Ticketing software helps support teams manage customer support requests across multiple channels, including email, phone, chat, and social media. We evaluated a variety of help desk software and narrowed it to six, then compared their price, features, and ease of use to learn who each is right for, including which is the best overall.
Top 6 Ticketing Software Options for 2019
|Ticketing Software||Best For|
|(Best overall) Companies wanting a robust feature set for a reasonable price.|
|LiveHelpNow||Teams wanting ticketing software with a la carte pricing for additional features like chat.|
|Zendesk||Organizations with multilingual team members and customers outside the U.S.|
|Zoho Desk||Companies that already use Zoho products like Zoho CRM, Books, or BugTracker.|
|Help Scout||Teams desiring a ticketing solution that integrates with Salesforce customer relationship management platform.|
|HappyFox||Businesses wanting an ecommerce help desk solution with the greatest range of multi-channel support.|
How We Evaluated Ticketing Software
Technology companies and other businesses with complex products need affordable software that can easily collect, organize, and manage customer or internal support requests, known as tickets. The best should also condense and unify communication across multiple channels, like supporting inbound calls, live chat, email, or offer social media integration so agents can track a customer’s entire support experience in one place.
Therefore, we evaluated ticketing software based on:
- Price: Help desk software should have a range of price points to accommodate solo entrepreneurs and micro businesses as well as larger teams.
- Ease of use: Ticketing software should be easy for agents to use regardless of technical skill level.
- Shared inboxes: The best software needs to have shared inboxes that are accessible by multiple agents to quickly support requests as they come in.
- Live chat: Help desk software should include a live chat feature so agents can speak with and assist customers in real time.
- Knowledge base: Ideally, help desk software includes a knowledge base that allows companies to add self-assist troubleshooting documentation.
- Customer relationship management Integration: Ticketing software should cleanly integrate with existing CRM software that tracks the entire customer experience.
- Business app integration: The software should also integrate with business apps like Slack and Google Drive for easy team collaboration.
- Social channel integration: Help desk software needs to connect to popular social selling channels like Facebook and Twitter.
- Collision detection: The best ticketing software includes a feature to prevent more than one agent from working on a ticket at the same time to avoid one team member from overriding the other’s work.
- Call monitoring: Ideally, the software will include tools like call whisper and call barge that allows managers to listen in and assist agents with calls.
Based on our evaluation, we recommend Freshdesk as the best overall ticketing software for small business. It has a robust set of features like team collaboration tools, post-call surveys, and a multilingual knowledge base at an affordable price. Head to Freshdesk to learn about its free service plan and 21-day free trial.
Best Overall Ticketing Software for Small Businesses: Freshdesk
Freshdesk is help desk software with a free plan and paid plans from $15/agent per month and features social and email ticketing, a knowledge base, and performance reports. Freshdesk is great for solopreneurs or small businesses wanting free ticketing software and larger organizations needing an affordable solution with a great combination of functionality for resolving support requests.
Freshdesk offers a free plan for an unlimited number of agents and a no-frills feature set. The company also offers affordable paid plans from $15/agent per month when billed annually. The entry-level paid plan includes team collaboration tools, while higher-level tiers include advanced features like a multilingual knowledge base.
Freshdesk Tiered Features
|Multilingual Knowledge Base|
|Interactive Voice Response|
|Call Barging & Monitoring|
Freshdesk’s free Sprout plan supports unlimited agents and enables customers to request support via email and social channels as well as a knowledge base and team collaboration tools that allow agents to communicate with each other across the company and outside the company to resolve issues. This plan is best for teams needing a free, no-frills ticketing system.
This plan doesn’t include collision detection, post-call surveys, and performance reports as found at the higher levels. It’s also missing reporting tools as offered by other free plans on our list. However, the Sprout tier supports unlimited users, where other free plans limit the number of agents that can be added to the account.
The Blossom plan adds marketplace apps that extend the functionality of your ticketing system and the ability to set working hours for $15/agent per month. It also includes collision detection that prevents multiple agents from making changes to a ticket at the same time. Blossom is the right plan for teams that want to customize their systems with apps to meet their unique needs.
