Top 10 Help Desk Software in 2023
Help desk software is an essential tool for managing customer support and IT service requests in businesses of all sizes. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which help desk platform is the best fit for your business needs and budget. This article will compare the top 10 help desk software solutions to help you find the right one.
What is Help Desk Software?
Help desk software provides a centralized system for managing customer queries, support tickets, and service requests. Key features include:
- Ticket management – Create, assign, track, and resolve support tickets from one system.
- Knowledge base – Curated articles and documentation to help customers self-serve.
- Customer communication – Email, live chat, voice calls, and self-service options.
- Agent collaboration – Shared ticket queues and team communication tools.
- Reporting and analytics – Insights into support performance and trends.
- Customization – Tailor the system to your brand and support processes.
The main benefits of using help desk software include:
- Improved customer satisfaction through faster response times.
- Increased agent productivity with automation and collaboration features.
- Better visibility into support metrics to spot trends and training opportunities.
- Flexible tools to support omnichannel customer service.
- Enhanced customer self-service options.
The Top 10 Help Desk Software
Freshdesk is one of the leading cloud-based help desk solutions, used by over 50,000 companies worldwide. Key features include:
- Intuitive, customizable agent interface
- Multi-channel support including email, live chat, calls, and social media
- Robust knowledge base and community forums
- Over 100 native integrations with top apps
- Excellent automation and workflow management
- Strong reporting and analytics
- Affordable pricing tiers for all business sizes
Ideal for growing companies that need a feature-rich but affordable help desk solution. Offers a forever-free plan for small teams.
Popular integrations: Shopify, Gmail, Slack, Zendesk Sell, Intercom
Pricing: Free plan – $0/mo for unlimited agents. Paid plans start at $19/mo per agent for the Essential plan.
2. Zendesk Support
Zendesk Support is a popular help desk solution trusted by over 160,000 organizations. Key features include:
- Powerful ticketing management with automation
- Extensive knowledge base and self-service options
- Efficient collaboration tools for agents
- Customizable support workflows
- Seamless integration with Zendesk sales and chat products
- Robust analytics and reporting
Ideal for large enterprises that need a fully-loaded help desk solution. Offers reliable support and extensive customization options.
Popular integrations: Slack, Shopify, MailChimp, Calendly, Dropbox
Pricing: Starts at $5/mo per agent for the Essential plan. Advanced plans cost $49/mo per agent. Enterprise pricing customized.
Freshservice is a user-friendly, ITIL-certified service desk software from Freshworks. Key features include:
- Intuitive, easy to customize agent interface
- Built-in ITIL best practices for process management
- Robust asset discovery and CMDB
- Native remote access and automation capabilities
- Contextual knowledge base with guided troubleshooting
- Powerful reporting and dashboards
- Affordable pricing scaled for IT teams
Ideal for IT teams that want an intuitive service desk solution to optimize IT workflows. Offers free trial and affordable plans to get started.
Popular integrations: Ansible, MDM, DNSFilter, Datadog, AzureDevOps
Pricing: Free 21-day trial. Paid plans start at $19/mo per agent for the Blossom plan.
4. Jira Service Management
Jira Service Management combines service desk features with robust devops capabilities. Key features include:
- Seamless integration with Jira for development teams
- Advanced ITSM configuration and customization
- Strong SLAs and service-level management
- Contextual AI-powered service catalog
- Intuitive agent interface designed for tech teams
- Powerful integrations with Jira Ops and Jira Work Management
Ideal for IT organizations that already use Jira for software development. Enables seamless collaboration between dev and IT teams.
Popular integrations: Jira Ops, Confluence, AWS, Datadog, PagerDuty
Pricing: Starts at $7/mo per agent. Premium plan is $14/mo per agent.
5. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus
ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is an ITIL-ready help desk solution with robust IT asset management. Key features include:
- In-depth IT asset management with discovery and audits
- Built-in CMDB for tracking CI and relationships
- Customizable support process workflows
- contextual knowledge management
- Powerful multi-site capabilities
- Extensive integrations with ManageEngine tools
- Affordable pricing scaled for IT teams
Ideal for IT organizations that need deep asset management alongside help desk ticketing. Integrates seamlessly with other ManageEngine IT tools.
Popular integrations: ADManager Plus, Desktop Central, OpManager, ADAudit Plus
Pricing: Starts at $795/year for up to 10 technicians. Enterprise pricing customized.
HappyFox is a cloud-based help desk solution designed for small to mid-sized businesses. Key features include:
- Intuitive support ticket and knowledge base management
- Built-in voice and chat channels
- Customizable service workflows
- Shared team inboxes with email management
- Custom branding and tailored support processes
- Basic reporting to track performance
- Affordable pricing for growing teams
Ideal for SMBs that want an easy-to-use help desk solution to optimize customer support. Light on advanced features but simple to get started.
Popular integrations: Slack, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Datadog, AWS CloudWatch
Pricing: Starts at $8/mo per agent for up to 3 agents. Scales up to $45/mo for 12+ agents.
