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Help desk ticketing system

Delivering consistently great customer service is hard. The right ticketing system makes it easy.

A complete guide to the best ticketing system

A well-implemented ticket system consolidates communication. It does this by eliminating the bottlenecks that happen when no one has an overview of the problem, its priority, and the person reporting it.

But even the best software doesn’t work without the right people and processes.

So before we get into how to choose the right ticketing software, we’ll review the basics of a ticketing system. Then, you can learn about best practices and read an overview of 15 of the best ticketing systems out there.

If you’d like to skip to a specific section, click through the table of contents below.

What is a ticketing system?

A ticketing system is a software program that a customer support team uses to create, manage, and maintain a list (or lists) of customer problems.

Of course, many ticketing systems also provide other functions including, but not limited to:

You might also hear ticketing systems referred to as ticketing software, ticketing support, or a helpdesk ticketing system.

Why does your business need a helpdesk ticketing system?

Your business needs helpdesk ticketing to help organize, prioritize, and consolidate support requests. Ticketing systems enable organizations to quickly assign inquiries to the most relevant agent, provide context to customer interactions, and track inquiries from customers. The system also provides a shared inbox which helps support staff coordinate their efforts.

How does an IT ticketing system work?

An IT help desk ticketing system translates all end user issues from disparate sources into tickets. The system tracks the status of each ticket as support staff members work on solving the issue. A ticket records all interactions with a user as well as internal conversations between staff members on the issue.

With Zendesk’s IT ticketing platform, a ticket can be recorded as a question, problem, incident, or task. A single problem can be an underlying cause of many incidents. For example, if the company’s email server is down, multiple incidents can be linked to that problem. When you mark the main problem as solved, each user’s incident ticket is updated with the new status.

When customer support agents close tickets, they don’t just disappear. Tickets contain valuable data that can give you insight into your customers and company. IT ticketing programs can slice data in a variety of ways to reveal performance metrics and generate reports.

Zendesk ticketing system screenshot

What are the features of ticketing tools?

The best IT ticketing tools offer a combination of features that are simple to set up and use. Just remember: the sophistication of these features can vary widely.

To help you prepare to compare different online ticketing systems, here are six common features to look for and evaluate.

  1. Omnichannel Support
    Customers contact your organization from many channels—email, social media, live chat, and phone—sometimes simultaneously. In many companies, insights gained during these interactions are scattered between tools and teams. This forces the customer to repeat themselves every time they reach out. But by consolidating customer profiles and conversations into a shared inbox, omnichannel support enables agents to serve customers in their preferred channels.
  2. Ticket Routing, Categorization and Tagging

    In a larger enterprise, just centralizing customer support communications isn’t enough. To provide the best service, agents need to know—at a glance—a ticket’s status and what steps they must take, whether that’s routing the ticket to a different agent or handling it themselves.

    That’s why help desk ticketing systems also enable users to categorize and tag tickets as they come in. These categories and tags provide large, siloed teams with the ability to quickly route support tickets to the agents that have the skills and knowledge to handle them.

  3. Tracking and Measurement

    Good customer service departments resolve issues quickly and minimize back-and-forth. But that doesn’t happen without analytics. With helpdesk ticketing system analytics, you can generate reports based on what you’re trying to understand. For example, you can quantify the amount of time your team spends on certain issues to help inform decisions about where to invest additional resources.

  4. Integrations

    Just as customers like to use a variety of channels, businesses tend to use different databases and tools to use and manage important customer data. This creates data silos. Through a broad range of integrations, ticketing systems (like Zendesk’s) help break down these silos.

    As a result, it becomes far easier to create a unified, streamlined customer experience. And it prevents the disjointed, often frustrating experience agents have when they’re forced to try and make sense of multiple sources of different versions of information while dealing with an impatient customer.

  5. Knowledge Base Management

    While live chats and phone conversations have their place, given the right information, many customers are fully capable of—and oftentimes prefer—serving themselves. Knowledge base systems help customers do this by summarizing and storing large amounts of information in searchable, linked databases.

    These systems enhance your ticket support system by simultaneously improving self-service for your customers and reducing ticket volume for your agents. Not only that, knowledge bases provide support agents with a searchable database where they can easily find resources for customers.

  6. Automation

    What makes customer service “go” is getting the right information to the right person at the right time. And even in a relatively small company, the logistics of routing information from different systems to the people gets complicated quickly. That’s why it can be very powerful to automate tasks like assigning tickets, sending preset responses, escalating issues, pulling in relevant customer data, and more.

    By eliminating or reducing the time agents must spend on menial, repetitive tasks, automation helps make agents happier, more engaged, and more productive. Not to mention automating these tasks reduces the chance of human error.

