10 Best Help Desk Software in 2023

13 Best Helpdesk Software and Tools

Discover the best help desk software and tools on the marketing today and find out the tool to run your help desk.


January 12, 2023

17 mins read

You know – The only thing saving your team from drowning into support requests is helpdesk software.

This also means that the helpdesk tool you choose decides the quality of customer support you can offer.

In this guide, you’ll discover 13 absolutely best helpdesk tools on the market today.

Support emails slipping through the cracks?
Keeping is the best helpdesk for Gmail that turns emails into support tickets that you can track, assign, and prioritize.

But first, what is help desk software?

A help desk software is like a central command center for handling all your customer inquiries and requests. 

The basic function of help desk software is to streamline everything from receiving customer questions to tracking their progress and delivering solutions. 

A help desk software is able to bring everything together with the help of different functionalities it offers. Here are a few functions a good help desk software will perform:

  • It allows users to create, track, prioritize, and assign support tickets or requests.
  • It automates repetitive tasks such as ticket routing, responses to common inquiries, and escalations, improving efficiency and reducing manual workload.
  • Such tools generate reports and analytics on key performance metrics such as ticket volume, and resolution times.
  • It facilitates collaboration among support team members through features like internal notes, mentions, and team assignments, ensuring efficient resolution of complex issues.

So, it is the tool that helps your support team deliver a good customer experience each time. And in times when, 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience—a solid help desk software is the way to go!

Why do you need a help desk tool?

Choosing software to run your helpdesk requires both monetary and time investment. Naturally, there should be solid reasons why you need a help desk software:

To enhance team productivity

Customer support teams can get bogged down by repetitive tasks like logging inquiries and sending basic updates. Such a tool tackles this by automating these actions, freeing up your team’s time. 

A help desk system acts as a tool that sorts requests, assigns them efficiently, and even offers automated responses for common questions. This boosts productivity, letting your team focus on tackling complex issues and delivering exceptional customer service.

To track team performance

To grow as a small business, you need to track what your team is doing. A good ticketing system lets you track even the slightest of the tasks and that is why you need one. 

Let’s say you want to find out who is the best and the least performing agent? You can track it by looking at the tickets resolved by a particular agent. You can look at the time taken and the quality of resolution provided—and then make your judgment.

Want to see the average time it takes for a ticket to get resolved? The right help desk software also provides resolution times metrics.

Helpdesk software with team analytics dashboard.

Some of the other important metrics that can be tracked with a ticket management tool are customer satisfaction, net promoter score, and customer retention rate.

To discover new improvement opportunities

Over 50% of customer service agents report that their company’s way of handling service creates bad experiences for customers. And you can handle the customer support operations well only when you know what needs improvement.

A help desk software tells you that in the following two ways:

  • Showing you team performance and service data.
  • Collecting data and insights based on customer conversations.

By tracking metrics with the reporting capabilities provided by a desk tool, you find out the gaps in your support processes. These gaps can then be communicated to the support staff and improvements can be made.

With the data collected from customer conversations, insights can be drawn about topics like common customer issues and service quality expectations.

To deliver impactful customer experiences

Who doesn’t want to deliver customer experiences that leave an impact? The best help desk software lets you do that.

With all the features that a help desk software offers, the end result that is achieved is impact customer experience. 

For example, all collaboration features like collision detection, ticket assignment or internal notes boost productivity—improving the response times. When this is done for a longer period, your customers realize your customer service is awesome!

One of the other desk software features like automation also helps in bringing consistency and quality into customer service. Self-service features save time and make the customer feel empowered too.

All of this combined, leads to customer experiences that make your customers want to come back for more. 

To save support costs

The help desk features help save support costs.

Ticketing systems streamline workflows, resolving issues faster and reducing wasted time. Knowledge base features empower self-service, deflecting unnecessary calls. Analytics optimize staffing based on ticket volume, avoiding overspending.

Overall, help desk software boosts efficiency, deflects calls, and optimizes resources, leading to significant cost reductions in support.

What are the types of help desk software?

Here are the three main types of help desk software:

Web-based help desk software

A web-based help desk software is the most common type we see around us today. This desk software solution is a website which can be visited on any device (with an internet connection) to manage everything.

