March 7, 2022

MSP Help Desk Software & Tools

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Choosing the best MSP help desk software can help you elevate your customer experience and tap into a competitive edge for your business. Further, the right IT tech can help you unify the customer journey throughout all touchpoints — creating a unified process that reflects your brand, eliminates friction, and sets the stage for customer retention and positive testimonials.

According to a recent survey report by Bain & Company, 80% of companies believe they have great customer service, but only 8% of customers feel they actually received great service. The so-named “Delivery Gap” can be reduced with the use of robust MSP help desk software that fits your company’s goals and objectives, and the communication rigor required by your customer base.

Read more: 4 Essential Reports for IT Managed Services

A few factors to consider when evaluating MSP help desk software:

  • Availability: You may need to make sure your provider is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Fast service and response times: Your provider needs to respond quickly to your needs and problems.
  • Disaster recovery planning: How prepared will your MSP be when the unexpected occurs, such as a weather disaster, cyberattack, or other outages?
  • Daily backups and cloud services: Ensure your data stays safe and secure with automatic backups on a remote server.
  • Support: How much customization and technical support will you need? Finding the MSP that fits your needs in this area is a crucial step.

Explore the Top MSP Help Desk Software Vendors

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk reports 50,000 businesses worldwide using the software to streamline their customer service workflow. Zoho Desk offers tight integration with other Zoho products like Zoho CRM, a long list of features, a highly configurable interface, and a reasonable price point. On the con column lies a few concerns, which are all related to user friendliness. Zoho Desk can have a learning curve for getting started, and customization that is cumbersome. Its user interface is not seen as intuitive, and some of the MSP help desk tool’s advanced features may only be available at a higher price point.

Zoho Desk Standout Features

  • Ticket system from social media
  • Knowledge base
  • Self-service portal
  • Mobile apps
  • Support widgets
  • Customized reporting

Freshdesk

Freshdesk reports 150,000 happy customers around the globe and a one-stop, cloud-based solution. With a multitude of price points, Freshdesk is a popular choice in help desk software for the smaller business. Notable features of this help desk software tool include a robust query tool, a freemium model that allows customers to get a feel for the system before committing, and a gamification feature that resonates with tech-savvy and younger customer service agents. Freshdesk is limiting to some, as many of the advanced features are only available at higher price points. Also, higher-end analytic features are only available in the beta version of the software.

Freshdesk Standout Features

  • Ticket system from social media
  • Knowledge base
  • Self-service portal
  • Support widgets
  • Live chat and chatbot support
  • Custom reporting

HappyFox

HappyFox offers a practical help desk and customer support solution with a robust customer service ticket system, self-service knowledge base, and community forums. Users love HappyFox’s customizable user interface, integration with Slack and Microsoft Teams, easy multi-step ticket management, and a library of free training resources. HappyFox’s cons include limitations on social media connections (only Facebook and Twitter), as well as asset management that’s only available at enterprise tiers.

HappyFox Standout Features

  • Asset management
  • Ticket system from social media
  • Knowledge base
  • Self-service portal
  • Support widgets
  • Live chat
  • Custom reporting

Jira

Jira Help Desk software is a popular choice for larger businesses, or those with more expansive help desk needs. It offers attractive features, such as customizable dashboards and a low-code smart forms generator. Additional pros of Jira include a free plan for up to three agents, and an ever-expanding list of new integrations. That said, the cons of choosing this option are related to those integrations; users say many remain subpar, creating challenges.

Jira Standout Features

  • Knowledge base
  • Self-service portal
  • Support widget
  • Custom reporting

Spiceworks

The Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk touts a quick and easy way to jump in and get going. The cloud-based tool offers seamless integration with other online tools, and no server procurement, setup, or maintenance. It’s a no-frills ticketing tool but it comes at a great price — free. Additional pros of the Spiceworks help desk software include solid functionality and a smart reporting plug-in. Cons of the tool include lacking some in-demand features, like social media links and chat support. Users also complain it has little to no reporting customization, and in-app advertising is distracting.

Spiceworks Standout Features

  • Knowledge base
  • Self-service portal
  • Mobile apps
  • Live chat

Read more on TechRepublic: How to Build a Strong Help Desk Team

How to Choose a Help Desk Provider

Get clarity on what you need from your help desk software. Many businesses skip right to the software selection stage without ever taking a quick step back to audit what they need. This includes reviewing what you currently use, and determining what is working well and what isn’t. Included in this process should be a future projection into what you may need as you scale up (or down) in the future.

Gain deeper insights into your customer expectations. Take a moment to get to know what the help desk users will want; see things from their point of view, so you can select a help desk software solution that exceeds expectations.

Make a punch list of needed help desk features. After going through the steps above, this punch list should be easier to create. Be sure to take into account your current tech tools and places where integration or customization would be needed.

Try it before you buy it. Once you’ve gotten to the point of narrowing down a few contenders that fit business objectives, budgets, and tech requirements, get the team involved — customer service leaders, tech team members, and marketers as well. If it’s possible, have a couple trusted customers or experts walk through the process to ensure that what you’re adopting is a good fit with long-term benefits for your customer experience and the organization as a whole.

For more information and tips, check out our Help Desk Software Buyer’s Guide.