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Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

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Best Helpdesk Software Shortlist

Here’s our top helpdesk software list:


Below you’ll find an overview of these helpdesk software tools, with screenshots, feature overview, pricing and our score.

Jump to helpdesk software reviews

Helpdesk Software FAQ

Don’t know where to start? Browse our FAQ to get the lowdown on helpdesk software basics.

What is helpdesk software?

Helpdesk software is a digital hub where customers can send queries to be logged, organized, and resolved. This may involve elements such as ticket management, automation suite, reporting and optimization. It may also provide a knowledge forum for the self-serve resolution of repeat or ongoing requests.

What are the benefits of helpdesk software?

The benefits of helpdesk software include faster turnover for technological issues, customer satisfaction, increased revenue, increased productivity, and better job satisfaction.

Why is helpdesk software important?

Helpdesk software is important because it unifies all of the communication and records about your support issues, providing a single system to effectively communicate about, track, manage, and analyze issues.

Not looking for a helpdesk tool? Check out our other lists of top software to manage teams, resources, and projects.

  1. Bug Tracking: If a lot of your help desk traffic is about bug reports, maybe it’s time to start investing in bug-tracking tools like DoneDone, Trackduck or DebugMe.
  2. Communication Tools: Sometimes issues come down to poor communication between teams and departments; if that’s the case for you, implement communication tools that speak to your company’s unique needs.
  3. Collaboration Software: Seamless collaboration between projects, department, teammates and clients ensures that things run smoothly from start to finish; be sure to check out our suggestions for 10 online collaboration tools, if you haven’t already.

This will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best helpdesk software, including helpdesk ticketing software and IT helpdesk software.

As our workplaces become more interconnected, help desk software is more useful than ever across a wide range of applications. Product teams, development studios, ecommerce companies, and many other types of teams are adopting ticketing systems that streamline the way they handle customer service and IT support.

Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best Helpdesk Software Solutions

The Best Help Desk Software

There are two main kinds of servicedesk software: those intended to help your employees and those intended to help your customers. Both are important and, depending on your needs, you may find yourself drawn to tools that address one, the other, or both types. Why do you need IT support software? Improving the “customer journey” has proven to increase revenue up to 15% while also boosting customer satisfaction by around 20%. On the other hand, your internal employees may be losing up to two weeks of work time per year to technology and computer issues.

Knowing this, it’s easy to see the importance of support desk software for your customers, staff or both. A robust IT help desk can help keep your customers happy, help you identify issues and route them to the correct people to resolve them, and help your support team manage their workload.

You might be wondering: Okay, so…what are the top helpdesk software? What does my team need? How can I best make these decisions? While we can’t definitely match every group with the ideal help desk solution, we can give a concise review of the best help desk management software available today.

In this post we’ll:

  • Share with you the best service management tools to include on your help desk support software shortlist.
  • Explain what IT service desk tools are.
  • Explain how service desk software tools can help you streamline customer and/or employee service.
  • Answer some FAQs about helpdesk system tools.
  • Tell you what you should look for in IT support software tools and our evaluation criteria.

By the end of this article you should have a well-rounded list of some of the best helpdesk software on the market. That way, you can make the best call for your company and your team.

The Best Helpdesk Software List

We’ve searched far and wide to round-up the very best IT help desk software for your consideration. Whether your priorities are a robus ticketing system or a well-rounded help desk solution, I believe there is something out there for everyone.

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Helpdesk Software Comparison Criteria

What criteria do we use to determine the best IT help desk software? What does it mean to have support desk software that stands a cut above the rest? How do we evaluate help desk ticket systems in our ticketing system comparison?

We like to be completely transparent in our evaluation methods so we have broken down the who, what, where, why, and how for you here.

