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6 Best Ticketing Systems of 2022

Ticketing systems make it easy to help your customers. Find the best system.

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A ticketing system makes it easy for customers to get answers via email, phone, live chat on your website, or even a self-service knowledge base. More importantly, help desk software streamlines customer service by automatically creating support tickets, offering pre-written answers to common questions, and making sure requests go to the customer service agents who can best respond to them.

Customer service can make or break a business. Customers who have to wait for days or go back and forth with emails and calls to get a question answered won’t hesitate to leave a bad review or trash a company on social media.

We researched the best ticketing systems based on small business pricing, ease of use, automated ticket creating and sorting, and integration with third-party marketing systems. From the large field of contenders we checked out, the following six stood out.

The 6 Best Ticketing Systems: Customer Support for Small Businesses

Best Overall : Freshdesk


Freshdesk

Freshdesk

Why We Chose It

Freshdesk tops our list of best ticketing systems because it can scale to support businesses of all sizes, it's easy to use, it's affordable, and it's enterprise-level automation make it perfect for small businesses.

What sets Freshdesk apart is its shared inbox that makes it easy for teams to sort, assign, and collaborate on tickets. The software automatically converts incoming email, calls, and even Twitter and Facebook support requests into tickets, and prioritizes and assigns them to the right agents.

Freshdesk also uses automation to help you eliminate repetitive tasks and focus on tickets that need more attention. You can send customers automatic email notifications based on their ticket status, perform multiple actions on a ticket with a single click, or set tickets to automatically move to the next stage based on time and event triggers. It even comes with agent collision detection to prevent more than one agent from working on the same ticket.

Freshdesk’s paid plans offer integrations with many platforms, including Google Apps, JIRA, live chat apps, Zoho CRM, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Dropbox, OneDrive, Mailchimp, SurveyMonkey, and many others through Zapier.       

All Freshdesk users also get 24/5 email support and paid users also get 24/5 chat support. You can cancel the service anytime with no fees or penalties. You can also try the service for free.

Plan Cost Features
Free Free Up to 10 agents; convert all email and social media inquiries into tickets and track, prioritize, and reply to them; categorize, prioritize, and route tickets to the proper agent; enable customers to leverage Freshdesk's knowledge base; analyze your ticket trends; choose the location of the data center you want your data to be stored securely
Growth $15/agent/month, billed annually; $18/agent/month, billed monthly  Everything in the Free plan plus automate follow-ups, escalations, and other tasks; know when an agent is responding to a ticket to avoid duplication; access to hundreds of apps to extend your help desk's capabilities; overviews of your help desk's performance; set resolution and response time frames; custom email servers; custom ticket views; ticket fields and status; custom Secure Sockets Layer; customer fields; time sheet summary report; time tracking
Pro $49/agent/month, billed annually; $59/agent/month, billed monthly Everything in the Growth plan plus assigning tickets to all available agents in a circular fashion; custom roles; custom reports and dashboard; customer segments; edit, restore, and manage versions of your knowledge base; manage support for up to 5 products from one Freshdesk account; up to 5,000 collaborators; and more
Enterprise $79/agent/month, billed annually; $95/agent/month, billed monthly Everything in the Pro plan plus skill-based routing; audit log; knowledge-based approval workflow; agent shifts; email bots; auto triage; article suggester; canned response suggester; multiple products; social signals; flexible hierarchy; custom objects; and more

Some users report that Freshdesk customer service simply offers canned responses to tickets. Others note that there are no notifications when tickets are entered, and tickets can sit for days without a response.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Shared inbox makes it easy for teams to sort, assign, and collaborate on tickets

  • Automation helps users eliminate repetitive tasks and focus on tickets that need more attention

Cons
  • Customers note that agents sometimes provide canned responses instead of resolving tickets

  • Users note that they are not notified when a ticket is entered for days

Runner-Up : Zendesk


Zendesk

Zendesk

Why We Chose It

Zendesk was created in 2007 as a customer service platform with a focus on customer relationship management (CRM). We chose it as our runner-up because of its robust standard qualities and added focus on marketing.

