More than three-quarters (77 percent) of customers say they are more loyal to businesses that offer top-notch service (Zendesk Customer Experience Trends 2021). Add to that the fact that, in 2021, customer support tickets increased by 30 percent year on year and it is clear: excellent customer service is a critical component of a successful business. This helps explain why seamless, omnichannel help desk software is now the standard. But that does not mean it is easy to find the solution which is the right fit for your business. Especially if the software for your help desk also needs to support IT or HR services for internal employees.

Advantages of using a web-based help desk

Web-based help desks — or SaaS helpdesk software — are worth a closer look because of their current prevalence on the market and their impressive flexibility. Since many companies have moved to work remotely, customer service teams have had to learn how to operate from home, or in a space that’s not in the office. SaaS helpdesk software allows customer services teams to manage tickets quickly, access customer data securely, and provide excellent customer service no matter where they are.

Another advantage of using a cloud help desk tool is its flexibility. SaaS help desk platforms are typically designed to be customizable and scalable, allowing your team to tailor it to their needs. Then, they can add on features and capabilities as customer service demands increase.

Top 10 help desk software solutions

1.     Zendesk

Zendesk helps streamline customer support with time-saving tools like triggers and automation. It is support desk software that is intuitive and easy to use because it is built with both customers and service desk agents in mind. Great customer support starts with the right tools and with Zendesk, you have everything you need to build the best customer experience possible.

Zendesk’s help desk software features include:

·        Customised views

·        Self-service options

·        Integrated voice software

·        Analytics and reporting

·        Live chat and messaging

·        Collaboration tools

·        API, SDKs, and app integrations

·        Automated routing

·        Customised branding

·        Omnichannel support

·        Multi-language support

2. HappyFox

HappyFox is a full-featured, cloud-based IT help desk solution designed for a variety of industries and team sizes. It includes all the essential features of a help desk including smart automation, ticketing management, advanced reporting, and more. However, compared to an option like Zendesk, HappyFox has relatively few app integrations.

Also, since HappyFox offers neither a free plan nor a free trial, you will need to pay just to try the software. They offer four plans, each of which requires a minimum of five help desk agents. As you would expect, the feature sets of each plan vary. Below, you can see the features included in their Enterprise Plan.


·        Smart rules-based automation

·        API, SDKs, and webhooks

·        Workflow macros

·        Live website chat

·        Advanced reporting

·        Ticket routing, categorization, and tagging

·        Unlimited shared inboxes

·        Branding customization

·        Knowledge base management

·        Multi-channel communications

3. Help Scout

Like HappyFox, Help Scout is powerful enough to support large customer support teams of 500 or more. But Help Scout is a bit more small-business-friendly with no minimum number of users and a 14-day free trial. Help Scout supports robust reporting, native knowledge bases, a robust API, and a broad range of integrations.

The Standard and Plus plans are priced at $20 and $35 per month per user, respectively. And to get pricing for their Company plan, you will need to contact them for a quote. Also, if your business is a startup or it has a focus on environmental sustainability or social impact, you may be eligible for a significant discount.


·        Rule-based automation

·        Extensions and integrations

·        Templated responses

·        Website live chat

·        Analytics

·        Ticket routing and prioritization

·        Collaboration tools

·        Customisable branding

·        Knowledge base content management

·        Multi-channel support

4. SolarWinds Service Desk

This IT service management system helps businesses standardize their service requests and processes, ensuring faster resolution times for tickets. SolarWinds Service Desk pricing starts at $19 per feature per month, which is best for smaller teams who only need the most essential functions like ticket management and a service portal. It offers a 30-day free trial for anyone willing to test drive it.

The incident management software allows you to manage tickets no matter where they’re coming from, whether it’s through a mobile app, mobile service portal, phone call, or live chat. Plus, generous automation makes it easy to handle tasks like ticket creation, escalation, and routing.


·        Relationship mapping

·        Change management

·        IT asset management

·        Configuration management database software (CMDB)

·        Help desk knowledge base

·        Procurement tools

·        Service automation

·        Service desk chat

·        Service desk reporting

·        Risk management

5. JIRA Service Management

JIRA Service Management by Atlassian is a cloud-based, internal IT help desk system designed for IT teams. Its features include automation, self-service, incident management, conversational ticketing and more. You can hook up their native knowledge base, but you will need a separate subscription to Confluence.

You can try out JIRA in a limited capacity with their free plan but you are restricted to three agents or ten users. Or you can start a 7-day free trial of their Standard or Premium plan, which both support up to 5,000 agents.