Web-based help desks typically offer cost-effectiveness compared to installed software, are simple to set up and navigate, and entail no installation or upkeep efforts.

One such web-based help desk software is Keeping. Keeping is built to supercharge your Gmail inbox to help you provide excellent customer support. Keeping can be installed as a chrome extension after which your service agents can use features like ticket management, reporting and analytics and CRM integrations from the email inbox itself. 

Cloud-based help desk software

Cloud-based help desk software eliminates the need for on-site servers, offering a flexible and accessible way to manage customer support. Agents can access the software from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing for remote work and improved flexibility.

Easily add or remove users as your business grows without worrying about software licenses or hardware upgrades. The provider handles software updates, ensuring you always have the latest features and security patches. A popular example of cloud-based help desk software is Zendesk.

Self-hosted help desk software

Installed (or self-hosted) help desk software is the traditional on-premise approach to customer support.  Think of it as having your own server in the office running the ticketing system.  While cloud-based solutions are gaining popularity, installed software still has its place for some businesses.

You have complete control over the software and data stored on your own servers. This can be appealing for businesses with strict data security requirements. Installed software often offers more flexibility for customization to fit your specific needs and workflows.

The 13 best help desk software for a small business

We compiled a list of top help desk software to simplify your search and avoid overwhelming you with additional tasks:

SoftwareKey featuresMost suitable for
KeepingGmail collaboration: Assign, share notes, update tickets.Shopify integration for customer management.Multiple shared inboxes.Shareable response templates.Advanced reporting for team insights.Small to midsize businesses that use Gmail for support
HelpScout@mentions, private notes, collision detection.AI summarize, AI assist, AI drafts.Show history, provide context.Create, manage, organize with Docs.Mid to large size businesses looking for a easy to use solution
KayakoVisualize customer interactions in one view.Integrate with Zapier, Slack, or Salesforce for consolidated activities.Manage message status, merge conversations.Startups that don’t need complexity.
Outsource workflows with smart rules.Customize fields, workflows for personalized support.Manage complex issues with ticket actions.Monitor ticket inflow, observe trends, optimize strategy.
Businesses that need a multilingual help desk solution
Automated ticket fields for categorization, prioritization, routing.Thank-you detector prevents ticket reopening.Share ticket ownership among the team.Resolve complex issues with split tickets.
Mid to large size businesses that require more than basic features.
ZendeskOrder history, loyalty status, web activity.Pre-built, customizable dashboards for reporting.Share, schedule dashboards with relevant team members.AI tools based on 18B real interactions.Enterprise businesses with a big budget
FrontAccurately route messages with content-based rules.Tag messages for organization and reporting.Leave internal comments for collaboration.Track SLA violations, response time, CSAT scores.Midsize businesses needing omnichannel support
IntercomFin AI: Summarizes, customizes responses, fills ticket details.Manage multiple customers with a single ticket, resolve issues.Maintain branding, control multiple help centers in one workspace.Automate tasks, assign work, meet SLAs, use bots.Medium to enterprise businesses
ZohoDeskMulti-department helpdesk mirroring company structure.Zia AI auto-tags tickets, performs sentiment analysis, aids in replies.Build customer communities via forums.Growing companies with huge support volume.
GrooveInstant customer support history.Label conversations: Open, Snoozed, Closed.Private team comments.Collision detection.Track support metrics with analytics.Startups and growing organizations.
HiverSnooze emails for later review.Create and share response snippets.Tag emails for organization and easy retrieval.Integrate with third-party apps like HiverAPI, Aircall, Asana, Jira.Businesses that use email for customer communications.
Google Collaborative InboxShared inbox for team communicationThreaded discussions for contextTagging and categorization for organizationAssignment and workflow managementIntegration with Google servicesSearch and filtering capabilitiesEarly stage startups
Gain insights into customer behavior with AI.Customize workflows for streamlined processes.Practice proactive support using customer data.Use email templates for quick responses.
Large enterprise brands that need AI in their customer support.

