Best Helpdesk Software – 2020 Review

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Helpdesk software allows businesses and IT teams to improve the customer support process.

If a customer has a problem or needs assistance, they can reach customer service representatives through a virtual helpdesk. By using helpdesk software to facilitate communication, users can contact your team with live chat, email, phone, and via social media.

Helpdesk software makes it easier to resolve issues faster, usually with some form of a ticketing system. By leveraging helpdesk tools, you can manage tickets at scale and close them with ease.

It’s also common for larger organizations to use helpdesk software for in-house support. Your IT team can troubleshoot employee problems more efficiently if they need help with software, hardware, or another internal product. 

Freshdesk

Best Overall Helpdesk Software

Free for basic use. Paid plans start at $15 per agent. Manage omnichannel ticketing at scale. Custom team tools and automations.

The Best Helpdesk Software Options to Consider:

  1. Freshdesk
  2. Agiloft
  3. Vivantio
  4. ManageEngine
  5. Zendesk Support
  6. HubSpot

When it Makes Sense to Invest Into Helpdesk Software

The vast majority of businesses can benefit from helpdesk software. But with that said, it’s not for everyone. It makes sense to buy helpdesk software once you’ve outgrown your existing customer support system. 

For example, let’s say you’re only getting five or ten customer service inquiries per week. That should be easy enough for one person to manage. Responding quickly and resolving the issues at hand shouldn’t be a problem.

But what happens when that number jumps up to 50, 100, or 1,000 requests per week? At scale, this is a challenge to manage using basic email. 

That’s when you need helpdesk software. But don’t wait until your existing system has been exhausted completely. It’s better to get helpdesk software a little early, as opposed to waiting until it’s too late. The last thing you want is a backlog of unresolved customer service tickets.

For larger businesses and SMEs with 50-100+ employees, it makes sense to get helpdesk software for internal use right away. The costs associated with poor employee productivity due to software or hardware issues in-house will be far greater than your investment in a helpdesk software. This will help your IT resolve in-house issues as quickly as possible. 

#1 – Freshdesk Review — The Best Overall Helpdesk Software

Freshdesk

Freshdesk

Best Overall Helpdesk Software

Free for basic use. Paid plans start at $15 per agent. Manage omnichannel ticketing at scale. Custom team tools and automations.

More than 150,000 businesses trust Freshdesk, making it one of the most popular helpdesk solutions on the market today.

It’s perfect for companies who have outgrown email for customer support. For those of you who have never used helpdesk software in the past, Freshdesk has an easy learning curve. 

With Freshdesk, you’ll benefit from omnichannel customer support via chat, email, phone, social media, and more. All of your customer communications will be accessible from a single source. 

You’ll also benefit from top features like:

  • Team collaboration tools (like shared ticket ownership)
  • Automated support rules
  • Website solution articles
  • Custom team dashboards
  • Data-driven analytics
  • Canned responses
  • SLA management
  • Field service ticketing

Freshdesk is simple, yet diverse enough to meet the needs of businesses across a wide range of industries, regardless of size or use case. 

Here’s a quick overview of the plans and starting price points for Freshdesk:

  • Sprout — Free
  • Blossom — $15 per agent per month
  • Garden — $35 per agent per month
  • Estate — $49 per agent per month
  • Forest — $99 per agent per month

You can try any Freshdesk paid plan free for 21 days. From startups to small businesses and enterprises, there’s a Freshdesk solution for everyone. 

For advanced features, like AI-powered automation and field service management, you’ll have to buy add-ons separately. 

#2 – Agiloft Review — The Best Custom Service Desk Suite

Agiloft

Agiloft

Best Custom Service Desk Suite

Trusted by 2.5+ million users. Available for cloud-based or in-house deployment. Support suite for client management and internal use cases.

Agiloft is a bit unique compared to other helpdesk software on the market today. The company is branded as an enterprise solution for contract lifecycle management. 

They have a wide range of products, including CLM for sales, legal teams, ITSM, workflow, and more. But each solution comes with a robust service desk suite. The product suite contains different features for things like:

  • Customer support software
  • Internal help desk software
  • IT ticketing
  • ITIL and ITSM
  • RMA management
  • Asset management
  • Change management

As you can see, the Agiloft product suite is ideal for both internal uses, as well as external support throughout each stage of the contract lifecycle. 

