By Alyssa Gregory

16 Customer Service/Help Desk Apps That Make Customer Support Easy

By Alyssa Gregory

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of customer service in past posts. No matter how good you are at what you do, if you’re not responsive to client feedback and willing to take steps to improve dissatisfaction, you will have a rough time managing your client relationships.

One way to manage, track and act on customer inquiries and support requests is by using a help desk/customer service application. Here is a list of 16 customer support tools you can use to increase your accessibility and responsiveness.

Artologik HelpDesk: A web-based support system providing internal and external support that includes a knowledge base, searchable FAQs, ticket creation and management, e-mail reminders and reporting. The help desk software is available in three licensing options.

Artologik HelpDesk

bigWebApps HelpDesk: A scalable, web-based application that includes e-mail integration, remote assistance, time tracking, reporting and announcement features. Pricing is available upon request.

bigWebApps HelpDesk

DataTrack System: A web-based service management solution that allows you to track, categorize and prioritize work requests; generate detailed statistics and reports; customize your interface; and provide self-help areas for your clients. They offer several packages, depending on the number of technicians you need.

DataTrack System

A help desk system that includes e-mail-based ticket management, a knowledge base and troubleshooter, a self-service client portal, mobile access, customization options and integration with other third party apps. h2desk is available as a hosted or self-installed solution.


Helpdesk Pilot: Help desk software that provides e-mail management, canned replies, ticket management, custom fields, tracking and reports. Helpdesk Pilot is available for a one-time license fee.

Helpdesk Pilot

HelpSpot: Web-based help desk software allows you to filter, track, and organize support requests; customize the web form, knowledge base, and forums; and access/manage from your mobile device. HelpSpot can be run from your own server or hosted, both options are available for a licensing fee.


IssueTrak: Customer service software that provides auto assignments for issues, calendars and reminders, e-mail notifications, workflows and task management, web-based access and customization options. IssueTrak is offered as a hosted or leased solution.


Help desk software that includes ticket support and e-mail management; chat, visitor engagement and visitor monitoring; ability to manage multiple knowledge bases; and task management functionality. There are three modules available through a hosted account or lease options.


Numara Track-It!: Help desk software geared to IT organizations, providing e-mail-based and self service support, customizable web portal, alerts and notifications, and reporting options. Pricing is available upon request.

Numara Track-It!

Parature: On-demand customer service software that tracks the status of work orders online, provides chat functionality and online discussion boards, includes a ticketing system and mobile access. Pricing is available upon request.


ServiceDesk Plus: A web-based help desk tool that offers trouble ticketing, asset management, purchase order management, a self-service Portal, and extensive knowledge base. ServiceDesk Plus is available for a license fee based on the number of technicians.

ServiceDesk Plus

Smart Answer:
Web-based customer service software that includes a customizable contact form, ticket tracking, a bulletin board-style setup, and e-mail notifications. Smart Answer is available for a monthly fee per operator, and it’s the paid version of Trouble Ticket Express.

Smart Answer

Trouble Ticket Express
An open source, CGI-based trouble ticket system that includes correspondence tracking, e-mail alerts, customizable layout, ticket monitoring, and data export for reporting.

Trouble Ticket Express

versaSRS HelpDesk:
A web-based help desk solution that includes e-mail support, customization, a searchable knowledge base, reporting, contact management and e-mail templates. It’s available as several editions with varying licensing options.


WonderDesk: Web-based customer support that allows you to track and manage customer e-mails, supports multiple languages, and provides archiving and history tracking. There are two package options, both with a one-time licensing fee.


Zendesk: A web-based customer support help desk system that provides e-mail management, a customizable customer portal, and integration with other customer management systems. Zendesk has three plans with a per agent per month fee.


Do you use a help desk system to enhance interaction with your clients? What app do you recommend?

  • Teresa

    You forgot the best one! The help desk software by Web Help Desk.

  • Zendesk is really good…

  • JJPellerin

    You should take a look at PhaseWare. http://www.phaseware.com

    disclaimer: I work for the company BUT I really wish I had PhaseWare’s solution when I was on support desk.

  • Greg

    Check out Beetil.com too if you’re after a service desk/help desk tool. It’s got a big focus on ease of use and simplicity while providing enough capabilities to do the job effectively.

  • Janice

    We also use help desk software by UserScape very successfully. Their hosting partner, Engine Hosting is also very good.

  • Eric

    We use c.Support from GWI Software. There are two editions (Incident Management and Service Desk) depending on if you need just basic ticketing software or more ITIL-related functionality. The features are very comprehensive and there is a lot of flexibility with being able to customize it (without needing a consultant) to meet our unique needs.

  • Antonis

    As I see, all helpdesk products you mentioned are commercial. For free ones, I would like to suggest Trellis Desk and PHP Coin (this also includes billing, order management etc.).

    Thank you
    Antonis @ 01-Global.NET

  • There’s reallyonly one Free Customer Support software solution and you can get it at PremiumResponse.com. You get the full ticket system for free (forever) but is you want to get the Live Chat, Surveys, Memberships & Advertsing distribution modules you will need to upgrade to the paid version.

    But the free version has all the options (and some cases more) than the competitors paid version.

  • Anonymous

    which the free one?

