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Top 9 Free Helpdesk Ticketing Software of 2024

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Top 9 Free Helpdesk Ticketing Software of 2024

Jun 25, 2024
13 min read

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A helpdesk ticketing software is like a digital control center for handling customer inquiries and issues. What makes this system so powerful is that it brings customer requests from multiple channels – email, live chat, phone, and social media, amongst others – into one centralized dashboard.

Support agents can then pick up these tickets, sort them by priority or category, and ensure they’re addressed. And the best news? There are top-notch helpdesk ticketing software options out there that are completely free.

This is a big win for small businesses or startups that want to offer top-notch customer support without spending a lot of money.

Let’s check out the top 9 free helpdesk ticketing software of 2024.

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Table of Contents

9 Best Free Helpdesk Ticketing Software of 2024

Here are the best 9 free helpdesk ticketing tools of 2024 that won’t break your bank:

Tool Key Features Free Trial G2 Rating 
Hiver – Multi-channel Helpdesk
– Live Chat
– Knowledge Base
– Analytics and Reporting
– WhatsApp Support
– Automations
7 days ⭐4.6
Freshdesk – Team Inbox
– Agent Collision Detection
– Parent-Child Ticketing
– Chatbot powered by Freddy AI
21 days ⭐4.4
Zendesk – Advanced Ticketing System
– Automation and Triggers
– Multi-Channel Support
14 days ⭐4.3
HubSpot – Shared Inbox
– Help Desk Automation
– Knowledge Base
– Custom Surveys
30 days ⭐4.4
LiveAgent – Agent Collision Detection
– Canned Messages (Macros)
– Live Chat
– Email Templates
– Call Center Software
30 days⭐4.5
Spiceworks – Ticket Management
– Automated Responses
– Custom Ticket Views
– Advanced Reporting 
Free Forever⭐4.3
Zoho Desk – Ticket Trends prediction and automated support with AI Bot – Zia
– Multi-Channel Support including Social Media
– Process Automation
15 days ⭐4.4
Jira Service Management – Help Center Customization
– SLA Management
– Integration with Developer Tools like Bitbucket and Confluence
– Incident Management
30 days ⭐4.2
SolarWinds Service Desk– IT Asset Management
– Incident Management
– Knowledge Base
– Employee Service Portal 
30 days ⭐4.3

1. Hiver

Hiver is a multi-channel helpdesk ticketing software that works on top of Gmail. This seamless integration means there’s no need to switch between different platforms to manage customer queries. Everything you need to provide efficient support is right there in your Gmail interface, making it an ideal solution for businesses.

Hiver free customer support software UI
Hiver UI

Unlike traditional ticketing systems, Hiver is very easy to setup and use for support teams. You can streamline, assign, track, and categorize customer queries – without any extensive training.

Hiver offers a free trial for 7 days, allowing you and your team to fully explore its features and capabilities without any commitment. This trial period is a fantastic opportunity to see how Hiver can fit into your existing workflow and improve your customer support process.

It offers the following key features:

  • Shared inboxes: Shared inboxes allow you to collaborate with your team on email. This is a great way to keep track of customer inquiries and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Unlimited tags: Tags are a great way to organize your emails. You can use tags to categorize your emails by topic, project, or customer.
  • Unlimited email templates: Email templates can save you time and effort when sending emails. You can create templates for common email messages, such as welcome emails, order confirmations, and thank you emails.
  • Live chat: Respond to customer queries in real-time via live chat.
  • Knowledge base: Create and manage a knowledge base to help customers find answers to their questions.
  • WhatsApp channel: Connect with customers on WhatsApp.
  • Contacts: Store and manage customer contact information.
  • Shared drafts: Collaborate on email drafts with team members.
  • Email notes: Add notes to emails for future reference.
  • Collision alerts: Receive notifications when someone else responds to an email you’re also working on.
  • Collaborators: Add collaborators to emails to get their input.
  • Approvals: Require approvals for emails before they’re sent.
  • Permalinks: Create permanent links to emails for easy reference.
  • iOS and Android mobile apps: Access Hiver from your mobile devices.
  • Onboarding assistance: Get help getting started with Hiver.
  • 24/7 chat and email support: Get help from Hiver’s support team 24/7.

2. Freshdesk

Freshdesk, a product of Freshworks Inc., provides businesses with software that facilitates customer support. It turns customer requests through various channels such as email, web, phone, chat, messaging, and social media into tickets, centralizing ticket resolution. 

Freshdesk free customer support solution UI
Freshdesk UI

Automation and AI features are integrated within Freshdesk, enabling automated ticket assignment, ticket prioritization, agent assistance, and canned responses, all contributing to an efficient support process. 

