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What is Kayako?

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…

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Kayako Fusion has been widely adopted by organizations to improve their customer service operations. Users have found that the software …
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Popular Features

View all 13 features
  • Email support (9)
  • Organize and prioritize service tickets (10)
  • Ticket response (10)
  • Ticket creation and submission (10)
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Per User Per Month



Per User Per Month



Per User Per Month

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee


  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting/Integration Services

Starting price (does not include set up fee)

  • $29 per month
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Incident and problem management

Streamlining ticketing and service restoration processes

Avg 8.0

Self Help Community

Features that allow customers to self-service for support issues.

Avg 7.9

Multi-Channel Help

Features related to providing customer service and support via different communication channels. Communications are organized by ticket/customer/channel for the convenience of agents.

Avg 7.9
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Product Details

What is Kayako?

Kayako Technical Details

Deployment TypesSoftware as a Service (SaaS), Cloud, or Web-Based
Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

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 reduced cost, featuring click-to-call and site visitor monitoring for customer targeting and engagement.

Kayako starts at $29. (discontinued), Freshdesk, and HelpSpot are common alternatives for Kayako.

Reviewers rate Customer portal and Help Desk CRM integration highest, with a score of 9.3.

The most common users of Kayako are from Mid-sized Companies (51-1,000 employees).
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Reviews and Ratings


Attribute Ratings


(1-21 of 21)
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Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Kayako is used as a ticketing system for our clients to submit tickets for support questions or issues. We use this software to keep a paper trail and client communications. It addresses issues of getting feedback from clients, keeping track of questions and issues, and letting us have a historic record of client communications. This is currently mainly used by the support department and some people in development.
  • Ticketing
  • Customizations
  • Searching
  • User friendly
  • Reporting
  • Integration
Kayako is well suited as a support platform for managing support tickets. If you need a platform for tracking communications, bugs, or feature requests, Kayako does this well. This is not used for anything much outside that. If you were to want something with client communications and project management, I would look at something like Basecamp.
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We currently use Kayako as a company-wide ticketing system. We have multiple departments set up, and the whole experience is quite seamless. It's great being able to transfer tickets between departments. Once we started rolling this out, more departments asked to be added on, because they were impressed with the system. We also have a huge network of external users who communicate with our support departments almost exclusively through Kayako.
  • Ticketing system.
  • Multiple departments/groups.
  • Ease of use for all users.
  • Insight and reporting.
  • SLA Management and visibility.
  • Price continues to increase.
  • There are some quirky errors, sometimes a response isn't recorded properly and an SLA is missed because of it. Sometimes an error message pops up that doesn't actually affect anything.
  • Could always use more reporting.
  • Macros could be a little more configurable.
  • The performance has been really bad lately. Minutes to load tickets, or the inability to log in.
When it works, It's without a doubt a great help desk solution. It is perfect for our usage, and have rolled it out company-wide. It's great if you have multiple departments. We have it set up so most items come through a single desk that then hands out tickets to their proper department.