·        Conversational ticketing

·        Incident postmortems

·        Change management

·        Reports and metrics

·        SLA management

·        Asset management

·        Smart automation

·        Knowledge base (with Confluence subscription)

·        API

·        Incident management

·        Self-service portal

6. Salesforce Service Cloud

For organizations who need robust, enterprise-level technical support software, Salesforce Service Cloud is certainly worth a look. It leverages AI-powered automation, 360-degree customer views, and advanced service analytics to provide a solution that facilitates excellent service and improvement over time.

Having said that, it is easiest to unlock the full power of Salesforce Service Cloud—including the 360-degree customer view—if you are already using other popular Salesforce software, like their CRM. Otherwise, you will need to set up integrations or use the Salesforce API to pull in relevant data from other programs.


·        Knowledge management

·        Workflow automation

·        Webhooks, SDKs, and APIs

·        3rd-party integrations

·        Omnichannel routing

·        Support operation analytics

·        Asset management

·        Remote access

·        Self-help portal

·        Customer forums

·        Workflow automation

·        Call center management

7. SysAid

Built to help IT teams work smarter, not harder, SysAid is one of the top IT help desk software solutions out there. This platform focuses heavily on automation, with features designed to manage as many tickets as possible — hands-free.

Available as SaaS, on-premise, and as a mobile app, the basic SysAid Help Desk solution includes key features like self-service, automated reporting, and ticket automation. The more inclusive enterprise help desk software plans — ITSM and ITSM+ — offer more features like workflow automation and BI analytics. There is a 30-day free trial, but if you’re interested in pricing details you’ll have to contact them directly for a quote.


·        Dedicated customer success manager

·        LDAP integration (Active Directory)

·        ITIL package

·        Advanced custom fields

·        Third-party integrations

·        Task automation

·        Business value dashboard (in beta)

8. Vivantio

Best for small to mid-sized B2B businesses, Vivantio is a help desk solution founded in 2003. Requesting a free trial requires giving a lot of information about your business, including what kinds of customers you serve and the number of ticket types you manage. But the platform offers a wide range of plans, starting with the basic Value Plan at 32£ pounds a month per user, to its enterprise help desk software Visionary Plan at 102£ per month.

The essentials in the Value Plan include features like simple SLAs, branded self-service portals, and a mobile app. And with the mid-level Vital Plan, users get access to popular features such as knowledge management, Kanban calendar view types, and custom dashboards.


·        Ticket hierarchies

·        Intuitive interface

·        US & UK support centers

·        Call center management

·        Surveys & feedback

·        Real-time chat

·        Queue management

·        IT asset management

·        Workflow configuration

9. Zoho Desk

Offering context-aware customer service helpdesk features, Zoho Desk is one of the leading cloud help tools on the market. Receive requests and respond to them across platforms without breaking your stride, all the while compiling valuable customer data onto a single easy-to-use platform.

The Zoho Desk free plan allows up to three agents and includes basic features like email ticketing, a private knowledge base, and a mobile app. But the most popular plan, chosen by 50% of its users, is the $23/month per agent Professional Plan, which also has multi-department ticketing, round-robin ticket assignment, and automatic time tracking.


·        SLAs & escalation

·        Help center theme gallery

·        Private & public knowledge base

·        Customer happiness ratings

·        Reports & dashboards

·        Ticket sharing

·        Scheduled reports

·        Help center customization

·        Zia – Artificial Intelligence

10. Freshdesk

Made for rapid deployment and no-code customization, Freshdesk is an emerging favorite among cloud-based IT help desk systems. Popular features included AI-powered service management tools that give data-based recommendations, a knowledge base, and multichannel communication support.

You can try Freshdesk for 21 days without committing. Or if you’re a small business, the reasonable Growth Plan is priced at $18 per month billed per month. The Starter Plan has many of the best help desk tools to get you started, including a workflow Automator, a self-service portal, and incident management. On the other end of the spectrum, the $95 per month Enterprise plan also comes with the AI-powered Freddy Agent Assist feature.


·        Reporting and analytics

·        Mobile app

·        Service catalog

·        Canned responses

·        Approval workflows

·        Release management

·        Team dashboards

·        SLA management

·        Chatbot powered by Freddy AI


A great way to get a sense of how much value a potential help desk solution will add to your team is to think through which existing processes you can automate through the software. The more internal logistics you can automate, the more time your support agents have to focus on providing top-tier customer service.