Best Help Desk Software | Check Reviews and Comparison
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Page Last Updated On December 08, 2023
The Buyer’s Guide For Help Desk Software
Help desk software is a powerful tool designed to streamline and enhance customer support operations. In today's fast-paced business environment, providing efficient and effective customer service is crucial for building strong relationships with clients and maintaining a competitive edge. Help desk software acts as a centralized platform that enables businesses to manage and resolve customer queries, complaints, and technical issues in a timely manner.
With the help of ticket management systems, automated workflows, and knowledge bases, help desk software simplifies the process of receiving, organizing, and resolving customer inquiries. It allows support agents to track and prioritize tickets, ensuring that each customer receives prompt and personalized assistance. Moreover, these software solutions often come equipped with reporting and analytics features, providing valuable insights into support performance and customer satisfaction. The software easily syncs with CRM software.
In addition to facilitating effective communication between businesses and customers, help desk software can also improve internal collaboration among support teams. It enables agents to collaborate on tickets, share information, and provide consistent responses to ensure a seamless customer experience. This level of collaboration and knowledge sharing ultimately leads to faster issue resolution, increased productivity, and improved customer satisfaction.
1. What is help desk software?
Help desk software is a specialized tool or system designed to facilitate and streamline the management of customer support operations. It provides a centralized platform for businesses to receive, track, prioritize, and resolve customer inquiries, complaints, and technical issues.
Help desk software typically includes features such as ticket management, where customer queries are logged as tickets, allowing support agents to efficiently handle and track each issue. It often incorporates automation capabilities to automate repetitive tasks and workflows, enabling faster response times and improved efficiency. The software also enhances the capabilities of contact center operation software.
Additionally, help desk software often includes knowledge bases or self-service portals, which provide a repository of commonly asked questions and their solutions. Customers can access these resources to find answers to their queries without needing to contact support directly, thus reducing the load on the help desk team.
Other common features of help desk software include communication channels like email integration, live chat, or even phone support. These channels enable seamless communication between customers and support agents, ensuring timely and effective resolution of issues.
2. What is a help desk ticket?
When customers encounter an issue or have a request, they can submit a help desk ticket which is then managed within the ticketing system.
Customer issue: It seems like you're having trouble connecting to the virtual private network (VPN).
Service request: Sure, we'll make sure that the new employee gets their laptop and access all set up.
3. Who uses help desk software?
By utilizing the internal IT ticketing system, your entire organization can easily report any technical issues or requests they may have. Once you submit the issue, the tool will generate a support ticket. This ticket will then be forwarded to your IT help desk team for further assistance. A person who provides assistance to customers is commonly referred to as a support team member. They may also be known by other titles such as desk agent, help desk technician, support agent, IT support, or IT customer support. Throughout this guide, we will be using these terms interchangeably.
With the system in place, your customers visiting your website can easily initiate a request for support. This will trigger the tool to generate a support ticket, which can then be addressed and resolved by your customer service team. The software easily integrates with call center software.
Our support team and technicians/representatives have access to a comprehensive overview of all customer support tickets. This helps them manage their workload efficiently and plan their day effectively. Take a look at this screenshot that shows you what a help desk ticketing dashboard looks like.
4. Types of help desk software
On-Premise Help Desk Software
This type of help desk software is installed and hosted on the company's own servers or infrastructure. It offers complete control and customization but requires ongoing maintenance and IT resources.
Cloud-Based Help Desk Software
Also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) help desk software, it is hosted on the cloud and accessed through a web browser. It provides scalability, easy deployment, automatic updates, and requires minimal IT infrastructure.
Ticketing-focused help desk software is designed primarily for managing and tracking customer support tickets. It offers features like ticket creation, assignment, prioritization, and tracking to ensure efficient ticket resolution.
IT Service Management (ITSM) Software
ITSM help desk software focuses on managing IT-related issues and requests within an organization. It includes features like incident management, problem management, change management, and asset management.
Self-Service Help Desk Software
This type of software empowers customers to find solutions to their queries independently. It offers knowledge bases, FAQs, community forums, and other self-help resources to enable self-service support.
Live Chat Help Desk Software
Live chat software enables real-time communication between customers and support agents. It allows instant messaging, file sharing, and screen sharing to provide immediate assistance and resolve issues promptly.
Omnichannel Help Desk Software
Omnichannel software integrates multiple communication channels such as email, phone, live chat, social media, and more into a unified platform. It ensures consistent support across various channels and enables seamless customer interactions.