#1. Keeping

Keeping (disclaimer – this is our tool) is a help desk tool that works on top of Gmail to convert your Gmail inbox into a shared inbox. Our software provides collaboration, automation, analytical tracking and integration features.

The key features you enjoy with Keeping service desk include:

  • Collaboration features such as assigning messages, sharing internal notes, and updating the status of the ticket, all without ever leaving Gmail.
  • Shopify integration that lets you connect your Shopify customer inside Keeping.
  • Create multiple shared inboxes for ticket management.
  • Create templates that can be shared and inserted into your responses with one click.
  • Advanced reporting and analytics that give you data you need to know about how your team responds to your customers.

Keeping is best suited for teams looking to stay within Gmail but get an upgrade. If you are a small business, Keeping is the one for you. We say this because we’re an affordable solution packed with essential ticket management features you need.

Here is how one of our client is using Keeping:

Goal Grass, an artificial turf company, has a 9-member customer support team that now manages all incoming support emails using Keeping. Previously, they relied on a cumbersome combination of Google Groups and Gmail labels to sort through 40 to 50 daily inquiries. With Keeping, they’ve been able to stick with Gmail—a platform they love—while easily integrating additional staff from outside the support team for extra assistance with certain requests.

#2. HelpScout

Things have gotten from coordinated to chaotic? HelpScout is the tool for you. HelpScout is one of the best help desk software in the market designed with teams in mind. HelpScout will do everything that email does and then some more.

Another help desk tool.

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Here are the key features with which HelpScout is able to supercharge your customer support operations:

  • Collaboration tools like @mentions, private notes, and collision detection 
  • AI features like AI summarize, AI assist and AI drafts.
  • Customer profiles that show customer history and provide context.
  • Create, manage and organize self-service content with Docs.
  • Pre-built reporting dashboards to track metrics like response time, handle time, number of conversations etc.

Another unique feature that this help desk software comes with is the live chat feature—Beacon. With live chat, customers can get help whenever it’s convenient for them, 24/7. They don’t have to wait for business hours or email replies.

Here’s what a user said about HelpScout:

“User-friendly with strong search for client help guides. Great ticketing integrates with Infusionsoft & Trello. Reporting helps build guides based on client searches. Could be better: recycle bin for guides & more customization for canned replies.”

Overall, HelpScout is a great option amongst the desk software solutions. It comes with some cool features which can elevate the way your customers see your support. This software is best suited for businesses that are at a growth stage and need an easy to set up desk software.

#3. Kayako

Kayako is an omnichannel help desk software that makes it easy to collaborate with teammates. Kayako has been created with the goal of bringing a deep understanding of your customers and keeping your team aligned. 

Helpdesk software.

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Here are the features that let your support team do all of this:

  • Single view that lets you bring every interaction a customer has had with your business into a visualized list.
  • Integrate with Zapier, Slack or Salesforce to consolidate customer activities.
  • Track team performance by looking at customer satisfaction ratings, insights and custom reporting
  • Check messages status or merge different conversations with the same customer into one.
  • Create, track and personalize help centers to enable self service into your brand.

Kayako stands out from the other desk software solutions on this with unique features like the Single View. With all customer data available at glance, your support agents can deliver support that is personalized—not something your competitors could do with as much ease.

Here’s what a user said about Kayako:

“Kayako’s standout feature is its automated priority assignment for tickets, streamlining tasks and allowing focus on those needing a human touch. Despite occasional bugs disrupting this process, a software patch could enhance its efficiency further. Overall, Kayako remains a highly effective tool.”

Looking at Kayako’s desk software features, it is most suitable for startups. It provides powerful features that go beyond basic options, but avoids unnecessary complexity.

#4. HappyFox

HappyFox is a practical help desk software that aims to reduce chaos and streamline your support process with a strong ticket system, knowledge base and community forums. 

Another tool to help manage a helpdesk.

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Here are the key features of HappyFox:

  • Convert email, phone, chat and web requests into tickets and keep them organized.
  • Outsource complex and redundant workflows to a powerful smart rules engine.
  • Create your own custom fields, workflows & personalize the support experience.
  • clone, relate, merge, or split tickets to manage complex issues & requests.
  • Monitor Ticket Inflow, observe trends & optimize support strategy. Identify peak hours and tweak agent availability.

