Best Help Desk Software 2021
Responding to your existing and potential customers should be as easy and enjoyable as possible. This enables the market to see you as a brand that they enjoy interacting with and that values their time. The best help desk software simplifies this process for your team so that you and your customers are setup for success.
In this article we discuss what help desk software can do, why you may need it, the major features to look out for, and a review of our top 5 choices for the best help desk software of 2021.
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What is Help Desk Software?
The best help desk software will take your customer service to the next level. As your business grows, it can become difficult to keep track of customer comments, feedback and support needs.
This software is a digital hub that organizes inquiries so that your team can respond, manage their time and resolve items in an efficient manner. A great software will include ticket management, automation, reporting, optimization and knowledge banks for self-serve resolution of frequently asked questions.
It can also keep track of internal support requests, for example, IT departments can use this software to keep track of IT support requests from employees.
Why do you need Help Desk Software?
Help desk software helps you manage customer and staff support needs in a seamless way, increasing productivity and customer sentiment while reducing costs.
Help desk software will:
- Remove bottle necks
Help desk software will provide insight into inefficient processes by giving you visibility into employee/customer communications and allow you to address them. By having this visibility you will also be able to see when issues are not being addressed, and use this information for training and performance reviews.
- Measure company’s service performance
Helpdesk software lets you gather and analyze data, giving you insight into your consumer sentiment. You’ll be able to measure response time, resolution rate and turnaround time, so that you can improve customer service efficiency and cost. Without help desk software, it would be a long and laborious process to collect and analyze this data – leaving room for human error and misreporting.
- Organize calls/requests
The platform will allow you to keep track of all customer communications. From calls to emails to chats and social media requests, all the queries will be ticketed, organized and assigned to employees. Furthermore, help desk software can make sure that queries get to the right person faster than before. Through the system you’ll be able to assign basic questions to customer service agents for example, and more complex queries directly to the right department. The software can even alert managers of difficult or sensitive communications, making the escalation process more seamless.
- Builds trust
Help desk software helps build trust between your company and your customers. Customers want to feel important and like they are being heard, by using this software, you will be able to ensure they aren’t left hanging – and track every step from question or complaint all the way to resolution.
Top Rated Help Desk Software
Best Help Desk Software for Integrations
LiveChat is AI-powered software that integrates with most of the major online channels
It is one of the best live chat softwares on the market, and will instantly connect you with customers on your website – it also integrates messages from Facebook Messenger, email, WhatsApp and more.
Through the live chat box, agents can send canned messages to basic queries, share files, schedule meetings and transfer chats to other agents. This is a great feature for escalating customer queries to more specialized departments.
This desk support software can also act as a lead generator, and allows you to send personalized messages to customers who are already on your site, inviting them to chat and learn more about products or deals.
The pricing on LiveChat is offered in three tiers:
- Starter – US$16/ month (per agent)
- Team – US$33/ month (per agent)
- Business – $50/month (per agent)
The Starter plan offers many features, and should get you by just fine, a major draw back is it only keeps 60 days’ worth of archived chat history. Most businesses will want to keep history for longer than that.
The Team plan will allow you access to more reporting and customization features – and will allow unlimited chat archiving, tagging and file sharing. The company offers a 14-day free trial for the Team plan, so you can assess if this is the best option for you.
The Business plan unlocks an advanced level of reporting and will allow agents to SMS message from the chat box. For large businesses, this plan is customizable.
Best Help Desk Software for analytics and reporting
LiveAgent is a great solution for small and medium sized businesses. The software makes being a customer service agent easy, by combining live chat and email ticketing, making it easy to respond to queries.
With this software you can create a chat box or email ticketing system on your website or mobile app. You can set up auto-routing, to ensure that every request is assigned to an agent and you can even set the system up to send customers to agents they’ve spoken to before, strengthening customer/agent relationships. Satisfaction surveys can also be automatically sent to customers once their ticket has been resolved.
While this platform supports Facebook, Instagram and Twitter integrations, it does not integrate with SMS.
Agents have reported that the platform is easy to use and even helps them communicate with each other. For example, if two agents are working on the same ticket they will be notified.
The pricing on LiveAgent is offered in four tiers:
- Free – $0
- Ticket – US$15/ month (per agent)
- Ticket + Chat – US$29/ month (per agent)
- All-Inclusive – US$39/month (per agent)
The forever free account has more features than you would expect for a free account. It offers one live chat button, one email address for ticketing and phone support for one phone number. With this plan, chat history cab only be saved for seven days.
Upgrade one level up to the Ticket Plan, and your business will be able to connect an unlimited amount of emails.
