Help Desk Software is the common name for systems and applications used to respond to customers’ questions and technical inquiries. Help desk software helps support team track and address issues in reasonable time, but also record customer conversations, messages, transactions, and other information that could be relevant in future. The best help desk systems act as centralized portals for inquiries coming from all communication channels, including your email addresses, phone numbers, live chat programs, and social networks. Some of them even include metrics and insights that help you evaluate customers’ and agents’ performance. We suggest you to check our current help desk leader Freshdesk, but also other popular solutions listed in this category.
You may think that help desk software programs are all the same in the market, but in reality, they are quite different from each other in terms of features, functionalities, and pricing methodologies. Read this buyer’s guide on the best Help Desk software platforms so you will have a better understanding of the list of issues you should consider before buying an online solution for your company, whether it is a big one or a small startup.
Consider beginning your search by signing up for several free trial plans or demo offered by popular help desk software providers. It will give you the advantage of testing all the key features of each software before you actually spend any money on it and if there are any problems you’ll know about them right away and you will understand what is help desk software better. The best thing to do is to try tools that currently have the highest SmartScore rankings and Customer Satisfaction Rating in our help desk software reviews: Freshdesk reviews, Zendesk, Samanage, Zoho Support, ClickDesk, CRMdesk, LiveAgent, ManageEngine, Desk.com, Salesforce, Freshservice, and DeskRoll. For details on leading apps, read our comparison article on the top 10 help desk software.
Large businesses are in constant need of a smart and elegant help desk solution to improve customer relationships and to make the ‘legit’ status of their brands more reliable. It is thanks to these systems and their amazing features that enterprises connect psychologically with their end users, and get to know how they think and what they expect. In the meantime, they use them to streamline customer relationships, and categorize issues and queries the way every solid organization should. Consequently, they build a better reputation by saving instead of wasting money, and get to know all market sideways that can be used to maximize profit.
You can get info on other popular apps in this category and do informed comparisons by perusing our article on the top 15 help desk solutions.
Help desk software programs can be used to handle the complaints and issues of your external or internal customers. Some solutions in fact serve both, while other management platforms serve either external or internal customers.
External – This help desk software solution serves the end consumers of your company, whether they are individuals buying products or services from you, or another company that has business transactions with you. These software programs can help you with your general customer service problems as well as information technology-related concerns. Since the businesses, companies, and industries that need external help desk software platforms are very diverse, those buying this type of software program might prefer that the platform solution can perfectly integrate call center software systems, sales force automation, and marketing automation.
Internal – This type of software solution in general provides service to a company’s employees or internal customers. In many cases, the software solution supports the various information technology concerns of customers. But there are some cases when this type of help desk solution is given to human resource management for concerns regarding employee benefits.
Let us first start with the question: What is a help desk software solution?
Many people get confused by what help desk software actually is and what it’s used for. This is because help desk can be understood either a software management solution for your teams that provides service to employees or internal customers; or a software platform to help your company’s teams provide excellent service to your external customers (in short, those who buy goods or services from your company).
In both instances nevertheless, help desk software solutions help you store customer information (whether they are internal or external) in fully searchable databases that monitor your customer interaction and automate the entire resolution process with the help of a ticketing system. In its basic level, the primary role of help desk software is to improve your capability to organize customer data and increase the effectiveness of your business.
In addition to this main function, help desk software platforms offer a number of these features, if not all:
Self-service – Your customers, whether they are internal or external, can use the solution’s portals themselves to look for solutions. In short, they do not always have to contact a representative every time they have a problem or issue that needs your attention. For example, a lot of help desk management software solutions these days offer self-service features such as documentation of the services or products your company offers, user-friendly how-to pages, downloadable patches, community forums, and instructional and searchable FAQs, among other helpful resources. If your customers are unable to find the right solutions from these self-service features, the help desk software solution usually allows them to write their concerns and send a ticket.
Knowledge management system – Knowledge management system refers to a hub of information as well as descriptions to the most common problems or issues in your product or service or even the previous concerns that have been resolved. This information hub can be available publicly, such as a self-service site that your customers can visit. Alternatively, the repository can also be intended for internal use only by your technicians or customer service representatives. Many knowledge management systems offered by help desk software solutions have advanced search tools to help the users, whether your employees, team members, or your customers, in finding solutions or the right answers to any question or concern. There are some software platforms that even autosuggest queries or articles as a user types.