  7. Workforce management tools

    Customer service success isn’t just about the one-to-one interaction your agents have with customers. It’s also about the behind-the-scenes decisions that facilitate those memorable interactions. Along with ticketing tools, workforce management features help you precisely plan how to staff your service operation based on seasonality and make adjustments in real-time.

    Among other things, you can project email, call, and messaging volume to ensure your staff is never over or underutilized. The result? An optimally cost-effective service operation.

What are the benefits of a help desk ticketing system?

IT ticketing software receives, logs, and sorts incoming tickets to streamline problem resolution. A simple ticketing software is the price of entry for any professional customer service team, even if it’s a team of one. But don’t take our word for it, check out these five powerful benefits:

  1. Greater agent productivity

    Great customer service is invaluable. Yet there are quite a few low-value, time-consuming tasks involved in providing great customer service—searching for information, routing calls, categorizing tickets, and more.

    By automating all or a portion of these tasks, ticketing tools provide more time for agents to spend on high-value tasks like training and serving customers. This improved productivity also means that your organization can more easily provide great service with fewer agents, greatly reducing costs without necessarily impacting service quality.

  2. Enhance the quality of customer interactions

    With full audit trails of every conversation, even if it spanned multiple channels, agents are empowered to have more productive, informed conversations with customers.

    Customers tend to be less frustrated because they don’t have to repeat themselves. And agents can take things a step further by providing personalization. For example, with accessible data on past purchases, a retail support agent could see a customer’s sizing information and help them identify the right fit for a pair of jeans.

  3. Transparent customer service performance

    Without a ticket support system in place, there’s no single source of data you can use to evaluate customer service performance. Sure, you could use customer retention data if you have it, but that can be influenced by other factors. And while actively surveying customers might provide clues, you often need more granular, quantitative data to monitor and evaluate service performance.

  4. Learn and grow over time

    By centralizing customer issues and your support agents’ responses to those issues, ticketing systems double as a learning tool. Managers can use it to discover what common issues might be better addressed with new knowledge base articles. Or they can identify certain situations which agents are struggling to handle, which might indicate where additional training is needed. The opportunities to learn and grow over time are endless and good helpdesk ticketing software makes them possible.

  5. Better internal team collaboration

    Few customer service experiences are worse than the all-to-common hot potato call. This happens when a customer calls in and gets passed from agent to agent, with each one struggling to find a solution. The root cause of this is often poor internal communication, which a ticketing system helps reduce or eliminate.

Best practices for ticketing software

Ticketing software has exciting capabilities, but even the best ones don’t run without the right processes built around them. Here are four best practices that’ll have your team maximizing your software investment:

Train agents on the new system

When businesses buy software, they often only use a fraction of its capabilities. Ticketing systems are no exception. To avoid this pitfall, start a training program to get your people up to speed on the system. Depending on what ticketing software you use, the vendor may offer their own training, which is a great way to get your people trained without the administrative burden. Plus later on down the road, your agents can use what they learned to train new hires.

Build out a self-service knowledge base

The idea of building out a knowledge base for your customer can seem intimidating at first. But start small, and focus on providing resources that help solve the simplest, most common issues. Even a simple knowledge base can make your agents more effective and your customers happier. Plus, with a knowledge base in place, you can provide automated answers to common customer questions.

Create (and use) a clear, well-structured tagging system

Without tags, you lose out on what makes the best ticketing systems most valuable. But it’s not enough to create some tags and call it a day. You have to be thoughtful about what tags will properly contextualize the problem so your agents can properly prioritize and route each ticket.

Not only that, but customer support agents also need to be active in tagging tickets as they learn new information while helping the customers. Tagging in this way ensures tickets show up in relevant reports as they develop and are easily searchable.

Automate with predefined ticket actions

Only 20 percent of organizations believe that their speed at resolving customer engagements is extremely strong. And more than half (54 percent) say it feels like customer service is an afterthought for most businesses they interact with. In the age of ever-increasing customer expectations, automation is an agent’s best friend.

The kinds of automation you should set up will depend on your service channels, the types of inquiries, and many other factors. But a basic example to set up is an auto-response that triggers a predefined message to acknowledge receipt when a customer submits a ticket via chat or text.

How to implement a help desk ticketing software?

You can’t hope to reap all the benefits of help desk ticketing software if you’re not conscientious about how it’s deployed. Here are six steps you can follow to ensure you implement your software properly:

  1. Determine your purpose and document your goals

    It might seem obvious to you but explicitly defining your purpose and documenting your goals will help you win buy-in with your team and other stakeholders. Plus, it’ll keep everyone focused. If you get stuck at any point during your implementation, you can always come back to your goals to guide your path forward. Common goals include lower average resolution time, lowering costs, and increasing customer retention.