With the Ticket + Chat plan, you’ll be able to connect social media accounts (costs an extra $39 per month) and monitor visitors in real-time.
The all-inclusive plan is just that, all inclusive – with this plan you get unlimited social media account integration and more complex reporting.
LiveAgent offers 24/7 support via phone, chat and email and has hundreds of articles published in their online knowledge base, making it easy to sort out technical issues on the back end.
Best Help Desk Software for Employee morale
Freshdesk is one of the only help desk softwares that implements gamification into its workflow. Freshdesk Arcade shows leaderboards for ticket resolution, awards badges to exceptional performers and assigns tasks to be completed for even more rewards.
The business can customize Arcade to suit its needs, but this makes customer service fun and competitive for employees. It doesn’t stop there – the app even lets you create quests to encourage agents to build out knowledge banks and improve processes. Gamification is only available on paid plans.
Fun and games aside, this software has all the bells and whistles you would expect in a help desk software. While there is a free-tier that lets customers try out the product for an extended period of time, key features like dashboards and chatbots are only available at the higher tiers of pricing.
This software was made for small and medium sized businesses to serve external clients, not for internal support tickets.
The product prides itself in providing agents with the information they need to quickly resolve customer concerns.
The pricing on Freshdesk is offered in five tiers:
- Sprout – $0
- Blossom – $15/ month (per agent)
- Garden – $35/month (per agent)
- Estate – $49/month (per agent)
- Forest – $99/month (per agent)
The free plan will give you access to email and social ticketing and a basic ticket trend report. As you move up the tiers, more features become available, with Forest offering an audit log, email bot, and HIPPA compliance.
Best Help Desk Software for omnichannel efficiency
Zendesk services clients like Uber and Shopify, so it’s no wonder that they are one of the market leaders when it comes to help desk solutions.
This platform prides themselves on their ticketing features. Depending on the ticket, the software can route tickets to specific agents based on their expertise and skills.
Agent-to-agent communication is a crucial part of resolving customer queries, and this platform makes it easy by allowing integration with Slack and email, so agents can communicate effectively in platform.
For businesses who operate globally, this interface is available in more than 40 languages, and agents can communicate in the customer’s language without having to translate the messages themselves.
The pricing for Zendesk is offered in five tiers:
- Suite Team – $49/month (per agent)
- Suite Growth – $79/ month (per agent)
- Suite Professional – $99/month (per agent)
- Suite Enterprise – $150/month (per agent)
- Custom – $215/month (per agent)
Best Help Desk Software for G Suite users
This helpdesk software was built for companies who use the Google workspace. Right off the bat, if your team is familiar with G Suite, they will be familiar with Hiver, and you’ll have to spend less time and resources on training.
Hiver allows teams to assign, track and tend to customer emails, and run advanced analytics on their communications right from within their Gmail.
They can collaborate and work on emails on the back end without having to forward and add more emails to a chain, and never have to leave their Google suite. This leads to a streamlined inbox and increased productivity.
The pricing for Hiver is offered in four tiers:
- Lite – $7/month (per agent)
- Growth – $22/ month (per agent)
- Pro – $37/month (per agent)
- Elite – $57/month (per agent)
The more expensive plans allow for more shared inboxes, and as you move up the scale, reporting and analytics become more complex, and more customization is available.
Our Rating Process
We assessed each software based on features, omnichannel, ease of use, and value for money to help you find the best service desk software for your business. We scored them each out of 5 points.
Features are important because you’ll want to make sure that you can integrate third-party platforms, for example you might want to integrate data from SalesForce so that communications can better work with sales and CRM.
Frequently Asked Questions
Help desk software is usually simple to use. Once someone submits a query (or a ticket) via the digital interface, email or chat – your helpdesk staff is notified, and a ticket is opened. Next, a support agent owns the ticket. Via the software, the support agent will be able to track progress, communication and record the resolution. Help desk software also allows your team to aggregate frequently asked questions and create a knowledge bank of self-serve resolutions for users.
Help desk software helps your organization work in a more efficient and resourceful manner when it comes to resolving support tickets. With this software, customers can easily provide feedback and ask questions – and customer support staff can manage, track and resolve all customer communications. Similarly, this software can be used for internal queries, for example, with IT support. Help desk software optimizes communication by using automation for dealing with high volume communications. At the end of the day, help desk software is there to increase consumer sentiment and ensure that your customer is heard.
Improving help desk performance can be done in a variety of different ways. First, you’ll need to evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Then you’ll need to collect the data (e.g., what have people been complaining about? Where are the bottle necks in your processes?) Once you’ve identified these, you’ll be able to find a software that meets your needs and train your staff on how to use the software to meet the organization’s goals.