For internet-based businesses, a cloud-based help desk software is the most direct communication portal with potential clients. Not only do these software siphon all communications within a single channel but they also allow quick resolution of queries from the client’s end. With the integration of novel concepts such as artificial intelligence and chatbots, this tool has become ever so useful for entrepreneurs.
The success of a business venture lies in keeping their clients and employees happy – one assures profits and the other productivity. The support desk may help you sell your product or integrate communication within a company; in either case, the user will enjoy ease of use while the client will get satisfactory results. Modern companies prioritize help desk software as it assures rapid solutions to problems, and happy clients and employees.
What is a Help Desk Software?
Help desk software goes by many names but has only one goal and that is to provide a single contact point for users that they can use to interact with a company. Communications from various channels are funneled to a single location, queries are prioritized and then resolved ASAP. This software either redirects customers to a library of pre-resolved issues, often dubbed as the FAQ section, or to a customer service rep; in both cases, effort is minimized on both parts and time is conserved.
Such software operates on both self-service and ticket allotment options, as described above. The former relies upon a vast knowledge base of stored data. Live chat and call center software have found their way in the mix to deliver a more immersive experience; this integration allows information to be accessed easily and ensures efficient problem-solving.
What Makes an Ideal Cloud-Based Help Desk Software?
Several basic and advanced features collaborate to make an effective help desk tool; we have listed some of them below:
· Ticket Management
Tickets are the backbone of any help desk software. Clients contact the company via one of the various portals available, such as email, social media, or website, and their concerns are given tickets by the system. Not all tickets are equal and their route depends on the query’s contents. If the concerns of the customer are too generic, there is no need to dedicate time for their resolution; instead, they can be redirected to the FAQs section.
All unique queries are forwarded to the concerned personnel and might be routed to a specific department if it is technical. The system tracks the performance of these tickets, prioritizes urgent concerns, and ensures the effective resolution of each. Ticket management conserves both time and effort.
· Vast Knowledge Base
Company teams often create self-help resources, which include repetitive or expected queries that don’t need to be redirected to a support rep. The software assists not only in expanding this knowledge base but also in redirecting relevant queries to this section; this saves a great deal of hassle on the client’s part as they can solve their issue directly without submitting a ticket.
If this feature is incorporated into the help desk software, its potential can be magnified by many folds; FAQs, how-to sections, recommendations, and pop-ups also assist the customer in this regard. The overall goal of this system is to reduce the number of tickets and only allow unique queries to pass through.
· Media Support
Social media platforms, once thought to be a place to goof around, are now the forerunners in supporting business growth. For this reason, a lot of software integrate social media communications in their framework, which makes engaging clients easier as the outreach on social media platforms is unexcelled.
What is even better is that agents need not open separate windows to address clients spread across a plethora of social sites. A single dashboard allows them to connect with customers from all social platforms.
· Adhering to ITIL
Many IT management companies employ a framework of protocols called the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is a conglomerate of effective services that improve the state of businesses; they must not be strictly adhered to, so as not to cause restraint, but can be quite helpful in various areas. ITIL, although beneficial, is not a necessary feature. It must be sought only if your company operates on its basis.
· Chat-bot Feature
Artificial intelligence can mean different things to different people. While some definitions are spine chilling, AI is a useful tool from a business perspective. Chat-bots have rapidly evolved and even threaten to take over live chat services. This preprogrammed software allows immediate conversing with the client and gives them the feel of talking to an actual human.
Chat-bots employ simple questions (mostly yes/no) and a natural tone to specify the client’s problem. Once the problem is clarified, it either offers a solution from the knowledge base or offers solutions to similar problems. If even that fails to solve the problem, the bot redirects the query with specific details to a support rep for quick and easy resolution.
Best Cloud-Based Help Desk Software in 2020
Cloud-based software has gained popularity because of its integrative framework and ease of operation. It minimizes human effort and allows for better communication within and outside a corporation. Help desk software have also taken up a cloud-based framework.
Here are our picks for the best cloud-based help desk software in 2020:
Zendesk Support is a cloud-based help desk that integrates a plethora of customer support features on one dashboard. It stands out with features such as client history search and predefined redirection of tickets. It also incorporates customer satisfaction reviews and surveys with previous performance to track and rate current performance. Zendesk Talk, a call center application offered by the same company, can be used with this software.
With a range of paid features, exclusive to five tiers, it allows you to pay for only what you need. The software offers a free trial to help you get a feel and taste of its features. This also allows you to judge whether you need extra features or not. Pricing starts at a very low price for the basic essential plan. This plan includes email and social media support, customer communication history, and preset rules. Further up the tier, plans offer bonus features not present in the basic plan. These include several apps and more integration alongside many others.
