If you’re looking for the best Help Desk Software for your small business, then read on to know more. I’ll be talking about the few systems and platform that I’ve personally tested and actually configured and used. This is not a review post, it’s a shortlist of what I’ve tested and worked for us.
- What is a Help Desk System/Software?
- Features Offered in a Help Desk or Ticketing System
- 3 of the Best Help Desk Software
- Other Cloud Helpdesk Software
- Open Source Help Desk Softwares
Without resorting to any third-party resource for its definition, I define “Help Desk System” or Help Desk Ticketing System as…
…Any software that a company or business can use to provide answers and resource to help their customers, whether it be for an after-sales or pre-sales inquiry.
It is a centralized customer support system, not only limited to customer support via phone calls, like what Call Center is used for.
It’s also a ticketing system which you can use to create and save a record for an issue reported by customers, and any available agent can have access to it and provide answers or follow up on any issues reported by customers.
Help Desk or Ticketing System are not limited to just providing answers or inquiries generated by a customer or a would-be-client. It is also a centralized source of text or rich media which are helpful to existing customers. These helpful resources are collectively knows as FAQ Pages or Knowledgebase Pages.
For the modern Help Desk Support Software, it can accept any product or service related questions via the following mediums:
- Phone Calls
- Live Chat
- Message Post
- Self Service Ticket Creation
- Social Media Page Post and Messages
This is my own definition of what a Help Desk System is.
Not all help desk system are created equal, some have the basics some have the bells and whistles, but not so important features. The most common features provided by these kind of system are:
- Ticket Creation
- Group or Department
- Canned Responses
- Automatic & Live Agent Notification
- Multi-channel Support
- Knowledgebase Page or FAQs
- Custom Support Portal
- Ticket Creation
A ticket is an issue reported by client or an pre-sale or after sale inquiry sent by a customer through any channel provided by the business.
This function includes; changing of ticket statuses (resolved, pending, or closed), ticket assignment to other agents, merging of tickets and setting priority.
- Group or Department
- A feature in which you can set what group or department an inquiry will be sent to. For instance; pre-sale deparment, after-sales department, complaints & feedback department or payment & shipping department.
- Canned Responses
Are pre-composed answers to frequently asked questions or can also be a saved string of text where an agent sets a hot-key or shortcut to quickly paste in to their post editor or chat window.
For instance; instead of typing the whole string… “Hi! How may I help you today” – the agent would rather press
ctrl + hto quicly paste in “Hi! How may I help you today”. Saves time!
- Automatic & Live Agent Notification
- When agents are logged-in to their Dashboard, they are automatically notified when new ticket / issue is created and sent to them by the customer. Notifications may be in the form of visual or audible notification.
- Multi-channel Support
- with some Help Desk Software out there on the internet, some just offer Email or Ticket based support only. While for other software/system offers a number or channels that enables a small business to accept any inquiries from several options like; social media posts, SMS or Phone calls, Live Chat and Twitter Tweets.
While some Help Desks offers Social Media as other channel to support their clients, not all can support different types. I know one which cannot support a Facebook direct message, while the other supports it without a problem. Read further below to know more about this.
https://support.mybrand.com, then attach your portal to it by configuring your DNS settings. Once configured, going to the sub-domain will access your support portal where customers can log in and create a ticket for specific issues or help themselves by reading knowledgebase articles and answers to frequently asked questions.
Best Help Desk System We’ve Tested
If you’re searching for the best help desk ticketing system out there on the Internet, well look no further, because I’ve narrowed them down and listed them below. These may not be the best for you, but for me they are.
Note, that I’ve personally tested these system and actually used one of them for a while. In case you didn’t know yet, I also work as a part-time freelance tech support agent for a small company. Sometimes they assign me as Live Chat agent as well as tasked to answer email-based inquiries. I explicitly mentioned “sometimes” above, I’m not claiming to be an expert user here. Just telling you that I have actual experience using these platforms. They are actually a cloud-based Help Desk Ticketing System.
Below, are the 3 Helpdesk Software that I’ve personally tested and found that they’re among the best.
These are the 3 platforms I’ve tested and evaluated. I will not make any conclusion as to what would be the best Help Desk system for you. But in our case, I will mention what we picked and the reasons why we have decided to use the platform.
These software have one thing in common, they convert messages into tickets, whether it be from Live Chat messages, Email inquiries, or Social Media posts. Also take note that these 3 are cloud-based and paid helpdesk platforms, which are ready to use once you completed the basic configurations.
- 1. Fresh Desk
- A brand with a tagline “Freshdesk Support Suite – Everything you need to deliver” and stylized as Freshdesk. With Fresh Desk, all inquiries sent from different channels are all sent as Tickets. Whether it was sent from Live Chat, Contact us page or Email.
- Freshdesk is a cloud-based Helpdesk System. No need to install, you just need a paid account.
Their ticketing features includes;
- powerful ticketing system
- multi-channel support (phone, email, chat)
- event triggered action (ie: auto purge closed tickets)
- 2. GrooveHQ
- Stylized and written as Groove – is another Helpdesk Platform with a tagline “Simple Help Desk Software”.