There may be cheaper options for smaller organizations but for one that is as service-driven as ours, we really think Kayako is a great fit.
Jon Shurtliff | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • We used Kayako as our primary IT Help Desk ticketing system. We purchased and used the On-Prem version and quite some success in its implementation.
  • Kayako allowed us to easily manage Help Tickets, communicate with our users, document all our past tickets, and create a knowledge base to help users and personnel look up and store past issues and solutions.
  • Help Desk Ticketing
  • Knowledge Base
  • The usability could be improved to reduce the learning curve.
  • Make it easier to reply to a customer
Kayako was only ok - We switched because there are much better software platforms out there that manage Ticketing and KBs. Also, we feel like we were forced off the On-Prem platform - being pushed to the Cloud software. Not liking this push, we decided to go to another provider instead.
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I wanted to use Kayako as a less complex replacement of Zendesk for customer support. It included the support channels I required, like Email, Chat, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Easy to use interface.
  • All support channels in one place (except that Facebook didn't work).
  • Mobile app for incoming notifications (that didn't work).
  • Their support team is worthless (no support at all).
  • Very aggressive sales team (but doesn't support their customers).
  • Core features do not work and they have no intention to fix them.
Features might work for you, but don't expect any support from them. For them, a trial user is not handled the same as a paying user, at least that is what the sales employee said. Support keeps you waiting forever until your trial period is over.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Kayako is being used to manage incoming communication from clients in the form of emails converted into tickets. These are then compartmentalized into views based on their status, progress, source, time, assignee and intended procedure. Using APIs or other third-party apps, the tickets can be automatically imported from several channels as needed (i.e. Gmail, company built-in support/helpdesk system).
  • Simple, clean interface.
  • Customizable to suit individual companies' needs.
  • Responsive customer support.
  • More customization options required.
  • More effective customer support.
  • A bit buggy.
For small businesses that do not get a large number of messages, it is very well suited. The main factor would be the price which is quite low in comparison to the competition. There is a mobile app as well with very few features, but it is good for notifications.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our entire organization uses Kayako to conduct business. It is used to transfer work from one person to another, escalate to another group and until just recently, track efforts in our Development Department.
It is a very easy way to understand what issues a customer has, what the status of that issue is, who had it, what is the history of the effort on the customer's behalf and who has done what so far.
  • Gives a very good report on an individual level of what is being done for a customer or corporate issue.
  • Easy to understand who has what, what the tickets are about, how long they have been opened and how many times the customer/employee have gone back and forth with each other.
  • Nice dashboard view.
  • I personally find the reporting a bit difficult. We are on an older version of Kayako and I am told that reporting on the new version is much improved.
  • There are some things missing in the new version that we were used to in the older version. Not sure how they came about what to keep or get rid of. Some of them are quite missed.
  • Would like to see reporting done in a way that you pick what you want to report on and hit generate. No special "Language" skills needed.
We really like it to manage our customer interactions. It also has a chat feature (which we don't use yet) but understands that it is quite good.
Zane Lucas | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
The download version is excellent software and has many great features for supporting customers via email, telephone, and live chat.
  • Customer Service Tickets
  • Live Chat Functionality
  • Terrible Customer Service
  • Overpriced Support Charges For Existing Customers
  • Many Bugs - Requiring An Expensive Support Agreement
It is well suited for anyone requiring an easy to set up helpdesk. For existing customers on perpetual licenses, the new charging strategy that Kayako has forced is extremely expensive and results in loss of license if now paid on an annual basis. Perpetual doesn’t mean perpetual at Kayako.
Joshua Tobiansky | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Kayako was selected to replace an in-house ticketing system. We transitioned our web-hosting platform to another vendor and Kayako was one of the recommended ticketing systems. Kayako was being used to handle all in-bound and out-bound email communication with customers as well as using their integrated chat program. Kayako allowed us to organize our customers' communications.
  • Kayako's chat system is very easy to use and set up. It integrates well with their control panel and organizes customer data.
  • Kayako makes it easy to communicate with your customers.
  • The built-in reports that Kayako provides are a good start to being able to monitor the work performed by staff.
  • Departments need a bit of work. Even though you can have multiple departments, the only changes that can be made are globally. If you want independent queues within the departments, you have to do a lot of work that can be very confusing.
  • Survey system is not up to speed. Kayako really needs to add Net Promoter Score into their system. Also, if a staff user removes their name from an incident ticket, it removes them from the survey so you really can't even get a good estimate of how well your staff is in the eyes of the customer.
  • Very difficult to implement when you already have a customer base. Setting them up in organizations is difficult. Also, the sign-up for new customers is quirky. If you send an email to Kayako, it will say you are not an authorized user, however, it will store your email address. If you try to send an email a second time, it will go through. This is one of many reasons why we decided to move from Kayako to Oracle Service Cloud.
Kayako is suited for a small company that is just getting started. We are in the web-hosting industry and it was very hard to fully adapt the system the way we would have liked to. Kayako would be very good if you were hosting an ecommerce shop or customer service business where you can look at each customer interaction as separate and not over a long-term period.
Jericho Fulgencio | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I work for a managed service provider (MSP). We've found Kayako to be a powerful tool for keeping track of service requests and trouble tickets across our 30+ different client companies. It keep the workflow of the day-to-day help desk organized via automated tasks and custom widgets. We mainly use Kayako for our internal staff of IT technicians, but it does have functions that tie into the heart of our other departments as well, including our marketing and sales teams. For instance on our main website there are chat functions that tie into Kayako that allow prospective customers to interface with us right away while browsing our website.
  • Automated workflows. The workflows and email parser rules in Kayako are versatile and easy to set up, and saves you the trouble of having to create reoccurring tickets and manually assigning technicians for each ticket.
  • Custom fields. Without custom fields there would be no way for us to effectively keep track of our 30+ different client companies. They can be added on the fly as well so you'll never feel 'trapped' within the set fields that come with the program.
  • Reporting. The report builder that uses 'KQL as a query language (based on SQL) is easy to learn and allows you to pull relevant information/statistics from your help desk using specifications that you set yourself -- and ties back into automation via scheduled generated email reports.
  • Custom fields. Although we love the custom fields in Kayako there is still some room for improvement regarding them. For instance, while browsing tickets, you cannot sort/search display columns via custom fields you have created. You can only sort/search by pre-programmed fields in Kayako.
  • Email parser rules. This ties back to some of the limitations with custom fields. At the time of this writing we cannot create email parser rules using custom fields we have created as a criteria.
  • The built-in chat feature. While the chat feature is great for interfacing with outside customers, it could do better in terms of being more convenient for internal staff. We wish we could have a 'technician group chat' that stays open on a continuous basis so that our technicians can communicate via Kayako more effectively. But at the moment, when you close a chat, it stays closed and you cannot 'reopen' it.
If you're a small to medium managed service provider that is managing multiple client companies, Kayako would likely be a great fit for you. If you need a help desk system that also does network scans to gather information like product keys and device status, you may want to go with another help desk system that also incorporates SNMP scanning like Spiceworks.
March 18, 2016

