Top 10 IT Help Desk Ticketing Systems - August 2020

The best help desk ticketing systems, features, benefits, pricing guidelines, and recommendations.

As your business and customer base expand, having a help desk ticketing system becomes increasingly necessary for your customer support operation to run successfully. Without one, your team simply cannot swiftly and efficiently handle customer queries, requests, and incident reports that continue to pile up on different channels.

While help desk software is not in the HR space, we find that many of our readers are asking us about these solutions and so wanted to provide some research so they can find and buy the right ticketing system :)

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Top 10 IT Help Desk Ticketing Systems

There are several IT help desk solutions on the market today, each with different selling features and price points. In this article, we’ve listed the best help desk software solutions available for businesses of all sizes to help you make an informed decision:

SolarWinds Service Desk is an IT service management (ITSM) solution that goes beyond just ticketing and incident management. Besides allowing you to assign, prioritize and escalate tickets collected from different sources, it offers features for self-service, live chat, scheduled reporting, asset management, change management, network discovery, API access, and more. SolarWinds Service Desk also integrates with numerous 3rd party software solutions, allowing users to further extend its capabilities. 

SolarWinds Service Desk offers a tiered pricing model of four plans that can be tested for free for up to 30 days. When billed annually, SolarWinds Service Desk’s plans cost as follows:

  • Team: $19 per agent per month with an additional $0.10 per device per month 
  • Business: $39 per agent per month with an additional $0.30 per device per month
  • Professional: $69 per agent per month with an additional $0.50 per device per month
  • Enterprise: $89 per agent per month with an additional $0.70 per device per month

Besides Service Desk, SolarWinds also offers Web Help Desk, a robust on-premise help desk solution that you can purchase a perpetual license of, once only. Visit SolarWinds’ website for more information on their ITSM and help desk solutions.

Kayako is a user-friendly customer support solution with cloud-based and on-premise deployment options. It packs many of the common features of ticketing systems such as omnichannel support for incident logging, live chat, a help center for self-service, an analytics dashboard, integrations with social media channels, and popular third-party tools, customizable business logic rules for workflow creation, process automations and more. 

Kayako also offers some standout features such as customer journeys, a detailed record of everything the customer has been up to before logging a support ticket, which allows you to provide context-driven customer service. Another notable feature is the ability to add collaborators, i.e. other employees besides your customer support agents and managers that can access customer data.

Kayako offers three plans: Inbox, Growth, and Scale. The Inbox plan starts at $15 per agent per month, while the Growth and Scale plans cost $30 and $60 respectively per agent per month. 

Kayako offers free 14-day trials for all of its plans as well as demos upon request. Check out Kayako’s pricing page for more information on their available plans and features.

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JitBit is a customer service software with a clean user-interface that’s very easy to navigate; it has an inbox for all incoming tickets, a knowledge base for customers and agents to self-serve, and a reporting section with detailed dashboards, providing insights into all of your activities. Amongst JitBit’s features are automation rules and categories that allow you to stay organized and optimize a good number of tedious processes. 

JitBit offers cloud-based and on-premise versions, as well as a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices. If you’re interested in their cloud-based option, you can create a trial account within seconds by just typing in your name, email address, and chosen subdomain name. This trial account is valid for 21 days and is extendable upon request. 

One drawback of JitBit’s cloud-based offering is that it isn’t as flexible in terms of pricing as other help desk providers are. When billed annually, their cloud-based software plans cost as follows:  

  • Freelancer: costs $24.92 and is capped at 1 agent only.
  • Startup: costs $58.25 for up to 4 agents.
  • Company: costs $108.25 for up to 7 agents.
  • Enterprise: costs $208.25 for up to 9 agents, with $29 per extra agent. 

On the flip side, JitBit’s self-hosted version is a single-time purchase starting at $1699 for small companies, $3499 for medium-sized businesses (up to 20 agents), and $4999 for enterprises with an unlimited number of agent accounts. This on-premise solution can be trialed with a 30-day moneyback guarantee.

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Zoho Desk is a cloud-based help desk software that allows you to provide context-driven support. It provides comprehensive features and workflows for ticket management, assignment, categorization, prioritization, escalation, and more. It also features a knowledge base for ticket deflection through self-service, as well as easy-to-use dashboards to track quality metrics such as customer satisfaction and overall team performance. 

Zoho Desk integrates seamlessly with other solutions within the Zoho family such as Zoho CRM   as well as other 3rd party systems to provide faster query resolution and collect customer information. 

Zoho Desk stands out from competitors by offering affordable plans, ranging from free (with a reasonable limit of three users) to $35 per agent per month billed annually. 

  • Zoho Desk’s most popular plan, Zoho Professional, includes several feature additions and goes for a competitive price of $20 per agent per month when billed annually.

  • Their most comprehensive plan, i.e. Zoho Enterprise, is on par with most top-tier plans by other providers in terms of features and goes for a significantly low price of $35 per agent per month billed annually. 

Check out Zoho Desk’s pricing page for more information on their available plans. You may also sign up for a 15-day free trial.

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Zoho Desk

Spiceworks is a free of charge ticketing system with cloud-based and on-premise deployment options and mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. Spiceworks packs all the features you’d expect from a help desk ticketing system, like omnichannel support, automatic ticket assignment and management, a self-service portal, and more - all without any limitations on the number of agent accounts, customers tickets, data storage, etc. You can also extend Spiceworks capabilities by integrating it with a variety of IT solutions such as those for customer relationship management (CRM), remote support, asset management, and network inventory management. 