What makes HappyFox stand out as a service desk is the multilingual agent portal—great for global teams. This multilingual portal automatically translates the text, no matter what language your customer is using while messaging.

Here’s what a user said about HappyFox:

“It’s easy to use across teams, easy to view data and easy to customize for our needs. There is also a wonderful help team that was instrumental in getting us set up and functioning as we needed. Although, I wish there was more flexibility to customize the contact form but I otherwise see very few cons in our usage!”

HappyFox is best suited for global teams that require multilingual support in their customer support operations.

#5. Freshdesk

The next help desk software on our list is Freshdesk. Freshdesk is a multi-channel desk software designed to help support teams deliver intuitive and contextual customer support. With Freshdesk, you can empower your support teams to deliver timely and consistent support at any scale. 

Multi-channel helpdesk software.

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Freshdesk has all basic features along with a good variety of advanced features. Some of these features are:

  • Track and manage tickets from various channels in a single inbox
  • Automated ticket fields suggestion that helps categorize, prioritize and route incoming tickets.
  • Thank you detector to prevent reopening of tickets when customers respond with a thank you.
  • Share ownership of tickets with multiple team members.
  • Resolve complex issues faster by splitting them into smaller child tickets.
  • Allocate tickets to agents based on their workload, expertise, or using a round-robin approach.

FreddyAI—Freshdesk’s own chatbot software is what sets this help desk system apart from the others in this list. This chat bot answers questions on behalf of your service agents by scanning through your knowledge bases.

Here is what user has said about Freshdesk:

It adequately handles the fundamental functions required for email-based customer support. Having a shortcut to the macro feature is beneficial. However, the user interface is poor. It can initially be perplexing for first-time users of Freshdesk.”

Freshdesk is best suited for mid to large size businesses that require more than the basic feature any desk software has to offer.

#6. Zendesk

Zendesk is one the most popular help desk systems in the market. And there are solid reasons for it. Zendesk is the complete service solution built to create strong relationships with strong customer interactions.

Zendesk helpdesk platform.

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Some of the desk software features are:

  • Customer context information like order history, loyalty status, and web activity etc are available on display.
  • Pre-built and customizable dashboards available to ensure proper reporting.
  • Share and schedule dashboards with relevant team members only.
  • AI tools built over 18 billion real customer service interactions.
  • Over 1500 plug-and-play integrations including Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Zendesk has its very own marketplace where you can discover and access a wide range of third-party apps, integrations, and customizations designed to enhance and extend the functionality of Zendesk’s customer service and support software. 

Here is what a user said about Zendesk:

Call features can occasionally be buggy and it is a bit expensive compared to some of the newer CRM platforms, but if you want reliability and have a large to mid scale business offering email and/or live chat support, Zendesk is a great option.”

Using Zendesk is a costly affair. It is probably the most expensive desk solution on this list. This is why we believe that Zendesk is best suited for enterprise teams with big budgets for customer support and asset management.

#7. Front

Front is a platform for customer operations that empowers teams to optimize communication and provide outstanding service efficiently to a large scale of customers. Front lets you funnel all your inbound messages from email, social media, SMS, voice and more into a single place.

Front for helpdesk.

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The help desk features offered by this software are:

  • Route messages accurately by creating rules based on message content (like keywords) or data from other systems (like Salesforce account information).
  • Tag messages to organize them for generating reports, providing quick visual indicators, creating rules, or filtering searches.
  • Leave internal comments on customer messages to share visibility and collaborate privately.
  • Connects with other platforms, bringing in customer history, previous conversations, and account details, all in one easy-to-use interface, enabling personalized responses.

Front comes with its very own live chat which can be added to your website, mobile app or in-product. Visitors can also provide more context by uploading pictures, videos and files. 

Here’s what a user has said about Front:

“The tool behaves as expected and has the requirements we need to manage a global set of 6 inbound sales teams, managing tickets that come from all of our property listing sites. The analytics are pretty good, but could use some more flexibility.” 

