Customer support reps don't know how heavy their workload is going to be until they begin the day. This puts pressure on the rep to not only be flexible when faced with surprises but also to be organized enough to handle an unpredictable workday.

This is where help desk software and ticketing systems play a major role in the success of customer service teams.

Get Started with HubSpot Help Desk Software for Free

What is help desk?

A help desk distributes incoming service requests among team members and allows them to manage follow-up on long-term cases.

Here are some common help desk features:

Help Desk Software Features

  • Knowledge base
  • Ticket management
  • Ticket automation (e.g. central dashboard for all reps on your team to work from)
  • Ticket escalation
  • Ticket distribution (among reps)
  • Multiple contact options (i.e. the different ways a customer can submit a ticket, such as a form or chat)
  • Customer support analytics

Additionally, help desks can increase your customer service team's support bandwidth while improving the overall customer experience, but these systems can be pricey.

When you're working within a tight budget and you need quality help desk software, there are several free options available.

Of course, there's a trade-off. Free help desk software may impose user and functionality limits, but they'll definitely get the job done in a pinch. When you're ready to upgrade, you can always purchase a paid version or switch to a more robust system with a fee.

Let's take a look at some of the top help desk software and ticketing systems your team can start using for free.

1. HubSpot Help Desk

free help desk software: hubspot help deskWhy We Like This Software

HubSpot's Free Help Desk and Ticketing Software is a unified help desk dashboard where all customer requests are stored so your entire team can easily track, prioritize, and manage them.

Identify and track KPIs to help your team improve the support you provide customers as well as coach reps and better manage ticket volume.

Ticket routing and automation ensure your team doesn't have to manually enter data or assign tickets. You can also assign owners and stages to certain tickets so HubSpot can automatically create personalized pipelines for your reps to increase productivity.

Pro tip: Use HubSpot's Help Desk software to track all customer requests, manage tickets, and prioritize and distribute work among reps.

2. Agiloft

free help desk software: agiloft

Why We Like This Software

Agiloft provides a portal that customers can use to submit requests at any time. If personnel are not available, the service will log the request and send a self-service solution as an immediate response before a rep follows up on the case.

Agiloft provides long-term management solutions for cases that may be more complex, too. The software will launch proactive alerts if a case has been open for too long and needs to be escalated.

This is especially helpful for SaaS customer service teams that handle high volumes of technical support calls which often result in follow-up.

3. Jira Service Desk

free help desk software: jira service desk

Why We Like This Software

Whether you're managing incidents, proactively announcing changes in your interface or offerings, or looking for the source of a bug, Jira has service desk features to make the process simple.

Jira comes with built-in automation, queuing, knowledge base, and asset management features. It matches your operational workflow and offers a number of integrations to complement your other service software.

4. Zoho Desk

free help desk software: zoho desk

Why We Like This Software

Zoho Desk is a multi-channel help desk that includes an advanced ticket management system. It handles incoming service cases via phone, web, email, chat, and social media. This coverage across multiple channels makes it easier for brands to provide an omnichannel experience.

Zoho Desk offers is a widget tool that you can embed on your website. When loaded in a browser, the widget turns into a support form that customers can fill out to request assistance. They can describe their problem in detail as well as request a preferred channel through which to communicate.

This makes it simple for customers to access your support team. It also allows reps to easily analyze and find solutions for incoming requests. This significantly improves first-call resolution rates as well as customer satisfaction.

5. Spiceworks

free help desk software: spiceworks

Why We Like This Software

Spiceworks is a ticketing system that helps businesses manage both internal and customer-facing tasks. It offers a one-time download of their help desk software that users can log into from either a desktop or mobile device. This makes it easier for customer service teams to manage requests that may come in during off-hours.

Spiceworks also offers is an inventory management integration that can help your team oversee product orders that are in progress.

It uses an IP scanner to locate orders and then notifies the rep of the order's progress. Reps can then proactively relay that information to the customer so they're aware of any delays that will occur with their delivery.

6. C-Desk

free help desk software: c-desk

Why We Like This Software

C-Desk is an extensive help desk platform that offers a wide variety of free customer service tools. It includes everything from ticket management to customer feedback collection. This platform is ideal for smaller businesses that may be adopting their first help desk software.

C-desk also offers tools that can help promote customer success. For example, the gallery tool allows you to upload and post videos and pictures to different albums on your website. Use this feature to create customer testimonials that will give more credibility to your customer service team.

7. SysAid

free help desk software: sysaid

Why We Like This Software

SysAid differs from other help desk providers because it uses a modular platform. This means users can start with one tool or feature, and then add on more as needed.

Rather than confusing reps by displaying products that they'll never use, SysAid simplifies the interface by allowing users to choose the exact tools they want access to.

SysAid's help desk module gives users a platform to manage tickets from both desktop and mobile devices. Its features include ticket automation and self-service channels like a knowledge base. It also has incident reporting tools that can track problems or changes that are affecting your entire team.

