What Is Help Desk Software?

Businesspeople with headsets working at computers.

Responding to and managing a deluge of customer service requests can be challenging, especially if your team isn’t equipped with software to handle a large number of requests simultaneously. 

Help desk software is specifically designed to help companies quickly and accurately manage a large number of customer service requests without delay. This gives companies the ability to provide better customer service and give their customers a better experience with their business. 

Software built for help desk support often includes features related to incident tracking, ticket status tracking, background notes, and other quality-of-life improvements that allow your customer support team to stay on top of all customer inquiries. 

In this guide, we’re going to discuss what types of companies need customer support software the most, walk you through the specific items you should consider when choosing a help desk software package, and walk you through some of the best help desk software available today. 

Do I Need Customer Support Software?

If your business has any volume of customer support requests, information technology (IT) support requests, or any channel of communication between your customer support staff and your end-user, you can benefit significantly from customer support software.

Without a software solution, your support teams would likely struggle to handle a large volume of requests at one time. Additionally, they wouldn’t have the automation and simplicity included in most support software packages, extending the time your customers have to wait before their inquiries are answered.

What to Consider When Looking for Help Desk Software

When looking for a help desk software package to purchase, your company should consider several factors, including your budget, CRM compatibility, integrations, how the software is built, and the features included in the particular software you’ve chosen. 

Budget

What budget has your company allocated for software, customer support, or customer satisfaction? 

Many customer support software packages are licensed based on the number of employees your business has, and obtaining a quote from help desk software providers can help you more accurately to estimate what budget is required. 

CRM Compatibility and Integrations

If your company has a sales team or performs any sales of any kind, you likely have a customer relationship management (CRM) software suite that you use to track all of your customer interactions.

When choosing a help desk software package, check for compatibility with your CRM as well as what integrations your ideal software package would have. 

If your help desk software can integrate with your CRM and other business applications directly, you’ll save a significant amount of both time and money in the long run. 

How the Software Is Built

Not all help desk software is built the same, with certain software packages requiring you to install the software on-premise and others being available exclusively on the cloud. 

If your company follows any sort of compliance checks, stringent regulations, or works with organizations with strict privacy requirements, you’ll likely be required to search for on-premises software that can be installed within your organization’s network in order to meet your compliance obligations. 

If your business isn’t in a regulated industry or one with stringent compliance requirements, you can choose to go with a help desk software package that’s hosted on the cloud, allowing your employees to answer service requests and questions from anywhere with an internet connection.

Included Features

Every help desk software package will have a varying set of features, although the core functionality will likely be extremely similar. 

Some of the functionality and features provided by most help desk software packages include:

  • Automated Ticket Creation: Whenever a customer emails your customer support team, a ticket is automatically created to track the status of that particular request. This is an excellent feature that saves time and simplifies support tracking. 
  • Ticket Tagging: If your customer support team receives tickets across multiple departments or areas of your business, tagging each support request and “grouping” them together with similar requests can make the support representative’s job much easier. 
  • Task Management: Some help desk software packages allow your customer support team to follow a certain set of tasks for each support request, ensuring that a specific process is followed each time.
  • Ticket History Tracking: In order to track your customer support tickets in more detail and give your team the ability to look back in time, you’ll want a support software solution that offers ticket history tracking. 

Top Help Desk Software

Out of all of the help desk software solutions available today, some of the most popular and reliable software packages include Zendesk and Zoho. 

Zendesk

Zendesk is a software solution that aims to help your business take your customer service up a notch. Split up into two categories of “Service” and “Sales,” Zendesk gives your business the ability to choose which functionality you’d like, and you can even use both if you need service and sales capabilities. Their sales offerings have a fully-featured CRM.

Learn more by reading our full Zendesk review.

Zoho

Zoho is a powerful software solution that can help your business manage everything from customer support to your business email. They have a complete CRM platform, detailed analytics, and even an online workplace for your team(s).

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does help desk software cost?

Most Help Desk software packages can cost anywhere from $60 to $85 per workstation license every month. If you’d like additional 24/7 support and additional features to support your customer service team, you should plan for some additional monthly costs in your software budget. 

Why use help desk software?

Help desk software is used to make the customer support experience better for a company’s customers, shortening the amount of time they must wait for a response and simplifying the backend for customer support teams.

What does help desk software do?

Help desk software gives customer service teams an easy-to-use, efficient, and simple platform that allows them to answer service requests in record time. It also allows businesses to connect their customer service teams with their sales CRMs and additional software used in their business, saving time and preventing data duplication and transfer.