Every company needs a department named Customer support.
After all, having a great relationship with the clients is what makes a business thrive and grow.
Support and Query management are the most important elements of running a business and help customers with problems related to your products and services.
With customers resorting to the internet or social media as a medium to convey their queries and issues, it became further complicated to act. Well, not anymore.
Businesses now have HelpDesk software and ticketing systems to make customer support very simple. An easy to use, free HelpDesk Software is one of the first things businesses should invest in and an absolute must for businesses or enterprises.
All the complicated processes become simpler and it saves a lot of time and resources, making the business as a whole efficient. The modern HelpDesk Software tools provide support through various channels of communication such as e-mails, chat support, websites, toll-free numbers, and SMS.
If you are a new business owner, whether it is small or big, helpDesk software is one of the first things you should download and invest in. These solutions can be highly expensive because most of the time the number of agents increases a lot the final price.
Then it is understandable why many teams search for free alternatives to this expensive helpdesk software. That is why we have come up with a list of top free help desk software to help these teams rock on delivering an amazing customer service/experience.
Important Features To Look For in A Helpdesk Tool
Ticket Allotment And Management
All the customer queries and complaints are systematically allotted receipts and tickets by a HelpDesk Software Tool and the progress can be tracked through the ticket numbers from point of contact till the queries have been resolved.
It also keeps track of repeated queries and notifies if there are any of them to deal with them together.
Chatbots are increasingly sophisticated software services that generally take over, or at least front, the live chat capability of your support website.
Customers who initiate a live chat believe they’re discussing their problems with a real person but are chatting with a chatbot-style “AI” that uses careful questions and natural language query processing to find out what the problem is.
Analytics is very important when it comes to running a web-based business. It provides timed data and projections of future data as well. A HelpDesk Software Tool takes care of the analytics as well as compiles all the data categorically.
Analysis charts and diagrams can be accessed on the software at any given point in time. It is a real-time data collection that keeps the analytical process up to date and makes projecting future trends simpler.
A HelpDesk Software Tool will very effectively automate a repeat process which saves time. Things such as ticket allotment and query resolution notifications are automated by the software itself. Also by keeping track of repeated customers, the form filling process gets automated.
Self Help Knowledge Base
Help desk software often lets teams create self-help resources. This helps customers to answer questions on their own, without submitting a ticket. This is known as a self-help knowledge base.
Sometimes this is in addition to a ticketing tool, and sometimes it stands alone. A knowledge base can take different forms, including:
- Discussion Boards And Forums
- How-to Articles
- Pop-up Tips & Recommendations
Most help desk solutions enable communication via multiple channels. Multi-channel features give easier access to support for customers. Multi-channel communication also creates a more convenient platform for agents. Common multi-channel features include:
A customer portal for users to submit tickets and access self-help resources. Live chat within a software product or on a company website.
Phone support. This includes call recording, contact database, Interactive Voice Response, call routing, and call scripting.
Social integration with platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This often includes “social listening” tools for brand activity monitoring and reporting.
Freshdesk is a cloud-based multichannel help desk solution for businesses of all sizes. Its free helpdesk software version includes email ticketing, social media ticketing (only for Facebook and Twitter), knowledge-based management, and reporting.
It has everything you need to redefine and elevate your customer support. These and more have landed Freshdesk into our #1 helpdesk software product for 2020.
As it’s a Cloud-based, web-accessible application, you’ll have no problem at all using it through a wide array of web-enabled devices such as mobile phones, tablets, etc, and without the need for a VPN.
If you have lots of external customers who reach you via social media to express some issue, discomfort, or to report a situation overall, then Freshdesk is definitely for you.
Just rerouting your current Community Manager to other tasks such as website maintenance and customer success analytics instead of the heavy load of browsing through hundreds (sometimes thousands) of comments on Facebook and/or Twitter to redirect them – if applicable – to the respective customer support areas, and instead of leaving such automation to Freshdesk, is a huge advantage for your company.