8. osTicket

free help desk software: osticket

Why We Like This Software

osTicket is a ticketing system that can be used to distribute and manage incoming cases. Its most notable feature is ticket filters which allows you to automate the creation and routing of tickets. You can even automatically assign tasks to the ticket based on the rule criteria that you determine.

Another interesting feature is its “agent collision avoidance” mechanism that prevents reps from working on the same ticket at the same time. The software locks the ticket so that other team members won't overwhelm the customer with responses.

9. ngDesk

free help desk software: ngdesk

Why We Like This Software

No two reps have the exact same workflow. Desk recognizes that and tailors the help desk toward individual rep preferences. Reps can customize their ticket inbox and prioritize information that's most relevant to them.

Customer support managers can use ngDesk analytics tools to measure their team's overall performance. They can also review metrics like rep productivity and customer satisfaction using the data-driven insights that are pre-installed on the platform.

These features bring management and frontline reps closer together because they're working off of the same software.

10. Help Scout

Help Scout Shared Inbox

Why We Like This Software

Help Scout is a helpdesk software that's designed for startups and small businesses or any company that's looking to get started with their first customer service team.

It comes with cloud-based features that small companies love, such as a shared inbox and knowledge center capabilities. In addition, every pricing level comes with the ability to embed help widgets on your website that you can set to fire on specific pages. In the world of many alternatives, Helpscout stands out for its simplicity and ease of use.

11. Hesk

free help desk software: hesk

Why We Like This Software

Hesk is a lightweight help desk software that's great for small customer service teams. It's simple and user-friendly, making it easy to learn for beginners.

Hesk offers a reliable, cloud-based ticketing system that takes minutes to download and set up. You can create custom ticket fields and modify the display to align with your team's workflow. It even offers a ticket submission form where customers can open web-based tickets that are managed within the app.

12. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus

free help desk software: ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus

Why We Like This Software

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus comes with a variety of support features ranging from a knowledge base to self-service portals to SLAs to user surveys.

In addition to those foundational services, the software offers automation to streamline support operations. Your reps can set their availability and tickets are dispatched automatically.

13. HelpDeskZ

free help desk software: helpdeskz

Why We Like This Software

HelpDeskZ is a PHP-based solution for your web-based ticketing system. With features such as bulk actions, group routing, and email piping, you'll be able to increase productivity within your support team.

The software also comes with templated responses and a knowledge base to help reps handle the most common inquiries.

14. Web Help Desk by SolarWinds

free help desk software: Web Help Desk by SolarWinds

Why We Like This Software

If you want to manage end-to-end service request lifecycles from a single portal, Web Help Desk is an ideal solution.

Web Help Desk has a built-in knowledge base as well as SLA and ticket management features. You can track tickets and rep performance all with the goal of resolving tickets faster using data-driven insights.

15. HelpSpot

free help desk software: helpspot

Why We Like This Software

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.

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.

16. Capacity

free help desk software: capacity

Why We Like This Software

Capacity differs from most help desk ticketing software systems because its focus is solving customer issues with automation rather than tickets.

In the event that an inquiry can't be solved automatically, Capacity can assign tickets to individuals or groups within your company. Smart filters organize tickets and collect customer details to help your team improve customer satisfaction.

17. Freshservice

free help desk software: freshservice

Why We Like This Software

Freshservice includes features for project management, incident management, asset management, and more. It offers 24/7 consultation style support that doesn't feel transactional. Its intuitive UI allows your team to solve the issues that require human touch while filtering other items that can be solved with automation.

18. BOSS Solutions Suite

free help desk software: boss solutions suite

Why We Like This Software

Boss Solutions Suite offers cloud and on-premise help desk and ticketing solutions for customer service teams.

For the most common inquiries, Boss Solutions Suite has a built-in knowledge base that acts as a self-service support center. This option also comes with a mobile app that can be used to manage tickets on the go.

When it's time to make decisions using customer data, the analytics dashboard generates comprehensive reports that show how well your team is finding solutions for customers.

19. ProProfs Help Desk

proprofs help desk

Why We Like This Software

ProProfs Help Desk is an easy-to-use customer support system under the “forever free” plan. Whether your agents receive requests via email or get complaints via live chat, this tool ensures your team is ready to tackle obstacles through multiple channels. You can leverage powerful automation capabilities in the form of automated ticket routing, chatbots, a self-service knowledge base, canned responses, and more. 

Another great feature of ProProfs Help Desk is that it offers customer support managers great visibility into agent performance and other metrics such as first response time, ticket resolution time, and more. Businesses and brands looking to improve the customer experience can share CSAT and NPS surveys, and allow customers to rate their support interactions instantly.

Find the Right Help Desk Software for Your Team

As your company continues to grow and take on new clients, your customer service team will also be working to keep up with increased demand for customer support requests. Help desk software will give reps the ability to effectively and efficiently organize those requests, manage ticket volume, and provide support.

This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Originally published Jan 13, 2022 7:45:00 AM, updated June 08 2022

Topics:

Customer Support