5 Best SaaS Help Desk apps of 2019
Check out some of the best cloud-hosted help desk systems for your customer service team
What is "SaaS"?
Software-as-a-Service is on the rise, Gartner predicts SaaS sales to grow 25% every year and that's for a reason - SaaS means you don't have to install and manage the software yourself.
Over the past years SaaS usage has increased greatly, penetrating software niches like CRM, project management, email marketing, even IT security (with the rise of CDN providers like CloudFlare and Fastly) and, of course, customer support.
Other than the obvious "managed by someone else" perk, here are some additional benefits of SaaS:
Scalable - a cloud-hosted service will scale along with your growing customer base and the increasing volume of incoming support requests. No hardware to upgrade, no network to speed up - this is all done for you. Additionally, when your team grows and you need more agent "seats" in the hosted helpdesk, you can simply switch to a bigger pricing plan.
Compliance - many companies still prefer keeping data in their own basement. Sometimes it's due to some outdated policies (AKA paranoia), while other times companies believe their basement is actually more secure that Azure or AWS data center. Now, with the new GDPR, HIPAA and similar regulation initiatives the "paranoia" objection has finally been addressed. Most SaaS providers will encrypt your data - your support tickets and file attachments - encrypted and most SaaS providers can even offer you to sign additional agreements, that prohibits them looking at your data without your consent.
Secure - managing a secure server is challenging. Updating software, addressing vulnerabilities, encrypting storage, backing up the data and keeping a secure network requires a lot of skill, training or sometimes even hiring a professional to do that for you. Not to mention actually paying for the servers and the software licenses. Which brings us to...
Cost effective - with SaaS you don't have to invest in your own infrastructure and the subscription cost is usually lower than other license models. Let's not forget the hidden costs of managing your own servers: additional staff, hardware costs, operating system licenses, database engines, logging and monitoring, email integration etc.
Easy to begin - since a SaaS helpdesk does not require any installation and configuration, you can be up and running within minutes after signing up.
Now let's explore some of the options
Zendesk is the most popular customer service solution out there. It has all the features you can possibly want, but they often come at an additional cost. It's a good app overall, but the price goes up exponentially as your team grows.
Jitbit's Helpdesk comes in two versions - SaaS or On-premise. You can host it on your own servers if you want, or use their hosted platform. Stacked with features and moderately priced for teams of all sizes.
Helpscout is a more minimalistic help desk app. It does not have all the bells and whistles, but it has all the essentials. Helpscout aims to make your customer support interactions more human and helpful. If that's something you want to check them out.
Groove is pretty similar to Helpscout design-wise. Most of Groove's features are split into separate products - Shared inbox, Knowledge base, Reports and Integrations. You will have to pay for them separately as well. It's great for small teams that don't need much, but bigger companies might want to look somewhere else.
Freshdesk, like Zendesk, is another huge app that tries offer everything for everyone. Tons of features and pricing options. It's a good solution despite having a learning curve. Freshdesk is one of the most popular apps in the industry. Make sure to check them out when picking a ticketing app for your company.
HappyFox is an all-in-one solution for customer support, IT operations, HR & marketing, etc. It comes with a lot of features and integrations. Priced similarly to the other big apps - around $50 per agent.
LiveAgent allows you to get support from everywhere - email, live chat, phone, web portal or even from Twitter and Facebook. Built-in VoIP features are great for those who need them. Priced very reasonably.
JIRA Service Desk
The main selling point of JIRA Service Desk is the ability to tightly integrate with JIRA itself. It's a good choice if you sell software products and already use JIRA. Also comes with a lot of "enterprisey" features like SLAs, CSAT reports, etc.
As you may have guessed, LiveChat is a live chat, not a help desk app. A lot of other help desk apps come bundled with live chat features, but this is probably the best one. If you need real-time communication with your customers look no further.
Vision helpdesk is full of enterprise-level features: ITIL/ITSM, Change management, Asset management, etc. Just like Jitbit, they also offer an on-premise version in addition to the SaaS one. Pricing is pretty flexible.