HubSpot’s Service Hub tier offers a complete package of help desk and ticket management tools that can support nearly every function of your customer service team. These tools include features like knowledge bases, live chat, centralized messaging, and even bots.
The software makes it easy for the support team to document, organize, track, and resolve each of your customers’ issues right from one single dashboard, which is easily accessible by the entire team.
With the kind of customer, volume, and velocity that the support team comes across every day, it gets challenging to extend the right kind of support and practice empathy without a system.
HubSpot’s Help Desk & Ticketing software is explicitly designed to connect with customers and grow through their experience. A unique feature about HubSpot’s Service Hub is that its tools can be integrated with your CRM and content management software.
HubSpot Help Desk & Ticketing software has a free version with all the basic features, and one can avail of the advanced tools by choosing the Starter package as low as $35 per month.
3. Drag App
With the Drag app, you can stop navigating back and forth between your inbox and a Help Desk inbox.
You will have a helpdesk straight from your Gmail inbox. Also, forget about importing emails to your ticketing system. Everything you need to manage your customer support will be in just one place, increasing the teams’ productivity.
Moreover, Drag is a shared inbox solution, that facilitates the team’s collaboration by having access to the same email address (e.g., [email protected]), without the need to share accounts.
Drag is forever free for individuals and teams, with essential, but limited features. Still, it is functional, and it can be of great help in organizing not just your tasks but your email inbox. But for more advanced and unlimited features, you can acquire a paid plan that starts at $8 user/month, billed yearly.
LiveAgent is a popular free helpdesk software solution created for businesses of all sizes. It is equipped with robust features for live chat management, email support management, as well as helpdesk agent management so you can optimize client engagement.
Moreover, it comes with a flexible yet easy-to-use interface that makes it a great option for tech-savvy and tech-averse users alike.
In addition to the abovementioned, this solution features a powerful ticket management module that lets you consolidate queries from multiple communication channels.
It also comes with automated ticket distribution tools and agent collision detection so you no longer have to manually route tickets and ensure that no two agents are working on the same query.
Another great thing about LiveAgent is that it offers comprehensive reporting tools that will help you gain insights into your operational performance. It can generate performance reports, agent rankings, SLA compliance reports, and even departmental reports.
That said, you can get a bird’s eye view of your day-to-day operations to help you take the guesswork out of business decision-making. With the free LiveAgent plan, you get one email address for email ticketing, one chat button, and one phone number.
Additionally, the free plan gives you unfettered access to robust features such as ticket merging, contact forms, split, ticket mass action, email notifications, custom ticket fields, and canned response.
Whether you’re managing incidents, proactively announcing changes in your interface or offerings, or looking for the source of a bug or problem, Jira has service desk features to make the process simple and seamless.
The great thing is that it comes with automation, queuing, knowledge base, and asset management built-in.
You will also have the ability to shape your processes within the software to match your optimal operational workflow, and it offers a number of integrations to work with your other software solutions.
With the free version of Jira, you can have up to 3 agents with unlimited customer limits, making this a good plan for solo agents and small support teams. But for bigger operations, you can purchase a plan, and the prices start at $20 per user/month.
The knowledge base requires Atlassian’s Confluence team workspace tool, but that is also free for up to 10 users.
It is cloud-based free helpdesk software that is powerful, insightful, and easy to use. Raiseaticket eliminates cluttered mailboxes and unaddressed customer requests with a free helpdesk.
Also improves your customer experiences and measure your team effectiveness through data-driven performance insights and data summarization.
With Raiseaticket you can assign tickets to teams or agents, add notes, attach files, update status, and track time spent on the tickets. Route your requests by skills or groups to the appropriate channels and escalate accordingly, whilst monitoring effectively.
With the knowledge base feature of the free helpdesk, you can build a knowledge base repository for how-to’s, troubleshooting, best practices, work examples, templates, and procedural information.
All these features are provided free on Raiseaticket with unlimited customers.
NGDesk is another entirely free cloud customer service software that comes with a ticketing system, automation and escalation, helpdesk reporting, and mobile support, among others.
