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.
There are two main kinds of service desk software: those intended to help your employees and those intended to help your customers.
Depending on your needs, you may find yourself drawn to tools that address one, the other, or both types. 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 I’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.
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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.
- 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?
- Usability: Is this easy to learn and master? Are there tutorials and training? What tech and user support is offered by the software company?
- 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?
- Value for $: How much does it cost? Are there different tiers? What features do you have access to at each stage?
- 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 15 Best Help Desk Software Overviews
1. LiveAgent – best help desk software for analytics and reporting
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.
2. Hiver – best help desk software for G Suite users
Hiver is a helpdesk software built for Google Workspace. Hiver helps teams deliver fast and empathetic customer service from the Google tools they are already familiar with. This means they can assign, track, and collaborate on customer emails, as well as run advanced analytics and automations from the Gmail interface, without sacrificing any time to learn new software or switch tabs.
Some of Hiver’s other features include auto-assignment of incoming customer emails, email tags for better organization of queries, and email templates that allow for standardization of customer responses. Hiver also helps support teams monitor and improve performance by offering real-time analytics, custom SLAs, and customer satisfaction surveys.
Hiver helps over 1500 companies – ranging from new-age unicorns to traditional enterprises – deliver a better experience to their customers. Companies like Flexport, Pluralsight, Harvard University, Appsflyer, Oxford Business Group, and Upwork, among others, are powered by Hiver.
Hiver pricing starts at $7/user/month.
3. ProProfs Help Desk – best help desk software for email ticketing
ProProfs Help Desk has an easy to use ticket automation system with round-robin ticket assignments. This is a great tool for teams who manage most of their customer interactions through email. Team members can collaborate using shared inboxes, attach files to support tickets, and resolve complex tickets using parent-child ticketing. Internal integrations like Live Chat, Knowledge Base, Survey Maker, and more make this tool a complete powerhouse.
Users can prioritize tickets, add internal notes, or simply leverage the Canned Response feature to resolve tickets quickly. You can also share CSAT or NPS surveys to gauge customer satisfaction after tickets have been closed.
ProProfs also has a plethora of training videos and an FAQ section so your team can handpick the right information whenever an issue arises. Their human support team can be reached over chat, email, or phone. This tool is also compatible with mobile, tablet, and desktop.
ProProfs Help Desk starts at $10/user/month and offers a free premium trial for first-time users.
4. OneDesk – best live chat feature for helpdesk software
OneDesk combines help desk and project management software and allows users to access all work, collaboration, and communication in one place so users can avoid having to buy, learn, integrate, and switch between multiple applications.
OneDesk includes a multi-channel ticketing system that gives users the flexibility to create tickets for issues noted through email, support portals, live chat, and more. Collaborate with your team and your customers in resolving issues. Automations are customizable and allow you to set up complex workflows. The tool’s knowledge management system includes the use of knowledge bases which lets you publish self-service articles for your users and customers.
OneDesk also includes project management features, including multiple view layouts that allow you to filter and group tasks the way you choose. Views include the task list flat view, which is especially useful for assignees when keeping track of their workload; and roadmap, Gantt, and status board (Kanban) views, which provide project managers with visual and functional flexibility when planning or managing projects. Other project management features include scheduling tasks, sharing files, and real-time communication between team members.
The interface is clean, and the navigation makes it easy to find applications and project levels, as well as change views and layout. OneDesk is also quick to set up — the learning curve depends on the complexity of the workflows you create. There are tutorials, videos and live-chat support options which are all accessible within the OneDesk web application.
OneDesk currently has native integrations for Box, Dropbox, FreshBooks, Mailchimp, Okta, QuickBooks, Microsoft Visual Studio, WordPress, and Azure Active Directory. Integrations with 100s of other web apps are also available via Zapier.
Pricing for OneDesk starts at $9 per user per month.
- All OneDesk features are included in all plans
- Excellent customer support
- Powerful filtering and grouping features
- Set-up can take time if desired workflow is complex
- Only available in English at this time
- Mobile App has limited functionality
5. Jitbit Helpdesk – best email ticketing system for medium and large businesses
Jitbit Helpdesk is a help desk software that was built to help you provide email support for your customers and users. With its pricing, Jitbit is a great fit for medium and large businesses across different industries. If you want to host the app on your own server and use it internally, Jitbit also offers an on-premise version.
