The 15 best service desk software in 2023

Find service desk software that makes your business more efficient.

The best service desk software provides fast, easy, and contextually relevant service to customers and employees alike. When your employees have the tools and resources they need, your organization can run more efficiently. Happy employees mean happy customers.

Every organization has its own unique needs, so we’ve rounded up the 15 best service desk software solutions to help make it easy for you to pick the right one for your business.

The best 15 service desk software

  1. Zendesk
  2. Help Scout
  3. Jira Service Management
  4. Vision Helpdesk
  5. Salesforce Service Cloud
  6. Slack
  7. Freshservice
  8. SysAid
  9. ServiceNow IT Service Management
  10. Spiceworks
  11. GoTo Resolve
  12. Solarwinds Service Desk
  13. Rezo
  14. Exalate
  15. ManageEngine Servicedesk Plus

Service desk software buying guide

The best service desk software, compared

Our help desk software comparisons summarize each service desk visually so you can see the features side-by-side. Which one is the best fit for your team?

Service desk

Knowledge base

Ticketing

Automation

Integrations

Pricing

Zendesk
$$$
Help Scout
$$
JIRA Service Management
$$
Vision Helpdesk
$
Salesforce Service Cloud
$$$
Slack
X
X
$
Freshservice
$$$
SysAid
$
ServiceNow
$$$$
Spiceworks
$
GoTo Resolve
$$$
Solarwinds
$$
Rezo
X
X
$
Exalate
X
X
$
ManageEngine
X
$

1. Zendesk

Price: $$$

Best for: Enterprises and SMBs

Pros:

  • Easy implementation
  • Low total cost of ownership
  • Conversational CRM

Though you may know Zendesk as a robust help desk solution, it also doubles as a comprehensive service desk software product. Our platform puts multichannel ticketing and employee self-service portals in a single place. Using Zendesk, service agents can meet and help customers wherever they are.

Some examples of these channels include:

Plus, IT teams can efficiently track problems, trouble tickets, changes, and assets while still providing great service to their best customers: other employees.

Zendesk’s powerful customer service desk software helps service teams:

  • Manage incidents, events, problems, and service requests
  • Solve common user problems faster with predefined responses called macros
  • Tag issues to report, categorize tickets, and monitor problems
  • Keep track of phones, computers, monitors, and more by integrating with common IT asset management tools

Zendesk

Key features of Zendesk include:

2. Help Scout

Price: $$

Best for: SaaS companies

Pros:

  • Great interface
  • Automated workflows
  • Easy to onboard new users

Help Scout’s service desk software offers a robust set of features fit for teams of 500 agents or more, but it can also work for small businesses. With all the service desk features you’d expect—from native knowledge bases and robust reporting to ticket management and plenty of integrations—Help Scout is a solid service desk support option.

You can try it for yourself with a free 14-day trial and then revert to its Standard ($20 per month per user) or Plus plan ($35 per user per month). For its Company plan, which is designed for large enterprises, you’ll need to request a quote via the website. As a bonus, Help Scout offers a discount for startups and environmentally and socially focused companies.

Help Scout

Key features of Help Scout (paid plan) include:

  • Third-party and native integrations
  • Automation
  • Custom responses
  • Live chat
  • Reporting
  • Ticketing system
  • Self-service options
  • Multichannel support

3. Jira Service Management

Price: $$

Best for: IT and support teams

Pros:

  • Integration options
  • Automated routing of tickets
  • Easy to use

Jira Service Management is Atlassian’s flagship solution, an IT service desk software product that’s cloud-based and designed for Dev, IT, HR, legal, and other internal support teams. Among its many sophisticated features are conversational ticketing, automation, self-service, incident management, and native knowledge base integrations. (However, to access the knowledge base integration, a Confluence subscription is required.)

Jira has become popular for its balanced blend of sophistication and performance coupled with a simplicity that allows teams to set up quickly, continuously adapt, and provide excellent service. You can use Jira for free, though you’re limited to three agents or 10 users. Alternatively, you can take the Jira Standard or Premium plan for a test drive with a seven-day free trial.

