Table of contents
Elevate Your Customer Support
12 Best Help Desk Software Solutions 
Table of contents
Every business wants to help its customers the best way it can. One big part of that is answering their questions and solving their problems quickly.
That’s where a help desk software comes in. It’s a tool that helps companies talk to their customers and provide assistance seamlessly.
But today, there are so many options out there if you want a help desk. It can be hard to know which one is the best fit. Some might have too many features, while others might not have enough. So, how do we pick the right one?
In this article, we’ll explore the top 12 help desk software systems. We’ll talk about what each one does and how it can help different businesses. By the end, we hope to give a clear idea of which software might be the best choice.
Table of Contents
- What is a Help Desk Software?
- Difference Between Service Desk and Help Desk
- Key Benefits of a Help Desk Software
- Top 12 Help Desk Software for Businesses
- Final Note: Hiver’s Help Desk Excellence
What is a Help Desk Software?
Help desk software is like a digital front desk for businesses. When customers have questions, problems, or need support, they can reach out to the business.
At its core, help desk software is a system that keeps track of customer questions and problems. It organizes every customer communication into “tickets” or “cases.” Each ticket has details about the customer’s issue, and the business can use the software to respond and solve the problem.
Difference Between Service Desk and Help Desk
Both “service desk” and “help desk” are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct functions and purposes.
While both help desks and service desks aim to assist end-users, a help desk is focused on helping customers with their questions, whereas a service desk has a broader scope, encompassing all aspects of IT service management.
The choice between the two often depends on the specific needs and scale of a business. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two:
- The main purpose of a help desk is to provide end-users with information and support related to the company’s products or services. It’s essentially a point of contact for troubleshooting technical issues and addressing immediate concerns.
- Help desks typically have a more narrow scope, focusing primarily on incident management and problem resolution.
- A help desk is reactive in nature. It waits for issues or queries to be raised by users and then enables you to respond to them.
- The primary goal of a help desk is to help teams resolve issues as quickly as possible and ensure that the day-to-day operations run smoothly.
- A service desk is broader in scope and is designed to manage both incidents and service requests. It not only addresses technical issues but also handles service-related queries, such as requests for new hardware or software.
- Service desks encompass a wider range of IT service management (ITSM) activities. They often include change management, release management, and configuration management.
- A service desk is both reactive (responding to user issues) and proactive (identifying potential issues and preventing them).
- The main objective of a service desk is to ensure that users have access to the appropriate services to support the business functions. It aims to provide a single point of contact (SPOC) for all IT-related needs.
Key Benefits of a Help Desk Software
Here are some benefits of using a help desk software to enhance the customer experience:
- Streamlined Communication: Help desk software centralizes customer inquiries from various channels, be it email, chat, or phone. This ensures that no query goes unanswered.
- Efficient Ticketing System: By categorizing, prioritizing, and assigning tickets, the software ensures that each customer concern is addressed by the right team member.
- 24/7 Support: Many help desk platforms include a knowledge base, allowing customers to find solutions to common queries on their own. This self-service option means customers can get answers anytime, even outside of standard support hours.
- Personalized Customer Interactions: With a history of past interactions and issues at their fingertips, support agents can tailor their responses to individual customers. This personal touch makes customers feel valued and understood.
- Performance Analytics for Continuous Improvement: Help desk software provides valuable insights into metrics like resolution times, customer satisfaction scores, and common issue trends. By analyzing this data, businesses can identify areas for improvement, ensuring that the customer experience is continually refined.
- Cost-Efficient Operations: Automation features, such as predefined response templates and chatbots, can handle routine queries. This not only ensures instant responses but also reduces the operational costs associated with maintaining a large support team.
Top 12 Help Desk Software for Businesses
Here are the 12 best help desk tools for businesses:
1. Hiver: A Multi-Channel Helpdesk Solution
Hiver seamlessly transforms Gmail into a comprehensive, multi-channel help desk platform, ideal for businesses seeking to manage customer queries from various channels in one centralized location. With its intuitive interface built atop the familiar Gmail ecosystem, it offers an integrated experience, ensuring that customer interactions across different channels are effortlessly streamlined and addressed.
