What are the best help desk experiences

Helpdesk software 2021: The best ticket and chat systems in comparison

In this article, we will introduce you to the most popular HelpDesk systems and explain the differences. We compare stand-alone HelpDesk systems and Helpdesk tools for WordPress.

A help desk or user help desk is usually a ticket system that customers use to submit inquiries and that is used to support users of hardware and software. Within the system, the support staff work with an inbox through which all tickets can be called up and answered.

HelpDesk systems are available nowadays as standalone software solutions or as a plugin that I can install and use directly in WordPress. The type of HelpDesk system you use is not just a matter of taste: you should study the features of the various systems in detail and consider, for example, whether you would like to load your WordPress installation with a support plugin.

Stand-alone HelpDesk solutions

HelpScout

With HelpScout you can manage e-mails and chats within a ticket system simply and easily. To do this, you can create multiple mailboxes for different teams as well as customer mails in HelpScout. Several projects can be organized via a dashboard.

Incoming tickets can be provided with private notes and you can create ready-made answers for frequently asked questions, which you can easily insert with a click if necessary.

Within a ticket, every HelpDesk employee has an overview in the sidebar of all contact data stored for the customer, access to previous conversations or other activities such as B. Purchases or Invoices. In addition to the creation of automated workflows, HelpScout has a variety of integration options and an API interface for communication with third-party tools.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket and live chat system
  • Smartphone app
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports
  • Tool integrations
  • API
  • Rating System

HelpScout can be tested free of charge for 15 days. You then have 3 licenses available to use the HelpDesk system. These include Standard ($ 25 a month / $ 20 a year), Plus ($ 40 a month / $ 35 a year) and Company. The company license is aimed at companies for which the standard and plus license is not sufficient (individual offer).

HelpScout is cheap for the functionality it offers. Comparable systems cost significantly more.

FreshDesk

FeshDesk is a pure ticket system in which you can manage customer inquiries centrally in one place. As with other help desk systems, you can work in a team with FreshDesk and process tickets together. To avoid a “collision”, all team members can see immediately when a HelpDesk employee has already opened a ticket.

Individual processes can be fully automated within FreshDesk, e.g. B. the assignment to individual employees or the categorization. FreshDesk also allows the integration of social media channels such as B. Facebook and Twitter messages. WhatsApp can also be easily integrated into the ticket system.

As in other HelpDesk systems, in Freshdesk you can also create ready-made answers or a knowledge database for frequently asked questions.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports
  • Knowledge base
  • Add-ons
  • Rating System

All packages offered by FreshDesk can be tested free of charge for up to 21 days. FreshDesk also offers a free license with very limited functionality.

FreshDesk offers a total of five packages: Free (free of charge), Blossom (€ 15 / € 19 / year), Garden (€ 35 / € 45 / year), Estate (€ 49 / € 69 / year) and Forest ( 99 € monthly / 125 € annually).

Add-ons provided by FreshDesk can also be booked for each of these packages. When it comes to the price-performance ratio, Freshdesk is in the middle.

ZenDesk

The ZenDesk Support Suite or the ZenDesk HelpDesk system enables you to combine conversations from different channels in one place. In addition to social media messaging via WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Facebook or Twitter, ZenDesk also offers live chat.

Statistics can be viewed or reports created within the HelpDesk system. Workflow automations (rules) are intended to make the work of the support staff even easier. Third-party tools can also be integrated.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket and live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Knowledge Base
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

Unlike other providers, ZenDesk offers two different HelpDesk systems: a simple support system and the much more extensive support suite.

ZenDesk offers five variants of the simple support system: Essential (5 €), Team (19 €), Professional (49 €), Enterprise (99 €), Elite (199 €). The Support Suite comes in two versions: Support Suite: Professional (89 €), Enterprise (149 €). All packages can be tested free of charge in advance.

With its simple support system, ZenDesk also offers small companies the opportunity to use an innovative ticket system for little money. The extensive support suite, on the other hand, is aimed more at large companies that also have to deal with a large number of support requests.

LiveZilla

LiveZilla is a German help desk system with a variety of support functions. LiveZilla offers you an intelligent chat system that can be displayed on any website. The system recognizes, for example, how long a user has been surfing the website and only becomes noticeable after a specified period of time. The chat box can be individually designed on different pages with just one installation.

If support cannot be reached directly via the chat box, the ticket is forwarded to the ticket system. In order to facilitate the processing of the incoming customer tickets, LiveZilla offers the possibility to individualize them.

LiveZilla also offers its own app with which you can access the support system while on the move.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket and live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Smartphone app

LiveZilla relies on single licenses instead of subscriptions and offers the free “LiveZilla One Version” (1 user) for test purposes. The paid “LiveZilla Pro Version” is available for a one-time fee of € 200.

