Best Help Desk Software
When it comes to running a business, there are many decisions to make; getting the right software to support you in achieving your goals is one of them. To choose the best service desk provider for your company’s needs, you will have to consider various important factors.
It can be overwhelming, researching help desk software to make sure you are providing high-quality support to your stakeholders.
Help desk software can be oriented to assisting internally to your staff as well as externally – unlike customer service software or customer relationship management software (CRM), which is usually focused on just your consumers.
This article explains the various benefits of help desk software, what to look out for when assessing different platforms and a list of the top-ten best providers.
What Is Help Desk Software?
A help desk aims to centralize conversations about your business from both employees and customers.
Help desk software simplifies and speeds up how you manage these customer and staff support requests. It can make things run more smoothly, as well as improve the overall productivity of your staff through automation and customization.
You should use help desk software for your team because it leads to stronger, more timely responses and gives your customers a better experience, increasing their loyalty and business to you.
In addition, you can glean valuable insights from help desk software which can help you in managing and moving your business forward.
Help desk software is also known as service desk software or ticketing software. Sometimes it is known as SaaS (software as a service).
This means that the help desk software doesn’t need to be downloaded onto your local machines – they can operate on other servers, which is particularly great for small businesses.
First, Determine What Your Business Needs
Before you decide on specific software, make sure you have done some analysis on what your business needs. For example, do you need to provide support 24 hours a day? Is the support you’re providing both internal and external?
Knowing the answers to these questions by doing some brainstorming with your agents beforehand can save valuable time down the road. Work out which features are essential for them and prioritize these.
You can also consult with a help desk software professional for advice – make sure you express these needs clearly to the vendor you eventually end up picking.
What Are the Benefits of Using Help Desk Software?
There are so many advantages to using help desk software; one of the key ones is efficiency.
Customer enquiries to your business can come in via multiple channels – email, phone or social media , for example.
There are strong advantages to using help desk software to organize these enquiries, so that you are streamlining the process of responding to them while also capturing valuable data along the way.
While aggregating the information coming in, these software packages also convert your customer enquiries into a helpdesk ticketing system – for your support agents to then deal with promptly.
This means support tickets get sorted and prioritized in the most efficient way.
Help desk software can also create information portals on your website so that the customer can sometimes help themselves, saving your staff time and effort.
Just having a help desk isn’t enough, though – you need to make sure you’re equipping your customers and your staff with the most user-friendly tools possible.
There are some disadvantages to getting help desk software too; you might get overwhelmed by all the features available and lose time to complexity.
You may also get bogged down or lost in working out whether you need the help desk software to be local, web-based or remotely-hosted – but picking correctly here can be crucial in determining how flexibly your business responds in a crisis.
Related to this, loading times of help desk software can vary a lot, and the initial set-up can be costly in both energy and finances – so make sure you pick a system that is clean in design and straightforward for you to use.
What to Look For in Help Desk Software
The number one thing you need in help desk software is usability and an intuitive interface that puts your user first.
As the world moves more and more online, keeping customers (and employees happy with your business through helpful portals becomes paramount.
Some other essential features in help desk software include security and scalability – if your business is growing, these will be two major concerns for you.
Strong help desk support will also improve both staff and customer loyalty – both of which you want to retain if your business is to continue expanding.
Other additional help desk features to think about include third-party integration – with translation apps, for example – and collaboration features with other tools your business might use, like Slack.
You may want to pick software that trains your staff well and is adaptable too, offering ongoing support systems to your business.
The more established your business is, the more useful customer engagement metrics will also be.
Taking an interest in analytics will only improve your performance; the best help desk software will provide these for you across all communication channels.
This information can help unlock insights, such as customer pain-points, as well as help drive company goals and develop your business offerings.
There are so many options to pick from when it comes to help desk software and it can be a challenge to pick between the different features. To make things easier for you, the next section breaks down 10 of your best options.
The 10 Best Help Desk Software Providers
A key feature of HubSpot is the Conversations Inbox , which brings together all customer communication channels so your support team has all the relevant contextual information to hand. The service is best for aligning sales, service and marketing teams.
Pros for HubSpot include an easy-to-use interface, which integrates seamlessly with popular tools like Salesforce . A con to be aware of is that the ticketing system in its help desk software may not be right for all kinds of companies.
In terms of cost, you can start working with HubSpot for free and when needed, upgrade to one of the three paid tiers starting at $40/month for two agents (billed yearly).