- Unified Inbox: Hiver consolidates customer interactions from multiple channels, such as email, voice, Whatsapp, and live chat, into a single shared inbox, making it easier to track and manage customer queries.
- Collaboration Made Simple: Teams can attach notes to emails, ensuring that all members have complete context. Avoid overlapping replies with real-time collision alerts.
- Automations: Hiver allows for setting up automation rules, ensuring that repetitive tasks, like categorizing certain types of emails, are handled automatically.
- Email Assignment: Customer emails can be assigned to specific team members. This ensures that the right person handles each query, leading to faster and more accurate responses.
- Email Templates: Respond faster with pre-made email templates. Customize them based on different scenarios or customer queries.
- Analytics and Reports: Hiver provides detailed insights into metrics like response time, resolution time, and customer satisfaction. This helps teams understand their performance and areas of improvement.
- Knowledge Base Integration: Direct users to relevant articles or solutions from your knowledge base, right within their interaction window, promoting self-service.
Why Choose Hiver?
Hiver’s strength lies in its simplicity. By integrating directly into Gmail, it reduces the learning curve for teams, making the transition to a help desk system smooth. For businesses that primarily use email for customer support and are looking for a tool that enhances their existing workflow without overcomplicating things, Hiver is an excellent choice.
Hiver comes with three types of pricing plans.
- Lite plan: $15/user/month
- Pro plan: $39/user/month
- Elite plan: $59/user/month
Free Trial: 7 days
2. Freshdesk: Help Desk Solution for Growing Businesses
Freshdesk, developed by Freshworks, is a well-known help desk software solution. It offers a range of features that streamline customer support, making it easier for teams to manage and resolve queries efficiently. It also offers a forever-free plan, which is ideal for startups.
Though packed with essential features (in its paid plans),Freshdesk’s interface is not as user-friendly as other help desk tools (like Hiver). Also, it doesn’t smoothly connect with Google Workspace products. When there’s a new ticket alert, agents can’t handle it directly in Gmail; they have to go to the Freshdesk platform.
- Multi-Channel Support: Freshdesk allows businesses to consolidate queries from various channels, including email, chat, phone, and social media, into a single dashboard. This ensures a unified response regardless of where the query originated.
- Ticketing System: At the heart of Freshdesk is its robust ticketing system. Every customer query is converted into a ticket, which can be categorized, prioritized, and assigned to the appropriate team member.
- Automation: Freshdesk’s automation feature ensures that routine tasks, like ticket assignments or sending acknowledgement messages, are handled automatically, saving time and ensuring consistency.
- Collaboration Features: With ‘Team Huddle’, support agents can discuss complex issues with experts within the organization right within the ticket. This ensures faster problem resolution without multiple back-and-forths.
Freshdesk offers four types of pricing plans:
- Free: Starter plan for unlimited agents but with limited features
- Growth: $15 per agent per month billed annually
- Pro: $49 per agent per month billed annually
- Enterprise: $69 per agent per month billed annually
Free Trial: 21 days
3. Help Scout: Help Desk for Customer-Centric Businesses
Help Scout is designed as a user-friendly help desk software that emphasizes a clutter-free and intuitive interface. It’s tailored for businesses that prioritize direct, personal customer interactions, making support feel less like ticket handling and more like a conversation.
- Conversational Approach: Unlike traditional ticketing systems, Help Scout’s interface focuses on maintaining the feel of an email conversation, ensuring customers don’t feel like just another ticket number.
- Shared Mailboxes: Multiple team members can access and manage emails sent to a common address, ensuring collaborative and efficient handling of customer queries.
- Knowledge Base Integration: Help Scout allows businesses to create and integrate a knowledge base, enabling customers to find answers on their own, reducing the number of incoming queries.
- Automation: Routine tasks, like tagging or assigning specific types of queries, can be automated, ensuring a streamlined workflow.
While Help Scout offers a unique conversational approach, one drawback is its limited automation capabilities compared to some other help desk solutions. This can make handling a large volume of queries more time-consuming, especially for businesses that deal with a high volume of customer interactions.
Help Scout offers three types of pricing plans:
- Standard: $25 per user per month
- Plus: $50 per user per month
- Pro: $65 per user per month
Free Trial: 15 days
4. Zendesk: Robust Help Desk mostly for Enterprise
Zendesk stands as one of the giants in the help desk software space. Recognized for its comprehensive set of features, it’s designed to cater to enterprises.
