by Sarah K. White

Top 10 help desk tools for better customer service

Aug 28, 202011 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsITSM

If you're looking to automate your help desk look no further than these 10 popular help desk ticket tools that can help you create a more streamlined customer service experience.

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Help desk software is designed to streamline customer service and create a functional, centralized point of contact for incident ticketing, customer issues and tracking the quality of customer service. Help desk tools focus on automating tasks such as assigning tickets, answering basic queries for customers, categorizing incidents or problems and tagging the necessary employees when issues arise.

The best choice of help desk software is the one that meets all your organizational needs and fits your budget. While most help desk software options offer similar services and features, some offer unique features or better pricing structures that will fit your business goals. If you’re looking for a service desk or help desk software to manage your IT service needs, here are 10 popular help desk tools designed to help elevate your customer service, streamline your IT ticketing system and strengthen your help or service desk.


Freshdesk is an omnichannel help desk solution that aims to simplify customer service for IT teams through automated workflows, bots and self-service solutions. Freshdesk offers collaborative help desk ticketing system features that enable cross-departmental teams to work together to solve customer service issues. You’ll be able to assign shared ownership of tickets, link tickets together to track widespread issues and utilize social tools to connect with team members to discuss various parts of the ticket.

Freshdesk offers a free Sprout subscription with unlimited agents to handle email and social ticketing, ticket dispatch, knowledge base data, ticket trend reporting and your choice of datacenter location. If you need more features you can opt for the Blossom level for $15 per agent per month, Garden level for $35 per agent per month, Estate level for $49 per agent per month or Forest level for $99 per agent, per month. Each subscription level offers more features, services and add-ons to better customize your help desk ticketing system.


Hubspot offers help desk and ticketing software that integrates with the HubSpot CRM platform to help businesses deliver better customer service on a user-friendly platform. Hubspot’s customer service software helps enable one-to-one customer communications, live chat automated ticket routing, customer feedback, team emails, the creation of live chat bots, analytics and reporting.

Hubspot offers a starter package for two paid users at $40 per month, which is currently 20 percent off from the normal price of $50 per user and offers standard features such as live chat, ticketing, bots, basic automation, email templates, productivity reports and more. The Professional level is $320 per month for up to five users and the Enterprise level starts at $1,200 per month for up to 10 paid users. The more expensive packages include features such as knowledge base, insight dashboards, customer surveys, single sign-on, Slack integration and more.

Jira Service Desk

Atlassian offers Jira Service Desk, a collaborative ITSM platform that helps businesses deliver faster IT services while integrating ITIL best practices. Jira Service Desk offers several features, including codeless setup and configuration and the ability to adapt your service management processes to the way your team works. With Jira you can access standard help desk features, including human resource management, IT support, automated ticketing, collaboration tools for integrated teams and extensibility. Jira Service Desk is also compatible with over 1,000 apps and offers integrations to help better customize and tailor your IT help desk to align with your organizational goals.

Jira Service Desk is free for a basic account, supporting up to three agents. The Standard account is $20 per agent per month and the Premium account level is $40 per agent per month — both offer a free seven-day trial. You can sign up to view an hour-long pre-recorded demo of the product with a live Q&A where experts will walk you through ITSM use cases and demonstrate the basics of Jira Service Desk.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is an IT help desk software that offers incident, problem, change, asset and IT project management features. ServiceDesk Plus also offers robust reporting and analytics, the ability to track and manage configuration items and a personalized service catalog with custom service level agreements (SLAs) and multi-stage approvals. Businesses can choose between cloud or on-premises deployment, depending on your company’s needs.

ManageEngine offers a free trial 30-day trial of ServiceDesk Plus. The Standard account starts at $8 per technician per month, while the Professional and Enterprise level accounts go for $16 and $41 per technician per month, respectively.

Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce Service Cloud offers several common help desk features such as omnichannel ticket routing, customer satisfaction tracking, customer data, productivity tools and knowledge management services. The platform also includes Service Process Automation, which enables businesses to design processes using a point-and-click interface to orchestrate workflows. The SPA features also help recommend actions, can guide agents through processes and enable agents to pick up with customers where they last left off in the support process. 