Blossom doesn’t feature time tracking and call monitoring as offered by the higher-level plans. It also doesn’t include a customer interaction history, as featured in the similarly-priced plans of other help desk solutions. However, access to over 100 apps in the Freshdesk Marketplace make this a good value for the money.
Freshdesk’s Garden plan includes performance reports and post-call surveys for callers to rate agents, as well as call masking that hides agent phone numbers from customers. For $29/agent per month, it also includes an interactive voice response (IVR) system that directs calls based on the caller’s spoken response to automated questions. Garden is a great plan for teams that want more insight into customer satisfaction and agent performance.
The Garden tier lacks the additional call management tools and chatbots the next level has to offer. It’s also missing integration with multiple Twitter accounts as included with other solutions for the same price. However, Freshdesk is one of the only help desk software solutions on our list to feature an IVR customer service system.
Freshdesk’s Estate plan includes everything from the previous tiers, as well as chatbots to simulate human interaction with customers over the internet. For $49/agent per month, this tier also features call monitoring and call barge, tools that allow managers to listen in on agent conversations and join them when necessary. The Estate plan is best for teams that need call management tools for quality assurance and training purposes.
The Estate plan lacks the integration with e-commerce tools that other solutions and similar price points have to offer. However, this level’s agent monitoring tools are an uncommon feature of other ticketing software, making this worth the price for the ability to bring agents up to speed quickly during training.
What Freshdesk Is Missing
Though Freshdesk also tops our list of best help desk software, it’s not without its drawbacks. Freshdesk is missing round robin automatic ticketing assignments to ensure that the workload is evenly distributed among agents. Organizations with large teams of agents and high ticket volume may be better served by HappyFox instead.
What Users Think About Freshdesk
Our readers are positive overall about Freshdesk as a ticketing software solution. They say the platform is intuitive and easy to use, with tools that help agents resolve customer issues quickly. However, some users say customer support isn’t as reliable as they’d like. Read more on our Freshdesk User Review page.
Where to Find Freshdesk
Customer support teams that want the best overall ticketing software platform should choose Freshdesk. The company offers a 21-day trial of its paid plan and a permanently free plan for an unlimited number of users. Head to Freshdesk today to learn more.
Best Ticketing Software for a la Carte Pricing: LiveHelpNow
LiveHelpNow is a support ticketing package from $21/agent per month that features social and CRM integration, reporting, and video chat. Extra feature packages like a self-assist knowledge base or live chat are available for additional fees from $9/agent per month, making LiveHelpNow best for organizations that don’t want to pay for features they won’t use.
LiveHelpNow’s base pricing starts at $21/agent per month, which is in line with similar products on the market, however, further discounts are also available with annual billing. Additional feature packages can then be added on to provide extra functionality allowing businesses to purchase only the features they need for this ticketing system.
These additional feature packages are:
- Call management toolset: $9/agent per month
- FAQ and self-service knowledge base: $21/agent per month
- Chat/SMS:$21/agent per month
LiveHelpNow’s ticketing system is designed to help agents resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently. Features include enterprise-level reporting and tracking, conversion tracking, and customizable feedback surveys starting at $21/agent per month.
Additional LiveHelpNow features include:
Companies can integrate their Facebook business page to capture post and Facebook Messenger interactions right within the ticketing system. This ensures customer support issues identified on Facebook don’t slip through the cracks. Unlike HappyFox and Zendesk, LiveHelpNow doesn’t offer Twitter integration at this time.
Unified mailboxes connect to your company’s customer service email account to turn emails and their attached files into trackable tickets. The inbox settings can be adjusted to send auto-responses to customers and automatic notifications to agents if an unanswered email sits for longer than a specified time. Several solutions on our list offer unified inboxes, but not all offer automatic agent notification.
Analytics and Reporting
LiveHelpNow offers enterprise-level reporting that provides deep insight into your team’s performance. Reports include ticket survey statistics, ticket by assignment, data collected from secure forms, and statistics by operator. Zendesk also offers advanced reporting, but only if you sign up for its premium, which is more than twice the price of LiveHelpNow.