Kayako knowledge base

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We are currently using Kayako as a knowledge base and ticketing system. Users can login and create support tickets for IT as well as find self help documentation. Kayako is being used across the institution for student, employee, and faculty support for IT and academic technology needs.
  • Easy to use ticketing system for support requests.
  • Easy ticketing tracking system for our support techs to monitor and assign tickets as needed.
  • Nice knowledge base for self support documentation.
  • Easy to tag self support documents, however not clever enough to bring most used documentation to top of search list.
  • We have not found a way to get numbers on most searched tags.
  • Inexpensive compared to other knowledge base platforms.
Kayako is best for support ticketing needs as well as knowledge base (self help) documentation. Users can easily enter tickets that are then routed to the appropriate support tech. If users need immediate help they can search the knowledge base for support documentation. The knowledge base is easy to manage with the addition/editing/removal of any documents we have. This enables a 24/7 support hub for those users who wish to follow documentation. Otherwise they can log a ticket for one of our techs to further troubleshoot and resolve issues.
June 03, 2015

Kayako Supports

Marie McCourt | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
At StyleEase Software, LLC, we use Kayako as our Support Ticket system. This is mainly used in the support department, but it can also be used for wholesale questions.
  • It creates an easy interface for answering tickets from a regular computer screen.
  • It allows you to categorize well, so that you can create reports of common problems.
  • You can customize support ticket issues to get more detailed information.
  • Kayako needs to make it easier to use our ticketing system on the go. It is very difficult to use on an iPad or iPhone, for example.
  • They could make the system a little less clunky, and easier to manage from the Admin side.
  • I'd like to feel like the system is more up to date with other software out there.
I think Kayako works well for small ticketing systems, but maybe not for full CRM.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Kayako was used at a past organization for support tickets via email. We restricted use to email in most cases and did not expose the Kayako interface to our customers. We wanted a simple email address they could send support requests to that would allow us to track and distribute work to employees. Kayako provided this. We purchased and hosted Kayako in-house so there were not any 3rd party dependencies..

Kayako has an API that allowed us to build tools to interface and expand Kayako's functionality. We used the API to build a website that would show how many tickets were in queue and would alert the help desk to new tickets from a large display with an audible noise that had the website up 24x7. This allowed for us to have very quick response times to new tickets that came in as they had to be acknowledged to make the loud beeping alert stop.

Since Kayako runs on an open source database (mysql) and we had control of the infrastructure that it was hosted on, it allowed us to directly interface the database to further expand functionality. We built a billing module outside of what Kayako offers for billing that allowed us to pull the specific data we needed to bill our customers. This gave us the capability to apply different rules to customers and how they were billed based on defined rules we setup. The custom interface also put data in a format that was easier to work with for our billing department.

From a technical standpoint Kayako is versatile, but there are some oddities to the way they track certain things that may require internal business rules. For instance, they have the time worked and time billed as separate fields on a ticket. This can be very nice if used correctly, but seemed redundant to employees and sometimes they would not input data correctly. This was another reason we elected to write our own billing module so that we could have more insight into what data was pulled and highlight areas that may have been worked but not billed so that the differences could be investigated.

Kayako stores almost everything in the database. This is very nice for modifying things and not needing permissions on a bunch of directories for configurations and file uploads. For our organization (less than 10 users) this worked great and we never had any problems. I did worry about what response times would be from the database and if it would slow down in the event we were to have a large number of concurrent users. Every page load had numerous queries to the database. I would think it could benefit from memcached to assist in scaling to larger environments.