Front is a simple yet innovative software designed for teams that want to deliver omnichannel support to their customers. If you are small to midsize business, Front is perfect for you!

#8. Intercom

Intercom is a help desk software that combines an AI chatbot and proactive support to deliver exceptional customer support. The shared inbox is powered by artificial intelligence to enhance speed and efficiency, enabling your team to work more intelligently and collaborate more quickly.

Intercom customer support helpdesk.

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Here are the key features of Intercom:

  • Fin AI quickly summarizes conversations, customizes responses, and automatically fills in ticket details.
  • Manage multiple customers using a single ticket and effortlessly share updates and resolve issues affecting multiple customers in one ticket.
  • Maintain consistency with your help center’s branding and control multiple help centers using simple customization tools within one workspace.
  • Use the visual builder to automate your team’s tasks with rules for assigning work, meeting SLAs, using time-saving bots, and other features.

Here is what a user said about Intercom:

Intercom is user-friendly, reliable, and packed with useful features. However, its pricing may not suit medium-sized organizations. While it’s affordable for small teams or large help centers, it can become costly for those in between.”

Intercom’s AI-driven capabilities are nowhere to be found. The advanced AI functionalities make Intercom one of the best help desk software for medium to enterprise level businesses. 

#9. ZohoDesk

ZohoDesk is another one of the best help desk software on our list. It gives a close competition to Intercom with its product offerings—especially the AI bot “Zia”. ZohoDesk is a part of Zoho’s cloud software suite which means it can effortlessly integrate with other Zoho products.

ZohoDesk helpdesk platform.

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Some of key desk software features offered by Zoho are:

  • Create a multi-department helpdesk that resembles your company’s structure.
  • Provide support through email, telephone, live chat, and social media.
  • Zia—the AI assistant will auto-tag tickets, perform sentiment analysis and assist in replies.
  • Build and grow a community of customers, prospects and visitors via community forums.
  • Reply editor that lets you craft and send the best response using customer context, FAQs, and templates

ZohoDesk surely offers ahead of its time features. For example, headquarters is a live dashboard that shows the big picture trends as well as finer details for managers. 

Here is what a user said about ZohoDesk:

You can customize everything to fit your platform’s needs. It tracks customer behavior to anticipate their needs better. Learning some new terms is necessary, and it integrates well with other Zoho products but less so with third-party software.”

Zoho Desk is a good pick for growing companies that want to please their customers. It has lots of helpful features at a great price, but it might take some time to get used to it.

#10. Groove

Groove is a help desk software that gives you everything you need to streamline customer service online. With Groove, you can handle all your customer support inquiries easily, allowing you to concentrate on business growth.

Groove customer support and helpdesk software platform.

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Here are the key features of Groove as a help desk software:

  • View the complete support history of each customer instantly, without the need for searching.
  • Keep track of the status of every conversation by labeling it as Open, Snoozed, or Closed.
  • Collaborate behind the scenes with comments that only you and your team can see. 
  • Collision detection that allows you to quickly check if a teammate is already responding to a conversation.
  • Keep track of the key metrics for online customer support by reporting and analytics

Groove is also available on mobile for users you want mobility with their helpdesk. The app is available on Apple and Google Play store.

Here is what a user said about Groove:

“Easy to use. Easy to navigate. Sign-in is easy. I like how when using the Groove Dialer, when I enter the number it automatically tags the contact’s name, and organization to the activity. Sometimes the groove widget bugs out. Need to refresh my entire window for it to work again.”

Groove’s ease of use and flexibility make it suitable for startups and growing organizations as they expand their customer service operations.

#11. Hiver

Hiver is another help desk system that converts your business queries into actionable tasks from the comfort of Gmail. But this does not mean Hiver cannot be used for other channels. Hiver does have chat, whatsapp and voice support.

Hiver helpdesk for Gmail.

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The key features offered by Hiver are:

  • Snooze emails to come back to them later or set follow-up reminders to ensure that no ticket falls through the cracks
  • Create and share snippets of text to use in your support responses
  • Tag emails to organize them and make it easy to find them later
  • Integrate with third party apps such as HiverAPI, Aircall, Asana and Jira

Here is what a user said about Hiver:

“I love the ease of working within Hiver and having a help desk system with my colleagues. It makes it so easy for us to grab emails for each other when someone is out. The SLA markers are finicky, and we’ve had a lot of trouble getting them to report correctly.”