  1. User Interface (UI): How well-designed is the support desk software? Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation? Is it aesthetically pleasing or all-business? Who does the UI cater to and do they succeed in addressing their target user?
  2. Usability: Is this easy to learn and master? Are there tutorials and training? What tech and user support is offered by the software company?
  3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations? How many different integrations are available and how easy (or costly) are they to implement?
  4. Value for $: How much does it cost? Are there different tiers? What features do you have access to at each stage?
  5. Features & Functionality: How many of the key helpdesk software features and functions does it provide, and how powerful are they? Specifically, I looked for:
    • Multi-Channel Ticketing System: Tools should have a robust ticket management software. They should streamline tickets from multiple sources so you can communicate across channels (email, phone, etc) from one place. It should help you manage this stream tickets by providing the ability to automatically tag, categorize, prioritize and assign incoming tickets from any channel. Help desk ticketing system comparison between product tiers.
    • Collaboration: Tools should keep users informed of ticket owners, statuses, responses and priorities to help sync your team efforts.
    • Automations: Helpdesk systems should offer the ability to set time-based and event-based triggers, as well as custom workflows with automations that route tickets to the right user for the best response.
    • Reporting and Analytics: The helpdesk system should offer configurable dashboards that display key helpdesk data as well as live reporting to get a bird’s eye view of current operations.
    • Knowledge Management System: ITSM utilizes a repository of previously resolved problems. Could be a public customer self-service website, or an internal repository for customer service reps and technicians. Should incorporate advanced search technologies (such as auto-suggest) to help users find answers quickly.
    • Self-service: This includes things like product documentation, downloadable patches, and forums or user communities that help customers solve their problems. Tools should provide a way to submit issues when customers can’t resolve through self-service.

The 10 Best Help Desk Software Overviews

Help desk software - featured image

  • freemium version
  • Free trial
  • From $15/ user/ month

1. LiveAgent – Powerful web-based ticketing and live chat software with advanced help desk features

LiveAgent is for customer support teams of all sizes. The software collects and organizes customer queries from multiple channels, and enables agents to collaborate to resolve them.

The software has tons of useful help desk features. LiveAgent’s multi-channel ticketing system converts all received messages from social media, email, phone and live chat into tickets, and then organizes them according to importance. The software is collaborative, and eliminates account sharing, device and account monitoring, duplicate answers, and confusion. The software has powerful automation rules that can be either time-triggered, SLA triggered, or action triggered. LiveAgent’s reporting and analytics features enable users to create comprehensive reports on agent availability, resolution times, rebukes, and more. The software also recognizes the need for self-service in customer support and enables users to create internal and external knowledge bases that are fully customizable and equipped with FAQs, feedback, suggestions, and forums.

The software’s UI is very clean and minimalistic, however, it does have quite a learning curve. Not to worry though, LiveAgent provides integrated guides so you can utilize the software in no time. The biggest pro of using LiveAgent is its price to value ratio. LiveAgent offers over 179 advanced help desk features and integrates with over 40 third party applications. The software is fully customizable– from general appearance and sounds to specific feature customization. The cons include a steep learning curve and limited mobile app capabilities.

LiveAgent supports both native and third-party integrations. Native integrations include but are not limited to Braintree, Slack, Instagram, Shopify and more. LiveAgent also provides built-in migration plugins that enable you to migrate data from your old help desk software into LiveAgent.

LiveAgent costs from $15/user/month. They also offer a free trial, a forever free account, and a product demo.

  • 7 days free trial
  • Starts at $10/month for 3 agents

2. Jira Service Desk – Customers or employees can submit a help desk request with preconfigured IT and customer service templates, helping you to fix incidents faster and push through changes

Jira Service Desk screenshot - Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

With JIRA, IT and developer teams can collaborate on one platform to fix incidents as they arise.

A service desk allows employees to ask for help, report incidents, or request new services. It can encompass everything from basic help to full fledged ITIL-compliant service management. Jira service desk features include service management, knowledge management, DevOps, and more.