Collaboration among team members is supported, and various third-party tools can be integrated. Freshdesk also offers predictive support capabilities and field service management. Reporting and analytics functions within the software provide insights necessary for business growth.

Freshdesk’s Free Plan Features:

  • Integrated ticketing across email and social
  • Ticket Dispatch 
  • Knowledge Base 
  • Ticket Trend Report 
  • Out-of-the-box analytics and reporting
  • Choose your data center location
  • Team collaboration
  • 24×7 email support

Limitations of Freshdesk’s Free Helpdesk Software :

  • Limited to 10 agents
  • No Shared Inboxes
  • Doesn’t offer live chat capabilities
  • You can only integrate with one FB channel for ticketing. Doesn’t allow you to offer support on other socials 

Learn why Hiver is the best Freshdesk Alternative

3. Zendesk

The Zendesk Support Suite is a SaaS platform designed to facilitate conversations with customers across different platforms including email, chat, voice, and social messaging apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Apple Business Chat. All interactions and relevant context are kept in a single location for agents.

Zendesk - ticketing tool for customer support
Zendesk UI

The Support Suite is a unified agent workspace that organizes communication across numerous channels. By consolidating all interactions in one place, it assists teams in handling customer support without emphasizing speed or personalization in the experience.

Does Zendesk offer a free help desk ticketing system?

Zendesk doesn’t offer a free version of its paid customer support software capabilities. But if you’re a startup and if you meet the prerequisites put forth by Zendesk, you can get unlimited access to all of Zendesk’s products for free for 6 months. Your startup should:

  • Not be a previous or an active paid Zendesk customer. 
  • Have fewer than 50 employees
  • Have raised outside funding (those supported by Angel, Pre-seed, Seed, and Series A rounds)

Zendesk’s Free Plan Features:

  • Allows up to 50 users
  • Omnichannel capabilities: Can access any combination of Zendesk Support, Sell, Talk, Chat, Guide, and Explore products
  • Knowledge base and self-service portal
  • Ticket and incident management
  • Automated ticket routing
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Service-level agreement management
  • Email, voice, SMS, and live chat support
  • 1000+ apps and integrations
  • Robust APIs

Limitations of Zendesk’s startups program:

  • The biggest challenge is their expensive pricing post-the 6-month period. So after the 6-month period, if you take up their cheapest paid plan, which starts at $19 per agent per month, you’ll be working with limited functionalities.
  • Here’s what to expect from their Support Team plan that starts at $19:

    > The bare bones of an email ticketing system that has a cluttered UI and a high learning curve
    > Except for taking up tickets on Twitter and Facebook, it doesn’t allow you to offer multi-channel support

Here’s how Hiver outperforms Zendesk on cost and capabilities

4. HubSpot

HubSpot Service Hub, a cloud-powered customer service platform, streamlines the handling of customer inquiries and enhances client interaction for businesses, regardless of size. The platform offers help desk tools such as live chat, direct customer communication, conversational bots, pre-written responses, and additional means to engage with customers.

Hubspot Service Hub's free customer service platform
HubSpot UI

Hubspot Service Hub’s Free Plan Features:

  • Ticketing
  • Team email
  • Email templates
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Email Scheduling
  • Shared Inbox

Limitations of Hubspot Service Hub’s Free Email Ticketing Software :

  • Only 1 shared inbox 
  • Has little to no team collaboration features
  • Carries barely any automation capabilities
  • No SLA violation features

5. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is a cloud-based Help Desk solution designed for customer service agents, especially those who work in the IT help desk. With a focus on affordability, it offers 175+ features, allowing the linking of various service channels for a cohesive customer experience for the end users.

LiveAgent free customer email ticketing dashboard
LiveAgent UI

The platform’s 200+ integrations ensure that all necessary customer service tools are readily accessible. Whether handling simple or complex issues, agents can quickly find solutions. LiveAgent’s scalability makes it suitable for both small and large customer support teams.

LiveAgent’s Free Plan Features:

  • Email ticketing
  • No limit on users
  • Live Chat
  • Knowledge Base
  • Online community forum
  • Private notes
  • Set Business Hours

Limitations of LiveAgent’s Free Email Ticketing Solution :

  • Ticket history older than 7 days isn’t available. This can get complicated when your customer’s query takes longer than a week to resolve
  • Only offers 1 shared mailbox. If you want more, you’ll have to purchase them from a mail provider and then connect those to your LiveAgent account 
  • No reporting capabilities
  • No guaranteed 24×7 customer support

6. Spiceworks

Spiceworks offers a free on-premise helpdesk supporting unlimited agents and tickets. It’s an IT network management solution that doubles as a help desk support ticketing system. It’s tailored for SMBs, startups, and IT service providers, offering a comprehensive array of IT support tools at no cost.

