Help desk ticketing system

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Helpdesk software

Excellent customer support is one of those things today that everyone expects from a business. If you do it well, it can create customer loyalty with a customer and your brand. However, if you do it wrong, it can spell disaster, and with so many options available for consumers, they are not likely to return if you disappoint them. So, this begs the question: how do I make sure I give my customers the best support services I can to keep them?

The way to start answering this question is to think about what is important for a customer. These are intangible commodities, like time and satisfaction. The best way to increase these aspects of customer service for your customers is to implement a help desk ticketing system to resolve issues more efficiently and effectively.

What is a help desk ticketing system?

A help desk ticketing system is a centralized system that logs customer queries, requests, and interactions as tickets for support staff to organize, respond to and resolve. This type of helpdesk software helps streamline the customer inquiry resolution process. In specific cases, it assigns the ticket to an agent best equipped to handle it through an automated ticket distribution. This example touches on one of the most important aspects of a help desk ticketing system: automation.

How does the help desk ticketing system work?

This system works by creating tickets, which are documents and running logs of customer interactions. For example, a customer service rep creates a ticket on a live call or through an email. Support tickets are stored in a unified inbox, accessible to all staff members. Once the ticket is generated, the system notifies the agents by either sound or email notification.

The centralized help desk makes it easier to create custom reports to track key business metrics and KPIs. For example, improving your customer support is important because it is part of the basis by which the company overall will be judged by some customers.

In addition, setting automation rules can improve the overall workflow of the support team and reduce the response time. Taking care of your customers and supporting them adds value to your company; as Dimension Data reports, “84% of organizations working toward better CX report increased revenue.”

Components of help desk ticketing system software

An effective help desk ticketing system contains components that determine the platform’s efficiency and provide various options for customers to engage with companies. While companies can use tools like an AI bot in some cases, Microsoft found that “the effectiveness of bots in resolving issues has fallen to 28%. In addition, American consumers do not find bots effective, with 40% relying on other channels to reach out to service teams.”

Most consumers prefer to contact support or a brand over the phone because they’re looking for a quick answer or an actual person to talk to. So while evaluating the main elements of a help desk ticketing system, you should keep in mind that the best software is designed to make processes more efficient and enable consumers to resolve common issues more quickly.

Help desk ticketing systems enable streamlined communication across all standard platforms. Responding to customers’ preferred channels builds brand loyalty and customer retention. After a single bad customer service experience, consumers will move on. The millennial generation is even more likely to switch brands, with over three-quarters reported doing so.

Email

The most common form of online communication is email. To create an account on any site or service, you need an email address. So, it’s vital to have a system in place for managing incoming emails.

The help desk ticketing system generates ticket IDs for each email and assigns them to appropriate users or a team according to automation rules. The ticket owner can then transfer, add tags, filter, and more.

Forward emails to your LiveAgent

Live chat

Like a phone call, but with a greater emphasis on multitasking, live chat allows a customer to connect with a chat operative in real-time. As a result, it is considered one of the most satisfying ways to communicate. Consumers appreciate knowing that someone is waiting on the other side of the screen to answer their questions. It makes them feel important and valued. According to 99firms; “About 69% of shoppers in the US demand live chat features.”

Live chat is a browser-based software which means there is almost no effort needed from your customer because the chat button is embedded on a website or specific webpage. Through live chats, customers immediately connect with someone who can help resolve their problems. The process is further aided by the context of monitoring the customer’s behavior on the website. This level of instant engagement leads to a positive customer experience.

Real-time chat feature in Help desk ticketing system - LiveAgent

Call center

When your customer has a question that they can’t quite explain in a chat or by the use of an email, they will most likely call in. A call center is a centralized office set up to receive inbound calls and handle support over the phone. Call center software is a virtual solution that you can integrate with a VoIP provider. The most common features are interactive voice response (IVR), automatic callback, call transfers, and unlimited call recording.

One study found that “more than three-quarters of all consumers prefer to contact customer service by phone.” It is much faster to explain a problem on the phone than to type it out. While it is essential to have other contact points, having a place to call is critical.

Connect your VoIP provider with Help desk software - LiveAgent

Social media management

Social media is another avenue of customer support that demands attention. Social media provides a platform for customers to message companies outside of their standard contact options directly. Due to this, monitoring social media networks is integral to customer satisfaction. According to a Social Habit study, “42% of consumers expect a response on social media within 60 minutes. As far as selected channels such as Facebook, 85% of consumers expect an answer to their questions within six hours, while 64% of Twitter users expect an answer within an hour.”

This is why help desk ticketing system providers, like LiveAgent, offer integration with the major social media platforms to help widen the net of your customer service abilities. In order to appreciate the importance of SoMe in customer service, you must know that about one billion messages are exchanged through Facebook messenger every month between users and businesses.

Connect Facebook with Help desk software - LiveAgent

Customer portal

Customer portals are a way for customers to access resources 24/7. Customers can sign in to view details about their orders, chat with support team members, and access self-serve help options to find information quickly. This is a great option to provide customers as it allows them to solve their issues independently without reaching out for customer service.

Standard features include knowledge bases, forums, feedback and suggestions, ticket submission, and search widgets. These features ensure that the customer portal has all the information a customer needs and makes it easy to find what they are looking for. This reduces the number of inquiries your customer service agents need to deal with daily and improves the overall satisfaction a customer will feel at the end of their interaction with your business. It is a win-win scenario for you, your employees, and your customers.