7. HubSpot Service Hub
HubSpot Service Hub combines help desk software with a CRM platform. Key features include:
- Unified inbox for managing tickets and customer data
- Email automation and workflow tools
- Integrated knowledge base creation
- Conversational ticketing and live chat
- Seamless integration with HubSpot CRM and sales tools
- Powerful custom reporting on tickets, customers, and agents
Ideal for businesses already using HubSpot sales and marketing tools. Enables a seamless view of customer interactions across departments.
Popular integrations: Slack, Shopify, Dropbox, Mailchimp, Calendly
Pricing: Free CRM plan includes basic help desk features. Paid plans start at $50/mo per user. Enterprise pricing customized.
8. Help Scout
Help Scout is a help desk solution focused on shared inboxes and excellent email management. Key features include:
- Shared team inboxes with @ mentions and assign
- Highly customizable automation workflows
- Integrated knowledge base and self-service options
- Conversational ticketing UI with customer history
- Powerful search across all conversations
- Reports on team productivity and CSAT
- Affordable pricing for growing teams
Ideal for frontline teams that need to collaborate on a shared inbox. Great email and knowledge management for customer service teams.
Popular integrations: Slack, Shopify, Zapier, Salesforce, Close CRM
Pricing: Starts at $20/mo per mailbox. Premium plan is $40/mo per mailbox.
Kayako is an intuitive help desk platform focused on delivering omni-channel customer support. Key features include:
- Unified workspace for managing conversations
- Email, live chat, calls, messengers, and self-service options
- Customizable support workflows and automation
- Responsive web and mobile interfaces
- Knowledge base and community forums
- Built-in reporting across channels
- Flexible plans from small to enterprise teams
Ideal for fast-paced teams that need to provide support across multiple channels. Offers comprehensive customer service software beyond just ticketing.
Popular integrations: Slack, Jira, PrestaShop, BigCommerce, WordPress
Pricing: Plans start at $35/mo for up to 5 agents. Enterprise pricing customized.
Freshchat is a conversational help desk solution for sales and support teams. Key features include:
- Embedded live chat, bots, and email ticketing
- Shared team inbox with assign, notes, and BCC
- Contextual in-app messaging across devices
- Integrated FAQ knowledge base
- Conversation reports and analytics
- Seamless integration with Freshworks products
- Affordable plans for any team size
Ideal for teams that want to chat with customers in real-time on their website and mobile apps. Offers an omni-channel help desk minus voice support.
Popular integrations: Shopify, WordPress, Magento, BigCommerce, Salesforce
Pricing: Free for unlimited agents. Paid plans start at $15/mo per agent.
Key Features to Look for in Help Desk Software
When comparing help desk software, keep these key features in mind:
- Ticketing – Robust features for managing support tickets including a shared inbox, assignment rules, task automation, and workflows.
- Knowledge base – Searchable content library with support articles, documentation, and internal resources.
- Self-service – Customer community forums and FAQ systems for handling common inquiries.
- Reporting and analytics – Dashboards and reports to gain insights into productivity, SLAs, and customer satisfaction.
- Omnichannel support – Channels like email, live chat, voice, and social media to improve customer experience.
- Customization – Ability to tailor options, branding, workflows, and fields to match your unique processes.
- ITSM capabilities – IT help desks benefit from SLA agreements, change management, and ITIL frameworks.
- Mobile access – Mobile apps or responsive interfaces for agents and customers available anytime.
- Integrations – 150+ integrations with top business apps to connect help desk workflows.
- Security – Robust security, access control, and encryption meet enterprise data protection needs.
Answering Common Help Desk Software Questions
Which help desk software is the easiest to use?
For small teams getting started, HappyFox, Freshdesk, and Zendesk Support offer the most intuitive initial setup and agent onboarding. They provide out-of-the-box help desk templates to customize instead of building from scratch.
Which help desk software has the best knowledge base?
Zendesk Support, Freshservice, and ManageEngine provide robust knowledge bases tightly integrated with support ticketing. They offer features like content templates, dynamic FAQs, community forums, and contextual guidance.
What is the most affordable help desk software?
For growing teams on a budget, Freshdesk and HappyFox offer the most affordable and transparent pricing options. Both have forever-free plans for small teams as well as scalable paid plans with all features included.
What help desk software do IT teams recommend?
For managing IT service requests, both established ITSM tools like ServiceNow and Jira Service Management and specialized platforms like Freshservice and ManageEngine give robust options. They enable ITIL frameworks plus integrations with popular IT tools.
What help desk software is best for sharing team inboxes?
Help Scout and Freshdesk stand out when it comes to shared team inboxes, @mentions, task assignment, and collaboration around incoming customer emails. Help Scout in particular is focused on the shared inbox experience.
Get Started With Help Desk Software Today
An efficient help desk creates better experiences for both your customers and support team. Evaluate the 10 solutions highlighted in this article to determine which option best aligns with your business needs, use cases, and budget. Many provide free trials to experience the setup first-hand.
Once you select a platform, focus on customizing the workflows, knowledge base, and reporting that will work best for your support processes. With the right help desk software in place, you can provide 5-star customer service and enable agent productivity.