It lets you have all the important helpdesk features that you need in one place, allowing you to handle everything from incident alerts to ticket management to live performance metrics, with no limits.
Its ticketing system lets you funnel all your support channels into a single shared inbox where every support request you receive is automatically converted into a ticket, enabling your agents to easily manage incoming tickets.
You can streamline ticket resolution by assigning and reassigning tickets to subject matter experts. Customer support managers can use ngDesk analytics tools to measure their team’s overall performance.
They can review metrics like rep productivity and customer satisfaction using the data-driven insights that are pre-installed on the platform. These added features bring management and frontline reps closer together because they’re working off of the same software.
Help spot offers a free helpdesk software version with complete ticket management features. Moreover, it allows companies to choose between setting it up in their own server or in the cloud.
If you have a lot of customers requiring support, HelpSpot offers unlimited customers and tickets. You set up the software on your own server and cloud, which means you can scale it up as needed, and it can even operate offline on an internal network if you choose to go that route.
It’s easily customizable and offers collision detection, ticket management, and integrated knowledge management. Helpspot’s free plan is limited to 3 agents, 3 mailboxes, and 1 portal, and needs to be downloaded to a computer.
If you opt for the unlimited versions, the prices start at $599 per year.
Faveo is another modernized open-source helpdesk software tool that has social media and mobile integration. SLA management is a very important feature of Faveo which strengthens customer and business relationships.
It also enables agents to select Priority customers and manage them accordingly. Its huge in-built knowledge base and multilingual ability create a huge database. Agent Collision Avoidance is another vital feature Faveo has.
It is a rare feature when it comes to helpdesk software tools. This saves a lot of time and resources for the business. The ticketing system is seamless and has powerful functions such as Ticket Merging for the agents and Ticket Rating for the customers.
The free helpdesk software version of Faveo is only available for the self-hosted software, for just 2 agents. For paid plans, you can use either the self-hosted or the cloud hosting versions, with more advanced features and support for a greater number of collaborators.
The prices vary a lot between the available plans, but they start at $36 per month.
Top Open-source Helpdesk Systems
OSTicket is one of the most popular ticket management software tools in the market. It comes packed with features and tools that rival premium support ticket systems on the market. A ticket management software tool is a very specific type of help desk software tool, with its main function being ticket assignment and resolution.
OSTicket has a very effective SLA management system along with an Agent Collision Avoidance feature which is very timesaving. The Dashboard is very simple and has a real-time notification and reporting function.
Agents and Supervisors can create custom help forms and support portals for customers on osTicket. When it comes to ticket management software, osTicket is one of the most widely used, which makes it one of the most popular help desk software tools as well on the internet.
HelpDeskZ is a PHP-based open-source and free helpdesk software tool that comes with an array of features. The dashboard is very simplified and it stacks various functions and processes on a single screen.
The messaging and mail functions are very convenient as well due to automatic pipelining.
Also, there are some more important features such as bulk actions, group routing, and email piping, that help increase the support team’s productivity. Its multilingual capability is very useful as well.
The personalization feature is very useful for agents and supervisors which enables them to personalize their dashboards and they can also customize dashboard fields and message templates.
HelpDeskZ is one of the most convenient and simplistic free and open source help desk software tools out there.
UVdesk is what a modern help desk software tool should be. It makes running a business absolutely clutter-free. Its seamless multi-channel support and social media integration is quite a boost over other help desk software tools.
Task and Mail management is very simple and convenient for agents and supervisors. UVdesk is also mobile friendly so you can now manage your business even on the go. It also has an add-on feature for supervisors that enable them to examine the performances of agents in detail and work on it.
Also, it comes with a Form Builder App and a File Viewer App for convenience. UVdesk follows all the top standards of security protocols to avoid data breaches.
UVdesk Open Source offers a free forever plan, that allows you to manage it at your server with an unlimited number of agents, and all the standard features.
But if you need more customizable features, prices start at $11 per user/month.
