Technology has become an indispensable part of life, everywhere. From individuals to various types of businesses –resorting to technological means is required by all. The companies- regardless of their sectors- use myriads of technologies- including various software, cloud based services and more. In fact, they also resort to specialised software solutions to offer top notch support to their customers. The help desk applications are developed with myriads of features that let the businesses fulfil diverse customer needs smoothly. There are so many helpdesk solutions in market and they can be categorized into two types- Free and commercial help desk tools.
Benefits of using help desk tools?
There are undeniable advantages of using the help desk solutions, both free and paid ones. These are:
- Enhanced workflow and less hassles.
- Enhanced agent efficiency.
- Better customer feedback and retention.
- Optimal usage of resources.
- Positive brand image development.
Why help desk solution makers offer free packages/plans
A majority of companies that make and sell help desk solutions offer free plans along with commercial ones. This is definitely not without reasons.
- Free plans are ideal for small ventures/startups- Not all companies have the monetary resources to invest in expensive helpdesk solutions that require monthly or yearly subscriptions. They try to keep running expenses minimal too. The free helpdesk software solutions help the companies to offer quality customer service without overspending.
- Free plans are suited for operations of start-ups- The free help desk software packages are designed to suit usage need of small companies, as it is. These plans have support for a few agents/users and small start-ups do not have many support agents as well. The limitations on resources offered in the free plans do not cause problems for the small businesses.
- Free plans come with path for upgrade- The free packages of helpdesk tools are meant for start-ups with limited budgets. However, the users of such plans can always upgrade to commercial plans later. The companies making such tools keep the options for upgrade.
- Free plans are simpler to deploy- In most instances, the free packages of helpdesk tools are easier to deploy than the commercial versions. There are not too many things to configure and customize in the free versions. This is also suited for small companies as they do not have too many staffs with in depth technical knowledge. So, they can deploy the free helpdesk tools without running into many hassles.
- Free plans are ideal to assess viability- For start-ups and midsized companies, it is prudent to assess viability of helpdesk tools before investing in the solutions. This becomes easier when they try out the free versions. You should try out free packages of some help desk tools to understand if they are suited for your company needs or not. This way you can easily figure out the most apt plan and opt for licensing.
- Free plans come with integrations- Some free helpdesk tools offer robust integration with online apps and services. This can prove to be helpful for the users. In fact, you can find a few tools that come with inbuilt plug-ins for embedding web services and software.
The top free helpdesk software solutions
Listed below are some of the popular free helpdesk solutions you can pick from.
Freshdesk is among the most widely used and sought after helpdesk solution in the market. It comes with 5 plans and the basic one does not cost anything. The UI is quite simple and customizing it is also not tedious. The tool comes with a nifty notification system and that too can be customized. Agents can take advantage of the toggle to enable and disable live chat.
Freshdesk is superior to many competing tools in ticket management. It can be used to automate several ticket management related tasks too. Users can set filters and rules to automate ticket handling. It also supports conversions of social media posts and feeds into tickets. The tool comes with a handful of robust analytics and report generation features. The intelligent querying along with graphical response to querying are pretty helpful. The tool also integrates with top social media platforms, GSuite and other online tools that are used widely by businesses.
2. Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk is a popular helpdesk tool that comes in SaaS model and has a free plan. It has a really intuitive UI and the learning curve is not steep. The free plan has some imitation including support for 3 users but it perfectly suits the need small companies. It is good at ticket management. The UI customization possibilities are good too. Zoho desk integrates well with other apps including web based services and social media platforms. It is also ideal if your company wants to use Zoho’s broad range of online tools and services- which are very useful. Zoho CRM integration with the helpdesk is very helpful. Its Agent Collision feature is also useful. Zoho Desk lets you develop self-service portal for the employees and the customers with ease. It also excels in analytics and reporting departments. The tool comes with decent mobile apps.
3. Spiceworks IT Help Desk
Spiceworks IT Help Desk is ideal for those small and midsized ventures those want a help desk solution without oodles of features and focus on getting the core functionalities in place. However, this tool has enough features for tech savvy users. The cloud based SaaS tool has robust network monitoring solution. Tracking agent performance is simpler with its intuitive dashboard. It can be used to set up a self help portal and tweak it thereafter. It comes with mobile apps too. In terms of integration with other apps and web services, it fares pretty well. Amazing as it may sound, this tool is free and does not have any capping on agents and admin accounts.
Freshservice is Freshdesk’s more feature rich sibling but this tool also has a free version. It is more suited for midsized ventures that are eyeing growth. The tool has great ticket handling features but its main utility is handling IT projects and it support ITIL guidelines. The entry level free plan has limitation of 100 users which is not actually much of a limitation! The UI is pretty simple and has 5 sections. It looks somewhat like an email client.
The tool comes with more or less all features required by business users. The option to create a self service portal is present and that can be customized to a large extent. The users can also set schedules for report generation and analytics features are good. Freshservice comes with plug-ins for several SaaS services. The USP of the tool is support for Office 365 apps. It also comes with good reporting features.
Summing it all up
There are plenty of free helpdesk tools that small and midsized ventures can use. These tools do have a few limitations but most companies offer the option to upgrade to more feature laden versions for the users at any point of time. Alternatively, you can try out the trial versions of some such tools. Additionally, you may check the reviews of such services online.