Knowledgebase customization in Customer portal software - LiveAgent

Knowledge base

Knowledge bases are one of the key features within a customer portal. They provide resources and articles for customers to browse solutions to common questions. Offering this service has the benefits of helping customers after business hours while also reducing inquiries and increasing traffic to your website.

An internal knowledge base gives support teams quick access to information to speed up customer interactions and streamline communications. The agents will have a repository of information to deal with a problem without needing another agent, shortening their time to assist a customer. Since the knowledge base is made incredibly accessible by a search feature, agents can quickly look up the information they need to solve a customer’s issue while on the phone or in a chat. When setting up a knowledge base, members from all departments should collaborate to create a resource that meets the complex needs of customer service requests.

Customer loyalty and retention - Knowledge Base - LiveAgent

Key features of an effective help desk ticketing system

Components tell one part of the story for an effective help desk ticketing system. The other part of that story is the essential features needed to be an effective system, though there is bound to be a crossover between the two.

It is also crucial for a customer service solution tool like an effective help desk ticketing system to scale with your business while you grow. Nothing slows growth like implementing a new process, as it will take time, money, and effort to retrain employees to use a new system. Thus, scalability is a common feature within these systems. The more advanced features that you should be looking at when trying to find this type of solution are automation, reporting, and integration.

A significant advantage of automation is that it takes the responsibility of any repetitive or straightforward tasks and completes them. Automation gets implemented in LiveAgent’s automated ticket distribution, which tags and assigns tickets without human interaction. Canned messages are also part of this concept.

Canned messages are like a prerecorded message you would hear on a phone menu; only the agent quickly selects the premade message for increased response time. Depending on the customer’s message, canned messages can be as simple as letting them know you need a few minutes to look into their account details. Therefore, they know you’re working on their request but won’t necessarily get an answer right away. A faster response is always better, even if it is just to say that you understand the customer’s frustration and you are working on a solution.

Canned messages feature in Live chat software - LiveAgent

Reporting also plays a significant role in any organization and can validate the effectiveness of customer service interactions. Excellent customer service reporting can give your organization important analytics that can help define the SLA you can use to market your brand.

Using the right software, you can integrate other apps as well to streamline employee workflows and improve efficiency even further. For example, LiveAgent allows integration with other productivity software like Slack, so less time gets spent switching between internal communication apps and productivity software to complete daily tasks. As an omnichannel help desk ticketing system, LiveAgent serves as an organization’s central place for customer service with powerful features to improve efficiency and customer service.

Find the best solution for you

LiveAgent offers plenty of useful integrations and features, making customer service easier than ever before. Curious about all the opportunities?

How to choose the best help desk ticketing system

Choosing the best help desk ticketing system can be challenging, as each has strengths and weaknesses. The criteria below can help you to decide which is best for you. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind that even if some systems seem to be the best overall, they may not be the most appropriate for your particular situation.

Commitments

When looking at a particular customer service solution, it is vital to look at the time you will be contractually obligated to pay for their system. Some solution providers, like LiveAgent, bill month-to-month with no contract, so you can cancel any time. Others, in contrast, may have contracts that require you to continue to use the service. This factor is critical to consider before you decide and are stuck with something that is not the right fit a few weeks into a contract.

Pricing

On the surface, pricing is straightforward since you can determine the cost per month with any provider offering these services. But you should consider all the costs involved with a help desk ticketing system because they go beyond just the price of the software. You need to consider the cost of training, updates, and ongoing support.

Companies should also weigh this cost against the current cost per ticket versus the estimated cost per ticket with the new solution. According to BMCblogs, “the average ticket cost (in the US) was $15.56, with a low of $2.93 and a high of $46.69.” The more efficient your system allows your agents to be with a particular ticket, the more cost-effective the system is. If there are cost savings per ticket, the amortization of your solution purchase can help to make an informed decision.

Provided contact options

It is also important to consider the provider’s customer service and how you can get in touch with them. Companies can contact LiveAgent’s support team through a knowledge base, live chat, email, or phone. The failure of your system can cause you to lose time responding to your customers, which is money lost. Therefore, the ability to contact your help desk ticketing system provider is imperative.

Ease of scaling up or down

Different organizations have varying priorities depending on where their business is. Working with a customer service solution provider that gives you the flexibility to scale up and down is a must. As you grow, the ability to add more agents over time or scale up the number of capabilities you have is a serious game changer between help desk ticketing systems. It is always important to check how far you can go with a system before committing. Maintaining the same system for as long as possible is the most cost-effective path forward.

Software limitations

Some software solutions may have everything you need while not having every feature in a help desk ticketing system. This is fine, but you should consider the limitations of software in terms of futureproofing rather than an in-the-moment decision. Sure, you may not need all of the functions software offers, but you ought to consider your needs in the future.

Integration is a significant part of any software, as it allows you to combine processes into one intuitive interface and save time. If the all-in-one solution you are looking at does not have all the capabilities you are looking for, check to see what programs they integrate with, as they might pick up the slack in a cost-effective way. At the same time, cloud-based software should be capable of handling unexpected Internet disruptions. Lastly, lacking a free trial or free version can also make it challenging to determine if the software will work to meet your needs.