  2. Define your service-level agreement (SLA)

    Your SLA lays out expectations for your team and/or your customers as it relates to the services your support team provides, your business hours, service channels, and expected response times. You can create external SLAs with customers or internal SLAs to govern internal expectations. Either way, the important thing is to have one because it will help you determine the details of deploying your ticketing software.

  3. Assign roles and responsibilities

    No agent, manager, or administrator should be uncertain about what they’re supposed to do. By assigning roles and responsibilities you make it clear who does what and when. Plus, you facilitate more seamless communication because when team members have questions, they know who to contact. Finally, clear roles and responsibilities lay the groundwork for how you will manage user permissions in your ticketing system.

  4. Create workflows for ticket routing

    Ticket routing is the core function of your IT ticketing system, so defining your ticketing workflows is fundamental to your software implementation. It’s in this step where you define how inquiries will be handled based on when it’s received, the type of inquiry, the channel(s) involved, the customer who inquired, and any other criteria relevant to your operation.

    Keep in mind that you don’t, and probably shouldn’t, automatically assign an agent to every ticket. Instead, create ticketing workflows that only escalate customer issues to agents when necessary by using self-service tools like knowledge bases, chatbots, and FAQs.

  5. Test your ticketing system

    It doesn’t take much for a customer to leave your company for a competitor. In fact, 61 percent of customers report that they’d leave a business for a competitor after just one bad experience. So once your system is stood up, take the time to put it through its paces. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and submit different kinds of tickets. Walk through the process and look for points of friction or dead ends. Only once you’ve exhaustively tested the system should you deploy it live.

  6. Report on performance

    Even a perfect ticketing system is never really finished. There are always aspects of your workflows that can be optimized and improved. Make sure you’re spotting opportunities for optimization by regularly tracking service performance, collecting feedback from agents, and surveying customers.

An overview of the 15 best ticketing systems

  1. Zendesk
  2. Zoho Desk
  3. Freshdesk
  4. HappyFox
  5. WordPress Advanced Ticket System
  6. Help Scout
  7. LiveAgent
  8. KB Support
  1. Vision Helpdesk
  2. HubSpot
  3. Front
  4. AzureDesk
  5. SupportBee
  6. Awesome Support
  7. TeamSupport

1. Zendesk

Zendesk is designed to seamlessly connect your customer support team with customers across all channels, including email, messaging, social, voice, bots, and community forums. Not only does Zendesk ticketing software improve customer satisfaction, it’s also a dream for support agents, who get a comprehensive view of the entire customer journey, so they can stop searching for information and start serving customers.

Plus, the centralized hub makes it easy for managers and admins to gain visibility into their team’s performance with pre-built dashboards and customer reports. Using information from these dashboards and reports, managers can more effectively find ways to improve efficiency through resource planning, customer request prioritization, ticketing workflow optimization, and more.

Zendesk ticketing system

Never lose a request with Zendesk’s ticketing system

Context is king for Zendesk’s ticket system

Zendesk ticketing software sets your team up with everything they need to provide customers with truly personalized service. With an omnichannel ticket support system, your agents have full details—including order history, loyalty status, and web activity—about every customer they interact with through an organized workflow. Equipped with context about every customer, customer support agents can quickly resolve individual support requests and provide quality customer experience across the board.

Problem-solve at lightning speed

Beyond having a centralized hub for a seamless workflow, Zendesk software makes it easy for your team to identify issues as soon as they arise.

Tickets are assigned unique reference numbers and statuses to help teams manage and prioritize their workflow. To stay on track, teams can also set up alerts in Zendesk for tickets that agents haven’t responded to in a timely manner.

With Zendesk’s built-in issue tracking system, the support team can easily identify issues the moment they’re raised by customers. Agents can use the information gained from Zendesk’s issue tracker to notify the software development team of bugs or create new self-help resources for customers.

By identifying problems early, your team can take action swiftly to ensure customer satisfaction isn’t interrupted.

Zendesk offers a simple IT ticketing solution

Zendesk’s IT ticketing solution contains a variety of features that make solving IT issues a breeze. Here are just a few examples.

