Products and services dominate the business sector in today’s world. For businesses today it’s a compulsion to have web and social media influence as the modern customer has become tech and internet savvy. One of the most important elements of running a business is support and query management to help customers with problems related to your products and services. This became furthermore complicated when customers resorted to the internet or social media as a medium to convey their queries and issues. Well, not anymore. Businesses now have a very convenient and efficient software tool known as Help Desk Software tools to do away with all the complications and clutter and make query management and customer support very simple.
A Help Desk Software tool is an absolute must for a business or an enterprise and should be one of the first things they should invest in. All the complicated processes become simpler and it saves a lot of time and resources, making the business as a whole efficient. Agents and Supervisors are provided with huge relief and support with a help desk software tool around. It makes their job much easier and their desks clutter-free. If you are a new business owner, whether it is small or big, a help desk software is one of the first things you should download and invest in.
What is a Help Desk Software Tool?
Help Desk Software is a very convenient query and problem management system which enables customers and staff to keep businesses in the loop with their problems and questions from point of contact until they reach a resolution. Ticket management, query management, and support are vital elements of a good Help Desk Software Tool. Problem-solving is a very important factor when it comes to customer satisfaction. The modern Help Desk Software tools provide support through various channels of communication such as e-mails, chat support, websites, toll-free numbers, and SMS.
As we know Free and Open Source are the two most important elements business owners and webmasters look for when downloading software. This proves to be economical and provides freedom, which is essential when you are setting up a new business or a website. This blog will look into the best available option when it comes to free and open source help desk software tools.
Functions of a Help Desk Software Tool:
- Provide points of contact- A Help Desk Software tool will provide customers and agents with points of contact regarding problems and queries with the business. Points of contact are provided through a various different medium. Most popular of them being E-mail, SMS, Website, Instant Messaging, and Contact numbers. Customers can reach the business through any of these mediums and get their queries dealt with. It also provides convenience to the agents and employers of the business and keeps their workspace clutter free.
- Ticket allotment and management- All the customer queries and complaints are systematically allotted receipts and tickets by a Help Desk Software Tool and the progress can be tracked through the ticket numbers from point of contact till the queries have been resolved. It also keeps track of repeated queries and notifies if there are any of them to deal with them together.
- Research base and FAQ formulation- This is one of the most important functions of a Help Desk Software Tool which simplifies the query process to a great extent. Repeated queries are compiled into FAQs and ‘How To’ questions which enable agents to concentrate on unique and urgent queries elsewhere. Customers can retrieve these FAQs at any point of time and it saves their time from the query application process.
- Dedicated Dashboards and free the clutter- This feature is primarily for the agents and supervisors. With dedicated dashboards for different forms of data, the agents can view all ongoing processes at once. Oncoming queries, resolved queries, and in-process queries can be viewed at once and the cumulative data also at the same time. Supervisors can track the agents through their dashboards and keep in check the resolution rate of the agents. This effectively clears the clutter and stacks all the important data and processes in one place within the same frame.
- Automation - A Help Desk Software Tool will very effectively automate a repeat process which saves time. Things such as ticket allotment and query resolution notifications are automated by the software itself. Also by keeping track of repeated customers, the form filling process too gets automated.
- Analytics- Analytics is very important when it comes to running a web-based business. It provides with timed data and projections of future data as well. A Help Desk Software Tool takes care of the analytics as well as it compiles all the data categorically. Analysis charts and diagrams can be accessed on the software at any given point of time. It is real-time data collection which keeps the analytical process up to date and makes projecting future trends simpler.
The Top 7 Free and Open Source Help Desk Software Tools are:
- Liberum Help Desk
- Katak Support
Help Desk Comparative Analysis Chart
Let us explore the listed free and open source help desk software tools with further details:
- PHP-based system software
- Grouping function
- Bulk actions and query management
- Message and mail piping
- Custom fields and templates
- Canned responses
HelpDeskZ is a PHP-based free and open source help desk software tool that comes with an array of features. The dashboard is very simplified and it stacks various functions and processes on a single screen. The messaging and mail functions are very convenient as well due to automatic pipelining. Its multilingual capability is very useful as well. The personalization feature is very useful for agents and supervisors which enable them to personalize their dashboards and they can also customize dashboard fields and message templates. HelpDeskZ is one of the most convenient and simplistic free and open source help desk software tools out here.
- Ticket Administration
- Task and Mail Management
- Multi-Channel Support
- Agent Performance Examination
- Social Media Integration
- E-commerce Integration
- Help Desk Migration
UVdesk is what a modern help desk software tool is supposed to be. It makes running a business absolutely clutter free. Its seamless multi-channel support and social media integration is quite a boost over other help desk software tools. Task and Mail management is very simple and convenient for agents and supervisors. UVdesk is also mobile friendly so you can now manage your business even on the go. It also has an add-on feature for supervisors that enable them to examine the performances of agents in detail and work on it. Also, it comes with a Form Builder App and a File Viewer App for convenience. UVdesk follows all the top standards of security protocols to avoid data breaches.
