Help Desk Software

Best Help Desk Software include:

LiveAgent, Spiceworks Help Desk, Freshdesk, Salesforce Service Cloud, Kustomer, from Facebook, Zendesk, and ConnectWise Manage.

Help Desk Software TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 20 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Help Desk Software Overview

What is Help Desk Software?

Help Desk software organizes and automates customer support processes. Other names for Help Desk software include:


  • Customer service software

  • Service desk software

  • Customer support software


No matter what it’s called, this form of software has the same goal. It creates a single point of contact for users to connect with a company. When customers cannot solve a problem, they can easily reach out for support and for self-help knowledge.


Some help desk solutions offer both self-service and ticketing for support personnel. Others focus on either a knowledge center or a ticketing center.


Most help desk software integrates with live chat software and call center software. (Alternatively, some customer service suites offer these capabilities built-in.) Most will also integrate with related platforms, like a CRM.


Integration makes the software more functional and information more accessible, contributing to a smoother experience for the support agent and for the customer requesting help.

Ticketing System

The ticketing system is the most important part of help desk software. Customers use a portal to create a support ticket. The ticket is then submitted to the right person or department.


With a project management approach, help desk software lets users track, prioritize, and route tickets. This process can be automated or directed manually, often with collaboration across departments.


Multi-channel support uses the same ticketing system across multiple channels. This includes live chat, email, web forms and phone, and may also include social or other channels. The system integrates the progress of a ticket into a single interface, regardless of where the issue originated.


Based on user feedback in reviews, there are certain things to keep in mind. Look for these features as you’re determining whether a ticketing system is right for your use case:


  • Customer ticket fields

  • Billing based on support usage

  • Differentiated support for various accounts

Self Help Knowledge Base

Help desk software often lets teams create self-help resources. This helps customers to answer questions on their own, without submitting a ticket. This is known as a self-help knowledge base.


Sometimes this is in addition to a ticketing system, and sometimes it stands alone. A knowledge base can take different forms, including:


  • Discussion boards and forums

  • FAQs

  • How-to articles

  • Pop-up tips & recommendations


Customers can often solve their problem using these resources. This means fewer support tickets and more efficient work for support agents. Many help desk tools also include the ability to create an internal knowledge base that can help agents answer questions more quickly and accurately.


Platforms like Zendesk and Desk.com include both self-help and ticketing options. Other tools, like Parature, are point solutions for a self-help knowledge base. Knowledge base point solutions let users create and share self-help knowledge with customers and support agents.

Social Support

Social support integrates your help desk with social media platforms to bring a new level of service to customer support. This integration allows social monitoring, issue tracking, and engagement. Examples of products that enable social support include Freshdesk, Zoho Support and HappyFox.


Social support tools help agents communicate directly on social media. As customers ask questions or share complaints on social media, agents can respond faster and more publicly. Usually, agents can respond to Tweets or Facebook posts within the help desk interface. This helps keep social media support organized alongside other support channels. Even without a ticket, social media communications are an important way to interact with customers.

Help Desk Software Features & Capabilities

Ticket & Case Management

The core of most help desk solutions is the ticketing system. Common features for ticketing and case management include:


  • Ticket creation - Allows users and agents to enter new support requests.

  • Ticket response - Allows agents to follow up with customers. This often includes automated responses.

  • Workflow/Escalation - The ability to route tickets to appropriate support personnel.

  • Documentation and collaboration - Agents can attach files and notes to tickets, maintaining a record of every interaction.

  • Service Level Agreement Management

Self Help/Community

Many help desk products support self-help options on top of ticketing. These community resources can take pressure off of agents by facilitating self-service. Features around self-help and community include:


  • Forum functionality for customer discussion.

  • A searchable knowledge base.

  • Public Q&A for the benefit of other customers.

  • Internal knowledge base to help agents answer support questions.

  • Surveys and polls, for customers to submit ideas and leave feedback.

Multi-Channel Communication

Most help desk solutions enable communication via multiple channels. Multi-channel features give easier access to support for customers. Multi-channel communication also creates a more convenient platform for agents. Common multi-channel features include:


  • A customer portal for users to submit tickets and access self-help resources.

  • Live chat within a software product or on a company website.

  • Phone support. This includes call recording, contact database, Interactive Voice Response, call routing, and call scripting.

  • Social integration with platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This often includes “social listening” tools for brand activity monitoring and reporting.

Help Desk Software Comparison

To compare different help desk tools, consider these factors for each product offering:


Number of agents: Keep in mind the size of your team, and for any planned additions when purchasing help desk software. A majority of help desk tools are subscription-based and billed per agent. Please see our Pricing Information section below for more details into how this may affect your budget.