  • Integrations: You already have your favorite apps for a variety of tasks. Zendesk comes with pre-built integrations for over 1,300 apps, including IT asset management services, so you can keep your ideal workflows going.
  • ITicket collaboration: Sometimes, support tickets require a team effort. Zendesk makes it easy for teams to collaborate on tickets publicly or privately without confusing customers.
  • Satisfaction Prediction Score: With enough data, our help desk ticketing system can predict customer satisfaction within each ticket. This gives agents a better understanding of what works. It can also help you save at-risk tickets before it’s too late.
  • Knowledge base: A self-service portal helps end users help themselves. By leveraging IT support staff knowledge, you can reduce incoming service tickets and better manage support requests.
  • Live chat: Zendesk offers support anywhere, so customers can always reach you. The conversation stays connected, whether it starts on WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Twitter, live chat, or email.
  • Chatbot:Zendesk’s bot capabilities empower companies to make the most out of their ticketing system solution.
  • Macros: Macros let you fill in predetermined responses to common requests and problems. For example, your IT help desk can create a preset response for password related problems.
  • Security and compliance: Zendesk offers multiple user authentication options including business and social single sign-ons. Redaction capabilities make it easy to keep passwords and sensitive information confidential. Zendesk Enterprise Support also offers optional HIPAA compliance.

Mobile ticketing system

Great customer support should be tied to the customer. Not the computer, fancy headset, or even a particular day or problem. Zendesk’s mobile ticketing system has native mobile apps that are built for team leaders, agents, IT, or anyone who doesn’t want to take the “help desk” literally. Agents can catch up with tickets, clean up their queue, and free up their workflow (and mind).

Zendesk offers support from your iPhone and Android:
  • Notifications alert agents to updates on their assigned tickets
  • Create new tickets on the fly and make quick updates with macros
  • Get to the right ticket immediately using search and deep-linking from email
  • Filter through the queue with Views and swipe to easily move to the next ticket

Pricing Plans:

  • Suite Team: $49 user/month
  • Suite Growth: $79 user/month
  • Suite Professional: $99 user/month
  • Suite Enterprise: $150 user/month

Free trial: 14 days

2. Zoho Desk

Zoho ticketing system

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Zoho Desk is a good choice for smaller, customer-facing support teams that need a platform they can grow with. However Zoho’s CRM caters to businesses of all sizes in all industries. Many Zoho users find Zoho Desk especially useful because it integrates easily with other Zoho products. If you’re already using Zoho products, implementing and using Zoho Desk will feel familiar.

Plus if you’re using Zoho CRM, you can easily sync your database with Zoho Desk. And keep in mind: Zoho consistently adds new features, such as social media integration and data analysis, so you should keep an eye on how this product evolves. While it’s fairly basic, Zoho Desk does offer a free plan which includes an email-based IT ticket system, private knowledge management, and multi-language support.

Pricing Plans:

  • Standard: $20 user/month
  • Professional: $35 user/month
  • Enterprise: $50 user/month

Free trial: 15 days

Features of Zoho Desk Standard Plan

  • Limited automations
  • Zoho CRM
  • Knowledge base
  • Ticket management system
  • Conversations inbox
  • Branding customization
  • Standard and prepopulated reports
  • Multichannel support

Learn more about Zendesk app for Zoho

3. Freshdesk

Freshdesk ticketing system

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Freshdesk is another option aimed at smaller businesses that has an affordable price and intuitive interface. Freshdesk comes in five editions; one free plan called Sprout and four paid editions called Blossom, Garden, Estate, and Forest. If you pay for the most expensive plan, you can access key features such as team dashboards, social signals, and chatbots.

Freshdesk also provides Freshworks Academy, which you can use to offload some of the administrative burden of training your agents on your new system. However if you opt for one of the lower-priced plans, you may find features offered a bit lacking. Also, to get a feel for the software, you can try the Freshdesk free plan which includes email ticketing tools, analytics, canned responses, automation, and knowledge base management.

Pricing Plans:

  • Growth: $15 user/month
  • Pro: $49 user/month
  • Elite: $79 user/month

Free trial: 21 days

Features of Freshdesk Growth Plan

  • Automations
  • Custom ticket views
  • Custom email server
  • Time tracking
  • Marketplace app
  • Email ticket routing
  • Knowledge base
  • Helpdesk and ticket trend report

4. HappyFox

HappyFox ticketing system

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HappyFox is a cloud-based CRM that provides ticketing solutions for many different industries and company sizes. HappyFox customers include a diverse range of companies from small businesses to large enterprises. Their ticketing software provides a host of easy-to-use, powerful capabilities.

But where it excels in features, it lags in price and integrations. Unlike options like Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Zoho Desk, HappyFox doesn’t integrate with as many other tools and systems.

There is neither a free plan nor a free trial for you to get a feel for the software. And their price tiers range from $39 to $99 per user per month, so you will have to pay to try HappyFox. Still, if your priority is best-in-class ticketing tools, HappyFox is worth consideration.

