Help Desks have been around for years. They cater to a range of problems, from the simplistic “Is your PC plugged in, sir?” to the more complex issues dealing with configuration tangles, incompatibilities, and malware infections. The best Help Desk software is designed to simplify processes through automation and self-service capabilities, enabling IT personnel to focus and prioritize their tasks.
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Best IT Help Desk Software
CIO Insight evaluated many vendors in the Help Desk market. Here are our top picks, in no particular order:
ServiceDesk Plus, ManageEngine’s IT service management (ITSM) platform, incorporates best practices, native mobile apps, and helps IT support teams to serve end users. Available in both cloud and on-premises versions, it comes in three editions and in 37 different languages. Over 100,000 organizations across 185 countries use ServiceDesk Plus to optimize IT Service Desk performance.
- Offers a portal-agnostic graphical workflow builder to build IT service and business process automations with end-to-end customization
- Zoho’s AI assistant, Zia, is deployed across all ManageEngine and Zoho applications and can be trained to provide assistance based on available Help Desk data
- Zia powers the AI and ML abilities of ServiceDesk Plus, from search to analytics to intelligence; users can add skills to Zia using Zoho developer tools within the ServiceDesk Plus platform
- Execute actions — such as updating fields, triggering notifications, and customizing functions based on incoming ticket criteria — using business rules and custom triggers
- Convert complex business workflows into simple automation using a drag-and-drop script builder
- Supports contextual integrations with various IT management solutions and third-party applications
- Prebuilt instances for HR and facilities management, and has the capabilities to support DevOps, event management, customer support, and bug tracking
- Integration with Zoho’s digital workplace and HRMS suites, as well as ManageEngine’s Application Performance Monitoring suite
SysAid Service Automation uses AI built from a decade of real usage data from over 4,000 organizations. Help Desk functions are simple to use and resolve issues quickly. They can be obtained alone, or as part of larger ITSM packages.
- Includes asset management, ticket automation, self-service, and automated reporting
- Available via cloud or on-premises deployments
- Automatically prioritizes by SLA and routes straight to the right desk
- Automates repetitive tasks like resetting printers, creating users, and granting access
- Automated self-service fixes for employees
Zendesk suite brings together all of Zendesk’s service capabilities — including messaging — into one offering that brings simplicity to the enterprise software space. This allows organizations to centralize operations, enabling seamless collaboration with one integrated hub for all systems and tools.
- Offers messaging across web, mobile, and social, so customers can always reach you via voice, text, chat, social, or email
- Integrated help center and community forum allow customers to resolve issues at their own pace, reducing resolution times for agents
- AI-powered bots provide personalization at scale
- Offers real-time reporting to track core metrics, gain visibility, and reduce costs
- Helps teams find information quickly with a user-friendly knowledge base
- Supports 750+ app integrations like SurveyMonkey, Dropbox, Slack, Jira Software, Okta, Box, and more
ServiceNow ITSM has ITILv4-certified capabilities to help people find information, get help, and request services through a personalized web Service Portal. It can be used on mobile devices via Now Mobile app, and includes a Virtual Agent (VA) conversational interface available through web, mobile, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Facebook Workplace.
- AI Search uses intelligent queries to find info in the Now Platform and display search results, refinement filter options, and answers in Service Portal, Now Mobile, and VA
- Universal Request allows agents to resolve cases across the enterprise, and organizations to monitor and improve the end-to-end experience with cross-departmental SLAs and metrics
- Out-of-box workflows are available for IT, HR, Workplace, Legal, Finance, and Procurement
- Catalog Builder simplifies the process of creating and editing catalog items using a guided experience, along with specified restrictions
- Catalog items and VA conversations can perform actions on external systems using IntegrationHub, which is an extension of Flow Designer
- Change Management designed with out-of-box templates, workflows, scoring of change risk, and AI-based assistance
- Predictive Intelligence classification framework uses machine-learning algorithms to automatically categorize and route work based on past experience
- Advanced Work Assignment automatically assigns work items to agents based on their availability, capacity, and skills; agents see their assignments in their Agent Workspace inbox
- Walk-up Experience enables orgs to create and manage an on-site or virtual IT venue where employees can schedule appointments or join a queue to submit a request or solve an issue
This cloud-based Help Desk service can organize messages, give assistance, and exchange information with customers. It uses automated tickets for communication, keeps track of all conversations, converts emails into tickets, and helps IT Help Desk personnel to automate repetitive tasks.