Like Freshdesk, Zendesk has a shared inbox that lets you gather customer inquiries from emails, live chat, voice, web widgets, and social apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. Its automation streamlines customer support, like canned responses, automatic triggers, customizable workflows, a customer portal, and an answer bot that can direct queries to relevant articles.

Where Zendesk differs, however, is its marketing-oriented help desk approach. Using integrations with popular CRMs like Salesforce, SugarCRM, and Zoho CRM, the platform lets you gather valuable customer data to drive new leads to your sales pipeline. When a support ticket turns into a question about a product, you can hand the conversation off to your sales team. You can even automatically trigger live chat modules to help close the sale when a customer is lingering on a product or checkout page.

Zendesk gives you robust analytics and reporting and upgrade options for Sales Suite, which creates even more sales opportunities from your help desk. It also offers an app marketplace that lets you integrate with software like Slack, Aircall, Qualtrics, Trello, Google Play Reviews, Harvest, and many others.   

Zendesk offers three paid plans suitable for small to medium businesses. A free trial is available and unlocks all of the features of Zendesk’s Professional plan. You can cancel your service anytime with no fees or penalties.

The following are Zendesk's plans, along with a selection of features available in each plan.

Plan Cost Features 
Suite Team $49/agent/month, billed annually Integrated ticketing across email, social media, and more; unified agent workspace; reporting and performance dashboards; apps and Integrations
Suite Growth $79/agent/month, billed annually All Suite Team plan features; self-service customer portal; customizable ticket layouts; multilingual support and content;SLA mangement
Suite Professional $99/agent/month, billed annually All Suite Growth plan features; conversation routing based on agent skill; customizable agent workspaces

For business owners who need assistance, there is online, phone, and email support. Additionally, there is a Zendesk Help Center and a user community.

Third-party customer reviews, however, do mention headaches with customer service, including getting their problems resolved in a timely fashion. Some users also report that the platform is not updated frequently enough, and there are often lags in the system.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Marketing-oriented help desk approach

  • Robust analytics and reporting

  • Shared inbox makes it easy for teams to sort, assign, and collaborate on tickets

Cons
  • Infrequent platform updates lead to lags

  • Users report problems reaching customer service for answers

Best Value : Kayako


Kayako

Kayako

Why We Chose It

Kayako boasts a roster of Fortune 100 companies and 131,000 customers worldwide. We chose it as the best value since its only paid plan is a fraction of the price of its competitors and includes some essential features, like multichannel ticketing and communication.

Kayako focuses on ease-of-use and creating a personal conversation with customers through a clean and minimal dashboard it calls its SimpleView, a shared inbox. As with other modern ticketing systems, customers can send inquiries via email, live chat, social, or a self-service portal.

What differentiates Kayako from its competitors, however, is the ability to create multiple (what it calls multi-brand) help centers with unique content, live chat, automated conversation routing, and workflow automation. You can easily visualize your customer’s journey, measure your agents’ performance, and gather insights with at-a-glance dashboards and custom reports.

Finally, Kayako offers more than 600 integrations through Zapier, including Salesforce, Slack, Mailchimp, and many more.

The company offers only one paid plan, but its monthly fee is less than competitors' plans that offer the same or similar services.

Plan Cost Features
Paid plan $60/agent/month with a 5 agent minimum Advanced workflow customization; internal help center and knowledge base; custom forms for help center; customer access to every ticket from their organization; custom security policies; custom roles and permissions; integrations through Zapier including Salesforce, Slack, Mailchimp, and more than 600 others; custom performance reports; help center advanced layout and design options

Where Kayako struggles is customer service. Third-party customer reviews note a lack of responsiveness to support requests, rude customer service representatives, and very slow loading speeds on the platform.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Ability to create personal conversations with customers

  • One pricing plan that offers a multitude of features at a fraction of the price of competitors

  • More than 600 integrations through Zapier

Cons
  • Poor customer service

  • Long loading times on the platform

Best Price : Zoho Desk


Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk

Why We Chose It

Zoho Desk made our list as the ticketing system with the best price since it offers all the features you need in a ticketing system at affordable plan rates.