Tawk.to

Tawk.to is the only provider that offers a free, full-fledged HelpDesk system. Tickets can be segmented and rules or reports can be created within the ticket system. The system also allows time tracking for individual tickets and an unlimited number of support staff.

Tawk.to also has a live chat system that can be displayed on the website, email notifications, its own app for smartphones and many integration options.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket and live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Knowledge Base
  • Smartphone app
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

As already mentioned, Tawk.to can be used completely free of charge. You only pay $ 1 an hour for support in your native language, which is available for every question about the ticket and live chat system. Many large companies already rely on Tawk.to, because it is one of the most comprehensive help desk systems on the market

A disadvantage, however, is the question of data protection and how this is to be reconciled with the current GDPR in Germany. Unfortunately, it is not possible to see how the data is processed. Payment is only possible by credit card. A full address of the provider is also not available.

Intercom

Intercom is a very tidy and well thought-out help desk system. It has a multitude of functions such as a live chat system, a team inbox, Slack integration or the option of setting up automated workflows (rules).

As in almost all support systems, detailed reports can be created with Intercom. You can also create custom bots that communicate with customers via chat outside of business hours, for example.

Intercom offers appropriate interfaces for the integration of third-party tools and apps. There is also its own app that can also be used on the smartphone.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket and live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Knowledge Base
  • Smartphone app
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

Intercom offers two packages that differ in terms of functionality. The “Chat and Messaging” package comes with the Start ($ 39) and Grow ($ 99) licenses. The “Automation and Messaging” package is available as Accelerate ($ 499) and Scale ($ 999).

All packages can be expanded with additional add-ons, such as add-ons for improved lead generation or for enhanced support automation.

In terms of price, Intercom is in the upper segment. But it is by far one of the top help desk systems on the market and offers numerous functions for a smooth workflow in support.

Userlike

Userlike is a modern help desk system that is equipped with functions such as live website chat, customer messaging, chat bots and social media messaging via WhatsApp, Facebook or Telegram. All support inquiries can be viewed by the respective employees via a team inbox.

For quick processing of support tickets, Userlike allows you to create text templates or chat templates and set up automated workflows (rules). The chat system can also be used to send and receive voice messages.

Userlike also allows the problem-free integration of third-party tools such as B. MailChimp, Hubspot or Slack. Reporting is also possible. Userlike also offers some useful data protection functions and can thus be used in accordance with GDPR.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket and live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

In addition to paid packages, Userlike also offers a free version. This is limited to one employee and one widget. The fee-based packages differ, among other things, in the number of possible employees, widgets, available add-ons and social media messaging. The following packages are available: Team (29 €), Corporate (99 €), Business (299 €) and Flex (on request).

HelpDesk

HelpDesk is one of the best known and most widely used HelpDesk systems on the market. The functions include a group-based inbox, the automation of tasks, the creation of text templates and live chat or the creation of a chatbot.

Tickets in HelpDesk can also be tagged and, of course, reports can be created. HelpDesk also comes with a knowledge base and enables third-party tools such as B. Slack, Hubspot, MailChimp or Zapier to integrate.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket and live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Knowledge base
  • Third party tools

Helpdesk offers a 14-day trial version. With its package prices such as the Starter ($ 5 monthly / $ 4 annually), Team ($ 24 monthly / 19 annually) and Enterprise (on request), the provider is quite cheap compared to its competitors. All packages offered differ in their range of functions.

Kayako

With the help of the HelpDesk system from Kayako, support / customer inquiries can be processed within a modern inbox and in a team. Kayoko provides a variety of functions such as B. the live chat function, social media messaging (Facebook, Twitter) and an integration of third-party providers (Slack, Stripe, Salesforce, Zapier) are available.

Kayako's support system also offers the option of creating rules for receiving tickets as well as ready-made text templates. In addition to automatic translation thanks to integrated multilingualism, the HelpDesk system also has a collision warning so that two employees cannot work on one ticket at the same time. A knowledge database can also be created with Kayako.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket and live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Knowledge base
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

Kayako offers its users a total of 3 packages: Inbox ($ 15 per month), Growth ($ 30 per month) and Scale ($ 60 per month). The packages differ in their functions and the integration offered by third-party tools. The full range of functions can be tested free of charge for 14 days in advance. In terms of price, the provider is therefore in the low to medium price segment.

Crisp Chat

Crisp Chat offers a HelpDesk system that focuses on the chat function. Tickets can of course also be processed within an inbox. However, if you have functions such as B. want to use triggers, social media messaging (Facebook, Telegram, Twitter), automations, etc., must choose the next higher package.