Jira Service Management

Key features of JIRA (paid plan) include:

  • Conversational ticketing
  • Post-incident analysis
  • Tracking and reporting
  • Asset and SLA management
  • Smart automation
  • Self-service portal
  • API and SDKs

4. Vision Helpdesk

Price: $

Best for: IT service management

Pros:

  • Customization options
  • Ticketing system
  • Good price for functionality

Vision Helpdesk’s service desk software enables your service agents to plan, structure, and deliver quality service. The system is designed to automate as many service desk functions as possible—including (but not limited to) change, security, and service-level management.

Vision Helpdesk is cloud-based and industry-agnostic, meaning any service team can use it to great effect. And one thing that’s especially unique about Vision is its gamification feature, which helps incentivize your service agents to meet their targets.

Vision Helpdesk

Key features of Vision Helpdesk (paid plan) include:

  • Knowledge base management
  • Robust automations
  • API and native app integrations
  • Live chat
  • Advanced reporting
  • Ticket management
  • Asset management
  • Shared inbox
  • Customization

5. Salesforce Service Cloud

Price: $$$

Best for: Customer support

Pros:

  • Easy to integrate
  • Customizable
  • Self-serve catalog

You may be familiar with Salesforce’s CRM, but the company also offers a hearty service desk software solution. Among other features, the Salesforce Service Cloud equips your service team with native productivity tools, an omnichannel dashboard, and a centralized view of customer interactions and case details.

If you’re already a Salesforce user, the Service Cloud will fit in seamlessly with any other Salesforce systems you’re using. And while there’s no free version, you can do a free trial of this service desk software for a full 30 days to decide if it’s right for your team.

Salesforce Service Cloud

Key features of Salesforce Service Cloud (paid plan) include:

  • Knowledge management
  • Service desk analytics
  • Online training and on-demand webinars
  • Process automations
  • APIs, SDKs, native, and third-party integrations
  • Omnichannel support
  • Asset management
  • Self-service options
  • Forums

Learn more about using Salesforce with Zendesk.

6. Slack

Price: $

Best for: Team collaboration

Pros:

  • Seamless communication
  • Integration with other tools
  • Workspace management

The best service desk leverages the tools your employees already use in creative ways. Because of how flexible it is, Slack is one of the easiest service desk tools you can use to complement your implementation. With the right apps, integrations, and workflows, you can even use Slack as a substitute for your service desk software.

But even if you’re not going so far as replacing your service desk with Slack, you can still use it to organize communication, manage tickets, document responses to your knowledge base, answer questions automatically, and more. To integrate Slack with your service desk, try it for free with limited features or do a free trial of one of the paid plans.

Slack

Key features of Slack (Pro plan) include:

  • Unlimited message history
  • Unlimited app integrations
  • Slack Huddles
  • Voice and video calls
  • Custom user groups
  • 24/7 support

Learn more about using Slack with Zendesk.

7. Freshservice

Price: $$$

Best for: IT service management

Pros:

  • Asset management
  • Cloud-based
  • Easy to configure

Freshservice is all about minimizing downtime and increasing agent efficiency. The software helps service teams streamline ticket resolution and internal collaboration with a clean, simple interface and flexible pricing that scales with your organization. You can choose from four different plans.

Among other useful benefits, Freshservice eliminates time-consuming, repetitive tasks with powerful automation, integrates service onto a single dashboard, and improves time-to-value with its no-code platform and expert onboarding services.

Freshservice

Key features of Freshservice (paid plan) include:

  • Self-service portal
  • Workflow automation
  • Analytics
  • Native app integrations
  • Incident management

8. SysAid

Price: $

Best for: IT software management

Pros:

  • Automated workflow
  • Easy integration
  • User-friendly

If you’re looking to integrate asset management with your service desk, SysAid is a top choice. The functions are provided in separate modules, which enables you to, for example, only use the asset management module and add the service desk later. SysAid also features a distinct, visual dashboard where you can see a customizable view of your network.

While you can try SysAid for free, there is no free version. You will need to contact the company directly for pricing information.

SysAid

Key features of SysAid (paid plan) include:

  • Asset and network dashboard
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration
  • Detailed changelog
  • Third-party integrations
  • Workflow automation
  • Advanced customization
  • HTML5 mobile browser client

9. ServiceNow IT Service Management

Price: $$$$

Best for: Enterprise ITSM

Pros:

  • Cloud-based
  • Chat integration
  • Customization

ServiceNow is undoubtedly an enterprise-oriented platform, with all the features your team will need to run an efficient service desk. You can track asset depreciation, pull a wide variety of reports, integrate with remote desktop support products, and much more. In terms of features, the only thing missing from ServiceNow is an on-premises plan. But if you’re okay with managed hosting, that won’t be an issue.