LiveHelpNow’s ticket automation includes the previously mentioned email auto-responders as well as smart routing for all tickets. Via the dashboard, managers can set routing triggers by ticket status, days of the week, product category, email subject, and more. Other help desk software solutions are able to create tickets from customer emails, but not all platforms support smart routing.
What LiveHelpNow Is Missing
LiveHelpNow lacks integration with Zoho sales and marketing products, which many organizations use to track customer interaction outside of support issues and for its multilingual agent dashboards. Organizations that rely heavily on Zoho CRM and other Zoho products may want to check out Zoho Desk instead.
What Users Think About LiveHelpNow
LiveHelpNow online customer reviews are generally positive. Users say the email autoresponders and smart ticket routing are an advantage for resolving customer issues. However, some customers wish the system’s agent notifications were more reliable.
Where to Find LiveHelpNow
Organizations looking for a ticketing software system that offers a la carte pricing for additional features like live chat should take a look at LiveHelpNow. The company offers a free demo when you contact the sales team and a free, no-commitment 30-day trial.
Best Ticketing Software for Multilingual Teams: Zendesk
Zendesk is a help desk software platform with pricing from $5/agent per month. It features a customer interaction history, email and social ticketing channels, and post-call surveys. Every plan level also includes the ability to translate the agent interface into 28 languages, making Zendesk the best solution for multilingual teams.
Zendesk pricing starts at from $5/agent per month when billed annually, which is among the cheapest paid plans on our list. All tiers include multilingual agent dashboards and social channel integration. Upper tiers offer mobile ticket forms and advanced reporting.
Zendesk Tiered Features
|Email & Social Channels|
|Custom Business Rules|
|Public Apps and Integrations|
Zendesk’s Essential plan includes an agent interface in 28 languages, pre-defined ticket responses, and a customer interaction history. For $5/agent per month, this level also supports customer communication across multiple channels, including email, Twitter, and Facebook. This tier is right for solo entrepreneurs and very small businesses who want to offer customer support on social channels for a low price.
This plan doesn’t include the custom business rules or post-call surveys like Zendesk’s higher levels. It also lacks the online storage space offered by other low-cost solution. However, this is the least expensive paid plan on our list.
The Team tier adds customizable business rules and apps that enhance your ticketing system’s overall performance. For $19/agent per month, it also includes agent performance dashboards, making it right for managers that want to track agent activity in real time.
This plan is missing the post-call surveys and multilingual content that’s featured in the next tier. It also lacks advanced analytics as offered by other solutions at this price point. However, agent dashboards can be translated into over two dozen languages, unlike other similarly-priced help desk platforms.
Zendesk’s Professional level adds multilingual content that displays information to customers based on their preferred language. For $49/agent per month, this tier also features post-call surveys and advanced analytics with pre-built dashboards and filters. The Professional plan is right for businesses with bilingual customers or companies with customers outside the U.S.
What Zendesk Is Missing
Zendesk lacks call monitoring tools that help managers track call quality and agent performance. This is a rather large drawback, considering the platform’s performance dashboards and advanced analytics features. Companies wanting to monitor agent calls may be better served by Freshdesk.
What Users Think About Zendesk
Most of our readers give Zendesk high marks and a 4- out of 5-star rating. They say it’s a comprehensive system that’s easy to use and well-priced. However, some customers report the platform can run slow at times. To learn more about what our readers think, visit our Zendesk User Review page.
Where to Find Zendesk
Best Ticketing Software With Productivity Tool Integration: Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk is ticketing software with a free plan and a paid tier for $12/agent per month. Features on the free level include a knowledge base, basic reporting, and the ability to file tickets at the free tier. The paid tier offers advanced features integration with Zoho’s ecosystem of productivity tools like Books, CRM, and BugTracker, making Zoho Desk right for organizations that already use Zoho’s suite of productivity tools.
Zoho Desk Pricing
Zoho Desk offers a free plan for up to three agents and a paid level for an unlimited number of agents at $12/agent per month. Zoho Desk is one of the lower-cost ticketing options on our list, but its free plan doesn’t support as many users as other free solutions on our list.