JIRA is relatively affordable and also scalable, which is why it scored highly in our evaluation criteria for value for dollars paid. The flexibility to log in anywhere and fill in customizable forms requesting the services needed is the kind of added value that any team will appreciate.

Integrations listed on their site include Draw.io, GitHub and other Git products, Scriptrunner, Worklogs, Google Drive and Docs, Microsoft Teams, Zephyr, and many more listed in their app marketplace.

I docked a few points off usability simply because there is so much to learn and not nearly enough resources available to do so. While the online community of users is robust, you won’t find much in the way of training videos or customer service resources when any issues arise. The reporting functions are also a bit limited.

Jira Service Desk starts at $10/month for 3 agents and has a 7-day free trial.

  • freemium version
  • Freemium version
  • Starts at $400/month

3. HubSpot Service Hub – With the tools in Service Hub, you can build a frictionless customer experience with a focus on conversational, contextual, human interactions

HubSpot Service Hub screenshot - Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

Service Hub includes Conversations, Tickets, Knowledge Base, Customer Feedback, Automation, Reporting, and more.

Everything you need to organize, track, and nurture your relationships with leads and customers; grow traffic and convert more visitors with tools like landing pages, automation, analytics, et cetera; time-saving tools that help you get deeper insights into your prospects, automate the tasks you hate, and close more deals; and more.

Hubspot is excellent about quality of life features, which is why it scored well across our features and functionality evaluation criteria. For example, Hubspot creates transcripts of any phone conversations, it adeptly organizes both contacts and task flows, and tracking and segmenting audiences is convenient and intuitive.

Hubspot has a host of integrations listed in its app marketplace, including Gmail, Outlook, Cyfe, Arena, CallPage, Zoom, LeadSpace, Facebook, TwentyThree, and over a thousand more with Zapier.

A few minor gripes, though by no means dealbreakers: You can’t merge two Hubspot accounts so when we were doing testing through two different users we would have to manually input all the data from one to the other should we ever need to combine them. Also, Gmail integration so that you can email clients right from Hubspot would have been a plus.

HubSpot Service Hub starts at $400/month and has a freemium version and a free demo.

  • 21 days free trial
  • Starts at $19/user/month

4. Freshservice – Modernize IT and other business functions with an easy-to-use, simple-to-configure IT service desk solution in the cloud that includes incident management, a self service portal, and more

Freshservice screenshot - Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

Freshservice is a modern, efficient, ITIL-aligned service desk software that requires minimal training to get started.

Freshservice’s modern and intuitive UI requires minimal to no training, and is customizable to IT and non-IT needs; automate tasks and provide support for issues raised via email, self-service portal, phone, chat, or in person; maintain records of contracts, hardware, software, and other assets; and more.

Freshservice scored favorably on our features and functionality evaluation criteria section because it truly is a jack-of-all-trades. The software lets you track assets, manage problems, manage self-service portals, navigate advanced incident management, organize contracts and licenses, and more.

Integrations listed include Slack, DocuSign, Jira, Freshbooks, Google calendar, Survey Monkey, Dropbox, and many more through Zapier.

The biggest cons that I noticed what that it doesn’t work with corrective actions (CAPA) and that it doesn’t manage portfolios or offer product roadmapping. These services can be supplemented with another app or service, but that will obviously increase the cost of your overall set-up.

Freshservice starts at $19/user/month and has a 21-day free trial.

  • Free trial
  • From $5/user/month

5. Zendesk – Supports customer interactions across phone, chat, email, social media, and any other channel you need while also organizing, prioritizing, and solving customer support tickets

Zendesk screenshot - Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

Includes features like web widgets, pre-defined ticket responses, and customer search history, for faster support on preferred channels for every customer.

Zendesk centers its product around building a knowledge base and self-service capabilities, live chat and messaging services, call center software, and more. Zendesk is an omnichannel ticketing system that is a shared inbox for all your customer inquiries so that any agent can see a customer’s story and trajectory at a glance.