Pricing Plans:

  • Mighty: $39 user/month
  • Fantastic: $59 user/month
  • Enterprise: $79 user/month
  • Enterprise Plus: $99 user/month

Free trial: 15 days

Features of Mighty Plan

  • SLA management
  • Smart automation
  • Knowledge base
  • Custom email domain mapping
  • Basic reporting

Learn more about Zendesk app for HappyFox

5. WordPress Advanced Ticket System

Wordpress advanced ticketing system

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If your organization uses WordPress and you have a simple customer service operation with no more than two channels, the WordPress Advanced Ticket System plugin is worth consideration. Since this open-source helpdesk ticketing software is built directly on WordPress it’s very easy to integrate. Plus, because the system uses your site’s default single post template to display tickets, it won’t slow your site down.

Of course, supreme simplicity comes with its drawbacks. The system doesn’t support direct ticketing from social media, live chat, or blog comments. So for organizations with larger, more complex service operations, this ticketing system may be too basic.

Either way, though, you can try WATS using the free plan, which includes web-to-email-based ticketing. For the premium plan, you’ll need to pay a yearly fee of 50 euros which, as of this writing, comes out to 55.35 in US Dollars.

Pricing Plans:

  • WATS Free
  • WATS Premium: €50 per year

Free trial: Not available

Features of WATS Free

  • File attachment
  • Raw statistics
  • Email ticket routing

Learn more about Zendesk app for WordPress

6. Help Scout

Help Scout ticketing system

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Help Scout’s helpdesk ticketing system is similarly full-featured like HappyFox. And also like HappyFox, Help Scout can support large teams with more than 500 users. Their customer list includes a variety of modern businesses in the technology and recruiting industries. Still, even small teams who need powerful, flexible ticket management tools may find Help Scout to be a great fit.

In addition to its ticketing system, Help Scout provides robust reporting and built-in knowledge bases. Plus, its robust API and a broad selection of integrations mean you should have no problem getting the system to work with your existing customer channels and databases. If you’d like to get your hands on Help Scout before you commit, you can try it out with a 15-day free trial where service agents get access to Help Scout’s full suite of features.

Pricing Plans:

  • Standard: $20 per user/month
  • Plus: $35 per user/month
  • Company: $60 per user/month

Free trial: 15 days

Features of HelpScout Standard

  • Rule-based automation
  • Extensions and integrations
  • Website live chat
  • Custom reports
  • Ticket routing and prioritization
  • Knowledge base content management
  • Multi-channel communication

7. LiveAgent

LiveAgent ticketing system

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LiveAgent emphasizes its live chat service with features like real-time typing view, website monitoring for chat engagement, and proactive chat invitations based on the active agent availability. The software also provides a universal inbox that collects and consolidates tickets from a variety of channels.

LiveAgent is particularly well-suited for small support teams that use WordPress. Plus it has native integrations for many of the most popular apps that support teams use. The various plans from LiveAgent include a free version and paid versions that range in price from $15 per agent per month to $39 per agent per month. The free version includes a ticketing tool as well as a customer portal and forum. But you only get basic reporting, 7-day ticket history, one chat button, one phone number, and one email address.

Pricing Plans:

  • Ticket: $15 agent/month
  • Ticket+Chat: $29 agent/month
  • All-inclusive: $49 agent/month

Free trial: 14 days

Features of LiveAgent Ticket Plan

  • Unlimited ticket history
  • API and integrations
  • Help portal and forum
  • Advanced reporting
  • Unlimited email address
  • Customer service

8. KB Support

KB Support ticketing software

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Another lightweight, WordPress-friendly helpdesk ticketing system is the KB Support plugin. Similar to the WAPS plugin, KB Support is designed for smaller companies in any industry that have a relatively small service operation. However, because of its broad range of possible integrations, you can get away with KB Support as you grow, particularly if you’re using WooCommerce and/or WordPress.

The plugin includes support for ticketing from web forms and email, agent permissions, custom ticket statuses, preset replies, and WooCommerce integration. Also, you can integrate KB Support with other apps fairly easily through Zapier.

In addition to using its ticketing features, KB Support also has a built-in knowledge base you can use to provide self-service options for your users. You can even restrict certain articles to be available for logged-in users only. KB Support is available for free as a WordPress plugin but does not include knowledge base integrations, canned replies, custom ticket statuses, and many other key features.

Pricing Plans:

  • Starter: $74 per year
  • Professional: $102
  • Enterprise: $150

Free trial: Not available

Features of Starter Plan

  • Native automations
  • Email ticketing
  • WooCommerce integration
  • Tracking and measurement
  • Ticket routing
  • Custom ticket statuses
  • FAQ support
  • Customer feedback

9. Vision Helpdesk

Vision helpdesk ticketing software

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Vision Helpdesk is a cloud-based helpdesk ticketing system that’s designed for all team sizes and industries. That said, Vision Helpdesk caters to many large financial and government institutions. Teams can automate their ticket management with rule-based criteria and record conversations across social media, emails, live chats, web portals, and calls.