Zoho Desk Tiered Features
|Tier Level (if applicable)|
|Number of Users|
|Email Inbox Addresses|
|Social Channel Support|
|Two-way Data Sync with Zoho CRM|
|Advanced Reports and Dashboards|
|Zoho BugTracker Integration|
|Zoho Books and Invoice Integration|
|Marketplace for Zoho Desk|
|Social Media Channels|
Zoho Desk’s Free plan supports up to three users and includes one email inbox address for tracking tickets. It also features a knowledge base and a community forum with the ability to create tickets from forum messages. Although other free plans on our list support more than three users, this offers a community forum feature that the others do not.
This level doesn’t include social channel support or integration with other Zoho products, so it may not be the best choice for teams that use Zoho CRM or BugTracker. However, it’s still a good value for very small organizations that want to build up a community around their product or service.
Zoho Desk’s professional plan adds support for either one Twitter account or one Facebook account, as well as an app marketplace with tools to enhance the performance of your ticketing system. This tier also offers integration with Zoho CRM, Zoho Books, and Zoho BugTracking, making it right for businesses that are already invested in Zoho’s suite of sales, software development, or office management products.
The Professional level lacks a customer interaction history or multilingual dashboards like other solutions on our list offer at this price point. However, you get a good deal of features for one of the lowest plan prices on our top six list as well as seamless integration with other Zoho platforms.
What Zoho Desk Is Missing
Neither of these Zoho Desk service plans offer advanced analytics and reporting. Companies wanting larger volumes of data to make strategic planning decisions should consider trying out LiveHelpNow or Zendesk instead.
What Users Think About Zoho Desk
Our readers are very happy with Zoho Desk, giving it a 5 out of 5-star rating. They say the company excels at designing a user-friendly interface and extensive tools to manage tickets. Some users acknowledge that the initial configuration of the system can be a bit challenging but have had no problems once it set up. Learn more about the pros and cons of this help desk software on our Zoho Desk User Review page.
Where to Find Zoho Desk
Companies that need a ticketing software system that ties neatly into their existing Zoho business apps should consider Zoho Desk. The company offers a 15-day trial as well as a money back guarantee. Visit Zoho Desk to learn more or sign up for a free account.
Best Ticketing Software With Salesforce Integration: Help Scout
Help Scout is help desk software which, like other solutions on our list, offers service plans starting at $12/agent per month. It features knowledge bases, live chat, and reporting. Help Scout also offers integration with Salesforce, making it best for sales professionals and teams needing a ticketing solution that blends with the Salesforce customer relationship management platform.
Help Scout Pricing
Help Scout offers a Basic plan that supports up to 10 users for $12/agent per month, billed annually. Plans for unlimited users start at $20/agent per month and include features like Salesforce integration, knowledge bases, and live chat.
Help Scout Tiered Features
|Number of Users|
Help Scout’s Basic plan for $12/agent per month supports up to 10 users and features one mailbox, one knowledge base and live chat that includes a chatbot. Live chat is efficiently built into Help Scout mailboxes so agents can resolve customer issues within a single screen. The Basic tier is best for small teams that use chat as a primary means of customer ticketing.
The Basic tier lacks automated workflows and Salesforce integration offered with Help Scout’s higher-level service plans. It’s also missing social media channel ticketing as its similarly priced competitors have to offer. Nonetheless, having live chat bundled into the mailbox screen makes this service plan worth looking at.
Help Scout’s Standard plan accommodates an unlimited number of users and features one knowledge base and five mailboxes. Priced at $20/agent per month, this tier also offers automated workflows that filter emails, create custom folders, and automate a number of agent actions. This level is best for support teams wanting to streamline repetitive or administrative tasks to help agents work more efficiently.
This plan doesn’t include Salesforce integration or advanced reporting. It also doesn’t offer a customer interaction history like other ticketing solutions as this price point. Some Help Scout competitors offer automated workflows, however, those service plans cost more than this Standard tier.
Help Scout’s Plus tier features advanced reporting like the ability to compare report metrics to a previous time period and user-specific reporting that captures data on individual agents. Priced at $32/agent per month, this level also integrates with Salesforce to pull customer data into Help Scout’s database and view conversation histories with customers. The Plus plan is right for teams that use Salesforce to manage their customer relationships across the sales lifecycle.