An intuitive and detail-oriented ticketing system makes Zendesk excel in the features and functionality evaluation criteria section.

Zendesk has an app marketplace with an assortment of first-party and third-party apps, some paid and some free. Here you will find integrations with the likes of Zendesk Sell, Slack, Aircall, Qualtrics, Textline, Trello, Dojo, Google Play Reviews, Zoho CRM, Harvest, and many more.

While tons of integrations are available, setting them up can be rather tricky. Customer service wasn’t as responsive as some of the other apps on this list. That lost them a few points in the usability category.

Zendesk starts at $5/user/month and has a free trial.

  • Free version available, free demo available
  • From $39.95

6. Hesk – Help desk software to track, organize and resolve customer issues daily and prioritize tickets by urgency, organize them into categories, and/or filter them in many convenient ways

Hesk screenshot - Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

Work from a single platform to efficiently manage all your IT tasks, including a ticket management tool with advanced automation features.

Hesk is asset management built into your help desk—to secure, monitor, manage, and patch assets. Completely customizable, Hesk supports unlimited custom fields and forms. It also features a ticketing system, self-service portal, knowledge base, password reset, remote control, and more.

Hesk runs away with the evaluation category of value for cost because it is free and open source, making it a great option for small businesses and start-ups. On top of that, it’s very easy to use and setup so you don’t need the time and training manpower that other software requires.

HESK doesn’t integrate directly with other software. HESK was developed to be a stand-alone help desk application.

As per the above note, one of the biggest cons of the software is complete lack of integrations. A forum note does mention that there may exist third party tutorials on integrating HESK with some third party scripts, but these are not supported or endorsed by HESK.com.

Hesk starts at $39.95 and has a free demo and a freemium version (which will include “Powered By Hesk” text on your site).

  • Free demo
  • Contact for quote

7. ServiceDesk Plus – Transforms IT teams from daily fire-fighting to delivering awesome customer service

ServiceDesk Plus screenshot - Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

Improve resolution times by assigning incidents to technicians as soon as they are logged into the help desk software.

A division of Zoho Corp., ServiceDesk Plus provides great visibility and central control in dealing with IT issues to minimize business downtime. Features include: best practice ITSM Workflows, powerful integrations with IT management apps, smart automation, extensive reporting capabilities, codeless customizations, and more.

ManageEngine scores well in our value for cost evaluation criteria section in particular because of their straight-forward and relatively inexpensive licensing for this system. Being able to get advanced help desk functionality for free will appeal to small businesses and start-ups.

Integrations listed include Analytics Plus (on-premise) or Zoho Analytics (on-cloud), AD Manager Plus, ADSelfService Plus, PasswordManager Pro, add-in for Microsoft Outlook, Office 365 calendar integration, and more.

A few cons that may be of note: reporting could be a lot more user-friendly and is often confusing to wade through; and the interface was not as smooth or intuitive as others on this list.

ServiceDesk Plus offers customized quotes upon request and has a free demo.

  • 21 days free trial for paid versions, free version available
  • From $15/user/month

8. Freshdesk – Streamline all your customer conversations in one place, automate your repetitive work and save time, collaborate with other teams to resolve issues faster, and more

Freshdesk screenshot - Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

With this omnichannel helpdesk, your agents can reply to emails, answer customer calls and chat with customers right within Freshdesk.

Used by over 150,000 businesses, including Panasdonic, HP, and Pearson, Freshdesk lets you streamline your support channels (email, phone, chat and more) so that you can then notice trends and assign tickets accordingly. Some features include: automation of repetitive tasks, dissemination of tutorials to customers, and form and community management.

The ability to set service-level agreements (SLAs) and check on them via advanced reporting features stands out as a highlight-worthy features in our features and functions evaluation criteria section. File this under knowledge management, reporting, collaboration—it’s an extraordinarily helpful tool.