The software is trusted by 2.5 million users worldwide. But with that said, it’s really only made for sophisticated products and services. Basic users and smaller teams will find Agilsoft too overwhelming. 

Let’s take a closer look at the service desk pricing from Agiloft:

  • Professional — $45 per month per license
  • Professional Extended — $65 per license per month
  • Enterprise — $75 per license per month

All of the rates are based on an annual contract. It’s also worth noting that the plans require a minimum of five users, which adds to the cost. 

Whether you want a cloud-based solution or in-house deployment, Agiloft pricing remains the same. Start a free trial or request a custom quote and personal demo to get started. 

#3 – Vivantio Review — Best Scalable ITSM Software

Vivantio

Vivantio

Best Scalable ITSM Software

Manage ITSM helpdesk at scale. Two software versions based on business needs. Full API integration.

Vivantio is a helpdesk solution that specializes in ITSM—IT service management. The software is flexible enough to meet the needs of different organizations while prioritizing exceptional customer service.

The software makes it easy to manage incoming emails, track previous communication histories, route tickets to the right person or department, and escalate critical issues. Vivantio integrates with tools and allows you to set up automated actions for streamlining efficiency at scale. 

There are actually two different versions of Vivantio—Vivantio Pro and Vivantio ITSM.

As you can see from the descriptions, Vivantio ITSM is built to scale. But Vivantio Pro is still a viable option for small and medium-sized help desk teams. 

Some of the top features and benefits of Vivantio include:

  • Configurable tickets
  • Client management
  • Asset management
  • Task management
  • Customer self-help tools
  • Ticket routing and ticket escalation
  • Custom dashboards
  • Custom reports
  • Data import tools
  • Full API integration

Vivantio is definitely geared towards businesses with complex IT needs. If you’re looking for the most basic helpdesk software on the market today, this solution is not for you.

Pricing is not available online. Contact the Vivantio sales team for a custom quote and demo.

#4 – ManageEngine Review — Best Helpdesk Software For IT Teams

ManageEngine

ManageEngine

Best For IT Teams

Create custom ITSM workflows. Deploy new instances and custom portals for multiple departments. Employee self-service tools.

More than 100,000 businesses use ManageEngine as a helpdesk solution. It’s trusted by global brands like Dell, Disney, ABC, Honda, Xerox, and more. 

The software is designed specifically for IT teams. ManageEngine offers both cloud-based and on-premise deployment for its software. 

Use ManageEngine to create automated service management workflows. You can even set them up for non-IT related use cases, such as facility requests. ManageEngine offers tools and functions for enterprise service management (ESM), including an employee self-service portal.

Creating a new instance within a particular department is easy. Any administrator can deploy a custom portal or service desk workplace in less than 60 seconds. 

The top feature and benefits of ManageEngine as a helpdesk solution include:

  • Incident management
  • IT project management
  • Self-service portals
  • Multi-site support
  • SLA management
  • Contract management
  • ITSM workflows
  • Codeless customizations
  • Powerful integrations and reporting

Pricing for ManageEngine is not available online. Contact their team to request a free demo and quote. 

#5 – Zendesk Support Review — The Best For Small Business

Zendesk

Zendesk Support

Best For Small Business

Starts at $5 per month. Full helpdesk product suite available. Omnichannel communication and ticket support.

For any business that needs a simple helpdesk solution, Zendesk Support will be perfect for you. It’s an ideal option for small businesses that want to upgrade their existing customer support system.

Starting at just $5 per month per agent, Zendesk Support allows you to track and manage customer support tickets from multiple channels, including email, mobile, social media, and web requests. 

While Zendesk Support works great out of the box, you can still customize it to meet the needs of your organization. Create custom workflows or use third-party apps and integrations to add flexibility. 

Set up predefined ticket responses, view customer histories, and give your customers support on their preferred communication channels. 

Some businesses might find Zendesk support to be a bit limiting, but it’s an affordable choice for smaller organizations.