Hiver is particularly suitable for businesses that heavily rely on email for customer communication.

#12. Google Collaborative Inbox

Google Collaborative Inbox is a feature within Google Workspace that transforms a group email address into a shared inbox for your team. This eliminates the need for individual inboxes and creates a central hub for all team emails. Team members can assign emails to each other, track their progress with statuses like “Open” or “Closed,” and collaborate on responses.

Imagine a team managing a support email address like [xyz@gmail.com]. With Collaborative Inbox, the entire team can see emails, assign them to specialists, and track their resolution. This fosters better organization, avoids duplicate efforts, and ensures clear ownership of each inquiry.

#13. Kustomer

Kustomer is another desk software solution that combines AI with customer data to help businesses deliver customer support that leaves an impact. 

Help desk tool example.

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The key features offered by Kustomer are:

  • Manage customer interactions from various channels in one place.
  • Get valuable insights into customer behavior and trends using AI.
  • Create tailored workflows to streamline processes.
  • Practice proactive support by leveraging customer data.
  • Use ready-made email templates for quick responses.
  • Collect customer feedback instantly to measure satisfaction.

Like HappyFox, Kustomer offers multilingual support. This help desk software can translate more than 70 languages. 

Here is what a user said about Kustomer:

“I like Kustomer’s easy navigation for conversation tickets, side-panel tools, and pre-made email macros for quick messaging. Real-time customer satisfaction survey responses and access to worked-on tickets are convenient. However, outbound calls aren’t automatically tracked, and there’s occasional lag.”

This help desk software suits large enterprises with complex support needs, offering advanced features like omnichannel support, AI insights, and customizable workflows for diverse communication.

The essential features to look for in help desk software

Before you choose your help desk software, here are the essential features you should look for:

Email integration

Nothing beats email as a channel for customer communications than email. This is why the help desk software you pick should come with email integration.

Why this feature is essential

With email integration, support agents can manage customer emails directly within the help desk software, eliminating the need to switch between multiple email accounts or external tools. 

Keeping, our customer service software, comes with email integration. Our software works on top of Gmail converting your email account into a supercharged desk software solution. 

Collaboration features

Collaboration features in help desk software allow agents to work together on tickets, improving problem-solving and knowledge sharing within the team.

Why this feature is essential

Collaborative features empower your team. An agent can easily loop in a colleague with specific expertise or even developers from another department. They can discuss the issue internally, share notes and files within the ticket itself, and present a unified solution to the customer.

Keeping comes with multiple collaboration features. Service management can be made easier using features like ticket assignment, internal notes, priority or status tags and collision detection. 

Support ticket in a help desk tool.

Workflow automations

A report by McKinsey found that around 30% of customer service tasks can easily be automated. And automation saves time that can be spent on essential tasks. 

Why this feature is essential

By automatically routing tickets, sending pre-written responses, and prioritizing tasks, automation streamlines repetitive processes, leads to faster resolutions and improved efficiency for your support team.

With Keeping, you can create simple if/then logic to automate routine workflows. This frees up time for your team to better manage tickets.

Analytics and Reporting

Analytics and reporting features in help desk software provide data-driven insights into your support operation. 

Why this feature is essential

You can track metrics like average resolution time, identify frequent ticket categories, and gauge customer satisfaction. You can identify areas for improvement, like streamlining workflows for common issues, or adjust staffing levels based on peak ticket volume.

Wrapping Up

You should consider all important factors and take your time choosing a helpdesk software that fits your needs. If you are a small business using Gmail or Google groups for support operations. It’s time for an upgrade. Start your Keeping journey today to accelerate support operations right through the Gmail inbox.



Sanjana Sankhyan is a freelance writer who specializes in delivering data-driven blog posts for B2B SaaS brands. She helps businesses attract more audience and sales with her writing. If not writing, you’ll find her helping other freelancers improve their work. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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