Integrations listed include Google Apps, JIRA, various live chat apps, Zoho CRM, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, DropBox, Box, OneDrive, MailChimp, iContact, SurveyMonkey, and many more, including a whole host of selection through a paid Zapier plan.

The app would not accommodate the uploading of larger documents or files, which may not be ideal in many circumstances. Additionally, having the ability to set reminders on tickets would be an asset for anyone whose workload is particularly demanding.

Freshdesk starts at $15/user/month and has a freemium plan and a 21-day free trial for paid versions.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $19/user/month

9. Samanage – An IT service management (ITSM) solution for managing incidents, responding to and resolving user issues and requests, and facilitating communication across all departments and employees

Samanage screenshot - Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

View, organize and prioritize all help desk incidents with Samanage’s robust service desk offerings.

A robust employee service management platform that combines IT service management to ITIL best practices, IT service desk, asset management, and service management for HR and IT. The app also boasts a comprehensive, user-friendly menu of services for all of your employees across departments, complete with automated workflows and approvals.

I want to hone in on the automations section of the features and functionality evaluation criteria compartment. Samanage is quite easy to automate, offering a host of features in this area, like notification emails that are automatically forwarded as a ticket progresses.

Integrates with over 200 Cloud Applications, including NMAP, Google SSO, Microsoft Azure, OneLogin, Okta, TeamViewer, and even more through a paid Zapier plan.

The learning curve for Samanage was a bit steeper than others on this list but the software was robust enough that it makes it worthwhile. Additionally, the search bar functionality wasn’t great—something more responsive would be better.

Samanage starts at $19/user/month and has a 30-day free trial.

  • 30 days free trial
  • Starts at $4/user/month

10. DoneDone – Task tracking, customer support help desk, and workflow management within this intuitive issue tracking software that incorporates collaboration, public feedback, and more

DoneDone screenshot - Find The Best Help Desk Software: 2020 Expert Review

DoneDone mailboxes help in managing customer support help desks by giving all agents access to a communal communication system.

DoneDone Projects lets you easily see who’s working on what in order to review an item status and address any issues. Their Mailbox features helps simplify email communication between support agents, production team, and customers. Workflow management and reporting capabilities keep things streamlined.

DoneDone was incredibly easy to learn, use, and implement through to others (be it clients or employees/team members). They scored highly in the evaluation criteria for usability, making them a solid choice for anyone in need of help desk software who might not have strong background in learning new software/platforms.

Integrations listed include Harvest, Slack, GitHub, Glip, and over 1500 more through a paid plan with Zapier.

A few notable cons include: limited in project management features; the inability to claim issues/tickets as they arrive rather than having them automatically assigned; and a lackluster reporting tool.

DoneDone starts at $4/user/month and has a 30-day free trial.

The Best Help Desk Software Comparison Chart

Other Helpdesk Software

Not keen on any of the above resources? You’re in luck. There are always dozens of other IT support software and helpdesk tools clattering for your business. The helpdesk software options below are just a few of your options but a little bit of digging is sure to uncover more. Don’t be afraid to spend time on research and development. You only want to settle for the tool that is absolutely right for you and your team.

Want Help Narrowing Down the Options?

This tool is pretty useful. We’ve partnered with Crozdesk to give you access to their “Software Finder”.

If you input some of the details about your project and the features you’re looking for in a project management tool, it will generate a list of tools that match your preferences. You provide your email, and they send over a nice PDF guide with a summary of your best matches.

What Do You Think About These Top Help Desk Solutions?

There are plenty of help desk systems to choose from—the real trouble is finding the best one for you. Once you have a list of Must-Haves, you can start narrowing down your choices by comparing it to the selection above.

Is there anything that should be on our list that you think we missed? Do you have personal experience with any of these softwares that you would like to share? Sound off in the comments of this article. We would love to hear from you.

 

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Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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