Help Desk Software

Best Help Desk Software include:

LiveAgent, Freshdesk, Spiceworks, Salesforce Service Cloud, Zendesk, Kustomer, 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 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 95) Sorted by Most Reviews

Mojo Helpdesk
2 ratings
1 reviews
Mojo Helpdesk is a relatively simple online help desk / ticketing system aimed at SMBs. It offers an affordable pricing plan starting at $24 for eleven agents, and scales with the number of agents using the software.
Casengo's cloud application for customer support empowers online retailers and other small businesses to respond to customer questions faster and better than ever. One team inbox can be used for customer chats, emails and social media posts.
Eptica is a multi-channel customer support platform including web self-service, social customer service, email management, and chat.
Helpdesk Pilot
Helpdesk Pilot is a help desk software designed for Customer Support and IT Help Desk Management. It allows businesses to manage support services more efficiently, treating each and every incoming request as a unique, traceable ticket.
Helprace is customer service software that combines a help desk, customer feedback community and a knowledge base in one platform. Key features include email integration, ticket productivity tools and a feedback widget. The vendor offers crowd-sourced support as well as on-on-one support in one soft…
UseResponse helps companies provide customer service support using several channels and organize their community around products or services on their server. It's all-in-one support suite with feedback, help desk ticketing system, knowledge base and live chat in one package. Integrate it using A…
VivaDesk is a help desk platform with service, client, knowledge, and asset management capabilities.
IssueTrak is an IT service management platform with features such as business operations support, issue tracking, and customer support operations.
HelpMaster is a help desk / ticketing software built to provide the ability to log, track, manage, automate and escalate customer support issues with capabilities such as customer relationship management (CRM) and workflow automation.
PhaseWare Tracker
PhaseWare Tracker from PhaseWare, Inc is a cloud or local-installed customer support solution.
RocTik Ticketing System
RocTik Ticketing System is a cloud-based ticketing system from Evayadesk. The solution enables users to create, track, categorize, prioritize and resolve tickets. Both email alerts and real-time reports are included in this help desk solution.
Impel Ops
Impelops is a business process management software with strengths in its workflows, analytics and reporting capabilities. It is designed primarily for companies in the IT help desk space.
Revelation Helpdesk
Revelation Helpdesk is cloud-based or installed help desk software from YellowFish Software.
Help Sumo
Help Sumo is help desk software from AJ Squared, Inc, available for a one-time license purchase.
Ameyo is an all-in-one software based communication solution that is designed to manage end-to-end customer journeys and consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. According to the vendor, it is a powerful and highly flexible IP-based contact center software that lets user have a persona…
Wise Support
Wise Support is designed to deflect more support tickets, lower response times and allow support agent more time to focus on solving customer issues. Some key features include: Triage-free Routing, Recommended Response, and Automated Reply.
Sunrise Customer Service Management
Sunrise Customer Service Management is a help desk / ticketing platform, handling the entire service lifecycle.
devContact is a web-based support desk application developed with the aim of resolving mobile app user support issues in the simplest way possible. devContact offers all the conventionally desired features such as ticket management, cloud-based FAQs, bulk update and auto responder/assignment feature…
FocalScope is web-based help desk software. It includes email ticketing and live chat features for providing customer support, as well as surveys and a self-help knowledge base/FAQ. FocalScope can support multilevel SLAs and escalations. It also has a telephony integration for call center support. T…
Cynergy Service Desk Software
Cynergy is help desk software recently (2014) acquired by Epazz, Inc.
Artologik HelpDesk
Artologik HelpDesk is a browser-based help desk and ticketing platform. It includes features such as flexible request registration, e-mail request handling, and data-driven analytics.
Evolve IP Virtual Desktop
Evolve IP’s Desktop Services are designed to meet the diverse needs of any organization by providing a unified desktop management solution for physical and virtual desktops alike – enabling IT departments to deliver the most appropriate desktop solution for each end user, while maintaining control t…
Supportbench is a SaaS solution that is focused on giving companies the ability to deliver the best possible support to their customers. According to the vendor, this solution melds the simple beauty of small business products with the power and complexity of enterprise solutions. Supportbench inclu…
eDesk by xSellco
eDesk by xSellco is an eCommerce Help Desk purpose built for online sellers. eDesk integrates with marketplaces, channels, webstores and social channels and consolidates them into one shared dashboard. The vendor states they provide the tools and corresponding order data to speedily turn around issu…
Helpman is a cloud-based software that lets companies organize answers and articles and make them available publicly to customers. Customer support teams share their knowledge with customers in a knowledge base or a help center. The vendor’s value proposition is that this reduces the flow on other s…

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.