Service Desks

What is the service desk software?

To make people use the product or service, businesses across many industries employ service desk software to track, manage, analyze internal support requests and operations. These platforms don’t replace customer service teams (IT, HR, and finance,) but help them to perform better – automate the routine tasks and processes, assign and route tickets, collect report on issues, customer satisfaction, and support agent performance.

Service desk software (or IT service desk software) focuses on providing service and places ITSM on the leading position. Currently, many platforms are ITIL-compliant. Due to the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework, they enable a shared contact point for customers and IT staff where all the requests are made. Since the queries and incidents are collected, you can prevent existing or possible disruptions in service availability and quality.

In comparison to call centers, ticketing systems or help desk platforms, service desk software offers more advanced functionality. If the solution is ITIL-compliant, it delivers a single point where a customer can get a broad range of options to fulfill nearly any IT requirement. Speaking of other benefits of IT service desk software, it is worth to mention the ability to enhance the integration of various business processes and service management ecosystem. So these platforms can handle the incident management, customer queries management, and delivering communication channels for other service purposes along with supporting the change requests, contract maintenance, and software licensing, too.

You can enable the customer support in multiple levels and streamline the processes on

  1. the front line delivers a quick fix to common issues and repetitive questions and
  2. the supervisory levels deal with escalated problems.

Like help desk, the service desk platforms can perform prompt customer support via multiple channels – phone, instant messengers, chat, email, and integrated Facebook and Twitter. The software also brings constant monitoring and issue resolving to ensure the steady or even growing customer satisfaction rates. The tickets and its resolutions, customer interaction history (i.e., email, phone calls, other messages received via live chat or IM) can be stored as a reference for support agents and the backbone for developing best practices.

4 Best service desk software

Does your current system no longer offer a competitive advantage? Then check out these 4 IT service desk platforms that have proven their efficiency. The position is a list is random and doesn’t show any preferences to the IT service desk vendors.

Showing all 4 results

# 1

Freshservice

Our Score: |

(6 Users Reviews)

Price From

$19/mo

Available on
Works with
TeamViewer, HONDA, M&C Saatchi, Cordant Group, Averda, Currie & Brown, Veeva.
Special Deal

Save up to 35% with the yearly subscription

Pros
  • Easy to setup and configure
  • Perfect for internal support
  • Top notch gamification features
  • Freemium plan allows testing Freshservice before deciding to upgrade
  • Helps perform administrative tasks
  • You can purchase day passes for part-timers or when you need a specialist from a different department to join the conversation
  • Customizable dashboard with ability to add up to 10 widgets (you can choose from bar and donut charts, and a score card.)
  • The service catalogue this makes procurement and fulfilment a breeze.
Cons
  • Large enterprises will have to pay extra for to have all their assets in Freshservice
  • Lacks integration with social media
  • Advanced analytics are available in high-tier plans, otherwise you’re stuck with default reports.
  • Slim variety of third-party integrations.
  • Sandbox is available in the highest-tier plan.

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# 2

Jira Service Desk

Our Score: |

(4 Users Reviews)

Price From

$0/mo

Available on
Works with
Domino’s, Twitter, Airbnb, The Telegraph, Sotheby’s, Square, Puppet
Special Deal

Decreased pricing for large teams

Pros
  • Seamless integration with other products by Atlassian
  • Jira next gen projects which offer a simpler setup and management process
  • Modern and clutter-free user interface compared to other service desks on the market
  • Good selection of default reports.
  • Over a thousand apps available to integrate with Jira Service Desk.
  • JIRA Service Desk is ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) certified
  • Nice search and filtering features with possibility to save filter and grant access to users/groups.
  • Ability to use different workflows for different types of issues as well as create your own workflows.
Cons
  • No integrated knowledge base. You need to purchase a separate licence for Confluence.
  • Difficult to configure if you’re new to Atlassian products.
  • Usually requires an in-house administrator with hands-on experience on Atlassian products to setup and support the software.
  • The pricing is quite expensive, which might be a problem for small and medium teams.