File attachment storage location was a configurable option as to whether they were stored in the database or on the file system, so that gave the option of keeping the database footprint much smaller.

Backups of Kayako were very straight forward. We backed up the directory for the webserver with rsync every hour, and the database was backed up daily with mysqldump and we also stored incremental backups every 15 minutes from mysql's binary logs.

Overall we were happy with how Kayako performed. It is not the cheapest system we evaluated, but it did work better than many of the open source solutions we evaluated.
  • Kayako handles email integration through pop very well
  • Kayako is very configurable
  • Kayako's API was well documented and easy to implement custom scripts against.
  • Kayako has a large number of queries to the database for each page load. This is fine for small installations, but I would think it could become a burden in large instances (this is for self hosted version only)
  • Kayako allows for so much information that it can take awhile to get it configured to just ask for what you need and not overwhelm you with options
  • Not necessarily a Kayako issue, but we ran into a problem where a ticket was "stuck in the queue" It turned out that there was an attachment larger than what the php was configured to support, so the ticket would be created, but because the attachment would fail to upload correctly, it would not remove the item from the pop mailbox and it would download it again and again and again until we figured out the issue. If they were to wrap the ticket creation into a transaction and not create the ticket prior to fully processing the message they could then check the error response code on file upload and maybe create a single message that indicated the real problem.
Access to the API and to the raw database were the major pro's from my standpoint. Though it is more work to manage your own instance of Kayako, that was preferred for our installation. I wouldn't think you would get the direct database access to script against through their hosted version.
Douglas Deitle | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Kayako started out being used by our organization as a Help Desk for our IT Department. We are now also using it as a case management/workflow tool for tasks within departments as well as between departments. It allows us to track the calculation process for a distribution request and if the calculations are completed within service level standards.
  • It is flexible to allow multiple departments to use Kayako for their own needs such as a Help Desk for our IT department and Workflow/Case Management for our Admin and Calculations Departments. It also allows permissions to be set to allow employees access to only their departments information or it can allow an employee access to multiple departments.
  • Kayako will allow our SQL program access to develop reports that KQL is unable to do.
  • Kayako is cost effective for our needs at this point and appears to be able to accommodate our future needs.
  • I have not tried to use the actual Workflow function for awhile so this issue may have been resolved. When we tried to use it, it was cumbersome and did not offer much flexibility as to meeting the needs of different departments.
  • This may no longer be an issue but if someone was knowledgeable about KQL and knew how another department was set up, they could write a report accessing their data even though they do not have permission to view/edit that departments data.
  • Perhaps adding the function of "Read Receipts" to end-users when opening a ticket.
  • When a ticket is closed, automatically include information from the initial creation of the ticket so the end user knows at a glance what issue has been resolved without looking up the Ticket ID.
We have only used it as a Help Desk for our IT Department and as a Workflow/Case Management tool. It has worked very well for us and has met our needs.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Kayako for sales, support, customer service and accounting. Our customers and potential customers use this to communicate issues, advise of payments, and for troubleshooting technical issues.
  • Great visibility as far as how old a ticket is and how urgent the issue is. This aids in prioritizing.
  • The search engine could use improvement, it's very difficult to find things using the search engine.
Kayako has been great for our business. We use this program across the company and find that it's a very efficient tool. The only issue we have with Kayako is the search engine, we find it difficult to use. Overall, it's a great system.
Brandon Lee | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We would not be able to do our job without Kayako. In the old days, we managed our customer issues in a Gmail inbox. This caused for double work, employees tripping over each other, and accidentally deleting information. This caused pain for ourselves and our customers when their issues would slip through the cracks.

With Kayako all those pains are gone. We love Kayako!!!
  • Work with multiple team members at the same time on multiple chains of communication.
  • Keep on track of daily duties.
  • Stay organized.
  • They really do everything that we need. I know we don't take advantage of all the features that they offer.
If you have a help desk, Kayako is for you.
December 20, 2014

Kayako Review

Derrick Green | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Kayako as our online support interface for all issue affecting our software. In the support department this is the only outside tool we use. This is used across our whole organization as a way to support and track software issues.
  • Easy to use
  • I have never had a failure
  • Has great reporting features
  • Great interface
  • I have had only one issue with selecting different views. This is a pretty solid product.
I only have experience with it in tracking software issues, but this is a great system if you are looking for a client centric way to handle support.
August 05, 2014