A great feature they have is being able to create personalized greetings according to your pre-set range of criteria.
Another pro is that LiveChat is well designed and has a polished interface. A con is that it’s more expensive than most of the competition; costs start at $16 per agent, per month.
LiveChat help desk software is ideal for bigger companies and is used by IKEA and Adobe, to name just a couple.
Another software platform used by big companies (like HP and Panasonic), Freshdesk is one of the more unique help desks, known for its gamification feature which incentivizes agents to provide a top-notch service .
A con of Freshdesk is that some of the most important features are only available to the highest priced tier of subscription. On the other hand, a pro is that having a free tier means that smaller companies can get a feel for the system over time before needing to commit. (The next tier of support is $15 per agent, per month when billed annually.)
Freshdesk is best used as a service for external customers, rather than just being an internal IT help desk, for example.
A key feature of HappyFox help desk software is that it integrates with business applications for things like customer feedback and accounting, among others you may choose from.
In terms of pros, HappyFox is award-winning and has an intuitive interface. A drawback is that the pricing is higher than most of the competition (at $29 per agent, per month) and unfortunately, it doesn’t offer a free tier to test things out on.
The HappyFox service is used by a cross-section of companies but is ideal for those who want in-depth reporting or analysis with strong visual representation.
5. Zoho Desk
A great choice for a smaller company that might want software that grows alongside them, Zoho Desk is one that is always adding new features.
Pricing starts with a free tier and then moves to $14 per agent, per month for the standard level.
A strong pro is that it is priced reasonably compared to the competition – and two key features of Zoho Desk are that it is cloud-based and context aware.
A con to be aware of, though, is that the interface of this help desk software is less smooth than others, and so Zoho Desk might seem a bit dated for a user or business that is conscious of presentation and image.
A unique section of JitBit is its ‘Ideas Forum’ where customers can request and vote for new platform features. It’s also multilingual, which is great for diverse workplaces , and very quick to set up.
Another pro for JitBit’s help desk software is its offering of customization, wherein you can change colors and add your own logo to the ticketing system.
JitBit also has a strong focus on email and security. In terms of drawbacks, the pricing is high, starting at $29 per month for their Freelancer plan – aimed at remote workers . It does support different company sizes, though – all the way up to enterprise-level.
Perfect for businesses looking for scalability, HelpDesk is user-friendly and provides its own brilliant on-premise support. One of its key features is that it uses extensive automation and offers a high proportion of ‘canned’ responses.
One drawback of HelpDesk is that it only offers three plans, so there’s less of a chance it will adapt perfectly to your needs in a bespoke manner.
Pricing starts at $5 per month, per agent, though it’s worth noting that this starter plan offers only limited functionality.
A comprehensive service is provided by RingCentral Contact Center and they have a focus on collaboration – especially useful for complicated customer or internal cases.
There’s a focus on intelligent management here, and RingCentral is backed by leading security features.
A con for this company is that the pricing system is a little opaque; prices aren’t advertised, so you must contact them to receive a custom quote.
One of the pros of this help desk software, though, is that you can add and remove agents as needed – which makes it perfect for organizations that have seasonal demands.
Founded in 2003, Vivantio has evolved to meet the complex needs of large organizations. It has advanced features, but one of the drawbacks of this is that staff may require training to get the most out of this help desk software.
An advantage of Vivantio is that it contains a granular global search feature, which adds to overall functionality.
Pricing is tiered on four levels, starting at $42 per user, per month, so it’s not the best-priced of all the options – but it does set the standard for enterprise-level service desk software.
10. ZenDesk Support
ZenDesk Support is now available as part of ZenDesk Suite (which includes other complementary business tools that can be used alongside ZenDesk Support).
This help desk software is ideal for small-to-medium businesses that want several platforms under one umbrella. One of ZenDesk’s key features is that multiple support ticket forms can be created for agents who are working to help customers’ specific needs.
In terms of pros and cons, the user interface at ZenDesk Support isn’t the most intuitive, but pricing is competitive, starting at only $5 per month per agent.
Finding the right software will enable you and your business to be more efficient, as well as improve collaboration within your team and help you to analyze customer metrics.
It’s worth shopping around carefully to pick the option that matches your needs best – whether it’s scalability you want, or whether you require software that’s highly intuitive.
In today’s world, everyone expects fast and seamless customer service; buying the right help desk software for your business is crucial in delivering this.