As you might expect, ServiceNow’s full set of features also comes with a high price tag and a significant learning curve, particularly for small businesses. You’ll need to contact ServiceNow for a custom quote.

ServiceNow IT Service Management

Key features of ServiceNow IT Service Desk Management:

  • Request management
  • Asset and cost management
  • Walk-up experience
  • Agent workspace
  • Mobile agent
  • Configuration management
  • Benchmarks
  • Surveys and assessments
  • Virtual agent

10. Spiceworks

Price: $

Best for: IT network management

Pros:

  • Easy implementation
  • Simple reporting
  • Good support

The Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk is built especially for IT teams who need software that facilitates smoother IT help desk operations. This cloud-based software is easy to set up, maintain, and configure with alerts, custom ticket fields, and ticket routing. Included with the service desk are useful reports, remote support sessions, and a convenient mobile app.

Also, because it’s part of the Spiceworks ecosystem of software, this service desk includes device tracking via inventory online. If all that wasn’t enough, Spiceworks’ Cloud Help Desk is available for free.

Spiceworks

Key features of Spiceworks (free plan):

  • Ticket management
  • Custom reports
  • User portals
  • Custom ticket attributes and rules
  • Secure remote support
  • Self-service options

11. GoTo Resolve

Price: $$$

Best for: IT support

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Good support
  • Remote connectivity

GoTo Resolve is meant to be a simple way to get up and running with a service desk that enables your agents to implement ITIL best practices. When fully implemented, GoTo Resolve delivers an attractive portal through which your customers can find the resources they need.

With GoTo Resolve’s service desk software, you can create and manage cases via email and automate workflows with custom rules. Plus, when things go wrong, GoTo Resolve’s configuration management gives agents visibility into people’s machines and locations so they can quickly diagnose and solve problems. You can purchase this service desk on a monthly or annual plan at $49 or $39 per agent.

GoTo Resolve

Key features of GoTo Resolve (paid plan):

  • Automated triggers
  • Email integration
  • Developer API
  • Change management
  • Knowledge management
  • Ticketing and incident management
  • Messaging

Learn more about using GoTo Resolve with Zendesk.

12. Solarwinds Service Desk

Price: $$

Best for: Enterprise ITSD

Pros:

  • Self-service portal
  • Reporting
  • Integrations

When it comes to service desk software for IT teams, you can’t go wrong with SolarWinds Service Desk. This solution helps enterprises establish IT governance and keep users happy. IT teams use it to control their inventory, detect compliance risks, organize contract and license documents, and—above all—provide exceptional service.

SolarWinds software is delivered as a SaaS solution and works for any size company. Out of the box, it provides automations, asset management, remote access, ticketing, knowledge base management, and more. You can do a 30-day free trial of SolarWinds, and after that, pricing starts at $19 per month per technician.

Solarwinds Service Desk

Key features of SolarWinds Service Desk (paid plan):

  • Centralized web-based interface
  • Ticket grouping
  • Rules-based ticket automations
  • Hardware and software asset management
  • Built-in knowledge base
  • SLA support
  • Native integrations
  • Agent ratings
  • Email-to-ticket conversion
  • Change management
  • Reporting and monitoring

Learn more about Zendesk for Solarwinds Service Desk.

13. Rezo

Price: $

Best for: SaaS

Pros:

  • Chatbot
  • Conversational AI
  • Integrations

Providing great service to your employees is one thing. Providing that great service at scale is another. That’s where Rezo, an automation platform powered by AI, comes in. Rezo integrates with your service desk software to analyze conversations and deliver smart automations. Whichever service channels you use—email, voice, chat, WhatsApp, or all of the above—Rezo can integrate with it.

For all its power and sophistication, Rezo is surprisingly easy to use. Its no-code platform means even non-technical teams can make and manage bots. Rezo doesn’t publish its pricing information, but you can schedule a demo through the Rezo website.