- Analyze customer support reports
- Add custom views to match workflows
- Integrate HelpDesk with LiveChat to solve tickets and talk on chat
- Exchange data between Help Desk software and CRM systems
- Create an issue in project management tools, update case statuses, and integrate Help Desk ticketing with other tools to improve workflows
Freshdesk by Freshworks helps to simplify the Help Desk. It puts customers in control by offering the support they expect in their channel of choice. It gives agents more context and automation to understand customer needs and offer the next-best-action.
- Provide intuitive support across all channels
- Help agents rapidly resolve customer inquiries with workforce automation and knowledge from a unified platform
- Seamless transitions between communication channels at any point in the journey
- Integrate a blend of conversational experiences, including live chat, web, mobile, and contact center support
- Launch AI-powered chatbots to easily guide customers in solving their questions
- Prompt agents with a 360-degree customer view and guided resolutions to improve call productivity
- Routing engines reduce call wait times and achieve smarter escalations by routing service teams based on availability, proximity, and skillset
- Pre-delivered integrations across 1,000+ Marketplace apps
Sprinklr promotes itself as the only unified customer experience management platform: Unified-CXM. It is available across 30+ digital channels, and uses AI to create insight-driven strategies and better customer experiences.
- Unified-CXM instantly adapts to whatever channels are used
- Pulls in petabytes of structured and unstructured data from customers across different platforms, markets, and languages
- AI stitches together patterns to generate insights in order to take action quickly
- Diverts simple questions to AI-powered chatbots
- Routes conversations that need a human touch to the right team
- Unified-CXM learns where and how to deliver personalized messages to customers
- Connects everything to sales, so teams can capitalize on every opportunity
- Delivers metrics and analytics to measure performance and ROI
The Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk is integrated with Inventory online, making it easy to track devices, as well as document actions and their progress. As it exists online in the cloud, there’s no server procurement, setup, or maintenance.
- Provides alerts, custom ticket attributes, and ticket rules
- Help Desk reports with key information, like updates on ticket and labor by organization
- Helps remote employees by starting a secure remote support session directly from Help Desk tickets
- Spiceworks Help Desk Mobile App sends the latest ticket updates and push notifications to a phone or tablet
IT Help Desk Software Features
IT support has undergone some rebranding in recent years. “Help Desk is considered by some to be an antiquated term, and many prefer to call it the Service Desk,” said Ron Williams, an analyst at GigaOM. “The Service Desk provides more functionality, particularly in proactive response to customers or employees.”
Whatever they are called, IT Help Desks have evolved significantly over the past decade or so. Some evolved specifically as Help Desk applications. Others are part of larger suites. And a few have added Help Desk functions to other products. Therefore, the features included in solutions tend to vary from vendor to vendor.
The core functions of the Help Desk are roughly as follows:
Dealing with customer questions and issues: Help desk software handles customer questions or issue intake, management, response, and resolution via a ticketing system. This ensures the support agent and any others involved in resolving the issue can track the problem until its successful resolution, providing status updates along the way.
Multi-channel support: Customer requests may come through a variety of channels — social media, phone, live chat, text, or email. Multi-channel support means you can choose whichever channels are right for your customers.
Self-service capabilities: The two most commonly used self-service options are knowledge bases and customer portals. Top Help Desk software solutions provide both, enabling service teams to put their institutional knowledge to work for the organization, customers, and internal employees in a centralized portal.
Tracking and analytics: Analytics and tracking help managers uncover insights, such as team performance (speed of response, first time resolution rates, etc.), as well as measuring customer satisfaction. This can help improve the service operation and the business as a whole by uncovering customer pain points.
Automation, apps, and integrations: Support agents use Help Desk apps, integrations, and automations to create a work environment customized based on their existing tools and workflows. These features allow agents to automate ticket management, consolidate internal collaboration, access contextual customer data, and much more.
Depending on the vendor, Help Desk tools may also include a variety of features and add-ons, including:
- Incident and problem management
- Change control
- IT asset and configuration management
- Configuration management database
- Purchase and contract management
- Project management
- Knowledge management
- Reporting and SLA management
- Process and visual workflow design
- Customizations using low-code scripting
Ultimately, your organization must balance features against your needs and budget constraints. Regardless, this list of Help Desk software provides the context you need to get started.
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