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# 3

Salesforce Service Cloud

Our Score: |

(3 Users Reviews)

Price From

$25/mo

Available on
Works with
T-mobile. Adidas, Philips, INtuit, American Red Cross, Vodafone, Spotify, Virgin Media
Special Deal

Discounts for NGOs

Pros
  • Free 14-day trial available
  • Support channels: email, phone, social and messengers
  • Gives a 360 view of your customers.
  • Allows room for setting up custom reports/dashboards of incoming cases and KPIs for your internal support team.
  • Seamless integration with Salesforce CRM
  • Friendly design and easy navigation between sections
  • Ability to modify and customize the software to your needs
  • Cloud-based so you can access your account from any point that has Internet.
  • Out-of-the-box knowledge base and self-service center
Cons
  • To get the best experience you need to hire a Salesforce Admin to set up Service Cloud
  • May take a while to learn and get used to if you’re a new user
  • The overwhelming amount of features makes Service Cloud buggy and glitchy at times.
  • The pricing is quite steep, starting at $25 per license.
  • You need to get the Enterprise plan ($150 per license) to connect third-party apps via API.

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# 4

Samanage

Our Score: |

(3 Users Reviews)

Price From

$19/mo

Available on
Works with
Volvo, NASA, AT&T, Cisco, Visa USA, MasterCard, Nestle, New York Times
Special Deal

Discounts for large orders

Pros
    Cons

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      What is the difference between the help desk and service desk software?

      The question of software difference bothers many business owners when it comes to the choice of vendor. Is there any actual difference between a help desk platform and service desk software? There is no direct answer, but it much depends on

      • the kind of product or service you offer
      • the volume of support you provide
      • the audience you serve
      • the way you deliver the issue or its resolution

      To meet customer expectations, companies adopt the practices of support service while others make it more exclusive and extensive. Don’t buy in that “help desk” is an old term and “service desk” is a fresh and hyped one. But a few details will help you to distinguish which term is applicable to your support desk.

      A help desk platform brings a holistic approach to fixing front line technical issues and communicating with customers. Support agents can troubleshoot simple IT problems for getting a customer back to using a product or service. The platforms have customer data management module, live chat or ticketing system to streamline the operations and deliver sufficient customer experience.

      If your organization uses the help desk software, a support rep will have to communicate closely with IT team, quality engineers, marketing or sales departments, or a representative of each department in between the issue is fixed. All the problems and their resolutions, and frequently asked questions are stored in a knowledge base – that can be used for an internal reference or as a customer self-service source.

      With the expense of the available features, a help desk can be both: a platform for support service and a part of IT service desk software.

      Service desk software deals with IT as service management and aligns it with business requirements. Mostly, these solutions handle incident management, problem management, change management, asset management, service requests, and communication with customers. They have modules for ticketing, a self-service portal, notifications, knowledge bases, and integrations. In simple English, the service desk provides holistic and complete customer service, not just a quick fix to problems.

      Unlike the help desk that is usually used as an add-on, the service desk is rather a backbone in IT service providing. The software allows to automate and handle customer problems by routing them to the corresponding team or support agent. Service desk, however, can also manage and fix the issues of affiliated parties. The option of multiple SLAs ensures that your agents, customers, and partners aware of the terms and quality of support service procedures.

      Many of the help desk platforms provide tiered functionality – a ticketing system as a core while live chat, a knowledge base, a call center, and others as the add-ons. It’s important to note that service desk software collects these features within a single platform.

      Service desk customers: who can use it?

      The managing customer support via email or spreadsheets (or both) proves to become outdated and business setting back factor. Service desk software is steadily going from a nice-to-have to a must-have business solution. Want to stay competitive? Then you need these platforms and fulfill the growing customer requests and expectations, advance support service team productivity, and boost the satisfaction of customers and employees.

      The IT service desk software handles the processes not only within the IT department but also in HR, maintenance and facilities, finances teams. Among the targeted businesses, service desk vendors see companies of all sizes.

      To be more specific, the platforms help small companies to reduce support team workload and automate the routine tasks, as well as deliver self-service portals to customers. The mid-sized businesses rely heavily on multi-channel supports, automation, analytics, and third-party app integrations. Large enterprises take advantage of the multitasking, various functionality, developer sandbox, and extended analytics and other fancy options for predicting and improving customer satisfaction rates.

      A brief description of the service desk types

      To have a shared understanding of the job to be done, you should define what service desk software will address your requirements. There are four types of service desk platforms:

      #1 Issue tracking systems (aka ITS) are the most spread type presented in the market. This software works as a ticketing system that tracks the issue progress up to the resolution. Under the “issue” can be meant customer question, feature request, bug report or any other development inquiry. Each issue has a couple of parameters that identify its urgency and priority, the way the problem experienced by a customer, and other relevant comments.