To support agent productivity, Vision Helpdesk also offers gamification features that businesses can use to set up agent achievements with rewards. A mobile app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows phones but many users report that the mobile app needs some work. If you want to try it for yourself, you can start a free trial—no credit card required—of Vision Helpdesk for 30 days.

Pricing Plans:

  • Starter Help Desk: $12 per user/month
  • Pro Help Desk: $20 per user/month
  • Satellite Help Desk: $24 per user/month
  • Pro Service Desk: $32 per user/month
  • Enterprise Service Desk: $48 per user/month

Free trial: 30 days

Features of Starter Help Desk Plan

  • Workflows
  • Email ticket creation
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Ticketing
  • Shared inbox
  • Optimized knowledge base content
  • Multi-channel support

10. HubSpot Service Hub

Hubspot helpdesk

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HubSpot provides a fairly robust ticketing system through its Service Hub product. In addition to providing broad helpdesk functionality, Service Hub helps support agents prioritize tickets, automate workflows, and provide personalized experiences across many service channels. Because HubSpot has a wide variety of well-tailored packages, businesses of all sizes in just about any industry can find a package that suits their needs.

If you’re already using HubSpot’s other products like the HubSpot CRM, integration with those tools is very simple. And even if you’re not a HubSpot user, their broad range of integrations makes implementing this ticketing system into your workflow fairly straightforward. HubSpot does offer a limited free plan with a support ticket system, custom fields, shared inboxes, reporting, canned snippets, and other CRM features. Or you can try Service Hub Professional or Enterprise for free for fourteen days.

Pricing Plans:

  • Service Hub Starter: $45/month for 2 users, $23 month/user for additional users
  • Service Hub Professional: $360/month for 5 users, $72/month for additional users
  • Service Hub Enterprise: $1200/month for 10 users, $120/month for additional users

Free trial: 14 days

Features of Service Hub Starter Plan

  • APIs, SDKs, and native integrations
  • Shared canned snippets
  • Real-time website chat
  • Advanced reporting
  • Ticket routing, categorization, and tagging
  • Conversations inbox

Learn more about Zendesk app for HubSpot

11. Front

Front customer support

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Through its shared email inbox, Front connects your entire customer service team. Innovative companies, including startup incubators, ecommerce companies, and other SaaS businesses use Front to manage their customers’ experience. But beyond that basic functionality, Front is truly geared towards fostering a culture of teamwork on your service team.

For example, after an agent selects a case, other agents can still monitor that ticket’s progress which helps improve transparency and collaboration. Similarly, through its shared draft tool, Front lets agents work on tickets together before responding to customers. Plus, Front supports ticketing for emails and messages from every channel including email, chat, social media, and SMS.

Front does not offer a free plan, nor do they offer a free trial.

Pricing Plans

  • Starter: $19 per user/month (minimum 2 users)
  • Prime: $49 per user/month (min. 5 users)
  • Enterprise: Pricing not available

Free trial: Not available

Features of Starter

  • Email, chat, SMS, and social media ticketing
  • Ticket collaboration tools
  • Limited integrations
  • Ticketing rule templates
  • Up to 10 users

12. AzureDesk

AzureDesk ticket management software

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AzureDesk’s core features include reporting, ticket management, knowledge base management, and email-to-ticket conversion. In short, it’s a light system with enough capabilities to support larger customer service departments. But at the same time, small and medium-sized businesses will also find their needs met with AzureDesk’s ticketing capabilities.

Uniquely, AzureDesk’s ticketing system allows you to use an unlimited number of email addresses which makes it easy to convert emails to any address into a support ticket.

AzureDesk is also very flexible software with an API that can support many customer service integrations and pre-built integrations with other popular support apps, such as Slack.

You can see all AzureDesk has to offer by starting a 14-day free trial of their software.

Pricing Plans

  • AzureDesk Plus: $33 per user/month

Free trial: 14 days

Features of AzureDesk Plus Plan

  • Smart automation
  • Ticket tags
  • Private notes
  • APIs and app integrations
  • Live chat widget
  • Agent signatures
  • Advanced reporting
  • Ticket management
  • Shared email inbox
  • Brand customizations
  • Knowledge content management
  • Omnichannel support

13. SupportBee

SupportBee ticketing system

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Designed as a simple, intuitive ticketing system, SupportBee is designed for small teams that need to get up and running fast. SupportBee offers a solid set of basic features including a centralized inbox and customer ratings. Plus, their plans include unlimited tickets and inboxes which makes it easier to scale up if needed.