Rezo

Key features of Rezo (paid plan):

  • Natural language processing
  • Conversation enabler
  • Agent evaluation
  • No-code bot builder

14. Exalate

Price: $

Best for: Issue tracking

Pros:

  • Integrations
  • Good support
  • Escalation management

If your company is like most, your employees, partners, and customers use many different systems. This creates challenges in ensuring every issue is synced where it should be. In a nutshell, this is the problem that Exalate solves.

Exalate is a comprehensive, flexible synchronization tool that’s an ideal complement to any service desk. Basic synchronization use cases are available right when you install Exalate, and you can customize them for specific use cases with Exalate’s scripting engine. One common way to save time with Exalate: use it to sync your service desk’s ticket information, such as title, comments, description, etc. You can sign up for the free plan if you have basic use cases, but you’ll need a premium plan if you want more advanced service desk features.

Exalate

Key features of Exalate (Premium plan):

  • Real-time one- and two-way syncing
  • Unlimited custom field support
  • Scripting engine
  • Error handling
  • One-hour onboarding call

Learn more about using Zendesk with Exalate.

15. ManageEngine Servicedesk Plus

Price: $

Best for: IT service management

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Ticket logging for end users
  • Incident handling

ManageEngine is the IT management division of Zoho Corporation, and it provides a broad range of IT solutions for businesses of all sizes. ManageEngine’s service desk software supports ITSM workflows, intelligent automations, native integrations, sophisticated reporting, no-code customizations, and more.

You can choose from one of three plans: Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. The Standard plan is a basic support desk with features like self-service, incident management, and SLA management. But the more advanced plans support asset management as well as a full-fledged ITSM suite.

ManageEngine Servicedesk Plus

Key features of ManageEngine Servicedesk Plus (Standard plan):

  • Cloud or on-premise deployment
  • Incident management
  • Help desk reporting
  • SLA management
  • Multi-site support
  • Knowledge base and self-service

Learn more about ManageEngine for Zendesk.

What is service desk software?

A service desk is the software support teams use to organize, manage, and respond to questions and issues from customers and employees. Service desks generally have a ticketing system where the client or staff member submits a ticket containing the details of the request. The ticketing system routes the ticket—based on workflow rules—to the appropriate resource.

Different service desks expand upon the basic ticketing system in diverse ways with automations, integrations, analytics software, knowledge bases, and more. They also vary in terms of channels and mediums of communication. Some are email-based, while others incorporate live chat, voice calls, social media, and more.

3 key benefits of a service desk

The biggest benefits of the best service desk software are around creating excellent customer and employee experiences. This will help you build better relationships with both your buyers and your workforce.

1. Meet customers (and employees) where they are

Preferred communication methods are constantly changing. The best service desks feature an omnichannel experience that lets you connect with your customers or employees wherever they are.

Communicating with consumers through social media platforms has become popular, while employee communication has extended from email and voice to SMS and Slack. In omnichannel communication, the conversation history seamlessly moves between channels so you can see all interactions in a single location.

2. Provide personalized support

Customers expect personalized experiences. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2022, 68 percent of customers expect personalization in every experience with a brand. Because service desks allow agents to view all customer interactions in one place, agents get a snapshot of the entire customer journey and understand how to deliver personalized service.

3. Offer self-service options

Everybody loves getting quick answers. Providing self-service options enables employees and customers to skip the line and find the information they need, fast. Help center articles, AI chatbots, online forums, FAQs, and a centralized knowledge base help people find answers to common questions and resolve basic issues. This eliminates potential support tickets, freeing up agents to focus on more complicated or rewarding tasks.

Zendesk vs. the field: Why Zendesk is the best service desk software option

When it comes to providing positive customer and employee experiences, every interaction is important. In our CX Trends Report, 61 percent of respondents said they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience. Zendesk helps you stay one step ahead of the competition by prioritizing service, the overall user experience, and innovation.

Here are a few reasons why Zendesk is the best service desk software option.

Innovation through conversational messaging

Zendesk provides a complete omnichannel experience so you can meet customers where they are. The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts uses Zendesk to customize its conversational experience across 12 channels, including Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and more.

This messaging capability allows the support team to maintain the conversation history in a single, continuous thread and form deeper connections with Four Seasons customers. On the other side, guests enjoy easy, convenient, and personalized experiences.