Help desk ticketing system

Collaboration options

The support staff has so far been discussed as a singular agent, but in many operations, this is not the case. Help desk systems should support teams and allow them to collaborate on issues. The success and failure of an organization are rarely on the shoulders of one person. No business can thrive that way. Giving your team the ability to work together through internal chat, internal knowledge base, attachments, or notes in the ticket adds value and efficiency.

Live chat software notes in chat - LiveAgent

Demo version of simple IT ticketing system

Being able to look at something for yourself is always the best way to evaluate something. For example, consider the difference between someone describing a painting to you and you being able to see it for yourself.

The two scenarios will have very different outcomes for your understanding of the painting. The same thing works for the demo version of any software. You can understand the idea of its applications while watching a demonstration of how it works, opposed to just reading about it. The demo version lets you familiarize yourself with the layout and see if the product is working for you.

Help desk ticketing system
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What is the best help desk ticketing system?

The best help desk ticketing system is one that makes your operation more efficient and empowers self-serve options for customers to reduce your employee’s workload. Solutions like LiveAgent have robust customization options to create workflows that are specific to your business. The best system is the one most suitable for your unique requirements.

The best help desk ticketing system for small businesses

When you are a small business, the aim of your choice should be ROI, value, and scalability. Therefore, finding a system that meets your needs at a reasonable price is the ideal scenario.

Simple ticketing system providers offer a free version of their software with limited capabilities. LiveAgent offers a free plan which gives you the basics of everything you will need to get started, like a chat button, basic reporting, and the customer portal. Another reasonably priced option is Zoho Desk, which also offers a free version. From there, you can choose to upgrade to a paid plan.

The best help desk ticketing system for medium businesses

As your business continues to grow, there are more options in the mid-level market of help desk ticketing systems, as more money means more features. At this point, you probably have a growing team of agents, and you should be focusing on pulling them together with systems that foster collaboration and can integrate with the various applications you already have and those that you plan to grow. However, there should still be a focus on value, as you probably do not want to break the budget for too many features.

LiveAgent can integrate over 190 programs at this level, including social media. Social media is precious for your marketing campaigns, especially if you’re an up-and-coming brand. Answering questions and concerns on social media will help to expand your brand and create memorable customer interactions. Like other help desk ticketing systems, it also integrates with Slack to help keep team members connected. Another great option is Jira Service Desk because it also boasts a massive assortment of integrating options.

The best help desk ticketing system for large businesses

Large businesses can go all out. Now that you can afford all the bells and whistles, it is time to look at all the features you want and need. But, looking for value is still always the best course of action, no matter how much money you have to work with.

The heavy hitters of the space, Zendesk and Jira Service Desk, offer some qualities others do not have, like single sign-on. Single sign-on allows users to access the software using existing credentials, like signing in with a Google account.

This does not mean they are the only options. Depending on what you need as a large business in the form of customer support, you may be better going with a more cost-effective option that has what you need. For example, LiveAgent has a plethora of features, while its highest tier of service is reasonably priced, with a similar value to some help desk systems that cost much more.

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Benefits of using a help desk ticketing system

While you can manage customer support without a help desk, the time and effort required will cost more in labor costs than using a help desk ticketing system. Efficiency is one of the benefits of such a system.

Not only will this type of service create an effective work environment to keep employees from having to sort through several platforms to address different issues manually, but it will also pull them together by allowing them to collaborate on issues. In addition, it will reduce their workload by creating self-service options to enhance the user experience. You can create workflows to optimize the time it takes to solve a problem, which will increase the ticket volume you can resolve, so you can keep your customers satisfied.

They also allow for the consolidation of multiple avenues of customer interaction into one place and catalog it in an easy-to-use, functional space. The ability to have emails, live chat, phone calls, and social media inquiries all compiled into one place is not something to scoff at. This is an effective use of operating costs. All of this data, logged and ready with insights into the issues customers face, can then get used to help inform other decisions outside of customer service.

Ticketing system sk example - LiveAgent

For the cost of a help desk ticketing system, you can increase customer satisfaction, increase employee efficiency, and add to the value of your brand by creating a positive customer service experience that will build customer loyalty. Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition, and people are willing to pay more for better customer service. According to Hubspot, “68 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from a brand they trust to provide excellent service.”

A good customer service experience is everything in today’s world, and a help desk ticketing system will help you deliver it.

Implementation of help desk ticketing system

Implementation for a help desk ticketing system is simple as many are web-based. Generally, you choose one of the plans available from the software provider, create an account, install the software, customize your dashboard and customer portal, add plugins, and more. In the case of LiveAgent, things like the live chat function are as simple as copying and pasting code into your website.

Cost of help desk ticketing system

The cost of a help desk ticketing system depends on the provider, but it generally falls under a monthly billing by the number of agents you have accessing the system. Overall, you get the system features, but you pay for more access. Some have a monthly fee that allows a certain number of agents or the ability to have more, while others offer an annual fee to lower costs.

The important thing to remember when considering the costs of a help desk ticketing system is the value you get for that monthly fee. A system’s price needs to be weighed against the savings you will receive from implementing it, which should quickly pay for itself. This happens because the cost per ticket decreases based on labor cost as a help desk ticketing system should make your operations more efficient.

Pricing models of help desk ticketing system

As you look at the pricing structures of help desk ticketing system providers, you will often find monthly fees are calculated per agent. Every person on the team logged into the system will add to the monthly payment. LiveAgent follows this pricing model. SolarWinds also adds additional costs per device per month.