However, for what you gain in SupportBee’s simplicity, you lose in your ability to customize. So if you’re looking for a solution that provides tailored service and extensible tools, you may want to skip SupportBee. If you’re on the fence, you can try a Startup or Enterprise plan for free for fourteen days.

Pricing Plans:

  • Startup: $13 user/month
  • Enterprise: $17 user/month

Free trial: 14 days

Features of SupportBee Startup Plan

  • Shared inbox
  • Canned snippets
  • Basic integrations
  • Knowledge base
  • Customer satisfaction ratings
  • One team
  • 2FA

Pricing Plans:

Startup: $13 user/month
Enterprise: $17 user/month

14. Awesome Support

Awesome Support ticketing plugin for WordPress

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Awesome Support is one of the most popular customer support ticketing system options for WordPress. The free version allows unlimited tickets, agents, users, products, and departments. It’s a good base for simple customer support, but you can also upgrade for more advanced features. The highest plan supports service level agreements (SLAs), deeper reporting, and automation.

While Awesome Support is super easy to set up, it’s not powerful enough for the needs of most support teams. So unless you’re a support team of one with your website as your only channel, Awesome Support may come up a bit short. However, for larger service operations Awesome Support’s paid plans provide all the capabilities you’d expect in a complete ticketing system solution.

Pricing Plans:

  • Standard: $149 per year
  • Pro: $229 per year
  • Enterprise: $289 per year
  • Agency: $409 per year

Free trial: Not available

Features of Awesome Support Standard

  • Canned responses
  • Unlimited ticket history
  • Unlimited agents and tickets
  • Email support
  • FAQ
  • Mailchimp integration

15. TeamSupport

TeamSupport ticket management software

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TeamSupport is a customer support ticketing software solution designed to meet the needs of companies serving B2B technology customers. In addition to functioning as ticketing management software, TeamSupport’s reporting features focus on helping with root cause analysis to help minimize ticket volume. TeamSupport also offers external and internal knowledge base functionality and a customer forum.

The tool is fairly customizable. For example, you can make your own basic ticket management page with fields of your choosing. And it’s focused on improving your agent’s service delivery through features like suggested solutions which automatically surfaces articles relevant to a customer’s issue. TeamSupport does not offer a free plan or a free trial.

Pricing Plans:

  • Essential: $49 per user/month
  • Success: $59 user/month
  • Professional: $79 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $99 per user/month
  • TeamSupport CS Platform: $149 per user/month

Free trial: Not available

Features of Team Support Essential

  • Ticket automation and workflows
  • 3rd party integrations and API
  • Real-time chat
  • Reporting
  • Customizable ticket management
  • Custom branding
  • Shared inbox
  • Customer database
  • Knowledge base management
  • Omnichannel service

A comparison chart of the top 15 ticketing tools

Software Starting price (/user/month) Free trial or plan Key Features
Zendesk

$49

Free trial for 14 days

  • Cross channel support & unified agent workspace
  • Easy-to-use interface & powerful integrations
  • Comprehensive customer context & details
  • Built-in issue tracking system
  • Rules-based ticket routing
  • Customizable live chat and AI-powered chatbots
Zoho Desk

$20

Free plan

  • Native integration with all Zoho products
  • Standard and prepopulated reports
  • Multichannel support
  • Intuitive email to case features
Freshdesk

$15

Both

  • Simple functionality
  • Custom ticket views
  • Resources for agent training
HappyFox

$39

No

  • SLA management
  • Custom email domain mapping
  • Basic reporting
  • Smart automation
WordPress Advanced Ticket System

Free

Free
plan

  • File attachment
  • Email ticket routing
  • Raw statistics
Help Scout

$20

Free trial
for 15 days

  • Transparent, quick support communications
  • Ticket routing and prioritization
  • Rule-based automation
  • Multiple pricing options
LiveAgent

$15

Both.

  • Advanced reporting
  • Unlimited email addresses
  • API and integrations
  • Help portal and community forum
KB Support

$74 per year

Free plugin

  • WordPress integration and free features
  • Customer feedback tools
  • Native automations
  • Integrations with MailChimp and WooCommerce
Vision Helpdesk

$12

Free trial for 30 days

  • Range of ticketing tools
  • Multi-channel support
  • Shared inbox
  • Workflows
HubSpot Service Hub

$45

Free trial for 14 days

  • Native integration with all HubSpot products
  • Shared canned snippets
  • APIs, SDKs, and native integrations
  • Ticket management
Front

$19

No

  • Up to 10 users
  • Email, chat, SMS, and social media ticketing
  • Ticketing rule templates
AzureDesk

$33

Free trial for 14 days

  • Help desk reporting features and ticket collaboration
  • Industry-standard capabilities
  • Supports ticket management system compliance with ISO
    standards
  • Clean user interface for agents
SupportBee

$13

Free trial for 14 days

  • Knowledge base
  • Customer satisfaction ratings
  • One team
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Shared inbox
Awesome Support

$149

Free
plan

  • Unlimited agents and tickets
  • Email support
  • FAQ
  • Mailchimp integration
  • Native WooCommerce integration
TeamSupport

$49

No

  • Customer database
  • Knowledge base management
  • Omnichannel service
  • Ticket automation and workflows
  • 3rd party integrations and API

How to choose the best ticketing software for your business?