- Like Freshesk, Groove also has multi-channel feature where a client could sent out support messages either via live chat, email or social media posts. Though Groove’s Social Media Channel features are quite limited compared to the 3rd platform I’m going to mention below.
Groove also supports email forwarding like Freshdesk, where you can forward any email messages sent to your support email and converted as support tickets. In addition, it supports connecting multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts to your Groove account and you also have the option to route the different social accounts to different mailboxes. You can use any email address you would want and forward it to each group or department inside your company. It has a multi-brand function, where you can forward any support email coming from specific email address then going to specific department. For instance, you can forward messages sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org the tech support department of your company. All agent who are members of the group can read the message and the agent can either grab it or assign the ticket to another agent.
Based on my personal test, you can create a separate email address for each brand or department you would need. You can forward messages from your gmail address to each configured brand or department. For example,
email@example.com go to Brand 1’s support department, and
firstname.lastname@example.org go to Brand 2’s support department. To learn more of the platform’s feature, visit their website. Link is posted below.
- 3. Ladesk
- The third cloud based helpdesk platform that I’ve tested is called **Ladesk**, another Help Desk System with a tagline – Help Desk Software & Live Chat. This platform is also advertised as “helpdesk ticketing software”.
- This is the simplest platform that I’ve tested and used. This is the help desk software that we’ve decided to use and stick on. For use, this is the best cloud-based help desk system to use. It has the basic features found in Groove and Freshdesk, but their Social Media features is more usable and feature rich, at least with our case.
- The primary reason why we chose Ladesk, is because of their Facebook/Twitter feature. While the two platforms mentioned above also supports this, Ladesk supports Facebook Page posts & comments, also direct messages are converted as tickets. Freshdesk and Groove only supports Fan Page posts which is kinda limited with our case. We market and engage our clients heavily on Facebook, that’s why we really searched for the feature we need and it’s great we found Ladesk, who can really perform and do what we want.
- You can checkout the full details of the features by visiting Ladesk’s features page.
- Stylized as JitBit – Is a Hosted Helpdesk, a cloud based support ticket system that has all the features you may need. They take care all of the server maintenance and security. They use Amazon as their infrastructure and where they host your Helpdesk instance.
- They offer a 21-day trial and your demo instance will be hosted under a sub-domain like
yourbrand.jitbit.com. JitBit claims they can provide instant delivery, right after you signup. Your hosted app will be available within seconds. Click here to visit their pricing page.
- Stylized as Giv@ is a Calfornia based company, who advertise their platform as eHelpDesk. It’s another cloud-based help desk software and Giv@ claims to be a HIPAA Compliant. HIPAA, is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. Any company that deals with protected health information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed. That said, Giv@ targets industries who needs helpdesk support sytem for patients. They primarily target health institutions looking for a hosted help desk system. You could signup for a Free-Trial on this page.
- Stylized as DeskPRO is also a cloud-based help desk support and ticketing system, and their company is based in London, United Kingdom. They also offer on-premise instance, which is also referred to as self-hosted option. The offer a 14-day trial and you need to book for a schedule. DeskPRO claims to use bank level security practices to ensure customer data is kept fully secure. Price starts @ $30/agent/month
- Stylized as Deskero – is a simple Help Desk Software and it’s advertised to have native support for Twitter and Facebook, and also offers a great integrated chat, which you can use to receive customer feedback or inquiries and convert them into tickets. A reasonable price starting @ $12/agent/month
Checkout the features from this page.
These are the open source help desk system that I’ve listed so far, though not all were tested yet.
- osTicket: http://osticket.com/
- OTRS: https://www.otrs.com
- Helpy: https://helpy.io/
- Faveo: http://www.faveohelpdesk.com/
- HelpDeskZ: http://www.helpdeskz.com/
- Liberum: http://liberum.org/
- SupportPress: https://supportpress.com/
It’s a Wrap!
Searching for the best help desk and ticketing system may require you to actually test the system and see all the features advertised, in action. Overkill or bloated features doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. It’s best that you gather and list the features/functions you need, then compare that set of features from other platforms.
You may picked one from the 3 platforms mentioned above, they share similar features, but a specific feature may be superior than the other. I have encountered others, like Zendesk, but haven’t got the time and chance to test it since they require a scheduled demo. Freshdesk, Groove and Ladesk offers a quick access to their free demo, which lets you test drive their system and actually use it with your own data like, url, email, social pages, and domain name. So make sure you actually explore their demo and test it really well. You could play the role of a client using a browser, while using another browser for agent role, and actually test how the ticket can be handled.
The best helpdesk support ticket system should be the one that fits your needs, it doesn’t have to carry all the bells and whistles. Pick the one which has the right features/function, it doesn’t need to be overkill.
Opt for cloud-based helpdesk solution if you’re not confident in handling security yourselves. Hosting a free and opensource software like osTicket requires a secure server and technical expertise to protect any sensitive customer data. But if you have a team of experts who can handle all security issues, then you could run your own help desk system using osTicket, otherwise, you should signup for a cloud based solution and all these issues shall be taken care of.