One of the challenges with Zendesk is its learning curve. Its extensive features can sometimes make the platform feel overwhelming, requiring a significant amount of time for teams to get fully acquainted.
- Multi-Channel Support: Zendesk consolidates customer interactions from various channels, including email, chat, phone, and social media, into one unified dashboard.
- Advanced Ticketing System: Zendesk’s ticketing system is robust, allowing for detailed categorization, prioritization, and assignment, ensuring each query is handled effectively.
- Knowledge Base: Businesses can set up a detailed knowledge base, allowing customers to self-serve common queries, reducing the load on support agents.
- Automation and Triggers: Zendesk offers advanced automation features, allowing businesses to set up specific triggers and actions based on customer interactions, ensuring a proactive approach to support.
Zendesk has three tiers of pricing for small to large-sized businesses.
- Suite Team: $49 per agent per month
- Suite Growth: $79 per agent per month
- Suite Professional: $99 per agent per month
For enterprise companies, Zendesk has two tiers of pricing:
- Suite Enterprise: $150 per agent per month
- Additional and more powerful enterprise plans start at $215 per agent per month
Free Trial: 14 days
5. Front: Transforming Email Inboxes into Efficient Help Desks
Front revolutionizes customer support by bringing together every communication channel into a single interface that looks like an inbox. Beyond just a help desk tool, Front allows businesses to manage emails, social media messages, chats, and more from a single location.
While Front’s email-centric approach is its strength, it can also be its limitation. Businesses that are looking for a more traditional ticketing system or require advanced help desk functionalities might find Front’s capabilities a bit restrictive. Its focus on email support might not cater to those seeking extensive multi-channel support features.
- Collaborative Inboxes: Front allows multiple team members to access and manage shared email addresses, ensuring that customer queries are addressed collaboratively and efficiently.
- Internal Discussions: Without leaving the platform or creating additional email threads, team members can have internal discussions right next to the customer’s email, ensuring clarity in communication.
- Integration Capabilities: Front seamlessly integrates with various third-party apps and tools, allowing teams to access customer data, CRM records, and other relevant information without switching platforms.
- Automation Rules: Routine tasks, such as tagging emails or assigning them based on specific criteria, can be automated, ensuring a streamlined workflow.
Front offers four pricing options.
- Starter: $19 per person per month
- Growth: $49 per person per month
- Scale: $99 per person per month
- Premier: $229 per person per month
Free Trial: 7 days
6. Zoho Desk: Help Desk Solution for Small Businesses
Zoho Desk is a part of the extensive Zoho suite, known for offering a myriad of features. As a help desk software, Zoho Desk is crafted to meet the diverse needs of small businesses, ensuring that customer support is not just about addressing issues but also about enhancing the overall customer relationship.
While Zoho Desk offers a plethora of features, its user interface can sometimes be less intuitive. The abundance of options and settings, though powerful, can be overwhelming. This might require additional training time for support teams to fully harness the platform’s capabilities.
- Multi-Channel Support: Zoho Desk aggregates customer interactions from various channels, be it email, chat, phone, or social media, ensuring a consistent support experience across the board.
- Ticketing Intelligence: With its AI-driven assistant, Zia, Zoho Desk can predict ticket trends, analyze customer satisfaction, and even suggest responses to recurrent issues.
- Knowledge Base and Community Forums: Beyond just addressing queries, Zoho Desk allows businesses to set up a comprehensive knowledge base and community forums.
- Automation Capabilities: From assignment rules to time-based actions, Zoho Desk ensures that repetitive tasks are automated, allowing support agents to focus on more complex issues.
Zoho Desk offers five types of pricing plans.
- Free Plan
- Express: $7 per month per user
- Standard: $14 per month per user
- Professional: $23 per month per user
- Enterprise: $40 per month per user
Free Trial: 15 days
7. Jira Service Management: A Powerhouse for IT and Customer Support
Jira Service Management, formerly known as Jira Service Desk, is a product of Atlassian and is renowned for its robust capabilities in IT service management (ITSM) and customer support. Designed with both IT teams and customer service agents in mind, it offers a blend of technical and customer-centric features, making it a versatile choice for diverse business needs.