Spiceworks free email ticketing helpdesk
Spiceworks UI

Acting as a customer service platform, Spiceworks aids individual agents and the entire support team in managing andresolving service requests. Its goal is to enhance your organization’s workflow, making it more efficient without compromising on the quality of customer support service.

Spiceworks’s Free Plan Features:

  • IT Ticketing
  • Monitoring
  • Inventory Summary
  • Helpdesk and ticketing dashboard

Limitations of Spiceworks’s Free Helpdesk Software :

  • Offers bare minimum features of a help desk software, making it more appropriate for smaller businesses or those with more modest IT support needs. 
  • Support can be accessed only via email. You can access Spiceworks University for free tutorials and FAQs
  • Cluttered UI and clunky-looking software crammed with ads. You can remove these by paying $45 a month.

7. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a cloud-based help desk platform aimed at serving businesses across different sizes in the realm of customer service. Some of its central elements encompass handling customer support tickets, providing a customer support portal, managing contracts, and generating reports. It’s designed to gather interactions from diverse channels like email, phone, chat, social media, self-service portals, forums, and forms, consolidating them into one accessible location.

Zoho Desk's free email ticketing customer service
Zoho Desk UI

Zoho Desk’s Free Plan Features:

  • Completely Free upto 3 agents
  • Email Ticketing
  • Customer Management
  • Private Knowledge Base
  • Mobile Apps
  • 24*5 Email Support
  • Help Center
  • Predefined SLAs
  • Macros

Limitations of Zoho Desk’s Free Helpdesk Software :

  • Can’t scale if you exceed the 3-agent license
  • Only 1 shared mailbox
  • Only 2 Macros to set up triggers or automations
  • Weak team collaboration capabilities

Here’s how Hiver compares against Zoho on pricing

8. JIRA Service Management

Jira Service Management, previously known as Jira Service Desk, is an IT service management tool. The tool seamlessly brings Development (Dev) and Operations (Ops) teams onto one platform, enhancing collaboration on changes, incidents, and requests, all while keeping risks in check.

Thanks to ready-to-use request types, workflows, and templates, teams can easily start and tailor their customer service process.

Jira Service Management's free email ticketing system
Jira Service Management UI

A key feature of Jira Service Management is its knowledge base integration, which allows for an efficient resolution of customer inquiries by providing immediate access to relevant information. Furthermore, the platform simplifies the process of converting customer requests into actionable Jira tickets. This ensures that every request is tracked, managed, and resolved in a timely manner.

Jira Service Management’s Free Plan Features:

  • Free for up to 3 agents
  • Email ticketing
  • Embedded Jira widget anywhere on your website
  • Knowledge base
  • Automations
  • SLA
  • Incident management

Limitations of Jira Service Management’s Free Email Ticketing Software :

  • Can’t scale if you exceed the 3-agent license
  • No customer support. You’ll have to rely on the Atlassian community.
  • Storage restricted to 2 GB
  • Cluttered UI. Has too many functionalities that you could get lost in.

Easily track, prioritize, and resolve your service tickets inside Gmail

9. SolarWinds Service Desk

SolarWinds Web Help Desk, previously recognized as Samanage, functions as a tool for modern organizations around the globe to enhance the service experience for their employees. This web-based IT service management software aims to increase efficiency and provide insight into the services requested and executed throughout an organization. 

SolarWinds free web help desk system
SolarWinds Web Help Desk UI

Doing so simplifies the continuous enhancement of processes and boosts overall productivity. With exceptional adaptability and scalability, SolarWinds Web Help Desk empowers organizations to deliver services promptly and uniformly, meeting the requirements of employees and aiding in their work efficiency. 

SolarWinds Web Help Desk’s Free Plan Features:

  • Ticket management
  • Asset management
  • Track software and hardware assets
  • SLA management
  • Performance reporting
  • Knowledge base

Limitations of SolarWinds’s Free Web Help Desk plan:

  • No agent collision detection
  • Old-school UI
  • Doesn’t offer templates for multiple use cases like Jira
  • Fixing agent shift hours. Tickets might be sent to reps who are absent for the day instead of being automatically allotted to the ones who are available. This may cause unnecessary SLA breaches.