Hesk is a light, secure, user-friendly, and free help desk platform offered by IT solutions provider SysAid. It can be installed on local machines or deployed in the cloud to help you receive, organize, track, and resolve customer support issues.
Hesk allows the creation of a knowledge base for customer self-service experience and decreases the load on your support staff.
It boasts of a powerful ticket management system and several automation options to efficiently handle all ITSM issues. You can build custom fields and tweak helpdesk settings to align with your workflows.
In fact, the ticket submission form can be modified to match your particular specifications. Once a ticket has been assigned to an agent, he or she can engage with the customer through a Web interface, share and upload files or make relevant notes.
The system provides an admin panel that lets you filter and organize tickets as well as check ticket progress status. The customer is notified via email once a ticket or query is resolved.
Paid and Feature Rich
Help Scout scales like any other customer support software, but the customer experience is personalized like a normal email. It is ideal for companies of all sizes, and specifically companies with 11+ users. Help Scout’s clutter-free features are designed to keep teams, small and large, on the same page.
With best-in-class reporting, an integrated knowledge base, tons of integrations, and a robust API. Help Scout lets your team focus on what matters: your customers. Help Scout pricing starts at $10.00 per month, per user. They do not have a free version. Help Scout offers a free trial.
Kayako is a simple and easy-to-use helpdesk system built for modern businesses looking to put their customer service channels in one place. Among its many features are live chats, tickets, web, email, calls or self-service support to help businesses further extend help to customers.
Kayako generates insights based on customer queries, such as sales trends and opportunities, performance metrics, and support bottlenecks.
You can also automate processes to fast track replies to standard queries or repetitive tasks so your agents can prioritize more pressing issues, or organize and route emails for easy sorting.
The software allows you to launch live chat across your website and address customer concerns fast, giving you real-time, proactive support to possible prospects. Kayako comes in five scalable, budget-friendly plans for small, growing, and large teams.
HelpDesk is an online ticketing system that simplifies your team’s work. It’s full of features that foster collaboration within your team.
You can use tagging, add private notes, assign tickets to specific team members, and create canned responses. It has an impressive UI which loads extremely fast.
To ensure the highest level of security, the system encrypts your data with a 256bit SSL protocol. HelpDesk is designed to save your agents time and enable them to provide the highest level of customer service.
Every plan of HelpDesk has a 14 days trial. The starter plan starts with $4 monthly.
With Hiver, you can easily deliver fast customer service right from Gmail. You can collaborate seamlessly with your team by helping keep internal and external conversations separated, yet in context.
You can automate repetitive tasks by auto assigning emails based on predefined rules and distributed workload with round-robin assignments.
Hiver helps you improve your customer service with their insights into workload distribution, SLA violations, and team performance. You can also know the views of customers through a survey.
You can have basic customer service at $11 per month but for automation and advanced controls, you have to buy premium options.
Bonus – Free Accounting Software For Small Business
If you are looking for accounting software, ProfitBooks is the most profitable solution. It is the fastest growing and amazingly simple to use accounting software for businesses.
It lets you create detailed invoices, track expenses and payroll, and manage inventory without any accounting background. With Profitbooks, you get the freedom to customize the application as per your needs.
In addition to core accounting, ProfitBooks offers many useful features not found in other traditional software. Some of them as listed below:
- Powerful Inventory Management Features
- Invoicing & Billing
- Expense Tracking
- Support For Multiple Currencies
- In-depth Financial Reporting
This software provides an extensive range of features in one place. The best part is, it’s totally free.
Get your free account with ProfitBooks.
Help desk software tools are almost a compulsion for business owners today being a path-breaker to efficiency and profitability.
The customers also find various points of contact with the businesses with the use of help desk software tools which enables them to contact businesses with their preferred form of medium.
If the help desk software tool has a ticketing system, it’s even better as customers and agents can track the progress of the query from start to end. There are various premium help desk software tools in the market as well that have various advanced features.
For beginner to medium enterprises, the above list of open-source and free helpdesk software tools should be sufficient and business owners can select any one of them according to their needs and requirements.