized software solution used by businesses to help them manage their internal or external customer service requests in real-time. They act as a central repository for everything related to communication and customer relationship management. This includes external matters, such as sales inquiries or customer service cases, or internal incidents, such as IT problems or HR requests.

These cloud-based solutions help support agents quickly access previous customer conversations, purchasing details, and company policy information in order to create positive customer interactions and speed up their response time to inquiries.

For more details on this topic, see What Is Help Desk Software and How Can It Help Your Business as well.

How does help desk software work?

Help desk software works by centralizing all forms of customer inquiries, questions, and support issues into one user interface for your support team. Each time a customer submits a request, the help desk software creates a ticket for it and assigns it to an agent.

Many systems offer automatic routing rules which you can configure to send specific types of tickets to the best agents equipped to handle them. For example, you may have one or two customer support agents on your team that are great at dealing with refund requests. In that case, you can set up an automatic trigger that detects the word “refund” in the request and automatically routes the request to those agents. This allows businesses to prioritize and manage support requests effectively.

Wondering if help desk software is the right fit for you? This article What is a Help Desk and Does Your Business Need One should help you get to the bottom of it.

How can I choose the best help desk software for my organization?

To help you find the right help desk software for you, follow this 8-step process:

  1. Clarify your mission
  2. Determine your budget and target timeframe
  3. Gather requirements from all stakeholders
  4. Research vendors
  5. Make a shortlist of the most promising options
  6. Request free trials or demos
  7. Re-group and decide your pick
  8. Implement and begin onboarding

For more information, read my detailed breakdown of how to choose the best help desk software including tips to make the selection process easier.

What's the difference between help desk software and customer service software?

Help desk software and customer service software are both important tools for CX professionals. While some functions do overlap, they are not the same. Here are some key points to help you differentiate these two systems:

Help desk software:

  • Focused on managing incoming customer issues and day-to-date support requests
  • Is tactical and typically has an internal ticketing system to log and track customer issues and resolutions
  • Ultimate goal is to ensure no customer issues go unanswered
  • Collects quantitative data on key metrics like response times and issue resolution rates
  • ROI (return on investment) can be measured by your customer retention rate through efficient problem resolution

Customer service software:

  • Has a broader focus of understanding and enhancing the entire customer experience
  • Typically includes feedback tools, analytics, and links to CRM systems to provide a 360-degree view of the customer journey
  • Ultimate goal is to align the customer’s experience with the business strategy and brand promise and understand the “why” behind customer interactions
  • Collects qualitative data and insights, measuring the sentiment and satisfaction levels of customer interactions
  • ROI can be measured by tracking customer journeys and correlating experiences with purchases and loyalty behaviors

Does customer service software seem like a better fit for your needs? Then this summary of the purpose, benefits, and features of customer service software is a good next step.

How can help desk software help with service level agreement (SLA) management?

A service level agreement (or SLA) is commonly used in the IT industry to define the level of support that a service provider will offer to a customer. The main goal of an SLA is to establish clear expectations between both parties, promote transparency of each party’s responsibilities, and ensure that the service provider satisfies the needs of their customer.

Help desk software can help with SLA management by helping teams track, monitor, and enforce SLA commitments. Here are a few specific ways these solutions can help if you’re in an SLA management situation:

  1. Advanced SLA tracking and reporting: Help desk software can track key SLA metrics such as response time, resolution time, and customer satisfaction levels. Teams can also take advantage of workflow automations to generate regular performance reports showing their SLA commitments have been achieved.
  2. Alerts and notifications: You can customize your help desk software to send alerts or notifications if a specific SLA commitment is in danger of being unfulfilled. This can help your team take quick action to avoid any negative impact on the customer relationship.
  3. Escalation management: Many help desk systems include escalation or incident management tools, which are also useful within the context of an SLA agreement, since some agreements do stipulate turnaround within a specific time frame.

Interested in setting up an SLA with an external company? Take a look at my list of the best customer service outsourcing companies for some solid options to consider.

What key metrics should be tracked for help desk efficiency?

Similar to the performance metrics for call centers, key metrics for help desk includes customer satisfaction (CSAT) score that gets direct feedback from customers about their experience, offering a clear picture of how well your helpdesk is meeting their needs. Also, first response time measures how quickly your team responds to a new ticket or inquiry. Average resolution time takes it a step further by showing how long it takes, on average, to fully resolve an issue, which can indicate the efficiency and knowledge of your team. Lastly, ticket volume trends can help identify peak times and types of issues, enabling better resource planning and potentially highlighting areas for product improvement or additional customer education.

What are the different types of help desk software available?

Here are different types of help desk software you can explore if you’re looking for something tailored to specific needs or organizational sizes:

For more budget-friendly options with fewer features or active-user limitations, look through my list of the best free help desk software too.

What softwares are used in customer service?

To enhance customer service operations, teams often rely on specialized software. Here’s a list of our reviews that have covered popular options:

Find the Right Help Desk Software with these Next Steps

This list contains the best help desk software around. Before deciding which one to choose, I recommend clearly defining your needs. You can then research which products offer these features. 

The next step is to test out a few of the services. All tools on this list offer either a free trial or a free product demo. This will give you a better idea of the pros and cons of each solution. If you're running a small customer support operation, you may even be able to get away with using a free plan too (though note, the features will be limited).

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