  • okoj

    which the free ones

  • Rod

    A good list here.

    We use this helpdesk software, HelpMaster Pro. It has a web interface, as well as a desktop client and a very smart email to job conversion manager.

  • Raghav

    +1 Helpdesk Pilot

    We initially used OS Ticket but needed a more mature system – we switched to helpdesk pilot.

  • Vikram

    Helpdesk Pilot is an easy to implement, easy to use, hassle free customer service/help desk management software. Highly recommend it!

  • Christian

    You should have a look at the, perhaps, least known help desk; Trellis Desk. It’s free, and really good.

  • eretz

    We use LivePerson Contact Center‘s ticketing feature for all our support and it saves us a huge amount of time. Contact Center is a step-up price-wise from their LivePerson Chat but we find it blows away both e-mail and web support desk solutions for very intensive support. Neither of these are “cheap” but certainly lead the market and have to be looked at in terms of worker time saved. It is a windows client (and more responsive) but it also has very advanced routing functionality, Live Chat, Knowledge Base, a Call-back/VoIP functionality (which can be used by remote workers via a softphone) and we program against its XML API in order to work with the ticket data.

  • Jeff Coll

    I used Kayako for some time and it was quite good.
    However, we then switched to SysAid (my Director used it in his previous work) which is a great help desk and asset management as well as other monitoring, project management and ITIL stuff.

    It was far more intuitive and easy than any other software we used.

  • Jonathan

    For the past several years we have used SysAid with excellent results. It is really affordable and cost-effecitve, and is also the best helpdesk product we’ve used. We worked with other and more expensive products like Numara with unfavorable results. SysAid is much more inuititive and easy to use. Implementation is really quick and easy, and we now have complete control all over our helpdesk activities and asset tracking. Their support team is also really responsive. It’s a product worth looking into and trying out…

  • JohnMilton

    You also forget iDesk from NiceCoder http://www.niceocder.com

  • Larry973

    We’ve used spiceworks within our organization and it works quite well.

  • I find it outstanding that DeskPRO hasn’t been mentioned! It’s an absolutely outstanding piece of kit and has a lot of BIG clients.

  • John Kidman

    I use CAFM Explorer by a Company called FMx its a Microsoft GOLD partnered product so the qiality and support is amazing. Also the functionality surpases anything we came across when we were looking a year ago

  • ria sparks

    Sage Software has recently launched a free online invoicng tool for freelancers and small businesses at http://www.billingboss.com. Billing Boss is focused of keeping invoicing simple – so simple that you can get set up and send your first invoice in just a couple minutes.

    Please note: With the goal of full disclosure, I work at Sage. Feel free to contact me if you have any feedback about Billing Boss.

  • Matt Kirman

    The company that I work at has just released a new web based help desk / knowledge base app at http://hydrogenapp.com. We originally created it because we felt that all the existing products were either too ugly, too expensive or too complicated. There’s even a free version!

  • appletsauce

    What about TRAC by Edgewall? It’s free.

  • Anonymous

    I have to give 2 Thumbs Down to Numera Track-It!

    I use it at work in a corporate network on the Help Desk. It has many bugs and is terribly slow. It’s often easier to just delete the stupid tickets rather than attempt to provide a resolution and close it. It is also very bloated, has way too many features for things you will never touch or use. It also hangs and crashes a lot.

  • Noodle’s Cronie

    Appletsauce, free products/open source products are so frustrating. They have their place (even linux!), but after trying several open sourceshare/free products I would only use them if I was the developer, or knew how to program (and had heaps of time and patience). I don’t. So…

    A big +1 to HelpMaster Pro. I was able to work part time because of the load it took! No kidding. I work 3 days a week now, and don’t need to stress about emails building up. I’ve set up heaps of “profiles” and “templates” that basically manage all the mundane stuff, sending follow up emails, adding return correspondance to the job history, and closing those pesky jobs where you never hear back from the client.

    One template I set up (and everyone else should too!)went something like:
    “When an email with [this error number] in the message body is received
    –> create a job in HelpMaster Pro
    –> assign it to the support queue/skillgroup
    –> set it’s status to “Resolution provided – Awaiting client response”
    –> email [this kb article with the resolution/workaround] and the job number, and a hyperlink to the web self-service interface to the client

    This all happens automatically, 24 hrs a day!!

    Then if they reply that it’s still an issue, we can investigate. If they don’t reply within 2 days, HelpMaster will automatically email them and ask for a response. Then if they STILL don’t reply, it will close the job.

    I can’t believe anybody would still use excel spreadsheets and outlook rules to manage their helpdesk. Our department is upgrading to v9.1 this afternoon. I guess the only downside for some is they are in Canberra, but that is a HUGE plus for Ausgov!

    Their website is http://www.helpmasterpro.com

  • how to improve service quality through web site ??? how to make it easy of use ????
    i need some suggests

  • Slesh

    Khalil, you should use a support portal on your company website where your customers can participate in discussions and also submit their problems as tickets. See if this will work for you http://www.freshdesk.com

  • How about Oxygen Help Desk at http://www.oxygenhelpdesk.co.uk.

  • +1 HelpMaster. http://www.helpmasterpro.com We can’t live without the email conversion to ticket. Good tech support too.

Get the latest in Entrepreneur, once a week, for free.