- Can be integrated with other Zendesk software
- Free trial included
- Predefined ticket responses included
- All features are accessible from one dashboard
- Higher tiers are expensive
- Free tiers are not offered
Just like Zendesk, Freshdesk is also a cloud-based help desk. It strives to foster a fast-paced and efficient work environment through its features. It boasts a team inbox feature, allowing users to manage tickets coming in from various quarters to one location for easy resolution. It also allows users to preset responses for common queries and to create a custom status for tickets suited for your organization.
The integration of multiple information sources such as emails, cellular networks, and social portals is also an attractive feature. There are multiple tiers, with the lowest one, called “Sprout”, being free. Others successively add upon features and price tags. Free trials are available at every level to help you make an informed choice.
- Multiple channels integrated into one
- Team huddle option exists to solve complicated issues
- Free tier
- Includes a helpful team inbox feature
- Higher tiers can get pricey
- Lacks some features present in competitors’ software
3. Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk focuses on context-awareness. It prioritizes urgent queries and problems through its ticket management system. In the meantime, its dashboard tracks progress and quality. The option of creating a strong knowledge base allows users to offer clients a self-help section, saving time. It also offers support for mobile phones, making it effective on the go. In addition to webinars, help portals, and assistance blogs, the software also offers live chat (only in the top tier).
In contrast to its competitors, Zoho only has three simple tier levels. The first one is free while the rest are paid. Free trials are offered for both paid tiers. The middle tier, known as the Professional Plan comes with a “Customer Happiness Ratings” system and a cloud calling feature. Their top tier, which adds a host of features seen in competing brands, comes at a comparatively lower price. One place where they do lag behind is the absence of direct phone call support; but other than that, they offer a pretty solid deal.
- Simpler, affordable plans
- Free tier available
- Effective ticket management system
- Middle tier offers a customer satisfaction option
- Cellular network support absent
- Only the top tier offers competitive features
Kayako offers an easy to operate system targeted in fostering communication with the client. FedEx, Toshiba, Peugeot, and General Electric are only a handful of examples from their vast user network. Kayako allows users to create several customer help centers within one umbrella, otherwise known as “multi-brand”. Live chat and preset query responses ensure quick resolution of the client’s queries and concerns. SLA support, a rare feature, allows users to cement client-business relations.
A clutter-free dashboard effectively tracks quality metrics such as customer’s level of satisfaction, allowing employees to incorporate feedback. Just like Zoho, they offer merely three tiers, although none is fee. A trial allows the user to assess the capabilities of the software before finalizing the choice.
- Supports multi-brand
- Supports live-chat
- Free trials for each tier
- Allows you to create multi-brand customer care units
- No free tier
- Lacks some advanced features present in other software
5. Support Center Plus
ManageEngine’s Support Center brainchild is an easy-to-access cloud-based help desk software with mobile support. It offers support for both Windows and Linux on PC, allowing a broader audience to access it. Ticket management, customer account management, and contact information storage are its signature features. A built-in management system dedicated to emails allows effective tracking of email communications and support progress.
The software boasts omnichannel support via the cellular networks, websites, and social platforms, in addition to emails. Automation of these channels makes communications effective and an in-built tracker keeps an eye on the support staff. A vast knowledge base powers a self-help section, where common queries are redirected. Its basic goal is to provide an all-in-one support system and ticket management. The product is paid, however, there are no prices displayed on the company website, instead, you can get a quote from them.
- Supports both Windows and Linux
- Offers analytics and reports
- Offers mobile support
- Strong FAQ section powered by a vast knowledge base
- No prices displayed, you need to get a quote from the website owners
- No free version
6. Some Honorable Mentions
This help desk software, although not present in the top 5, have potential and are worth consideration:
NijaRMM is cloud-based help desk software with a real-time monitoring option. The interface is simple, offering ease of operation. Customizability is also simple and does not require much learning. Moreover, additional features are being regularly instilled to make the tool stand out against the competition.
AgilSoft offers an easy to use and understand help desk software at reasonable pricing. They have led the market since the ’90s, and have done a great deal to ensure that their software boosts work efficiency.
Bitrix24 offers a contact portal and staff communications, alongside effective management of projects and CRM support. The communication channel includes all of the major portals discussed earlier. They offer a free tier supporting a maximum of 12 users, in addition to a paid standard plan.
Cloud-based help desk software has gained popularity by cutting costs, time, and effort on the company’s part. All the while they boost client interaction and hence the profits. Choosing the ideal software can be tricky but you must know what you want.
How you intend to use the software and in what capacity? If you have a small team with minimal requirements, you may get off well with a free version. If you want a stronger option, then perhaps a paid tier will suite you. Take your time getting a feel via the free trials and then have your pick. They are assured to make your business outshine the crowd.