Social Media Help Desk Software
This software focuses on managing customer support inquiries and interactions on social media platforms. It helps businesses monitor social media mentions, respond to messages, and track customer sentiment.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Help Desk Software
CRM-integrated help desk software combines customer support functionality with customer relationship management capabilities. It provides a holistic view of customer interactions, enabling personalized support based on customer history and data.
Enterprise Help Desk Software
Enterprise-level help desk software caters to larger organizations with complex support requirements. It offers advanced features, scalability, multi-department support, and robust reporting and analytics capabilities.
5. Benefits of help desk software
Enhanced Customer Support
Help desk software improves the overall customer support experience by providing a centralized platform for managing customer inquiries. It ensures prompt and efficient resolution of issues, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
Efficient Ticket Management
Help desk software organizes customer queries into tickets, making it easier for support agents to track, prioritize, and assign them. It streamlines the workflow and ensures that no ticket gets overlooked or delayed. The software also integrates with live chat software.
Automation and Efficiency
Help desk software automates repetitive tasks, such as ticket routing, response templates, and escalation rules. It saves time for support agents, increases productivity, and allows them to focus on more complex customer issues.
Knowledge Base and Self-Service
Many help desk software solutions offer knowledge bases or self-service portals where customers can find answers to commonly asked questions. It empowers customers to resolve their issues independently, reducing the support team's workload.
Help desk software enables collaboration among support agents. They can share information, communicate internally on tickets, and collaborate on complex issues. This fosters teamwork, knowledge sharing, and ultimately leads to faster problem resolution.
Reporting and Analytics
Help desk software provides valuable insights through reporting and analytics features. Businesses can track support team performance, identify trends, measure customer satisfaction, and make data-driven decisions for continuous improvement.
Help desk software often integrates with other business tools such as CRM systems, project management platforms, or communication channels. It allows seamless data flow, provides a holistic view of customer interactions, and improves overall efficiency.
Scalability and Flexibility
Help desk software can scale with the growing needs of a business. It accommodates increased support volumes, additional users, and expanding customer base. Cloud-based solutions offer flexibility and easy access from anywhere with an internet connection.
Customer Insights and Feedback
Help desk software captures customer interactions and feedback, enabling businesses to gain insights into customer preferences, pain points, and areas for improvement. This information helps in refining products and services.
Cost and Resource Savings
Help desk software optimizes resource allocation by reducing the need for manual and repetitive tasks. It lowers support costs, minimizes staffing requirements, and improves overall operational efficiency.
6. How much does a help desk software cost?
The pricing models for help desk software typically follow a per agent, per month structure, with different pricing tiers available based on the starting price. These tiers can be categorized into three main ranges:
$5 - $17
This range represents the starting price for entry-level help desk software plans. These plans offer basic features and functionalities to meet the essential support needs of small businesses or organizations with limited requirements.
$17 - $25
The second pricing tier encompasses plans with a slightly higher starting price. These plans often provide additional features and capabilities compared to the entry-level plans. They are suitable for businesses that require more advanced functionality or have a moderate volume of support inquiries.
The third pricing tier includes plans that start at $25 or higher. These plans are typically considered premium or enterprise-level offerings. They offer extensive features, advanced customization options, and are suitable for larger organizations with complex support requirements and higher support ticket volumes.
Please note that the pricing ranges mentioned above were obtained from Capterra's help desk software category page, specifically the entry-level/lowest priced options as of October 26, 2020. The ranges correspond to the 25th, 75th, and 100th percentiles of the pricing information gathered from the products listed.
It's important to note that while the above list provides an overview of base plan pricing for most help desk software products, enterprise or premium plans may exist with higher pricing tiers. These plans typically include additional features, advanced functionalities, and tailored support options to meet the specific needs of larger organizations or businesses with more complex support operations.
7. Features of help desk software
Help desk software offers robust ticket management capabilities, allowing support agents to efficiently create, track, prioritize, and assign tickets. It ensures that customer queries and issues are properly organized and addressed in a timely manner.
Automation and Workflow
Help desk software automates repetitive tasks and workflows, saving time and improving efficiency. It can automatically assign tickets, send notifications, escalate issues, and generate reports, streamlining support operations.
Many help desk software solutions include a knowledge base or self-service portal. This feature allows businesses to create and maintain a repository of articles, FAQs, and documentation to empower customers to find answers to common questions independently.