Benefits of using a Free Helpdesk Ticketing Software

Utilizing a free helpdesk system has several tangible benefits, especially for small to mid-sized businesses mindful of budget constraints. Here’s the deal:

  1. No Initial Cost: Starting with a free helpdesk means you don’t need a big budget to begin improving customer service. That’s a win right there.
  1. Easy to Test: Not sure which software fits your needs? Free versions allow you to test the waters without financial commitment. If it doesn’t work out, you can try another one. No fuss, no muss.
  1. Scalability: Many free helpdesk solutions are offered by providers who also have premium versions. So, as your business grows, you can smoothly upgrade to a more robust system if needed.
  1. Basic Features Included: Even without spending a dime, you often get access to essential features that can significantly enhance customer support. We’re talking about ticket management, reporting, and sometimes even automation. Not bad at zero cost.
  1. Community Support: Some free systems, especially open-source ones, have active user communities. That means you can find guides, tips, and fellow users willing to help you out.

Did you know:

Businesses using a helpdesk ticketing software report an average improvement of 25% in first-contact resolution rates, significantly enhancing customer satisfaction.

Drawbacks of using a Free Helpdesk Ticketing Software

While a free helpdesk ticketing software can be a great starting point, it’s not without its drawbacks. Here’s what you might want to watch out for:

  1. Limited Features: You usually get the basics with a free version. Need more advanced functions like automation, integrations, or in-depth analytics? You might find those features locked behind a paywall.
  1. Scalability Concerns: You can start free, but what if your business grows quickly? Some free versions may not scale well, leaving you scrambling to find a new solution when you hit that growth spurt.
  1. Less Support: Paid products often come with dedicated customer service from the provider. With a free version, you might be left to fend for yourself in community forums or with limited online resources.
  2. Limited Reporting and Analytics: If you want to dive deep into performance metrics and analytics, a free version might fall short. Limited reporting can hinder your ability to make informed decisions.
  3. Integration Challenges: Free versions may lack the ability to integrate with other tools you use, like CRMs, email marketing platforms, or e-commerce systems. This can result in disconnected workflows, making things less efficient.
  4. Lack of Regular Updates: Free software might not receive regular updates, patches, or new feature releases. This could leave you with outdated tools or security vulnerabilities.
  1. Data Restrictions: There might be limitations on how many tickets, users, or the amount of data you can handle. Hit those caps, and you’ll need to upgrade or find a new solution.
  1. No Customization: Want to tweak the system to fit your business perfectly? Free systems often lack customization options, such as customizable reports, so you might have to do with a one-size-fits-all approach.
  2. Dependence on Provider’s Decisions: If the provider changes their free offering or discontinues it altogether, you could find yourself in a tight spot. You’ve built your processes around their system, and now it’s changing or disappearing.

The bottom line? Free customer support software is a starter kit. It’s great for getting off the ground, especially when budgets are tight. But as you grow and need more from your support system, those initial advantages might turn into limitations. It’s always worth weighing the pros and cons and considering how a free system fits your long-term plans.

10 things to consider before buying a customer support software

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. What are the primary benefits of using free helpdesk ticketing software?

Free helpdesk software provides a cost-effective way to manage customer support with essential features, ideal for small businesses and startups.

2. How does free helpdesk software support business growth?

It allows businesses to scale customer support operations with basic functionalities and offers upgrade paths for expanding needs.

3. Are there limitations to free helpdesk ticketing systems?

Yes, they often have limited features, scalability issues, and less comprehensive customer support compared to paid versions.

4. Can free helpdesk software adapt to changing business needs?

While adaptable to some extent, rapid business growth or complex needs might outpace the capabilities of free versions.

5. Is relying on free helpdesk software risky?

It can be, especially if the provider changes or discontinues the service, potentially disrupting established customer support processes.

Way Forward

Finding the perfect free helpdesk ticketing software in 2024 is easier than ever. From options that work right inside Gmail (Hiver) to those that let you customize everything to fit your needs, these top 9 choices offer a great starting point.

Using the right helpdesk software can make a big difference. It can help you keep everything organized, make sure no customer feels ignored, and even make your team more efficient. And the best part? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started. Even the free versions come with lots of helpful features like sorting emails, setting up automatic replies, and understanding how well your team is doing.

With any of these top picks for 2024, you’re well on your way to doing just that, all while keeping your budget in check.

Try Hiver for Free 

Shobhana has been recognized as a 'Top Customer Support Voice' by LinkedIn. Her expertise lies in creating well-researched and actionable content for Customer Experience (CX) professionals. As an active member of popular CX communities such as CX Accelerator and Support Driven, she helps professionals evaluate tools for their support team and keeps a keen eye on emerging industry trends.

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