      The system can create tickets from customer inquiries, assign them to a team or a specific employee, track the progress and time spent on the ticket. At the same time, it ensures that the process adheres to the internal workflows, and collect information for further analysis and reporting.

      The service desk software of this type is SysAid, Pivotal Tracker, Jira, Kayako SupportSuite, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Plain Ticket, Zoho BugTracker, and others.

      #2 Remote support software works simply: it provides the support service agent with access to customer’s device via the internet. On condition, there are no troubles with the internet connection the support rep can fix issues, install updates or software, and do other on-demand requirements.

      The remote support software has two ways of performing:

      • attended (on-demand) support happens when a customer wants a quick fix in a timely manner. Usually, it means that there has appeared a problem while using an app or service. The support agent connects to a customer’s device and resolves the issue without any pre-installation.
      • unattended support works in the same way as the attended one, but the support rep can access a customer’s device even if the customer is absent. The support employee sends the streamer app to be installed and get remote access. That allows the support team to updates, maintain, and update all devices and keep them in proper-managed status.

      Here are a few platforms of this service desk software enlisted: ConnectWise Control, Zoho Assist, Bomgar Remote Support, TeamViewer, ConnectWise Automate, Zendesk, AnyDesk, Atera, and others.

      #3 Asset tracking applications collect and manage information about the status and location of the company’s assets and minimize the equipment loss. Mostly, they use scanners to detect barcodes for item verification. Alternatively, you can add data on assets manually into the register.

      Unlike inventory tracking, asset tracking manages information about the items that the company owns as well as the location, ownership, status, quality, associated documents and the like.

      Among the service desk software of this type are Salesforce Service Cloud, Asset Track, WebCheckout, ServiceDesk Plus, ServiceNow Asset Management, SysAid, Freshservice, Samanage.

      #4 Password self-service platforms allow support reps to manage passwords and reset them automatedly. This kind of solutions is appreciated by the companies that receive the repetitive request on the password reset. How does it work? The customer sets off a password reset from browser or login, and then the system checks the identity by some factor to the forgotten or disabled password. And if everything is correct, the customer can reset a password and unlock the account.

      Password self-service platforms deliver a higher security level, advanced identity management, single sign-on, password management, document management what brings win-win deal for companies and customers.

      Here are a few platforms of this service desk software enlisted: Oracle Identity Management, CloudCodes, OneLogin, Zoho Vault, Salesforce Platform, Trulioo, and others.

      Functionality: core and extended

      The ideal service desk software will be focused on market requirements and the success of the product from the business perspective. However, that is a rather general description which helps you neither in selecting nor comparing the IT service desk platforms. The toolboxes of vendors vary according to the price of the subscription. Nevertheless, the features can be roughly divided into standard and advanced sets.

      The standard set is expected to include:

      • Ticket, service request, and issue management
      • Live chat
      • Call Center

      The customer service with multiple ways of reaching out risen the chances that you help customers most suitably. Definitely, the types of customer intake depend on the targeted audience, yet it is advisable to enable more communication points and prevent your competitors from being “more accessible.”

      • Community forum
      • A knowledge base

      Self-service options prove the value for customers and support teams: the first ones can get a quick response by simple browsing, and the last ones get their workload reduced. Plus, the internal knowledge base helps the employees to share the cases and learn from team members’ experience in solving complex issues.

      • Shared inbox
      • Notifications
      • SLA management

      These features have become must-have for service desk software since they bring benefits from multiple perspectives. The shared inbox you get sorted out, tagged and assigned messages. The notification and SLA keep support rep updated on any changes and show clear lines for the resolution time and service that should be provided.

      • Analytics and reporting
      • Logs and permissions
      • Integration capabilities
      • Mobile apps

      This bundle of options is indispensable too. Further advancement and strategy improvements require the data on employee performance, top issues, response and resolution time, and service desk software performance. Log and permissions keep track on the access to company and customer records. We all employ multiple business apps, so the integration of the IT service desk with other solution turned from nice-to-have to must-have.

      The advanced set will deliver such the opportunities as

      • Ticket and call routing
      • Call management
      • Customer management
      • Document management
      • Custom fields and forms
      • Project management
      • Budget and expense tracking
      • Multi-language support
      • CSAT surveys

      Benefits and drawbacks of service desk software

      Spending a lot of time refining the quality of support service is more accessible with the modern service desk software. The customers’ issues are communicated via multiple channels, routine tasks automated, data collected and analyzed whereas the physical service landscape is also included. All those pieces deliver accurate organization and achieving the maximum efficiency. In point of fact, IT practices are enhanced, and you get a handful of advantages.