Salesforce Service Cloud pricing starts at $25 per user per month for the Essential level subscription, which offers case management, service console apps, knowledge base and telephony integration. The Professional level is $74 per user per month; the Enterprise level is $150 per user per month; and the Unlimited level is $300 per user per month. Each level offers additional services, including service contracts and entitlements, web services API and 24-hour support and configuration services. You can register to watch a live demo of Salesforce Service Cloud to see whether it’s right for your company’s help desk ticketing needs. 


ServiceNow offers a single cloud platform with native artificial intelligence that helps businesses automate and manage the IT help desk. The Now Platform is automated with digital workflow apps, integrates an intuitive mobile experience, supports cross-enterprise collaboration and uses AI and analytics to help predict issues and make IT decisions. The Now Platform also enables businesses to build low-code custom apps, which means people outside of IT can help create unique solutions for employees and customers.

The latest release of the help desk software, The Now Platform Orlando, adds more cloud and analytics features, including the ability to resolve requests remotely. The update also brings more mobility and collaboration features to the platform as well as the ability to better manage operational risks and more intelligent features for workflow assignments. For pricing you will need to contact ServiceNow to find out how much it will cost to get your help desk running on the Now Platform.


Solarwinds offers Service Desk, an ITSM help desk solution for businesses that want to integrate help desk software into an ITIL environment. Solarwinds Service Desk includes features such as incident management consolidation, a standardized service catalog, integrated IT asset management and a service portal for submitting tickets and requests. Solarwinds Service Desk also integrates with more than 200 cloud applications, including Google Apps, Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, Slack, Jira, and TeamViewer. 

Solarwinds offers a 30-day free trial of the Service Desk software and rates start at $19 per agent per month for the Team level, with an additional fee of $0.10 per device. The Business level is priced at $39 per agent with an added fee of $0.30 per device, the Professional level costs $69 per agent and $0.50 per device and the Enterprise level is priced at $89 per agent with an additional $0.70 per device. Each level offers additional services and features, including incident management, knowledge base, integration services, change management, templates and workflows and much more. 

Spiceworks Help Desk

Spiceworks offers free help desk software that enables you to build a customized help desk experience for your company, as long as you don’t mind advertisements. Spiceworks offers what you’ll find in any typical help desk software such as ticketing and task assignment automation, self-service capabilities for users and the ability to tag end users in tickets. The platform also offers help desk team management services that will auto-assign tickets and track team performance as well as collaboration features for multi-departmental tickets and multi-site and location support.

Businesses can opt for the help desk online service, which involves minimal setup and offers standard help desk management features that are customizable to your needs. Or you can go with the self-hosted option that allows you to run your help desk on your own network but will require more installation.


Zendesk’s ticketing system software is designed for enterprises, SMBs, retailers, HR teams, IT teams and educators to create a holistic customer support system with omnichannel support, enabling customer interactions across phone, chat, email and social media. Businesses can create a better customer service experience by delivering personalized one-on-one support across each channel. Zendesk offers standard help desk features such as automated ticketing, knowledge base for self-service, platform extensibility through apps, a user-friendly interface and collaboration tools to handle complex or cross-departmental tickets.

Zendesk offers individualized services, including support, self-service, chat, talk, sales, analytics and reporting and community forum capabilities that you can purchase a-la-carte. Zendesk also offers the Support Suite, which is the full-service experience that includes all of the features and the Sales Suite, which is optimized for modern sales environments. Zendesk starts at $5 per user, with the option to start with a 30-day free trial for the full suite or for each individual tool. The Support Suite is $89 at the professional level and $149 at the enterprise level. You can also create a customized plan with extra features if you contact sales.

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk claims to be the first “context-aware” help desk ticketing software that utilizes customer data from past interactions and other Zoho products to “organize tickets and intelligently present information to agents so they can better understand a customer’s problem and resolve it efficiently,” according to a press release from the company. Zoho Desk offers the standard help desk features and the software is also compatible with a number of add-ons and integrations, including CRM, BugTracker, Creator, SalesIQ, Sprints, Analytics, Assist, Cliq, Books, Invoice, Forms, Subscriptions, Inventory, Survey, Bigin and Marketplace.

Zoho desk is free with up to three agents. For small businesses on a budget, Zoho offers a solid line up of features to get your help desk started, including email ticketing, customer management, help center, predefined SLAs and private knowledge base features. For larger companies with more complex help desk environments, the Standard account is $12 per agent per month, Professional is $20 per agent per month and the Enterprise account level is $35 per agent per month. Each subscription level adds more features and can address more complex environments and processes.