The other prevalent pricing model you will see in the help desk ticketing systems market is a per license plan, which allows a certain number of agents. JitBit is one of these types of providers, and they also allow for an annual payment to reduce cost.

Our employees have easily gotten used to LiveAgent. Working with LiveAgent is easy and intuitive.

Atomer

What do customers think of LiveAgent all-in-one IT help desk ticketing system?

Sli.do is a web-based application that allows presenters to engage audiences with polls and converse with them directly as they ask questions. Here’s what they have to say about LiveAgent:

“Events and meetings are a very dynamic environment. Everything changes all the time, that is why live chat and phone calls help us stay close to our clients, and emails, on the other hand, help us prioritize the key conversations we have with them. So, we’re flagging emails, creating tags for specific emails, and assigning different priorities. The greatest thing about LiveAgent is that it can manage everything from one place, whether it is a phone call, chat, or email. As a result, it is very easy to talk to our clients even during the busiest period of time. LiveAgent, therefore, allows us to reach out faster and secure a smooth and successful event for our client.”

Another review is from Atomer, a company that allows customers to lease a completely web-based system to easily create online stores or websites. This undertaking required a robust help desk ticket system, and after testing several out, they settled on LiveAgent because it fits them the best. They said:

“Our employees have easily gotten used to LiveAgent. Working with LiveAgent is easy and intuitive. LiveAgent is the tool we use to assist customers every day, and we are very happy about it. It provides the perfect level of transparency between us and the customer.”

Top 20 providers of help desk ticketing system list

1. LiveAgent

LiveAgent's homepage

In 2006, LiveAgent started because the founders could not find a great customer support tool that allowed live chat, so they made it. In 2011, they expanded the software’s features to include a help desk ticketing system. Now LiveAgent has more than 45 ticketing features and over 190 integrations as well as the support of third-party integrations, and it is easy to use and set up. Its help desk ticketing features improve productivity while increasing customer retention and conversions. An optional mobile app is included with any plan.

LiveAgent is a highly scalable option with a robust level of customization and options for integration in a single platform. With its wide range of features and integrations, it is customizable to fit the needs of both small and large companies that span all industries.

Key features

  • Canned Messages
  • Automated ticket distribution
  • Hundreds of integrations
  • Self-service portal and forum

Pros and cons

LiveAgent is a strong choice for those on a budget, as it is reasonably priced, even at its highest tier. However, it does not support SAML single sign-on for enterprises with hundreds of employees, like other enterprise-based systems.

Price

Free
Ticket – $15/agent/month
Ticket + Chat – $29/agent/month
All-inclusive – $49/agent/month

2. Zoho Desk

Help desk ticketing system

They launched a help desk ticketing system in 2016 that integrates flawlessly with many apps developed by Zoho. In total, between its multitude of apps for every level of business, which still drops every few months, they have reached over 60 million users. Moreover, they have comprehensive and reasonably priced cloud-based software.

Zoho Desk is a scalable system from one employee to hundreds. Users of Zoho also have the added library of Zoho products that integrate with the Zoho Desk.

Key features

  • Omnichannel
  • Workflow Automation
  • Platform integration
  • Self-service knowledge base
  • Artificial intelligence

Pros and cons

While reasonably priced, with the ability to add a light agent is an additional $6 per month (and 50 free light agents at the highest tier). Light agents have restricted help desk privileges as they are not part of the customer support team but can support customer service interactions. It also lacks a SAML single sign-on, and its CRM integration is with a different product from Zoho. One of the main features that sets it apart is its AI Zia, which is a powerful addition to the support staff, but that is only available for the highest tier. Moreover, they do have the added benefit of a reduced price if billed annually.

Price

Free
Standard – $20/agent/month ($14/agent/annually)
Professional – $35/agent/month ($23/agent/annually)
Enterprise – $50/agent/month ($40/agent/annually)

3. HappyFox

HappyFox Home Page

A quick-to-set-up, web-based help desk, HappyFox offers immense customization options, administration governance, and security features that will benefit a large business. In addition, it is easy to use and offers many features that allow customer self-service to lighten the workload of your agents.

Because there is no free option and their pricing starts at $29 per agent per month, it is not an easy sell for those on a budget. The upside is that they offer unlimited agent service but limit tickets per year for more extensive operations. The company provides single sign-on and tools to maintain governance and security for large businesses.

Key features

  • Omnichannel
  • Ease of use
  • Internal and external knowledge base
  • Customization
  • Administration and security functions

Pros and cons

There is a requirement of 5 agents for all plans, but it is difficult to gauge whether this is a good or bad thing without knowing the pricing structure.

Price

Prices are not readily available, but they offer four tiers of agent-based pricing starting at $29/agent/month. There are also four tiers of unlimited agents with ticket and custom field limits. Limits begin at 10,000 tickets per year and ten custom fields, and the highest tier has 250,000 tickets per year and 200 custom fields.

4. Help Scout

Help desk ticketing system

Trusted by more than 12,000 businesses in 140 countries, Help Scout is a customer support platform built with growing businesses in mind. As a result of Help Scout’s focus on customers, it also facilitates collaboration among team members, something that has been established through ten years of experience.