- SLA and Priority management
- Responsive Design
- Built-In Knowledgebase
- Agent Collision Avoidance
- Ticket Rating and Ticket Merging
- Custom Forms and Canned Responses
- API and In-App notifications
Faveo is another modernized help desk software tool that has social media and mobile integration. SLA management is a very important feature of Faveo which strengthens customer and business relationship. It also enables agents to select Priority customers and manage them accordingly. Its huge in-built knowledgebase and multilingual ability create a huge database. Agent Collision Avoidance is another vital feature Faveo has. It is a rare feature when it comes to help desk software tools. This saves a lot of time and resources for the business. The ticketing system is seamless and has powerful functions such as Ticket Merging for the agents and Ticket Rating for the customers.
- Basic and Advanced Ticket management
- Customizable Dashboard
- Multi-site support
- Active Directory Integration
- Mobile and instant Mail integration
- Custom and Automated reporting
- Exchange Integration
SpiceWorks is one of the most basic and simplistic help desk software tools out there. But being basic does not mean it does not have advanced features. SpiceWorks comes with a great ticket management system which is fast and responsive. It has multi-site and multi-platform support which is very convenient. The reporting and notification system is automated and can be customized according to need as well. SpiceWorks comes along with a huge knowledgebase that helps in FAQ integration and repeated query management. The Exchange Integration function helps manage all functions and points of action at once. SpiceWorks is a great help desk software tool to have for a starter business due to its simplistic design but advanced features.
(Source:Liberum Help Desk)
- Active Directory Authentification
- Full Web-based Interface
- Runs on IIS
- E-mail notifications are configurable
- SMS/Pager notifications
- Time and Activity reports
- Fully Customizable
Liberum Help Desk is the most basic help desk software tool in the market. It is perfect for small to medium enterprises and should be most business’ starting software. Being basic does not mean it is devoid of features. The best feature it has is it is completely customizable. Agents can mould the software according to their needs. E-Mail notifications and templates are configurable with an added feature of SMS and Pager notifications if required. Liberum does not take space on the system as well due to being entirely Web-based, running on IIS. Due to its simplicity and full customizability, Liberum is the most popular help desk software tool among small enterprises and new start-up businesses.
- Agent Collision Avoidance
- SLA management
- Configurable automated reply system
- Custom forms and support portal
- Ticket assignment, transfer, and filtering
- Dashboard reporting
- Internal notes on tickets
osTicket is one of the most popular ticket management software tools in the market. A ticket management software tool is a very specific type of help desk software tool, with its main function being ticket assignment and resolution. osTicket has a very effective SLA management system along with Agent Collision Avoidance feature which is very time-saving. The Dashboard is very simple and has real-time notification and reporting function. Agents and Supervisors can create custom help forms and support portals for customers on osTicket. When it comes to ticket management software, osTicket is one of the most widely used, which makes it one of the most popular help desk software tools as well on the internet.
- PHP-based ticket management system
- Fully Web-based
- E-mail pop function
- Fully customizable
- Seamless functioning
- Ticket assignment and filtering
- Basic and simplistic design
Katak Support is a very basic ticket support system. A ticket support system is a specific type of help desk software tool that helps in ticket assignment and management. The biggest advantage Katak Support has is that it is fully customizable according to the user’s needs. Also as it is completely web-based, it does not take a lot of space as well. It has E-mail and messaging pop up function which works seamlessly. Katak Support is perfect for start-up businesses and small enterprises due to its simple and efficient design.
The above list is the top 7 free and open source help desk software tools on the internet and any of them would definitely make your business or enterprise efficient and systematic. Help desk software tools are almost a compulsion for business owners today being a path-breaker to efficiency and profitability. The customers also find various points of contact with the businesses with the use of help desk software tools which enables them to contact businesses with their preferred form of medium. If the help desk software tool has a ticketing system, it’s even better as customers and agents can track the progress of the query from start to end.
There are various premium help desk software tools in the market as well that have various advanced features. Medium to large enterprises can go for the premium options as well, which offer a huge agent base, many more features, and a mega knowledgebase. For beginner to medium enterprises, the above list of free and open source help desk software tools should be sufficient and business owners can select any one of them according to their needs and requirements. If not, you always have the option to go premium as not many free and open source options are out there.
To explore more options and a detailed overview, please visit our page on Help Desk Software tools.
Paul Richards is a senior content writer at GoodFirms, a pioneering research and review firm for software development companies. Paul has over 10 years of experience in content writing and marketing and has made a name for himself in the IT research sector.
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