Functions that are normally standard within a HelpDesk system must therefore be paid for separately with Crisp Chat. Nonetheless, Crisp Chat offers a variety of features such as: B. a general team inbox, chat bots, the sending of voice messages, a knowledge database, reporting as well as the integration of third-party tools (Slack, Zapier, etc.)

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket and live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Smartphone app
  • Third party tools
  • Smartphone app

Crisp Chat offers three different packages: Basic (Free), Pro (€ 25 per month) and Unlimited (€ 95 per month). Both paid packages can be tested free of charge for 14 days in advance. In terms of costs, Crisp Chat is in the middle to expensive price segment.

Rocket Chat

Rocket Chat is not a classic help desk system, but a chat tool that is primarily intended to facilitate communication among teams. For example, files can be exchanged, screens shared and, of course, chatted between team members.

In addition to this function, Rocket.Chat also offers the integration of a live chat on websites or within apps, which can be used to process customer inquiries. A help desk board can be set up in Rocket Chat for this purpose. There, team members have the opportunity to communicate live with customers and to support them.

The chat tool also offers real-time translation, a smartphone app, the creation of regular reports, social media messaging (WhatsApp, Facebook) and the option of integrating third-party tools via the API.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools
  • Smartphone app

There is one special feature with Rocket Chat: The system must be installed on a server. Therefore, Rocket. Chat two variations on: “Self-Managed” (independent hosting) and “SaaS” (cloud hosting).

Those who host themselves can purchase the following licenses: Community (Free), Pro ($ 30 annually) and Enterprise (on request).

If you want to host the system directly in the Rocket Chat cloud, you can choose from the following licenses: Bronze ($ 2 a month / $ 20 a year), Silver ($ 4 a month / $ 40 a year) and Gold ($ 6 a month. / $ 60 annually).

You can test the cloud version for 14 days free of charge or request a demo. Rocket is priced. Chat in the middle price segment.

Tidio

Similar to Crisp Chat and Rocket Chat, Tidio is a chat system and not a classic HelpDesk system. At Tidio, all tickets are controlled via a chat channel. Incoming customer inquiries can then be managed via a dashboard.

The live chat can be integrated into any website and the color of the chat box can be adjusted. As with other providers, reports can be created in Tidio and third-party tools such as B. Zapier, WordPress, Shopify, or MailChimp can be integrated. A smartphone app is also available to employees. If no employee is available in the live chat, the team receives an email. Open requests are also displayed in the dashboard.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Live chat system
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools
  • Smartphone app

In addition to a free version, Tidio offers four paid plans: Chatbots ($ 18 monthly), Communicator ($ 18), E-Mail Marketing ($ 10) and the Professional Plan (on request).The packages are extensions that can be booked in addition to the normal live chat function.

With its pricing, Tidio is one of the inexpensive providers of HelpDesk systems.

Customer

Kustomer offers its customers a complete help desk system with numerous functions for processing customer inquiries.

In addition to a knowledge database, Kustomer has functions for setting up automated workflows (rules), creating ready-made answers, creating reports and integrating third-party tools. Tickets can be segmented and team members can leave private notes on individual tickets.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • ticket
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools
  • Smartphone app

Kustomer offers the two standard packages Enterprise ($ 89 per month) and Ultimate ($ 139 per month) for its customers. In addition, individual extensions such as Across Chat, E-Mail or Chatbots can be added to these packages.

With its prices, the Kustomer help desk system is in the higher price segment.

All stand-alone help desk solutions at a glance

In the table below we have shown the range of functions and prices of all 13 stand-alone help desk solutions presented. We've also noted whether a free version or trial version is available. Note: The prices of the providers with annual payment are calculated for the entire year.

WordPress help desk solutions

Awesome support

The Awesome Support Plugin for WordPress offers all functions that are necessary for processing customer inquiries within a HelpDesk system: a ticket system, a knowledge database, documentation modules, the creation of automated workflows (rules), the creation of private notes or the assignment of user-defined ones Labeling.

With Awesome Support, extensive reports can be created for analyzes and tickets for employees can be tracked over time. The help desk plug-in can be expanded with more than 28 add-ons. Various add-ons are stored in each price package.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Knowledge base
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

The Awsome Support Plugin only offers package bundles. These include: Standard ($ 149 annually), Pro ($ 229 annually), Enterprise ($ 289 annually) and Agency ($ 409 annually).

The standard version lacks some very useful functions such as B. Reports, the extended time tracking, etc. If the support plug-in is actually to be used with all functions, the customer has to resort to a more expensive version.