Help Scout is designed to grow with your business and supports all sizes of businesses. The lowest tiers start with a wide array of features. The service includes more advanced security like HIPAA-compliant features and single sign-on capabilities with the middle and highest plans.

Key features

  • Shared inbox
  • Knowledge base
  • Customer management
  • Compliance
  • SSO/SAML
  • Security

Pros and cons

They offer a 15-day trial of their two lower tiers, but the highest tier, while it shows robust features that any enterprise would be looking for, does not have a price listed. Help Scout is an option that allows companies to upgrade their plan as their company scales. It does not offer a free version.

Price

Standard – $25/agent/month ($20/agent/annually)
Plus – $40/agent/month ($35/agent/annually)
Enterprise – Need to contact

5. KB Support

KB Support Home Page

While not as common as other help desk ticketing systems on this list, KB Support focuses on being the best support tool plugin for WordPress and eCommerce websites.

This product is geared for starting businesses on the web, with plugins specifically for WordPress and eCommerce integration.

Key features

  • Submission forms
  • Guest tickets
  • Knowledge base with the ability to restrict articles
  • Agent permissions
  • Auto-assign
  • SLA tracker

Pros and cons

While KB support has a low yearly billing cost, it does require a year commitment after paying for it. They have the option to purchase specific plugins included with each tier of the plan, so you can decide what you need and do not need, though the bundles do come at a significant discount. Outside of the cost, the con is that there is no smart assigning technology at work; it just assigns randomly or based on active tickets per user.

Price

For a single site, billed annually (price increases per site to an unlimited plan):
Starter – $74
Professional – $102
Enterprise – $150

6. Zendesk

Zendesk homepage

One of the most well-known help desk ticketing systems, Zendesk has many options starting at $19 per agent per month with the basics and their enterprise-ready plan starting at $215 per agent per month. This higher-end service is trusted by companies like Uber and Netflix, plus over 160,000 global companies.

Zendesk offers plans for every business size and a free trial for every level.

Key features

  • Live chat
  • Community forums
  • Answer bot
  • Knowledge base
  • Social media integration
  • Sandbox test
  • Light access licenses

Pros and cons

The features of Zendesk are extensive, with plans that range from small business to corporation levels. Billed annually or month to month, there is no commitment to Zendesk outside of those terms (there is no refund for cancellation or downgrading).

Price

Support Team – $19 per agent/month billed annually
Support Professional – $49 per agent/month billed annually
Support enterprise – $99 per agent/month billed annually
Suite Team – $49 per agent/month billed annually
Suite growth – $79 per agent/month billed annually
Suite Professional– $99 per agent/month billed annually
Suite Enterprise – $150 per agent/month billed annually
Highest tier – $215 per agent/month billed annually

7. Vision Helpdesk

Vision Helpdesk Home Page

While offering many help desk options, from customer service to IT support, Vision Helpdesk is a help desk ticketing system that focuses on your employees with gamification options and collaboration features that encourage a positive work environment. However, that does not mean they lose sight of the customer, which offers a multi-channel approach for customers to interact with support.

This system will create a centralized help desk for your business with customizable workflows. While it is reasonably priced, it does not have the depth of features some larger enterprises need.

Key features

  • Automation
  • Gamification
  • Billing
  • Multi-channel

Pros and cons

While available in both SaaS cloud and downloadable licenses, the SaaS cloud license is only available in the US, UK, EU, and India. However, they do have a 30 day, no-obligation software free trial.

This system is geared more towards billable customer service hours than general customer service, and the live chat function is a separate purchase.

Price

Starter – $ 12 per agent per month, billed annually / $15 per agent billed month-to-month
Pro – $ 20 per agent per month billed annually / $25 per agent billed month-to-month

8. HubSpot

Help desk ticketing system

Like others on this list, HubSpot is set up to grow with you and is a recognizable name, as they have many other products used often. You can get started with a free plan from a trusted name on the internet, and you can use the flexible support and easy onboarding to understand your customers better.

The HubSpot system is an option that will scale with your business with both free and paid versions depending on your company’s needs. The higher tiers offer essential features for a large business as it grows.

Key features

  • Ticket routing
  • NPS surveys
  • Single sign-on
  • Slack integration
  • Field-level permissions

Pros and cons

They offer a free version with many of the essential features you need to get started. Still, ticket automation does not begin until the $50 per month plan, which includes two agents and the ability to add more for $25 each at the starting level. At the highest level, it is an annual commitment.

Price

Starter – Starts at $50/mo billed monthly (Starts at two paid users)
Professional – Starts at $400/mo billed monthly (Starts at five paid users)
Enterprise – Starts at $1,200/mo billed at $14,400/yr (Starts at 10 paid users)

9. Front

Help desk ticketing system

Marketed as a help desk solution that creates a more personalized experience for customers, Front removes ticket numbers to give the customer a personal response. It is easy and intuitive, and automation keeps track of assigning inquiries to the right support team member.

Front is a highly scalable system with up to ten teammates at the bottom tier, 50 at the second, and unlimited at the top.

Key features

  • Team inboxes
  • Analytics
  • Message templates
  • Rules
  • Assignments

Pros and cons

There is no ticketing system, but it works by organizing support through shared inboxes and assigning them through automatic load balancing. While the ticketing system does not automate the assignments, you can build rules which will do that (custom rules are only available at the $49 level tier).

There is also a year-long commitment.