Although email is the primary channel, Jitbit supports various other channels, like live chat, web-portal, API and multiple built-in integrations with third-party apps. Jitbit updates in real-time and offers ways to collaborate on user issues with your team; for example, you can see when other techs are looking at a ticket or typing a reply. You can also assign multiple people to a single ticket.
Automation Rules is a pretty slick feature in this tool, designed to carry out the more boring parts of the job. You can do simple things like “if a ticket comes from this company assign it to this agent” all the way up to something more sophisticated like “if ticket subject contains ‘word’, send an HTTP request to this URL”.
This helpdesk software offers more than 10 built-in reports and a custom report builder on all aspects of customer support. You can see various metrics, including response speeds, the number of tickets you get per day, and your team performance is broken down by individual techs. Most reports allow you to export data to Excel, too.
They also offer a Knowledge Base with some AI-powered self-service features. So, this means that if you take your time to fill out your Knowledge Base with helpful articles, Jitbit will suggest those articles to your users as they are submitting the tickets. I’m sure you’ve seen this type of support feature on a couple of the sites you have accounts with, and it can be useful as it sometimes takes care of the issue without even needing to open a support ticket.
I’d say that Jitbit has a very small learning curve, thanks to clean design and easy-to-use UI. You can customize both the public-facing and the private parts of your help desk to match your company branding—so you can change colors and add your logo and a favicon. For more customization, you can change pretty much anything else through CSS and JS code.
Jitbit integrates with a lot of apps out of the box. Apps like Slack, Jira, Github, Dropbox and a lot of others are really easy to set up and start using. If that’s not enough you can use Zapier to integrate with 500+ other apps.
Jitbit Helpdesk costs from $29/month. They also offer a free trial and an on-premise version.
6. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus – best helpdesk software for incident management processes
ServiceDesk Plus is a complete IT Service Management (ITSM) suite with built-in IT Asset Management (ITAM) and Configuration Management Database (CMDB) capabilities. With advanced ITSM functions, powerful automations, smart customizations, and easy-to-use capabilities, ServiceDesk Plus helps IT support teams easily deliver world-class service to end users at lower costs.
Features include strong incident management processes that help resolve incidents swiftly and improve agent productivity; comprehensive problem management features that enable IT teams to classify, analyze, and close issues as well as identify repetitive issues to close tickets faster; and a change management system that allows IT teams to implement IT changes with minimal risk through streamlined planning, approval, and implementation.
The tool also provides integrated knowledge management, virtual assistant, and AI capabilities, as well as effective SLA management with proactive and reactive escalations and escalation actions.
It offers various integration options, including Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Jira, and more through REST APIs.
Pricing for ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus starts at $12/per user/month for the standard plan. See further pricing plans on their pricing page.
7. EngageBay – best for creating personalized ticket views
EngageBay offers help desk software in the form of their Service Bay tool. Users can answer unlimited tickets in one place, as well as create a personalized ticket view to suit their needs.
The tool also offers advanced service automation tools so users can automate routine customer service processes and tasks. Users can also create canned responses to common queries and questions to save time and increase productivity.
EngageBay also includes capabilities for grouping and organizing tickets in order to boost efficiency. You can also manage tickets like tasks in order to keep track of closed and open tickets. The tool offers custom reporting and analytics to ensure you make informed decisions about the support process and specific tickets.
EngageBay’s Service Bay software is free to use.
8. Freshservice – best IT service desk for beginners
Freshservice’s modern and intuitive UI requires minimal to no training, and is customizable to IT and non-IT needs. It automates tasks and provides support for issues raised via email, self-service portal, phone, chat, or in-person. Freshservice maintains records of contracts, hardware, software, and other vital customer-data assets.
Built in user-portal, reporting, workflows, and continuous updates mean that you have all the basic functionality you would expect for a helpdesk tool as well as a roadmap for constant improvement.
They offer the whole gamut of helpdesk tools: incident management, change management, release management, vendor relationships all with robust analyzing tools to make sure common problems are tracked and improved.
The biggest cons that I noticed was that it doesn’t work with corrective actions (CAPA) and that it doesn’t manage portfolios or offer product road mapping. These services can be supplemented with another app or service, but that will obviously increase the cost of your overall set-up.
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.