WSDesk

WSDesk's simple AJAX interface is of course a matter of taste, but the WSDesk plug-in works smoothly and is easy to use. With the help desk plugin for WordPress, you can create custom ticket views for each employee, triggers / automations, ready-made text templates and reports, among other things.

WSDesk also offers Google Chat integration. If your domain has an email address, tickets can also be received and sent by email. SMS notifications can also be set up in WSDesk.

The support plugin is also compatible with various other WordPress plugins such as B. WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Avada or WPML compatible.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

One year of updates and support are included in the price of WSDesk. The selected package can then be extended at any time.

Customers can opt for the following packages: single page ($ 89 one-time), 5 pages ($ 129 one-time), 25 pages or more ($ 249 one-time).

WSDesk is therefore quite cheap, but not suitable for everyone. However, a large number of tickets often has a negative effect on the performance of the system.

SupportCandy

The WordPress plugin SupportCandy is a complete help desk system and, like most plugins of this type, is based on Ajax. SupportCandy offers functions such as B. private notes, e-mail notifications, multilingualism, reports and statistics as well as an API interface for connecting third-party tools.

SupportCandy can also be expanded with the help of premium add-ons, such as a WooCommerce integration, a timer or an add-on for setting up user groups or forms

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

The SupportCandy plug-in can be downloaded in a free version. With this you can use an unlimited number of tickets and set up an unlimited number of accesses for support staff.

In addition to the free version, there are also paid packages to choose from: Starter ($ 39.99 annually), Econom ($ 49.99 annually), Standard ($ 59.99 annually).

The price of the Helpdesk plug-in SupportCandy is in the lower price segment.

TotalDesk

The help desk plugin TotalDesk is an all-in-one solution for WordPress and has by far the largest range of functions when it comes to ticket systems for WordPress.

The range of functions of TotalDesk includes a ticket system, a live chat system, knowledge database, labels, one / more inboxes for different groups, email notifications, the creation of ready-made text templates, the creation of reports, automated workflows or also the easy integration of third-party providers such as B. WooCommerce, Slack or WPML.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket / live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

The HelpDesk plug-in TotalDesk is only available in a paid version and costs $ 29 once. In terms of price, the powerful support plug-in is well below average.

Support board

With the Support Board - Plugin for WordPress, users receive a ticket and live chat system. The plugin creates an inbox or group inbox within WordPress. As an admin you can create an unlimited number of support employees.

Support Board offers functions such as direct notification by email or desktop, a timer for the support tickets, ready-made text templates and the possibility of creating a knowledge database. In addition, the help desk plug-in is multisite-capable and can be used in several languages. It is also possible to integrate third-party tools such as WooCommerce or Dialogflow.

The plugin also comes with a web app that gives the admin direct access to the support board.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Ticket / live chat system
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports / reports
  • Rating System
  • Third party tools

The Support Board plug-in is available for a one-time price of $ 59. This is a lifetime license. The license can also be expanded with paid apps such as Dialogflow or Slack.

This means that the support plug-in is priced in the lower price segment.

MinervaKB

MinervaKB is not a classic HelpDesk plug-in, but a pure knowledge database. Nevertheless, we would like to mention this tool here, because the WordPress plugin can be used in addition to a support system on your own website.

With a knowledge database such as MinveraKB you can create detailed documentation or help articles that you can then refer to in the support. This makes the processing of support tickets much easier and is an ideal addition to a pure ticket system.

MinervaKB offers a live search, the organization of content in topic lists, an analysis option (views, ratings), the creation of premium content, multilingualism and the creation of an FAQ.

The most important functions at a glance:

  • Live search
  • Content organization (topic lists)
  • Analytics / reports
  • Premium content
  • FAQ
  • Multilingual

The MinvervaKB plugin costs $ 69 once and is compatible with the PageBuilder Elementor.

All WordPress HelpDesk solutions at a glance

In the table below we have shown the range of functions and prices of all help desk plugins for WordPress presented. We also noted whether a free version or trial version is available

Prices with an annual payment are costs that are calculated for the entire year.

Conclusion

A suitable HelpDesk system is the be-all and end-all when it comes to efficient and fast processing of customer inquiries. B. Intercom offers everything your heart desires, but it also costs a lot. It is therefore best to use the opportunity to test a system in detail, where available, in order to be able to determine whether it meets your requirements.

You also have to ask yourself what kind of HelpDesk system you want to use. A standalone solution or a WordPress plugin? With a plugin for WordPress you have everything in one system - but that can be heavily burdened with a high amount of customer inquiries. In addition, the WordPress plugins do not offer a smartphone app that you can use to edit your tickets while on the move.

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