Price

Starter – $19 per person, per month, billed annually
Prime – $49 per person, per month, billed annually

10. AzureDesk

AzureDesk Home Page

This system is an affordable option for small and medium businesses, which seeks to simplify the experience of using a help desk system. It offers customization options and third-party app integration.

While the amount of value for the cost is high with Azure desk, the fact that they only have one plan which lacks enterprise-level features limits its usability to small and medium businesses.

Key features

  • Ticket management
  • Unlimited mailbox
  • App integrations
  • Reporting
  • Collaboration
  • Knowledge base

Pros and cons

A 14-day free trial is available; however, only one plan option is available. The plan has many features, but the scope of scalability is limited. There are no advanced features for enterprises, such as security or governance.

Price

One plan – $33 per user per month billed annually and $50 per user per month billed monthly.

11. SupportBee

SupportBee Home Page

SupportBee is a help desk ticketing system that aims to build a collaborative work environment so that customer support team members can assist each other to resolve customer issues. Through a shared inbox that is easy to set up and is mobile-optimized, SupportBee is a flexible team-based system.

This system offers all the basics you would need to start a customer service team. However, it does not provide the support that larger businesses may need.

Key features

  • Shared inbox
  • Knowledge Base
  • Customer portal
  • App integration

Pros and cons

While very affordable, the features and functionality of SupportBee are not as extensive or comprehensive as those offered by other companies at the same price point. Also, the customer portal software is only available at the higher tier. But, overall, it is a simplified ticketing system that will work well for smaller companies.

Price

Startup – $15 /user/month or $13 /user/month billed annually
Enterprise – $20 /user/month or $17 /user/month billed annually

12. Freshdesk

Freshdesk homepage

Trusted by 40,000+ businesses, including HP, Pearson, and American Express, Freshdesk is an all-in-one customer service platform. With Freshdesk’s scalable platform, native omnichannel support, and collaboration features, your business can streamline work and satisfy your customers.

This system is built to scale with affordable options across different business circumstances.

Key features

  • Messaging service integration
  • Self-service with bots and AI
  • Automation
  • Collaborative
  • Management and security features
  • Identity and access management

Pros and cons

There is a free version with the basics a company needs to get started, plus unlimited agents. After that, each level progresses to include the features you will need as you grow. However, skill-based routing does not begin until the highest tier.

Price

Blossom– $15 /agent/month, billed annually – $19/agent/month, billed monthly
Garden – $35/agent/month, billed annually – $45/agent/month, billed monthly
Estate – $49/agent/month, billed annually – $69/agent/month, billed monthly
Forest – $99 /agent/month, billed annually – $125/agent/month, billed monthly

13. Awesome Support

Awesome Support Home Page

As a support plugin for WordPress, Awesome Support is simple and easy to set up and has many add-ons included in each bundle level. They offer the “most awesome” help desk and support plugin for WordPress, with over 10,000 active installs.

While there are large WordPress-based sites, like Microsoft news and BBC America, this is best for a smaller company as it needs to include more security and management features to be more useful higher up. However, even if these are unnecessary for a larger company, unlimited agents are a huge selling point.

Key features

  • No per agent fees
  • Customizable
  • Ticket history
  • Time tracking
  • Automatic ticket assignments

Pros and cons

Although they offer unlimited agents and unlimited tickets, you will have to commit to using the product for a year. The upside is that each tier is very affordable for any business level, but they do not have the options a large business would need.

Price

Standard – $149 per year
Pro – $229 per year
Enterprise – $ 289 per year
Agency – $409 per year

14. TeamSupport

TeamSupport homepage

Trusted by Fujifilm, Comcast, and the NBA, TeamSupport is a web-based business-to-business customer support system with omnichannel support that facilitates collaboration and streamlines customer support issues by integrating with software already in your tech deck.

The support service of this system has a lot to offer, but the starting cost per agent per month is high, which means that it may be out of reach for some smaller companies.

Key features

  • Purpose-Built for B2B
  • Ticket Management
  • Customer Management
  • Integrations
  • Customer Self Service Portal

Pros and cons

Many features focus on B2B customer service and IT support. The con is that the lowest tier costs $50 per agent per month, relatively costly compared to some other help desk ticketing systems with similar features and a lower price point.

Price

Prices reflect discounts for annual billing.
Support Desk – $50 Per agent Per Month
Enterprise– $69 Per agent Per Month

15. Freshservice

Freshservice Home Page

Freshservice is a cloud-based IT service management solution. Like its help desk counterpart, it is an easy-to-use, all-inclusive system with a serious array of features.

The scalability of this platform gives it the ability to work for any size business as they grow.

Key features

  • Automation
  • AI chatbots
  • Integrations
  • Quick implementation
  • No-code platform

Pros and cons

They offer a 21-day free trial period with all the features activated. They encourage collaboration within their features. They provide security features that protect data in the cloud with access management and encryption for data in transit. Unfortunately, there is no free version.

Price

Each level has a month-to-month option which is $10 more for Starter and Growth and $20 more for Pro and Enterprise.

Starter: $19 per agent per month billed annually.
Growth: $49 per agent per month billed annually.
Pro: $89 per agent per month billed annually.‍
Enterprise: $109 per agent per month billed annually.