Analytics, not just reporting: There are lot of metrics that go into managing customer support ranging from SLAs to CSAT. You could do the work of calculating these yourself, but leading help desk software takes analytics like these off your plate with automatically curated dashboards.

Integrations: Integrations are of the utmost importance in today's software-centric workdays. While some Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software support help desk features, you may still want a standalone help desk tool. However, you will also want this tool to be able to communicate with other software you use to manage your customer data and interactions. While Open API is becoming more common, it saves your team time when a particular tool has built-in integrations with software you're already using.

Start a Help Desk software comparison

Pricing Information

Help desk software is usually priced as per agent per month. This means the price grows the more support agents the organization needs. Vendors typically offer a discount for annual billing. It is also usual to find multiple editions, with price dependent on features.


For the typical subscription model (per agent per month), pricing starts at under $10 for basic features. Subscriptions can run up to $200 per agent per month for a more enterprise level of service.


Some small vendors provide software to other small companies. As a result, some packages are priced differently than normal. These pricing models include a one-time license purchase and a volume-based subscription model.


Some ‘freemium’ packages are available, such as Freshdesk for small businesses. Companies can use basic features for a limited number of agents without paying anything. Then they can add more features or more agents when they grow. These may work well for startups or small companies that just need the essentials.

Help Desk Products

(1-25 of 100) Sorted by Most Reviews

LiveAgent
17 ratings
105 reviews
Top Rated
LiveAgent is a help desk software designed to help users bring personalization to customer interactions. LiveAgent presents an omnichannel universal inbox, real-time live chat, built-in call center, and a customer service portal. The vendor states users can increase productivity by taking advantage …
ConnectWise Manage
150 ratings
100 reviews
Top Rated
ConnectWise Manage is a business management platform for companies that sell, service, and support technology. The platform is cloud-based and integrates automation, help desk and customer service, sales, marketing, project management, and business analytics. It is the hub of the ConnectWise suite.
Zendesk
540 ratings
96 reviews
Top Rated
Zendesk is a cloud-based software solution that offers help desk ticketing, issue tracking, and customer service support. It integrates with dozens of content management systems, customer relationship management tools, and web apps. Features include hosted support email-ticket integration, online fo…
Gist
2 ratings
95 reviews
Top Rated
Gist is a unified marketing, sales, and support platform. It includes live chat, a help desk, knowledge base, email marketing, marketing automation, opt-in forms, and more.
Oracle CX Service (formerly Oracle Service Cloud)
134 ratings
74 reviews
Top Rated
Oracle Service Cloud is the help desk and customer experience management platform from Oracle. The technology was developed and supported by RightNow Technologies as RightNow CX for cloud-based call center automation, until that company's acquisition by Oracle in 2011 for about $1.5 billion.
Jira Service Desk
294 ratings
72 reviews
Top Rated
Jira Service desk is the ITIL / ITSM from software company Atlassian.
Intercom
148 ratings
66 reviews
Top Rated
Intercom is a contextual messaging system that supports live engagement with customers via text, chat, or email. It also supports triggered emails, customer segmentation and analysis, as well as integrations with MailChimp and Salesforce, and further extensibility via APIs and webhooks.
Spiceworks Help Desk
144 ratings
65 reviews
Top Rated
Spiceworks offers a set of free tools for IT network management and help desk support ticketing. The inventory management system essentially provides comprehensive device information for asset management. The Spiceworks Network Monitor provides information on observed IT for problem tracking and ser…
TeamSupport
12 ratings
55 reviews
TeamSupport is customer support software built for B2B software and technology companies. The solution offers ticket management, a customer and contact database, reporting and analytics, multi-channel support, built-in collaboration tools, and many native integrations.
Freshdesk
116 ratings
50 reviews
Top Rated
Freshdesk is a SaaS based customer support software for businesses of all sizes. The vendor's value proposition is that Freshdesk is priced affordably, and is free forever for any number of agents. There are four other plans available that come with a whole lot of features. The vendor says Freshdes…
Salesforce Service Cloud
212 ratings
47 reviews
Top Rated
Salesforce Service Cloud provides companies with a call center-like view that enables them to create and track cases coming in, and automatically route and escalate what’s important. The Salesforce CRM-powered customer portal provides customers the ability to track their own cases, includes a social…
SysAid
24 ratings
40 reviews
SysAid is the flagship ITSM and IT help desk software from SysAid Technologies, which offers a rather wide swath of features, supporting asset management (HAM and SAM), remote control, and rich reporting tools.
Kustomer, from Facebook
5 ratings
36 reviews
Top Rated