This service plan doesn’t include post-call surveys or agent monitoring tools like the similarly-priced plans of other help desk software solutions on our list. Conversely, Salesforce integration isn’t available with all competitor plans or may come at an additional cost.
What Help Scout Is Missing
Help Scout doesn’t offer multilingual knowledge bases or agent dashboards, which could be a drawback for non-English speaking agents and customers. Businesses needing a ticketing system with translated content should check out Zendesk or Freshdesk instead.
What Users Think About Help Scout
Our readers are happy with Help Scout and say the platform helps them to easily manage at scale. They also mention that the support team is reliable and responsive. However, some users report the features on its mobile apps aren’t as comprehensive as they are in the desktop version. To learn more about what users think about this help desk solution, read our Help Scout User Review page.
Where to Find Help Scout
Sales teams that use Salesforce to manage customer relationships will want to check out Help Scout. The company offers a free 30-day trial as well as a free demo. Head over to Help Scout today to learn more.
Best Ticketing Software For eCommerce Support: HappyFox
HappyFox is ticketing software that starts at $29/agent per month. Its lower tier features Facebook and Twitter integration as well as saved reporting history. The upper level includes integration with RingCentral’s voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) business phone system and Shopify ecommerce platform, making it best for call center-style support teams and large businesses with an ecommerce presence.
HappyFox’s entry-level plan is well-priced at $29/agent per month, billed annually and includes integration with Shopify’s ecommerce platform, as well as Twitter and Facebook. Its higher-level tier connects with your existing RingCentral VoIP business phone system for automatic call recording and ticket management.
HappyFox Tiered Features
|Multi-Branding With Custom Domain|
|Round Robin Assignment|
|RingCentral Phone Integration|
HappyFox’s Mighty plan supports two Twitter accounts and three Facebook business pages. It also distributes tickets in a round robin format to ensure equal distribution of the workload and supports ecommerce platform Shopify. At $29/agent per month, the Mighty tier is a great choice for business that mainly sell online through social channels and companies with a social outreach strategy.
This tier doesn’t include integration with the Stripe payment platform or a VoIP business phone system. It also lacks several features that similar ticketing systems at the same price point have, such as an interactive voice response system to greet and route calls. However, the other $29 service plans don’t support Shopify so the buying decision will boil down to which feature a company values more in its help desk software.
HappyFox’s Fantastic plan supports five Twitter accounts and five Facebook business pages. At $49/agent per month, it also includes integration with Stripe payment system and top VoIP business phone system provider, RingCentral. The RingCentral integration allows agents to talk to customers from within HappyFox without switching between apps as well as automatically log and record all calls, making it best for existing or new RingCentral customers.
This service plan lacks deep analytics and team collaboration tools offered by ticketing systems that cost the same as Happy Fox’s Fantastic plan. However, there are few help desk platforms that integrate with popular VoIP phone systems, making this tier worth a look for businesses that want to use one system to manage support requests and follow-up phone calls.
What HappyFox Is Missing
HappyFox is missing a free plan, something several of its competitors offer. Businesses with a budget that doesn’t have room for paid help desk software should take a look at Freshdesk or Zoho Desk instead.
What Users Think About HappyFox
Our readers report high satisfaction with HappyFox, awarding it 4 out of 5-stars. They say it is easy to customize, regardless of technical aptitude and it integrates with other apps very well. However, some users report customer service can sometimes be slow to respond. Read more about what customers think on our HappyFox User Review page.
Where to Find HappyFox
Teams wanting a reliable ticketing software system that offers a wide range of support channels should learn more about HappyFox. Contact the sales team today to request a no-commitment demo or a free trial of the help desk platform.
Bottom Line – Ticketing & Help Desk Software
The best ticketing software can improve the customer experience by helping your team provide top-notch issue resolution. The best help desk software platforms capture and organize tickets and assist agents in addressing them quickly and efficiently across email, phone, web, and social channels.
Freshdesk offers the best combination of features at an affordable price and is backed by exceptional customer service. The company offers a 21-day trial of its paid plan and a permanently free plan for an unlimited number of users. Visit Freshdesk today.