Asset management system/IT network management system – A good help desk software system also offers outstanding asset management functionalities that can monitor changes to your software and even hardware configurations. On the other hand, network management solutions can evaluate the health of your computer servers or other network components you are using. These functionalities may be offered by the help desk software vendor through integrations using information technology service management tools.
Reporting – Some help desk software solutions have reporting capacities that can overall monitor your agent productivity and service desk performance. In most cases, performance metrics usually include the overall number of open tickets; average time of resolving complaints; satisfaction of your customers; ticket resolutions that can be sorted out based on shift, date, or agent; among others.
Support with the help of a tablet or a smartphone – In today’s market, a good number of help
desk software solutions do come in with smartphone, tablet, and Web application versions of their platforms. In short, any customer or employee who wishes to access the help desk software’s features can use a smartphone, tablet, or go to the Internet to use the knowledge base, provide or read customer data, send out or receive tickets, check out reports, and utilize other features anytime, anywhere.
Service level agreement (SLA) – Many vendors in the market offer SLAs that can be immediately guaranteed to customers, plus other service guarantees. This feature will enable, for instance, your support desk team employees to conduct immediate and automatic escalations, prioritization triggers, as well as other customized rules to make sure that the tickets your company has been receiving are managed in compliance and given topmost priority with SLAs.
Remote control – This functionality enables your organization’s technicians to manage, access, and control a customer’s computer from a remote point, giving remote diagnosis, and resolving any issue or complaint with little customer involvement.
The best Help Desk software solutions will enable companies like yours, whether it is big or small, to easily evaluate information technology crises. In addition, businesses can boost their efficiency by managing information technology-related concerns better. So, what does it all mean? It means you will have more savings for your company since you will be using tools such as automation, self-service and other workflow efficiency features.
When implemented correctly, these help desk software platforms can boost the operations of your company or organization in five key ways:
Social media integration is becoming popular
Surveys show that a good number of social media users send customer support requests through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Therefore, companies need apps to process issues and requests received through these channels. Vendors such as Zendesk and Desk.com offer solutions that integrate with social channels to prioritize and route customer service requests.
Gamification Motivates Agents
Customer service and IT jobs are taxing and difficult positions. To help keep up the interest and motivation levels of agents, companies are using gamification. A firm named Badgeville offers rewards such as redeemable points to boost the productivity of its ticketing agents. Employees get motivated to perform better when they see their scores improving and they move up higher on leaderboards.
Lack of business knowledge: If you outsource your help desk to a third-party, make sure the vendor is capable of providing knowledgeable customer support. If the vendor’s agents are lacking in knowledge and expertise, it could seriously dent the customer satisfaction rating of your company. In that case, you are better off using in-house agents for customer support to provide knowledgeable responses to ensure customer satisfaction.
Lack of Agent Training: Employee turnover is high in call centers and help desks as agents may not be serious about the job and may look at it as a temporary vocation. To motivate agents to stay longer, companies should offer comprehensive training that can boost the capability and stability of the workforce. Make your agents more versatile and help them learn a wide range of skills to do their job better.
Our Score 9.8
User Satisfaction 100%
Our Score 9.7
User Satisfaction 100%
Our Score 9.6
User Satisfaction 98%
Zendesk is a winner of our Supreme Software Award. It's one of the leading help desk solutions trusted by over 40,000 organization worldwide. Read Reviews
Our Score 9.5
User Satisfaction 95%
Kayako is the winner of our Expert's Choice Award. It delivers customer service in a powerful, seamless, and scalable way, trusted by over 50,000 organizations worldwide. Read Reviews
Our Score 9.5
User Satisfaction 99%
Our Score 9.4
User Satisfaction 97%
Our Score 9.2
User Satisfaction 99%
Our Score 9.1
User Satisfaction 99%
Our Score 9.0
User Satisfaction 98%
Samanage is the winner of our 2017 Supreme Software Award. It is a cloud-based IT service desk and asset management service that helps you to keep a tighter tab on things. Read Reviews
Our Score 9.0
User Satisfaction 98%
Our platform makes use of our certified SmartScore™ algorithm to test all the products in the Help Desk Software category so that we can help you pick the best possible software. It takes into consideration the following aspects: main features, collaboration features, custom elements, integration, intuitiveness, customer support, how secure a software is, mobility, media rating. At the moment, Freshdesk is the leader in this category and we gave it the highest score in our tests. Following thorough research and analysis it had the best results among its competitors and our reviewers strongly suggest that you include it as one of the choices for your business.