As far as pricing goes, Spiceworks stands out from competitors by offering all of its products for free. The company makes its profit from ads that appear in the backend and are sponsored by numerous IT vendors. Furthermore, Spiceworks’ Community page connects you with IT professionals and vendors worldwide to network and get answers to any questions you may have. Visit Spiceworks’ website for more information on their cloud-based and on-premise help desk offerings.

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Zendesk is arguably the most well-known customer support software available today. With its intuitive cloud-based interface, it allows you to receive, prioritize, and handle customer issues and queries from different channels including email, chat, and social media, all in one centralized and shared location. 

With the help of triggers, you’re able to automatically assign and escalate tickets to specific groups, send automated responses and follow-ups, notify customers and agents of certain updates and tag certain tickets for easy reporting and information retrieval. Among Zendesk’s features are also integrated surveys to measure customer satisfaction and analytics dashboards to monitor your team’s performance.  

The ticketing portion, i.e. Zendesk Support, works hand in hand with other solutions within the Zendesk suite such as the knowledge base (Zendesk Guide), live chat (Zendesk Chat), and call center (Zendesk Talk). With the help of APIs, Zendesk also integrates with several third-party products to enhance your overall experience.

Zendesk offers five paid plans: Essential, Team, Professional, Enterprise, and Elite. These plans cater to different business sizes and range from $5 to $199 per agent per month, billed annually.

To find out which plan suits your business, visit Zendesk’s pricing page. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial or contact Zendesk’s team for a demo.

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Created by Atlassian, Jira Service Desk is a collaborative IT service management (ITSM) solution that enables your support team to create multiple projects to track and handle customer support requests and incidents. Jira integrates seamlessly with Confluence, Atlassian’s own knowledge base solution where you can keep help articles and documentation for both your customers and agents to access 24/7. 

Jira Service Desk offers a three-tiered pricing structure with its Free, Standard, and Premium plans. The Free plan offers access to a good number of the platform’s features and is capped at three agent accounts. The Standard and Premium plans start at $10 and $40 per agent per month and can be trialed for up to 7 days for free. Visiting Jira Service Desk’s pricing page for more information.

HappyFox is a web-based help desk that’s most notable for its easy and quick set-up. It integrates with several points of contact to collect tickets and organize them neatly on its Ticket List page. Tickets can be automatically assigned to available agents or specific groups and escalated to experts as needed. 

HappyFox offers users customizability options to create workflows, views, canned actions, tasks, reports, and more. It also offers a self-service portal that’s connected to your knowledge base and an AI-powered Chatbot that helps customers with common questions, taking a considerable weight off your support agents’ workload. 

One downside to HappyFox is that it’s a bit on the pricey side compared to other ticketing solutions available. It offers four pricing plans, Mighty, Fantastic, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus. Mighty and Fantastic target small and medium-sized businesses and start at $29 and $49 per agent per month, while Enterprise and Enterprise plus are more geared toward larger operations.

While HappyFox doesn’t offer free trials of its plans, you can request a demo where you’re connected with a product expert to get a comprehensive walk-through of the system as well as answers to any questions you may have.

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LiveAgent is a customer service solution with a clean and user-friendly interface. It features a unified inbox where all customer support tickets are collected from different channels then assigned and prioritized according to your predefined workflows. Its native live chat is easily accessible via a widget that integrates smoothly with your websites and apps, allowing you to connect with customers instantaneously. LiveAgent also offers a knowledge base that empowers customers to self-serve, a built-in call center with IVR and unlimited call recording storage, and over 40 third-party integrations with popular solutions.

LiveAgent offers a free plan with some limitations on the features that can be accessed and three paid plans with feature increases, competitively priced as follows: 

  • Ticket: $15 per agent per month for LiveAgent’s ticketing solution.
  • Ticket+Chat: $29 per agent per month for access to LiveAgent’s ticketing solution and live chat. 
  • All-inclusive: $39 per agent per month for all of LiveAgent’s features without any limits. 

Visit LiveAgent’s website to learn more about their pricing plans, book a demo, or sign up for a free 14-day trial. 

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Freshdesk is a highly scalable, cloud-based help desk system for businesses of all sizes. It features a shared inbox where all customer support tickets from several channels are collated, customizable workflows, automated pop-ups that help deflect common customer queries, and comprehensive dashboards to monitor quality metrics. Freshdesk also offers a team huddle feature that allows you to bring in experts to resolve complex tickets, as well as a gamification feature to motivate agents and improve their performance.  
Freshdesk offers five plans: Sprout, Blossom, Garden, Estate, and Forrest. Sprout is a free plan for small businesses to get started with a help desk software. Blossom, Garden, Estate, and Forrest are paid plans that range from $15 to $99 per agent per month, billed annually. All Freshdesk plans can be trialed for free for a 14-day period. 
Note that Freshdesk isn’t classified as an IT service management (ITSM) solution. The company, Freshworks, offers another tool for that called Freshservice, which is more suitable for enterprise-level businesses. Visit Freshwork’s website for more information about their offerings.

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Final Advice

Choosing a help desk ticketing system can be a long process, but we’re confident you’ll make a good selection if you: 

  • Carefully consider your needs and budget and make purchases accordingly. 
  • Sign up for a trial period to experience the help desk first-hand and see if it’s the right fit for you. 
  • Schedule demos with different help desk vendors to get all of your questions answered

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