16. ManageEngine Service Desk Plus

ManageEngine Service Desk Plus Home Page

Over 100,000 organizations, like Disney and Honda, trust ManageEngine to manage their IT. Their Service desk Plus system is a cloud-based IT solution that has made customers and IT professionals happy for over ten years.

Although ManageEngine Service Desk Plus has a plethora of features, without knowing the cost details it is difficult to recommend it to specific size businesses. Pricing plans seem to scale well with each level of business. They are also working with Zoho to use their Zia AI assistant as a potential first contact point for customers.

Key features

  • Best practice ITSM workflows
  • Smart automation
  • Integration
  • Codeless customization
  • Reporting

Pros and cons

There is no free version. There is a trial period, but the length is unknown. There is a demo available as well. The prices are undetermined, but there is an option to get a quote.

This is an all-inclusive IT service with powerful features to improve your organization’s service, including asset and problem management.

Price

They have three pricing plans, Standard, Professional, and Enterprise, but these costs are not disclosed on the website. You will need to contact them for pricing information.

17. Kayako

Kayako Home Page

Over 131,000 agents provide support using Kayako, from Sega to MTV to Acer. The system is built to be personal and straightforward. It is quick to implement and easy to use and has unique features like SingleView, which they implement to personalize a customer journey.

This is a system that can be used by all levels of business, as its features allow you to get a better understanding of your customers, which is unique to Kayako. It is also very affordable for any business level, starting at $15 per agent per month.

Key features

  • SingleView
  • Live chat
  • Self-service
  • Collaboration
  • integrations

Pros and cons

The SingleView system, which tracks a customer’s journey through your site, allows your agent to deliver customer service with the context of your customer experience. The omnichannel inbox and SingleView are available in the lowest tier of pricing plans.

There is no free version, but there is a 14-day free trial and a demo. Unfortunately, it does lack a single sign-on feature.

Price

Inbox – $15 per agent per month
Growth – $30 per agent per month
Scale – $60 per agent per month

18. SolarWinds

SolarWinds Home Page

SolarWinds is a modern IT service management (ITSM) solution that includes all the features of a help desk ticketing service, which is unique to this system.

This system has pricing structures for each business level and is easy to scale as you grow.

Key features

  • Incident management
  • IT asset management
  • Employee service portal
  • Knowledge base
  • Change management
  • Multi-factor authentication

Pros and cons

30- day full free trial. Demos on request. Reasonable pricing. This system has automation tools that help put the right ticket into the hands of the right team member. However, there is no free version.

Price

When billed annually:

Team – $19 per agent per month, additional $0.10 per device per month
Business – $39 per agent per month, additional $0.30 per device per month
Professional – $69 per agent per month, additional $0.50 per device per month
Enterprise – $89 per agent per month, additional $0.70 per device per month.

19. JitBit

JitBit Home Page

With their software used at Adobe and Microsoft, JitBit is a SaaS cloud-based service with a single sign-on and GDPR and HIPAA compliance. With automation rules, JitBit helps organize your tickets and save your team time.

With this system’s scalability and security, you can expand and get the services you need as your company grows.

Key features

  • Single sign-on
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Ticket Grid
  • Knowledge base
  • Canned responses

Pros and cons

The 21-day free trial is extendable if needed. It takes seconds to create a site for you to work with and test. It has a consistent price per month but limits the number of agents on every tier but highest.

“Powered by Jitbit” is not hidden until the highest tier. No free version.

Price

Freelancer: costs $29 and 1 agent only.
Startup: costs $69 for up to 4 agents.
Company: costs $129 for up to 7 agents.
Enterprise: costs $249 for up to 9 agents, with $29 per extra agent.

20. Jira Service Desk

JIRA Service Management homepage

Like Zoho, Jira is part of a network of applications, which means it can integrate with all applications under that umbrella. The Jira product in this industry is built for speed to help you answer questions faster and increase customer satisfaction. Their service is used by Domino, Square, and Twitter, to name a few.

This system works well for all levels of business, offering a free option and affordable tiers that scale up to enterprise. Each level provides encryption at rest and in transit.

Key features

  • Change management
  • Configuration management
  • Problem management
  • Asset management
  • Knowledge management
  • Security and compliance

Pros and cons

There is a free version with many features, and interested companies can book a live demo.

However, the enterprise costs are locked behind a contact form.

Price

Standard – $20 per agent (average) $60 a month
Premium – $40 per agent (average) $120 a month

Ticketing tools compared

When Comparing help desk ticketing systems, it’s essential to look at the platform-specific features and their reviews. Comparing the top five solutions, LiveAgent, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Front, and Zoho Desk, you can see how they compare.

LiveAgent

LiveAgent is affordable and offers a free version of the software as well as robust features. There are hundreds of features and integrations to be customized to fit any business’ needs. Key features include canned messages, automated ticket distribution, customer portal, and forum. LiveAgent consistently ranks at the top of highly-rated help desk solutions, with an average user rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Zendesk

Many large companies use this software. It offers many features that companies will find helpful like live chat, security, community forums, answer bot, knowledge base, social media integrations, sandbox test, and light access licenses. On average, users rate the software 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Freshdesk

Thousands of businesses trust Freshdesk to manage customer interactions. They offer many features like messaging service integration, self-service with bots and AI, management and security, and identity and access management. Freshdesk has an average rating of 4.4 stars.