One of the challenges with Jira Service Management is its complexity. While its extensive features are a boon for large enterprises with specific needs, smaller businesses or those new to help desk software might find its interface and functionalities a bit intimidating. The initial setup and customization can be time-consuming.
- Customizable Workflows: Jira Service Management stands out with its highly customizable workflows, allowing businesses to tailor the support process according to their specific needs and operational nuances.
- SLA Management: The platform provides tools to set up and monitor Service Level Agreements (SLAs),ensuring that support teams meet or exceed their commitment to response and resolution times.
- Integration with Developer Tools: Being a part of the Atlassian suite, Jira Service Management integrates seamlessly with tools like Bitbucket and Confluence, bridging the gap between support and development teams.
- Knowledge Base: Integrated with Confluence, businesses can set up a detailed knowledge base, enabling customers and agents to access solutions to common queries, and reducing ticket volumes.
Jira Service Management offers four types of pricing plans.
- Free: For up to 3 agents
- Express: $21 per agent
- Standard: $47 per agent
- Enterprise: Pricing on request
Free Trial: 30 days
8. Kustomer: Revolutionizing Customer Support with a 360-Degree View
Kustomer stands out in the help desk software landscape by offering businesses a holistic view of their customers. Instead of traditional ticketing systems, Kustomer focuses on providing a complete picture of a customer’s journey, interactions, and history, enabling support agents to deliver more personalized and effective assistance.
While Kustomer’s emphasis on a unified customer timeline is innovative, it can sometimes lead to information overload for support agents. The comprehensive view, though valuable, might be overwhelming, especially during high-volume support periods. This could potentially slow down response time as agents sift through extensive information on customers’ history to get context on specific queries.
- Unified Customer Timeline: Kustomer aggregates all customer interactions, purchases, and behaviors into a single timeline. This allows support agents to understand the context of a query without having to jump between tools or screens.
- Omnichannel Support: Kustomer seamlessly integrates various communication channels, be it email, chat, SMS, or social media, ensuring consistent support regardless of the customer’s preferred contact method.
- Intelligent Automation: With its AI-driven capabilities, Kustomer can automate repetitive tasks, route queries to the appropriate teams, and even suggest solutions to common issues.
- Customizable Workflows: Businesses can tailor Kustomer’s workflows to match their operational needs, ensuring that the support process aligns with their unique requirements.
Kustomer has two types of pricing options:
- Enterprise: $89/month per user
- Ultimate: $139/month per user
9. Gorgias: Tailored Help Desk for E-commerce Businesses
Gorgias is a help desk solution specifically designed for e-commerce platforms. Recognizing the unique challenges and demands of online retail, Gorgias integrates seamlessly with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Magento, ensuring that support agents have instant access to relevant customer and order information.
Gorgias’ specialization in e-commerce is both its strength and limitation. While it offers unparalleled features for online retail businesses, companies outside of the e-commerce domain might find its functionalities too niche. The platform may not cater as effectively to the broader needs of non-retail businesses, making it less versatile compared to other general help desk solutions.
- E-commerce Integration: Gorgias offers deep integration with major e-commerce platforms. This means that when a customer contacts support, agents can instantly view their order history, tracking details, and other relevant information without switching tools.
- Automated Responses: Leveraging AI, Gorgias can automatically respond to common queries, such as order status or return policies, reducing the load on support agents and ensuring quick responses.
- Macro Actions: Beyond just canned responses, Gorgias allows agents to perform macro actions. For instance, with a single click, an agent can refund an order, send a discount code, or update shipping details.
- Customizable Views: Agents can customize their dashboard views based on their preferences or the type of queries they handle, ensuring they have the most relevant information at their fingertips.
Gorgias offers five types of pricing options:
- Starter: 50 tickets/month at $10/month
- Basic: 300 tickets/month at $60/month
- Pro: 2000 tickets/month at $360/month
- Advanced: 5000 tickets/month at $900/month
- Enterprise: Custom ticket volume and pricing
Free Trial: 7 days
10. SysAid: IT Help Desk Solution for Modern Enterprises
SysAid stands as a robust IT help desk solution, catering primarily to medium to large enterprises. With a suite of tools designed to streamline IT support processes, SysAid ensures that internal technical issues are addressed promptly, keeping business operations smooth and efficient.