Customer-centric workspace sets teams up for success

A great support experience starts with a conversation-focused workspace that makes the agent’s job easier. Agent Workspace enables reps to collaborate across departments and unifies customer data in a single location. This way, agents don’t have to toggle between apps to gather important context.

With Agent Workspace, the Instacart support team can view data-rich customer profiles that show each customer’s entire journey—from website visits, prior transactions, conversation history, and more—in one place. As a result, agents can focus on the customer rather than wasting time searching for information across apps.

Zendesk keeps businesses in sync

A service desk that’s simple to set up can be crucial to companies that want to upgrade their system without disruption. MakeSpace picked Zendesk and was able to point-and-click its way through the setup without a bunch of complex code or intensive admin support. The support team was able to easily customize their experience and make basic changes on their own, increasing year-over-year agent efficiency by 63 percent.

How to choose the right service desk for your business

People taking notes

The right service desk gives your customer service and internal support teams the tools they need to provide high-quality support experiences. Consider the needs of your customers—both internal and external—to decide what service desk capabilities and features will be most effective.

10 things to consider when shopping for a service desk

When you’re searching for the best service desk software for your needs, here are 10 things to consider:

  1. Time to value: A service desk that is quick to set up, integrates with your current systems, and is easy to use can ensure a seamless transition. Throw in minimal administration and support needs, and you’ll start seeing a return on your investment in no time.
  2. Conversational support: Communication methods keep evolving, and the system you pick should support a wide range of channels so you can meet customers wherever they are. With the ability to connect conversation history across channels, agents can eliminate a major pain point: customers repeating themselves.
  3. Number of agents: How big is your team? Find out if the service desk you’re interested in has a cap on the number of agents or a requirement for a minimum number of agents.
  4. Scalability: A scalable system can future-proof your customer service department and allow you to easily add more agents and channels. In other words, you shouldn’t have to purchase a new service desk system when it’s time to grow.
  5. Customization: Consider a customizable service desk that you can sync with apps and integrations that take your business to the next level.
  6. Self-service portal: The software should make it simple to create a library of answers to frequently asked questions that customers can quickly find.
  7. Automation and AI: Increase efficiency and reduce wait times with automation and AI. Automating repetitive tasks and using chatbots can free up support agents to tackle more complex issues.
  8. Agent experience: In our CX Trends Report, only 54 percent of agents said they have the tools to succeed. Put yourself in your agents’ shoes and ask yourself what features your service desk needs so your team can thrive. Agent Workspace, for example, houses all customer data in one place so agents don’t have to toggle between apps to find important information, saving them valuable time.
  9. Analytics and reporting: Gain visibility into every interaction with a service desk offering analytics and reporting tools that integrate data from every channel. This can help you measure and improve your customer and employee experiences.
  10. Routing and intelligence: Artificial intelligence helps route tickets to the right agents, and automated ticket queues prioritize tickets by importance and time sensitivity so requests are tackled quickly and efficiently.

FAQs

Can I try your service desk before I buy?

Zendesk offers a 14-day free trial in which you can enjoy the full benefits and tools of a Zendesk Suite Professional Plan. Startups can try Zendesk for free for a full six months. You can contact the Zendesk team if you’d like to try a specific plan that may better meet your business needs.

Once the trial period ends, your data and setup conveniently remain in the system, so you can easily jump back in once you purchase your plan. Besides annual plans, you can also pick monthly plans.

How long does it take to install a service desk?

Zendesk offers a quick and simple setup out of the box—it takes merely days or weeks to implement. Once you’re up and running, our Agent Workspace helps your team onboard Zendesk in only a few hours, so your business won’t miss a beat.

Is my information safe with your service desk?

Zendesk is trusted by Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies to keep their data protected and secure. Take a look at the enterprise-level security features and extensive audits we implement to ensure we achieve compliance and complete data protection.

Give service desk software a try

Our service desk software is designed with people, and the relationships between those people, in mind. That means arming your internal service agents with customizable messages, custom views of incoming queries, convenient automations, and more. It also means encouraging collaboration between team members and ensuring one agent isn't the sole bearer of knowledge and context behind a customer's concern.

The result of all this? A seamless experience for your customers.

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