If your IT professionals spend all their time sorting through emails or figuring out who responded to what ticket, it’s time for a change. As far as software goes, your ticketing software will be among your customer support team’s most heavily used tools. So choosing among the many options available is high stakes.

To help guide your decision-making, here are six questions you’ll want to ask yourself and your team, and the kinds of answers you should be looking for.

How easy will it be to implement your ticketing software?

Web-based ticketing software is typically much easier to implement than traditional software. But how easy one system is to implement versus another also depends on what your implementation looks like.

For example, some systems are very easy to integrate with other applications while others are not. Similarly, if you want sophisticated automations, certain ticketing systems that are otherwise easy to set up can become a hassle.

As you’re evaluating various vendors, look for customer references to validate claims regarding the implementation process. Also, if possible, use references from customers that are similar in size and industry.

Is the ticketing software easy to use?

It’s normal, even expected, for agents to need training on ticketing software. So while it’s not quite as easy to use as, say, your iPhone or Android, ticketing software shouldn’t make you want to throw your computer out the window.

As soon as they’re trained, agents should be able to start responding to and managing tickets. If they can’t, that’s a red flag. Fortunately, many ticketing software vendors will offer free trials so you can see how intuitive their product is.

What systems does your online ticketing system integrate with?

To ensure your agents can engage customers on their own terms, your ticketing system should, at minimum, integrate conversations across all the channels your support team currently uses.

However if you expect your team to grow, find an online ticketing system that also integrates the channels and internal systems you might expand to including:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Live chat
  • Community forums
  • CRM

What support processes can you automate through your ticketing software?

Most ticketing systems allow you to automate the logistics of customer support. This includes routing and assigning tickets, sending preset responses, pulling in relevant customer data, surfacing relevant knowledge base articles, and more.

The more of your existing support processes your ticketing software supports with rule-based triggers, the better.

Does your helpdesk ticket system measure what you need it to?

At a minimum, your ticketing system should measure customer satisfaction and agent performance. And most do. But if you’re looking for more advanced analytics that measure, for example, compliance with a detailed SLA, you’ll need to make sure your software can provide the metrics your managers and agents need.

How much does the online ticket system cost for your team size?

The price of your ticketing system will depend on the features you want, the number of users you’ll have, and your vendor’s pricing model. Simple ticketing systems with basic features may be free, but more sophisticated systems can cost up to several thousand dollars per year.

How does your ticketing tool measure customer satisfaction?

Three of the most popular ways to measure customer satisfaction are CSAT, CES, and NPS. Each of these measures is based on customer feedback scores. So your ticketing system must equip your team with the surveys and feedback collection tools you need to come up with whichever score you plan to use.

Two other measures of customer satisfaction are called CHS and CCR. CHS stands for customer health score, which is determined by behavioral metrics identified by your company. CHS metrics might include money spent, product usage metrics, and product type. CCR stands for customer churn rate which is the proportion of customers you lose over a certain time period. If you plan to use these scores, you’ll want to make sure your ticketing system can track and report the metrics you need.

What if you don’t like the help desk ticketing system after you buy it?

If you don’t like your ticketing system after you buy it, your recourse depends on how you purchased the software. For instance, if you purchase a ticketing system on a monthly plan and you decide you don’t like it, you can just cancel and you’ll only have to pay for one month. However, if you commit to a full year, you could end up spending a lot of money for very little value.

This is why it’s important to ensure any ticketing system you choose has flexible packaging options. If you’re worried you might not like your ticketing system after you buy it, start with a monthly plan. You’ll pay more per month but that slight increase will more than make up for it if you decide to cancel. Then, if you decide you want to keep the help desk ticketing system, you can switch to a yearly plan.

Try Zendesk’s ticketing system for free

Seamless communication doesn’t have to be a distant dream for you and your team. Zendesk’s omnichannel ticket system elevates your customer reach and bridges the gaps within your business. With our open CRM platform Zendesk Sunshine, you can connect all customer data so chat agents have all the customer context they need to respond easily across channels through live chat software. Plus, reporting with customer service analytics gives you a detailed insight into your support agents' work so you can make your workflow work better for both your team and your customers. That’s a win.