Freshservice starts at $19/user/month and has a 21-day free trial.
9. Freshdesk – best enterprise helpdesk software
Used by over 150,000 businesses, including Panasonic, 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.
10. Freshchat – best free helpdesk software plan for large businesses
Freshchat is a helpdesk service that meets your customers wherever they are on the web, be it email, chat, on your homepage, or on social.
Users will appreciate automation features, like the ability to boost CRM processes with bots and AI to supply visitors with quick answers and further prompts. Freshchat provides tools to further engage customers with proactive campaigns that send targeted outbound messages by WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, and other popular social channels.
Freshchat is great for collaboration and communication, something we screen for in our evaluation criteria. The Team Inbox, a Chrome extension, is great for connecting your team quickly and efficiently when a new message comes in. Teams may also like features like co-browsing, team performance reports, private notes, and chatbot analytics.
The software’s weakness is when it comes to mobile integration of communication features. The interface is dull and more than a little bit slow. The efficiency of using the browser version of the app is much preferred to Android or iPhone iterations.
Freshchat integrates with Magento 2, Teamviewer, Stripe, Upscope, Calendly, Hubspot CRM, Salesforce, WooCommerce, Upscope, Pipedrive, Klaviyo, Pipedrive, Pagato, Constant Contact, Pipelinedeals, Knowmax, Mailchimp, Nimble CRM, Insightly CRM, Highrise CRM, Freshmarketer, Zoho CRM, and many more. It also connects with all other Freshworks apps.
Freshchat costs from $15/user/month. They also offer a freemium version of the software for up to 100 agents and a 21-day free trial for all paid plans.
11. JivoChat – best free helpdesk software plan for small teams
JivoChat is an all-in-one business messenger that teams use to talk to customers everywhere: live chat, phone, email, and social.
Features helpdesk users will benefit from include live chat for websites, Apple Business Chat, Jivo Business Chat, callbacks, company email integration, and Facebook integration. Agents receive all chats, emails, and calls in one Jivo app so it’s easy to keep track of all avenues of communication.
JivoChat makes multi-channel ticketing and knowledge management easy, two things that we specifically included in our evaluation criteria because they can really make or break any helpdesk strategy. JivoChat pulls all tickets and customer knowledge into a single platform for easy review.
One of the downsides of the JivoChat chatbox is the frequency with which it “pops up” on your site in front of lingering users. This can be a source of contention and even encourage bounce rates.
JivoChat integrates with Pipedrive, Zoho CRM, WordPress, Shopify, Wix.com, BigCommerce, ecwid, Drupal, Joomla, Opencart, Magento, Prestashop, ModX, Bitrix, Weebly, Weblium, and Google Analytics, plus many more through a paid Zapier account. It also has an API for developers.
JivoChat costs from $13/user/month. They also offer a freemium version for up to 5 users and a 14-day free trial for paid plans.
12. CometChat – best no-code chat plugin
CometChat is a drag-and-drop chat plugin for popular web software and no-code platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Ning.
Basic features include text, voice, and video chat but the software goes beyond just that, offering chat API, SDKs, and UI components for popular programming languages like Swift and Jira. AI-powered moderation works for a variety of online communities they service, like social/dating, marketplace, and education.
CometChat’s specializes in self-service, one of our evaluation metrics, in a unique way: It is designed to enable chat between two groups of users, which need not be your own agents—it could be doctors with patients or buyers with sellers on your platform.
Support staff for CometChat can be a bit slow responding to user concerns, however, when they get back to you they are helpful and capable of walking you through any issue.
CometChat integrates with EasySocial, WordPress, BuddyPress, Phorum, WoltLab, vBulletin, Social Engine, SocialScript, XOOPS, SocialStrap, SuiteCRM, JamRoom, XenForo, Canvas, and other chat-based platforms.
CometChat costs from $49/month. They also offer a free 7-day trial.
13. HubSpot Service Hub – best conversational customer support chat bot
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. It also has an outstanding conversational chat bot you can add (and you can try it out for free, a major plus).
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 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.
HubSpot Service Hub starts at $400/month and has a freemium version and a free demo.
14. Hesk – best open source help desk software
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).
15. Jira Service Desk – best help desk software for DevOps
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.
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.
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.
Jira Service Desk starts at $10/month for 3 agents and has a 7-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.
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.