Kustomer is a customer service CRM platform built for managing high support volume by optimizing experiences throughout the customer service journey. The vendor states that Kustomer helps brands resolve conversations on all digital channels by automating 40% of interactions via self-service, first c…
LiveChat
68 ratings
34 reviews
LiveChat serves as a customer service platform with live chat support, help desk and web analytics functionalities, with the goal of allowing users to provide 24/7 support to customers. The core feature of the software is its chat tool, where both service and sales team can answer customers' questio…
Desk.com
38 ratings
20 reviews
Desk.com was a helpdesk, ticketing, and customer support product offered by Salesforce. It is no longer sold. Desk.com collects and organizes all of an organization’s customer conversations (Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, chat) into a prioritized actionable list, and gives business simple tools to effect…
Kayako
21 ratings
20 reviews
Kayako is a help desk / ticketing product and is available is both SaaS and on-premise configurations. Is is built in PHP and uses my SQL. The product competes with HelpSpot, ZohoSupport, Freshdesk and Zendesk. The Kayako Engage edition may be deployed as a live chat system without ticketing at a r…
Help Scout
20 ratings
15 reviews
Help Scout is help desk software. The vendor’s value proposition is that that their solution reduces time spent on training users because Help Scout is simple to use and set up and scales like any enterprise product. This solution includes multiple mailboxes to support as many email addresses as ne…
Freshservice
13 ratings
14 reviews
Freshservice is a cloud-based service desk and IT service management (ITSM) solution that currently serves more than 10,000 SMB, mid-market, and enterprise customers worldwide.
SolarWinds Web Help Desk (WHD)
25 ratings
14 reviews
SolarWinds Web Help Desk is ticketing and IT asset management software. It is designed to simplify help desk management. This solution includes built-in ticketing management, asset management, change management, and knowledge base capabilities.
Agiloft Flexible Service Desk Suite
3 ratings
12 reviews
Agiloft's Flexible Service Desk Suite includes the elements needed to manage a complex service desk: Internal Help Desk, External Customer Support, Change Management, Asset Management, RMA Management, and complete ITIL/ITSM capability. According to the vendor, these fully integrated applications wo…
Brand Embassy, now part of NICE inContact CXone
6 ratings
11 reviews
Brand Embassy is now part of NICE inContact CXone (acquired May 2019).Brand Embassy is social customer service software designed to help companies with high volume social customer service prioritize and automate the customer experience. Incoming requests and mentions from social media, blogs and web…
BMC Helix Remedyforce
38 ratings
11 reviews
BMC Helix Remedyforce is a cloud-delivered SaaS solution for IT Helpdesk and Ticketing Management.
Microsoft Parature (Discontinued)
2 ratings
10 reviews
Parature was a self-service customer support platform providing a self-service knowledge base to connect with customers across multiple channels, including email, the web, chat or social media. The company was acquired by Microsoft in January 2014 and reached EOL in 2017. Former users are encouraged…
Front
7 ratings
10 reviews
Front is a social collaboration platform designed around a collaborative, shared inbox. It has third-party integrations with Slack and Twitter along with workflow automation capability.
Zoho Desk
43 ratings
9 reviews
Zoho Support is a Saas help desk / ticketing system aimed at SMBs. I competes most often with Zendesk, and Desk.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you use help desk software?

Help desk software allows businesses to effectively manage customer inquiries and issues. Use help desk software to track support tickets from initial request to resolution. Some help desk software tools support knowledge bases and FAQs for self-help purposes that can easily route them to submitting a request should they need further assistance. Help desk software may help improve customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) and adherence to service-level agreements (SLAs) by insuring no customer inquiries slip through the cracks.

What's the difference between CRM and Help Desk software?

While Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and Help Desk Software are similar, they are not the same, and work best actually when they integrate with one another.

Use CRM software for managing and maintaining customer data that can help you use your Help Desk software more effectively (name, purchase history, preferences, support history, etc.).

Use Help Desk software when you want to have a system for customers to submit questions which are then responded to and then stored. While some CRM platforms have built-in help desk features, it is less common for help desk software to function as a complete CRM.

How do I build a help desk?

Choosing a Help Desk tool is a great first step in building a help desk. It will save you time on building the infrastructure necessary to support it. However, you should first decide on if your help desk will feature a knowledge base (FAQs), customer email contact form, integration with calling services, real-time chat, or more. While some companies do opt for using all of these support features, you can choose just one or a combination of those. Keep in mind however, that it is difficult to answer every possible customer inquiry via a knowledge base, so we suggest adding an option that allows customers to contact your business via email, chat, or phone.