A look at total user satisfaction with the services in our Help Desk Software category based on our unique algorythm that finds user reviews, comments and opinions across a broad set of social media sites in order to help you make an informed purchase decision.
Each vendor in the Help Desk Software category will offer a different set of pricing packages for its service and every package will include a unique set of tools. Below we list the general pricing for the most affordable plan offered for each app. Please note that advanced features may have an extra cost.
An analysis of what kind of devices and operating systems are supported by these B2B solutions in the Help Desk Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Learn what languages and geographies are served by the popular B2B solutions in the Help Desk Software category, including spftware designed for international markets and created for multi-cultural groups of employees.
Examine which pricing models are supported by the vendors in the Help Desk Software category to see which one fits your business requirements and expenses best. Be aware that specific services can provide free or freemium accounts for you to try out first.
A brief look at what groups of clients a selected B2B solution in the Help Desk Software category aims for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.
A summary of what styles of product deployement are offered by every B2B vendor in the Help Desk Software category. Although most of modern SaaS solutions are cloud-based there are services might offer an on-site deployment model too.
Help Desk Predecessors
The development of help desk software can be traced back to 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, the first and most widely used tool for customer support. Nearly two decades later, telephones receive their first switchboards, allowing customers to receive timely and accurate support. In the years to follow, companies train agents to solve customer issues using dumb terminals and dictation machines with access to a mainframe computer.
The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) method where transactions are executed without the help of specialized agents appears in 1960. As digital communications such as emailing expand, IVR transforms into a ticketing practice, which by the end of 1991 becomes a regular routine… The emergence of Help Desk Software 2000 is the year when customer front desks become referred to as ‘help desks’. Companies discover the advantages of mass communications such as softphones and VoIP to build industry specific help desk systems, and sell those individually. In 2004, the Help Desk Institute officially starts covering technical support for desktop systems. Modernized techniques and migration to cloud In 2006, help desk functionality becomes available for small and midmarket businesses, as most systems shift to cloud hosting. The expansion of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter makes it possible for companies to get instant feedback on their services and resolve customer inquiries without the need to purchase additional software. Operational costs are further lowered due to the emergence of knowledge management, namely open end user portals where customers can obtain information without contacting specialized agents. 2013 and 2014 mark the beginning of the 24/7 service trends, soon to become the main competitive edge of reputed solution providers. Due to this development, help desk functionality migrates to mobile devices, and agents start addressing customer issues even when not in office. 2015 introduces the concept of gamification, namely advanced help desk apps where managers can measure agents’ performance and reward top providers. Current Help Desk Software trends 2016 welcomed a number of innovative techniques for agents to accelerate ticket resolution, including prioritization, intelligent optimization, and remote support. As indicated by main help desk software producers, the trend is moving towards solemn self-healing stations, and a variety of self-service tools that save time and cut expenses. Help desk systems are also expected to support new channels for IT staff communication, so that top performers will be instantly gratified.
The emergence of Help Desk Software
2000 is the year when customer front desks become referred to as ‘help desks’. Companies discover the advantages of mass communications such as softphones and VoIP to build industry specific help desk systems, and sell those individually. In 2004, the Help Desk Institute officially starts covering technical support for desktop systems.
Modernized techniques and migration to cloud
In 2006, help desk functionality becomes available for small and midmarket businesses, as most systems shift to cloud hosting. The expansion of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter makes it possible for companies to get instant feedback on their services and resolve customer inquiries without the need to purchase additional software.
Operational costs are further lowered due to the emergence of knowledge management, namely open end user portals where customers can obtain information without contacting specialized agents.
2013 and 2014 mark the beginning of the 24/7 service trends, soon to become the main competitive edge of reputed solution providers. Due to this development, help desk functionality migrates to mobile devices, and agents start addressing customer issues even when not in office.
2015 introduces the concept of gamification, namely advanced help desk apps where managers can measure agents’ performance and reward top providers.
Current Help Desk Software trends
2016 welcomed a number of innovative techniques for agents to accelerate ticket resolution, including prioritization, intelligent optimization, and remote support. As indicated by main help desk software producers, the trend is moving towards solemn self-healing stations, and a variety of self-service tools that save time and cut expenses. Help desk systems are also expected to support new channels for IT staff communication, so that top performers will be instantly gratified.
Post by Alex Hillsberg