Front

Front offers a unique take on help desk software by eliminating the traditional ticket. Instead, they have designed their software so that customer service agents can provide more personalized responses to their customers. Its top features include team inboxes, analytics, message templates, rules, and assignments. Front received 4.6 stars on average from its users.

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a reasonably priced, omnichannel help desk software that can scale with companies as they grow. It has many features like workflow automation, platform integration, a self-service knowledge base, and artificial intelligence. The software has an average of 4.4 stars from customers.

Help Desk softwareCapterra RatingWeb basedFree versionFree trialStarting price
LiveAgent4.7/5 (approx. 1K reviews)YESYESYES$15 per agent/mo
Zendesk4.3/5 (approx. 2.7K reviews) YESNOYES$19 per agent/mo
Freshdesk4.4/5 (approx. 2.3K reviews)YESYESYES$18 per agent/mo
Front4.6/5 (approx. 210 reviews) YESNOYES$19 per agent/mo
Zoho Desk4.4/5 (approx. 1.6K reviews) YESYESYES$14 per agent/mo

Is a trial version of the help desk ticketing system useful?

A trial version is always helpful when deciding between help desk ticketing systems. Before you commit to a service, you should experience what it will be like to use it every day. The service could have all of the features you are looking for and still not be suitable for you. Sometimes the feel of a system is not right, and you need to try it on to see. It is like a shirt; it can look good on the mannequin but not be the right fit for you.

The same is true for any of your customers. They chose your brand because it works for them. Therefore, you should try it before you buy it.

Still not decided which software is best for you?

Get a trial version of the help desk ticketing system

Right now, LiveAgent is available for a 14-day trial of their all-inclusive plan with no credit card required. It will take less than a minute to sign up and start your test drive. Learn more here.

Conclusion

We have discussed the many benefits of a help desk ticketing system and how that applies to your business. With an increasing amount of online users, they all expect high-quality customer service and support. This aspect is the difference between keeping and losing a customer. A help desk ticketing system supports you and your business to create the best customer service experience by enhancing your workflows with automation. It also creates actionable data from every logged customer transaction and reduces your time per ticket by putting them in the hands best suited for the job.

There are several ways that a help desk ticketing system can benefit your customer service teams by putting everything they need into one easy-to-use place. There are many options to choose from, but only you know which one is best for you.

FAQ

What is a help desk ticketing system?

A help desk ticketing system is a centralized system that logs customer queries, customer requests, and customer interactions for cost-effective and speedy access for support staff to sort and resolve. This type of helpdesk software helps streamline the process performed by support staff through automated workflows.

How does the help desk ticketing system work?

This system works by creating tickets, which are logs of customer service interactions with a customer. The system creates a ticket once communication from any platform is sent. Tickets are assigned to customer service agents manually or automatically. For the best customer service experience, a help desk ticket system organizes and catalogs tickets based on the pre-set rules.

What are the key features of an effective help desk ticketing system?

Standard features include a hybrid ticketing system, mass actions, filters, tags, contact fields, and more. These features work together to simplify the tasks of customer service agents to make them more efficient, which increases customer satisfaction.

How to choose a help desk ticketing system?

Choosing the right help desk software can be challenging because many have similar features but distinct strengths or weaknesses. The criteria to help you decide which is best for you as you access each system you consider are commitments, pricing, support, provided contact options, ability to scale up or down, software limitations, collaboration options. While some may be the best overall, they may not be the best for whatever your particular circumstances may be, so consider these aspects of each provider alongside the features they offer that you may need.

What are the top providers of ticketing tools?

These options have been chosen as the top ticketing tools options because of their robust features, scalability, and cost-effectiveness for businesses of all sizes: 1. LiveAgent; 2. Zendesk; 3. Freshdesk; 4. Zoho desk

What is the best help desk ticketing system?

The best help desk ticketing system is one that makes your operation more efficient. Whether it helps by empowering self-serve options for customers to reduce your employee's workload daily, like LiveAgent, or it has robust customization options that allow you to create workflows specific to your business, like HappyFox, choosing depends on what you need. The best system is the one that you see working best for your unique circumstances.

What are the benefits of using a help desk ticketing system?

This service creates an effective work environment that will keep your employees from manually sorting through several platforms to address different issues and facilitate collaboration. It will reduce their workload by self-service options that will enhance the user experience. It will help you develop workflows that will optimize the time it takes to solve an issue, which will increase the volume of tickets you can resolve, organize them into groups, and ultimately keep the customers happy.

How to implement a help desk ticketing system?

Implementing a help desk ticketing solution is often relatively straightforward. You create an account with the software provider, choose an appropriate plan, and configure the system to your needs. In the case of LiveAgent, integrating things like the live chat function are as simple as copying and pasting code into your website to include that functionality.

What is the cost of the help desk ticketing system?

The cost of a help desk ticketing system depends on the provider, but it generally falls under a monthly billing by the number of agents you have accessing the system. Overall, you get the features, but you are paying for more access. Some have a monthly fee that allows a certain number of agents or the ability to have more, while others offer an annual fee to lower costs.

Is a trial version of the help desk ticketing system useful?

A trial version is always helpful when deciding between help desk ticketing systems, as it gives you the power to experience what it will be like to use it every day. This is important before committing to a service because it could have all the features you are looking for and still not be suitable for you. Sometimes the feel of a system is not right, and you need to try it on to see. It is like a shirt; it can look good on the mannequin and be objectively nice but still not feel right for you.

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