Kayako in a Nutshell

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Kayako on a daily basis to organize our client issues, requests and ideas, as well as to communicate directly with them.
  • Organization of workflow
  • Easy and concise communication
  • Reporting is accurate and easy to use
  • Search capabilities for tickets and users is less than appealing
  • Merging users with more than one account could be easier
Marc Vila | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I would have to say I was surprised on how much I enjoyed working with Kayako. Fairly easy to program (learned it 100% self taught), reliability was nice, customer service/support was always great. Check the hours their support is open. Make sure you know "emergency contacts" for them. If using SAAS remember it's a shared server and someone you share it with could cause downtime through overuse or attacks on system. This only happened a few times but they are pretty good at being reactive to servers being down.
  • Easy to learn
  • Tons of features
  • Good support
  • SAAS went down on us a handful of times but I hear servers are stronger now
  • Ability to call and talk to someone. Mostly all email and chat
  • Custom builds for you rather than all self programmed
It's suitable if you have a lot of tasks and departments to manage. It will really help make sure things don't "fall through cracks"
Nathaniel Bannister | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We implemented Kayako Fusion (download) as a way to streamline the relationship between our Customer Service team and our customers. It allows us to use canned replies for common issues while still maintaining a very hands on feel to our customer interactions. We elected to use the self-hosted version and have had a great experience with it even during our heaviest traffic spikes.
  • Over the years they've continued to enhance the product and user experience on all fronts. Changes have always felt well thought out and purposeful and the UI has only gotten easier to use over time.
  • Kayako's mail parser allows you to easily sort, prioritize, and present the information needed by your staff to easily tackle an onslaught of customer tickets.
  • The system has scaled very easily over the years. We use it for one of our Retail sites that has anywhere from 10k to 15k unique views a day and it has never felt sluggish or degraded even under a heavy load.
  • Adjusting the templates can be very tedious as each update includes a manual reversion process. While it isn't a big deal if you're using a mostly vanilla design I can imagine it would become tedious for a more involved UI change.
  • The update process is easy enough but could obviously take some pointers from Wordpress in terms of making them more streamlined.
  • The price has gone up substantially since we originally bought in, while I feel that we'd still have gotten our money out of it either way it is definitely much more of a hurdle than it used to be.
  • The amount of technical talent you have in house will likely need to be factored into whether or not you buy into the SaaS or Self-hosted packages that they offer.
  • The Self-hosted variant allows a lot more customization but will require at least a familiarity with Linux and the LAMP/LEMP stack to get the application performing the way it needs to.
  • There are multiple editions, Fusion, Engage, and Case. You will need to look carefully at how each offerings features aligns with your needs as you may be able to save money by using one of the two pared down versions.
  • There is no official Kayako Desktop client for OS X or Linux which is unfortunate as it is a much more cohesive experience for the Customer Service Reps to use.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It is being used as the US HQ help desk system. All trouble tickets for all departments go through this system to the appropriate IT professional to resolve. The previous system was poor at routing the trouble tickets to the appropriate person to resolve it, and Kayako Fusion ended up being far more reliable and customizable.
  • Customer service while installing and troubleshooting the application was excellent.
  • Plenty of customization options while still retaining a simple to use and easily understandable UI for the end users.
  • Very fast and reliable response time from the application.
  • Customizing the UI is difficult to accomplish.
  • The transition from SupportSuite to Fusion was difficult for the users initially, even though Fusion is the upgrade for SupportSuite.
  • Learning curve was a bit steep for non-technical users.
It is suitable when you want a reliable, fast responding help desk system that doesn't need a lot of customization in order to get it working. It is also helpful when your users are somewhat technically minded or willing to go through a bit of training in order to get up to speed on the product.
July 23, 2014

"Catchy Title"

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Kayako is currently being used in our IT department in a few different roles. For the IT Support Side: This is being used to track user issues and resolutions. For the IT Infrastructure Side: This is being used for change and patch management tracking. For the IT Security Side: This is being used to track permissions requests, and changes in user access. Currently, Kayako is being used in the IT dept only, with no plans to expand further.
  • The ability to switch between the desktop app and the web-based app is nice.
  • The call and chat function of Kayako is pretty useful
  • The ability to define categories, and subcategories, and exclude them from general search criteria is a nice touch
  • The Desktop app constantly loses contact with the server, requiring multiple logon requests.
  • The search parameters are overly sensitive, and I was unable to see any defined wildcard characters.
  • The section for defining user permissions has some pitfalls that need to be addressed when setting up a new user.
Ease of use, robustness, and ease of access through mobile are lacking.
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