Help desk software integrates various communication channels to facilitate customer-agent interactions. It supports email, live chat, phone, social media, and even chatbots, enabling seamless communication and offering customers their preferred support channels.
Service Level Agreement (SLA) management features help businesses meet their defined service level targets. Help desk software enables setting response and resolution time goals, tracking SLA compliance, and generating reports for performance analysis.
Reporting and Analytics
Help desk software provides reporting and analytics capabilities to gain insights into support operations. It generates reports on ticket volume, response times, agent performance, customer satisfaction, and other key metrics, enabling data-driven decision-making.
Help desk software facilitates collaboration among support agents through internal communication tools. Agents can collaborate on tickets, share information, and provide real-time updates, ensuring efficient teamwork and faster problem resolution.
Help desk software often includes a customer database or CRM integration, providing a consolidated view of customer information. This helps agents access customer history, preferences, and past interactions, enabling personalized and context-aware support.
Some help desk software solutions offer remote support capabilities, allowing agents to access and troubleshoot customer devices remotely. This feature reduces the need for on-site visits and enhances the efficiency of technical support.
Help desk software integrates with other business tools and systems, such as CRM, project management, and e-commerce platforms. This integration streamlines data flow, enhances collaboration, and provides a holistic view of customer interactions.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Help desk software enables the creation and distribution of customer satisfaction surveys after ticket resolution. Feedback gathered through surveys helps businesses gauge customer satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement.
Customization and Branding
Help desk software often allows customization of the user interface, ticket forms, email templates, and other elements to align with the branding and visual identity of the business.
8. How to choose the best help desk software?
Selecting the right help desk software is a critical decision that can greatly impact the efficiency of your customer support operations and the overall satisfaction of your customers. With numerous options available in the market, it's essential to consider several key factors when choosing the best help desk software for your business. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision:
Assess Your Requirements
Begin by understanding your specific support needs. Identify the volume of customer inquiries, the complexity of support issues, desired response times, and any unique requirements specific to your industry or business model. This evaluation will help you prioritize features and functionalities that are crucial for your help desk software.
Ticket Management and Workflow Automation
Look for help desk software that provides robust ticket management capabilities. Consider features like ticket creation, assignment, prioritization, and tracking. Additionally, prioritize automation features such as ticket routing, escalation, and predefined response templates to streamline your support processes and improve efficiency.
Evaluate whether the help desk software supports the communication channels that are most relevant to your business and customers. Ensure that it seamlessly integrates with email, live chat, social media, phone support, and other channels that you use or plan to implement. This allows you to provide consistent and timely support across all customer touchpoints.
Knowledge Base and Self-Service
A comprehensive knowledge base or self-service portal is invaluable for empowering customers to find answers to common queries independently. Look for help desk software that enables easy creation and management of knowledge base articles, FAQs, and documentation to enhance the self-service capabilities for your customers.
Reporting and Analytics
Consider the reporting and analytics features offered by the help desk software. Look for capabilities that provide insights into ticket volume, agent performance, response times, customer satisfaction, and other key metrics. Effective reporting and analytics allow you to measure the success of your support operations, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.
9. Latest trends in help desk software
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
Help desk software is increasingly incorporating AI and machine learning technologies to automate tasks, provide chatbot assistance, analyze data for insights, and enable predictive analytics to enhance support operations.
Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
Chatbots are becoming more advanced, offering intelligent and personalized responses to customer queries. They can handle basic inquiries, provide self-service options, and seamlessly escalate complex issues to human agents when necessary.
Self-Service and Knowledge Management
Help desk software is focusing on empowering customers with self-service options. Advanced knowledge management systems enable businesses to create comprehensive knowledge bases, FAQs, and interactive guides to facilitate self-resolution of common issues.
Help desk software is increasingly supporting multiple communication channels such as email, live chat, phone, social media, and messaging apps. This trend ensures consistent support experiences across various channels, catering to customer preferences.
Automation and Workflow Optimization
Help desk software is leveraging automation to streamline workflows and optimize support processes. Automated ticket routing, predefined response templates, and intelligent escalations enhance efficiency, enabling support agents to focus on more complex tasks.
Integration with Collaboration Tools
Help desk software is integrating with collaboration tools like team messaging platforms and project management software. This integration improves internal communication among support teams, enables quick collaboration on tickets, and enhances cross-functional collaboration.
Advanced Analytics and Reporting
Help desk software is incorporating advanced analytics and reporting capabilities to provide deeper insights into support operations. It allows businesses to measure key performance indicators, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to improve support quality.