With that said, Zendesk has tools to accommodate the needs of growing customer service teams. The Zendesk Support Suite comes with other Zendesk products, like Chat (live chat and messaging) Talk (call center software), and Guide (knowledge base and self-service tool).

Starting at $89 per agent per month, this product suite has everything your small business needs to manage service requests at scale, from any channel. 

#6 – HubSpot Review — The Best Service CRM Software

HubSpot

HubSpot

Best Service CRM Software

Free CRM and free customer service tools. Add live chat, knowledge base, and other customer self-service tools to your support process. Manage tickets with ease.

The HubSpot Service Hub is an all-in-one solution for helpdesk and CRM software. It has everything you need to provide ticket support at scale while getting the benefits of HubSpot’s free CRM.

HubSpot helps businesses create a frictionless customer experience when it comes to service and ticketing. Use the Service Hub to create a self-service knowledge base and set up live chat for automated support. 

In addition to the free HubSpot CRM, the platform also gives you free basic tools for customer service. Free features include:

  • Ticketing
  • Team email
  • Live chat
  • Email templates
  • Calling
  • Email to ticket and chat to ticket
  • Bots for ticket creation
  • Schedule meetings
  • Reporting

Pricing for the HubSpot Service Hub starts at $400 per month. Aside from the free features and CRM, you’ll also get advanced benefits like:

  • Premium versions of free tools
  • Customer service automation
  • Knowledge base
  • Customer feedback tools
  • Multiple ticket pipelines
  • Support form fields
  • Video creation
  • Service goals

Overall, HubSpot is an excellent choice for businesses of all shapes and sizes. While the free tools are helpful, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to a paid plan to get the most out of this software. 

Methodology For Choosing The Best Helpdesk Software

The market is flooded with different helpdesk solutions. Finding the best software for your business can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.

This is the methodology that we used to pick the best options on our list. I’ll explain which factors you need to evaluate the most when you’re shopping around for helpdesk software. 

Ticketing

Ticket support is the first thing you should look for. By adding ticketing to your support process, it will allow your customer service representatives to resolve issues at scale. 

Look for a solution that supports ticketing on as many channels as possible, including your website, live chat, email, phone, and social media. The best helpdesk software has features for things like automated ticket creation and automatic ticket routing. 

By routing tickets to the right team member or department, it ensures that the matter gets resolved as quickly as possible. 

Internal vs. External Support

Why are you looking for helpdesk software? Are you trying to provide better service to your customers? Or are you trying to streamline support for your employees in-house?

Not every solution does both.

In most cases, internal help desk software for IT teams and ITSM is designed for larger organizations. In addition to providing help for internal software or hardware, these solutions offer ticket support for things like facilities requests and even HR self-service tools. 

A small business that just wants to help customers resolve issues quickly won’t need any of those features. 

Features

In addition to basic ticketing, there are a wide range of features to keep an eye on when you’re browsing for a helpdesk solution. Some common features include:

  • Knowledge base support
  • Ticket routing and ticket escalation
  • Custom team dashboards
  • Automated support rules
  • API integration
  • Omnichannel support
  • Custom workflows
  • Client management
  • Field service ticketing

Some software will have advanced features or very use-case specific tools, such as ITIL and ITSM for enterprise contract lifecycle management. 

Price

Helpdesk software is typically billed per agent per month. In some cases, you’ll need to pay upfront for an annual contract.

The starting rates for helpdesk software start as low as $5 per agent per month with a solution like Zendesk Support. Other rates go as high as $100+ per agent. We’ve seen other solutions starting at $400 per month as well.

For most enterprise software and complex help desk solutions, you’ll need to request a custom quote.

Always take advantage of a free trial and demo before you commit to a long term contract. This will be the best way to determine which helpdesk software is right for you. 

Freshdesk

Freshdesk

Best Overall Helpdesk Software

Free for basic use. Paid plans start at $15 per agent. Manage omnichannel ticketing at scale. Custom team tools and automations.

Summary

Helpdesk software is the modern way for businesses to resolve issues. 

Whether it be for customer service or internal support, adding ticketing to your virtual service desk will improve the efficiency of your organization. Helpdesk software improves the customer experience while optimizing processes of your support staff and IT teams.

Use this guide to find the best helpdesk software for your business.

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