A challenge with SysAid is its add-on feature system. While it lets businesses pick what they need, it can lead to extra costs as they add more features over time.
- IT Asset Management: SysAid provides a comprehensive view of all IT assets within an organization, from hardware to software licenses. This ensures that support agents have all the necessary information when addressing technical issues.
- Self-Service Portal: SysAid’s self-service portal empowers employees to resolve common issues on their own, reducing the load on IT support teams and speeding up resolution times.
- Automation and AI: With its AI-driven capabilities, SysAid can predict potential IT issues, automate routine tasks, and even suggest solutions, ensuring proactive IT support.
- Incident and Service Request Management: SysAid’s platform ensures that all IT-related incidents and service requests are tracked, prioritized, and managed efficiently.
Not available. Reach out to SysAid team directly for pricing.
Free Trial: 30 days
11. Salesforce Service Cloud: Help Desk That Elevates Customer Support
Salesforce Service Cloud, a product of the Salesforce ecosystem, is known for its cloud-based help desk solution that caters to businesses of all sizes.
While Salesforce Service Cloud is undeniably powerful, its vastness can be a double-edged sword. The platform’s extensive features and customization options, though beneficial, can make things complex for newcomers. This complexity often translates to a longer onboarding process and can be daunting for businesses that are looking for a more straightforward, plug-and-play solution.
- Omnichannel Support: Salesforce Service Cloud integrates various communication channels, ensuring that whether a customer reaches out via email, chat, phone, or social media, their experience is consistent and seamless.
- Case Management: The platform offers robust case management tools, allowing support agents to track, prioritize, and resolve customer issues efficiently.
- Knowledge Base: Integrated within the platform is a comprehensive knowledge base, enabling customers to self-resolve common queries and reducing the load on support agents.
- Automation with Einstein AI: Salesforce’s Einstein AI powers the Service Cloud, offering predictive insights, automating routine tasks, and even suggesting best-next actions for support agents.
Salesforce Service Cloud offers four types of pricing options:
- Starter: €25 user/month
- Professional: €80 user/month
- Enterprise: €165 user/month
- Unlimited: €330 user/month
Free Trial: 30 days
12. HappyFox: Intuitive Help Desk Software
HappyFox offers a user-friendly help desk platform that emphasizes simplicity without compromising on functionalities. Designed to cater to businesses of all sizes, it aims to make the process of managing and resolving customer queries as straightforward and efficient as possible.
One limitation of HappyFox is its integration capabilities. While it does offer integrations with popular tools, the list isn’t as extensive as some of its competitors. This might pose challenges for businesses that use a diverse set of tools and are looking for seamless integrations across their entire tech stack.
- Unified Ticketing System: HappyFox consolidates customer interactions from various channels into a singular, easy-to-navigate ticketing system, ensuring that no query goes unanswered.
- Customizable Knowledge Base: Businesses can set up and tailor a knowledge base, allowing customers to find answers to common questions, thereby reducing the number of incoming tickets.
- Smart Rules and Automation: HappyFox provides tools to automate repetitive tasks, such as ticket assignments or sending acknowledgement emails, ensuring a consistent and timely response.
- Multi-lingual Support: HappyFox supports multiple languages, ensuring that businesses can cater to a diverse customer base without language barriers.
HappyFox offers two different pricing models
- Mighty: $39 per agent per month
- Fantastic: $59 per agent per month
- Enterprise: $79 per agent per month
- Enterprise Plus: $99 per agent per month
Unlimited Agents Pricing:
- Starter: $1499 per month
- Growth: $1999 per month
- Scale: $2999 per month
- Scale Plus: $4999 per month
Free Trial: 14 days
Final Note: Hiver’s Help Desk Excellence
Choosing the right help desk software is important for any business. We’ve looked at many great options in this blog. Each one has its strengths. But if you’re looking for a tool that’s easy to use and really helps your team manage customer queries, Hiver might be the one for you. It’s designed to make support tasks simpler and more organized. Whatever you choose, make sure it fits your business needs and helps you serve your customers better.
Get started with Hiver today. Free for 7 days.