      Varied issue intake

      With multiple communication points, your brand is open and can provide quality and fast queries management. The shared inbox and automated assigning and routing help the support team to focus on the urgent and complex tasks.

      Enhanced multitasking

      No doubt that automation is the secret sauce of support service efficiency. It handles nearly any volume of communication queries, managers workloads, assigns and routes tickets and calls. IT service desk software saves time on the prioritizing the issues and flexible enough to align with any workflow so the support reps with getting notifications and tickets correspondently to set rules.

      Customization

      Every business has a specific strategy, goals, and targets to achieve, so that requires flexibility from the service desk software. The customization option in many platforms allows not only adding extra fields to tickets or customer profile, but also change the workflows, internal search, and automation setting.

      Customer Management

      Apart from a shared inbox, the self-service portal, your IT service desk delivers a unified customer base. That’s a life-saver for support reps who get all the information about a client, their orders, previous issues and many more details (if they were added into the system) right at their fingertips. Knowing customer’s troubles wins loyalty and enhances issue resolution

      Automated Prioritization

      Many of service desk software provides options to automate and categorize issues based on the difficulty or urgency. Other tools that distribute tasks among the support reps can be set to show the high-risk and urgent tickets at first place. So the team will be routed to the most important issues without any manual pre-selection.

      Ticket Routing

      The automation delivers many enhancements and reduces the routine in overall support service performance, and support agents too. The ticket auto-assignment and routing take the place of must-have option in the service desk software toolbox. That allows setting specific rules for certain issue types so the selected employee or team will get the task to handle once the customer sends the request.

      Advanced Search

      The notes, tags, and mentions are helpful in ticket classification and cooperation with team members. But they are also enhance searching inside the service desk system base for the precedents or similar cases.

      Drawbacks to Be Aware of

      Contrary to popular belief, IT desk software is not a life-saver. And if you select the most expensive or the most praised in the reviews, it may turn out the opposite for you. This can cost you new and existing customers. This kind of software performs excellent if it is chosen correctly. On the other hand, you may have internal issues with the long learning curve, remote team, lack of support reps’ expertise, and the like. To be ready for the “unforeseen” challenges, prepare in advance for choosing the service desk platform.

      Define the Reason of Adoption

      The service desk systems help businesses to handle B2B customer support and deal with internal technical issues. Once you define what the goals for IT service desk adoption are, you will know where to start with system settings and employee training.

      Measurable and Achievable Goals

      Focus on business needs before implementing a solution is a wise move; however, if you want to improve the experience of customers and employees – set achievable goals. As a rule, the targets are twofold: financial and service improvements. Ensure you have defined them clearly and look for an IT service desk with a suitable feature set.

      When Switch to SaaS Service Desk

      This point relates to businesses that move from an on-premise solution to a cloud one. The ability to address customer’s pain points on the spot with a new IT service platform is attractive. Thus, you should analyze the current infrastructure and business processes that will be aligned with the service desk software. Once the platform is chosen, take a look at the vendor’s SLA to understand what services, security, and support you can get. That will save time and efforts in the future.

      How to compare service desk software?

      The offer of service desk software is slightly tricky due to the different prices and features. To kick things off, define the key elements you need to frame business goals and fix the problems. Ultimately, during the choice, you should pay attention to such aspects as

      • Ticket, asset, and change management
      • Support agent productivity tools
      • Automation and customizable workflows
      • Integration capabilities
      • Subscription costs

      Trials, demos, and costs: how to plan the budget?

      To provide better compliance with customers needs, the service desk software vendors offer a few price tiers with different functionality sets. The subscriptions can be paid monthly or annually, as a rule, the last one is cheaper. Pay attention to the contract and what services, support options, and other conditions it has.

      Some vendors suggest a freemium plan along with the paid ones. In case, you have a small team up to 3 or 5 employees, you may find a freemium quite suitable.

      Another option to grab is the free trials. There are available 7-days, 14-days or 30-days trials of a particular price tier. The vendors tend to provide an extensive feature set in the trial. If you have defined the functionality you want to try in action, you can ask a demo from the vendor. This way will help you to decide whether this software worth your investments.