The Best Online Help Desk Ticketing System
Online help desk ticketing system: Choosing a help desk ticketing system can be difficult.
With so many options and features to consider, it’s easy to get sidetracked and overwhelmed. A step-by-step approach to choosing the ideal system helps everyone stay on track and, ultimately, benefit from the tools they need to get the job done.
Below, we’ll ask you the best questions and outline some additional tips to help guide you to the best support ticket system for your business.
What is a help desk ticketing system?
Online help desk ticketing system A help desk ticketing system is software that keeps track of customer issues so that your support team can resolve them promptly From answering tickets to collaborating with other team members, it gives a team the daily tools they need to do their job well.
Ideally, your help desk should be the center of your support team — the command center, if you will. From answering tickets to collaborating with other team members, it gives your team the tools they need to do their jobs well, so you have nothing but satisfied customers.
The benefits of investing in a help desk
A help desk ticketing system helps you convert a potential challenge or complaint into a positive customer experience.
If your team members have the necessary training and support to provide empathetic, effective, and efficient customer support, they can help transform retention rates and take collective ownership of a specific aspect of the revenue stream.
Without a help desk, a small team can still provide great support, but it’s harder to scale up and beyond for customers, and it’s even more challenging to measure the success of the team’s efforts.
A help desk is not just a tool for support professionals; It’s also the way managers and business leaders can evaluate and optimize the customer experience.
Think about the kind of information support professionals receive every day. A help desk can not only centralize essential metrics about individual and team performance but is a repository of data that can power every aspect of a company, from product to sales.
Imagine you are making changes to one of your most loved products. If your help desk experiences a flood of negative customer feedback, that’s business intelligence that would otherwise be difficult to analyze and present in a digestible form.
In these situations, support leaders can share clear, up-to-date data that leaders can use to realign or strengthen their decisions moving forward. In other words, a help desk becomes the catalyst for cross-department collaboration and ensures alignment with the needs of a company’s customers.
Signs you’re ready to invest in a help desk ticketing system
If your day-to-day efforts on a support team aren’t translating into a positive customer and employee experience, it’s time to consider moving to a help desk.
Everyone in this industry works hard. But when there’s a real gap between a company’s ambitions and a support team’s ability to serve people well, it can lead to high employee turnover and low customer satisfaction.
Most small support teams start with a simple, inexpensive solution such as an email distribution list. This seems to work well until your business starts to scale. It’s only a request for help that falls through the cracks for you to lose the trust of an important customer.
That’s where a help desk comes in If you can empower your team with a support stack that gives them clarity, insight, accountability, and space to collaborate, they can make people’s lives better.
Here are some indicators that your team is ready for a new way of working:
Support tickets keep slipping through the cracks.
Team members send duplicate responses to the same ticket.
You never know who is dealing with a critical support issue.
You have no support-driven insights into how happy your customers are.
morale is low; Your best support professionals are frustrated with the current system.
Team feedback is completely subjective and not tied to metrics.
Real-time collaboration with ticket transparency is impossible.
Your boss wants you to improve or sustain the customer experience.
The selection process shouldn’t just be an audit of the technology your support team uses and what they need moving forward. This should include a broader assessment of what is working and what is not working with the overall support strategy.
Great tools are only helpful if they are implemented with a customer-first approach that values the work of the support team. A help desk solution can help you stay on top of any customer interaction in real time, but the tool isn’t enough if you don’t have a strong customer service playbook and an empathetic approach to go with it.
Use this process as a time to include your team members and dig into their experiences on the job. They know better than anyone what makes customers happy and how you can create a unique customer experience.
Ask these support professionals to be as granular as possible about what’s not working so you can choose a system and create processes that transform those real pain points into solutions for your end users. The best part? A good help desk will give you data to track these measurable improvements so you can pivot and realign as you go.
The 10 best help desk ticketing systems
If you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade to a help desk for your team, here are 11 of the best help desk ticketing systems to add to your shortlist.1- Help Scout
1- Help Scout
Best for growing customer support teams.
HelpScout is the ultimate tool for customer support. From shared inboxes and customer management tools to workflows, reporting, and live chat, HelpScout has it all.
What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to sign up and immediately get the customer support ball rolling, so teams of all sizes can benefit.
Use the shared inbox to collaborate with your team members and make sure everyone is aware of important conversations and customer issues.
Manage customer conversations in a seamless inbox, whether they contact you via email or live chat in real-time.
Set up workflows and automated responses during low response times and start helping customers faster
Build a knowledge base with quick how-tos and tutorials that demonstrate how customers can use your product.
Access reporting and analytics to keep up with support team performance.
Pricing: Starting at $20/user per month.
Best for teams that need a central location for customer and IT support requests.
ProProfs has several different software, one of which is an IT help desk tool that allows teams to easily submit issues and requests to the IT department and track when they are completed. This is a great option for tech companies with really hands-on IT departments.
Use round-robin ticket assignments to evenly distribute support tickets to agents.
Create pre-written responses that allow for faster response times.
Find key customer support metrics in your help desk reports.
Pricing: Starting at $10/user per month.
3- Zoho Desk
Best for teams using other Zoho products.
Zoho Desk is part of the Zoho suite of business tools (think Zoho CRM, Books, etc.). It is ticket management software that allows your customer service team to communicate with customers across multiple channels.
Receive and reply to messages from multiple channels in one inbox.
Connect with many integrations with the tools your company is already using to create a seamless customer experience
Create a self-service portal with tutorials and FAQs so users can search on their own.
Price: Free for up to 3 agents.
Best for enterprise customer service teams.
Zendesk allows customer support teams to manage conversations across multiple platforms. Support agents can tag issues, choose the channel they respond with, set priorities, track interactions, and more.
Use cross-channel communications to reach your customers where they are, whether it’s via email, Facebook, Twitter, live chat, etc.
Use AI-powered chatbots to personalize auto-responders until an agent is available to help.
Set up a help center or knowledge base for customers who want a more DIY approach
Pricing: Starting at $19/agent per month.
5- HubSpot Service Hub
Best for teams looking for a centralized, cross-functional suite of tools.
HubSpot is another tool with a suite full of options for sales, marketing, and customer service teams. Companies can pick and choose between the tools they need, meaning HubSpot can be a great all-in-one tool across categories.
Use the video messaging feature to create personalized help videos for your customers.
Combine email inbox, live chat, Facebook Messenger, and more into a single shared inbox for seamless communication.
Create and send customer satisfaction surveys to measure the performance of your support team.
Use popular help desk features like ticket management, knowledge base setup, live chat, and automation.
Price: Free plans available.
Best for call-center-focused teams.
FreshDesk is help desk software that lets teams unleash the power of AI to help automate and streamline their customer support. Its AI (known as “Freddy”) can be an asset to your team, with the ability to recommend related knowledge-based articles to agents and close entire tickets.
Use collaborative tickets to allow agents to work together to complete a service request.
Automatically assign tickets to the best agents for the job using their AI features.
Customize dashboards to display team performance metrics and analytics
Price: Free plans available.
Best for teams that only provide support via email
front is a hub that consolidates your customer service and communications into one online space. This app is a great way to improve team collaboration on customer issues.
For example, even when an agent starts working on a ticket, other agents are still able to see the progress of that ticket, stepping in to help if they are able.
Share email drafts with teammates to gather feedback before sending them to customers — perfect for training.
Use workflows that allow your team to respond quickly to customer messages.
Check out analytics that provides deep insight into the number of requests your team receives, your overall customer experience, and more.
Prioritize VIPs so top customers grow immediately.
Pricing: Starting at $19/user per month.
8- Jira Service Desk
Best for the engineering team.
Jira is a tool from Atlassian that offers it all for IT and development teams: asset management, change management, incident management, project management, and more. Jira Service Management is the aspect of the tool that focuses more on request management.
Create custom add-ons using the Jira API.
Access a library of different automation rules to get the most out of your tool.
Connect with your project management tools to reduce your IT team’s software learning curve.
Price: Free for up to three agents.
Best for IT support teams in enterprise companies.
FreshService is owned by the parent company of FreshDesk, but the tool is catered more to IT services than customer service. An IT service desk, IT project management, and even IT asset management services come with this tool.
Set policies based on business hours, ticket categorization, and more using Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Send ticket assignments to your integrated project management dashboard.
Use reporting tools to measure the overall performance of your help desk.
Pricing: Starting at $19/agent per month.
10- Vision Helpdesk
Best for ITIL/ITSM.
Vision Helpdesk offers several customer service products perfect for customer service and IT teams. From its satellite help desk to its ITIL/ITSM (IT Infrastructure Library and IT Service Management) compliant desk, this tool is ideal for teams that need to emphasize the security of customer data.
Use mobile apps to communicate with customers on the go.
Take advantage of live chat software for both sales and customer service teams.
Manage customer conversations from live chat, social media, email, phone, and more.
Pricing: Starting at $12/agent per month.
What to look for in a help desk ticketing system
As you evaluate these options, consider how your customers prefer to interact with your company. Do they prefer to call or email? How soon do they expect a response from your team? Are they comfortable using self-service tools? If your customers could wave a magic wand and fulfill their needs, what would it look like?
Even if your current system doesn’t have an easy way to answer these questions, your selection team can review old support requests and talk about them with the rest of the team.
In the same way, you dig into your customers’ priorities, you need to assess your team’s needs. Create a short list of required capabilities or functionalities of the help desk or support stack.
For example, your company may benefit from a ticket routing feature where support requests from a specific department are automatically forwarded to the correct team. Or you may need it to integrate with your CRM software or channels like Slack to get real-time notifications.
These questions are a jumping-off point that can help you evaluate each feature that your team wants to prioritize:
What value does this feature add to our customers and our team?
Should we bundle this feature with other products or services? If so, is it possible?
Do we have to comply with any technical requirements, such as data formatting?
Are there any legal requirements we must meet as a team (eg, data storage)?
We recommend that support teams look for three core features and a support stack across these different features:
Clarity: A good support ticket system makes it clear when a support professional is already working on a ticket so customers don’t get multiple messages.
Accountability: The ability to assign tickets means nothing gets lost during the shuffle, especially when a team member takes time off or leaves the company.
Insights: Insights into your team’s performance and customer happiness can change the way you work. Find easy-to-use reporting features that include the busiest days and times for support requests, the most popular topics people contact you about, and opportunities to automate processes.
Include these three overarching priorities in your list of attributes. From there, you can start filtering through help desks and integrations available in the market. Look for solutions that align with your priorities before diving into the nitty-gritty details of the product.
Making a final choice
When the team reaches a shortlist, you’ll have some fun: take each help desk ticketing software for a test drive.
Have everyone work with each help desk from the perspective of both a customer and a team member. Collaborate on “fake” tickets and experience how this system will affect your ability to work together
You’ll also want to pay close attention to reporting capabilities — both the level of detail and the usability of the metrics are important.
Here are some questions to consider:
How can it help the desk scale with a growing team?
How does the customer experience align with your brand? (On HelpScout, for example, subscribers receive only private emails.)
How comfortable is your team using it? (See details like fast load times and great search capabilities.)
How detailed and user-friendly is the reporting data?
How is the support experience? Chances are, the best ticketing solution for you also offers great support teams.
How useful is it for managers?
Following these steps will lead you to a help desk ticketing system that will prevent internal challenges and improve your team’s ability to meet the needs of your customers every day.