Like many of its competitors, Zoho Desk offers multichannel support, allowing customers to contact agents via email, live chat, a web form, or through Facebook and Twitter. It has telephony support including call routing, and automated ticket creation from phone calls.         

Zoho Desk uses a clear and intuitive dashboard that gives agents an overview of tickets, as well as a separate dashboard for managers to track and analyze agent performance. You can customize and view reports and respond to tickets through an easy-to-use mobile app.

Zoho Desk features robust automation seen in similar help desk platforms that automatically assign tickets to the right agents, send alerts of changes in ticket status, escalate SLA violations, and allow you to create custom workflows.

Zoho Desk supports dozens of integrations, including G Suite, Slack, Salesforce, popular email and project management platforms, and telephony solutions including RingCentral. You can connect Zoho Desk seamlessly to the company’s other native platforms, including Zoho CRM, SalesIQ, BugTracker, Analytics, Invoice, Survey, and more. 

Plan Cost Features
Free Free (3 agent limit) Email ticketing; customer management; help center; private knowledge base; predefined SLAs; macros; multi-language help desk; mobile apps; 24/5 email support
Standard $14/agent/month, billed annually All Free plan features; social and community channels; product-based ticket management; help center themes gallery; public knowledge base; SLAs and escalations; workflow, assignment, and supervise rules; customer happiness ratings; reports and dashboards; work modes for tickets; marketplace extensions and integrations; ASAP - embeddable self-service; 24/5 phone support; $6/light agent/month add-on
Professional $23/agent/month, billed annually All Standard plan features; multi-department ticketing; team management; telephony; automatic time tracking; multilingual knowledge base; Blueprint - basic process management; round robin ticket assignment; agent collision; tasks, events, and call activities; ticket templates; private marketplace extensions; SLA dashboards; ticket sharing; mobile SDKs; 24/5 chat support; $6/light agent/month add-on
Enterprise $40/agent/month, billed annually All Professional plan features; live chat; Zia - artificial intelligence; help center customization; multi-brand help center; KB auto-translation; advanced process management; custom functions; multi-level IVR; global reports and dashboards; scheduled reports; contract management; validation rules; layout rules; field watching; multiple business hours and holidays; role-based data sharing; 50 light agents; 24/5 chat support; $6/light agent/month add-on

Although Zoho Desk has a fairly high customer satisfaction rating, some users report difficulties in integrating into their domains.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Affordable plan rates

  • Clear, intuitive dashboard

  • High customer satisfaction rating

Cons
  • Customers report difficulties integrating Zoho Desk into their own domains

Best for Email Support : JitBit


JitBit

JitBit

Why We Chose It

JitBit is a simple ticketing system built primarily on providing support from customer emails. We chose it as the best for email support because it’s a simple help desk focused on email ticketing without all the bells and whistles. JitBit replaces pricing per agent with monthly pricing based on the total number of agents you have.

You can start processing tickets in less than 30 seconds, and it is much less complicated than many of the other platforms we reviewed. That’s not to say that it’s more limited, however. Even though the software has a strong focus on email, you can also offer support via live chat and a web portal.

After connecting the platform to your email server, you can establish triggers that will send automatic replies, assign technicians to tickets, and set ticket due dates. A simple grid view shows the status of new and ongoing tickets, and you can filter and sort customer tickets.

Additional features include standard agent collision detection, customizable reports, suggesting articles from the knowledge base to agents so they can insert it into their reply, and importing and exporting data with other software. JitBit integrates directly with Slack, Jira, and GitHub and with hundreds of other platforms through Zapier.

JitBit offers four different plans designed to suit organizations ranging from one to nine agents.

All of JitBit’s plans come with a 10-day money back guarantee, 24/7 support, and the option to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel anytime. Here's a breakdown of JitBit's plans and features.

Plan Cost Features
Freelancer $29/month One agent supported, all core features, Android and iOS apps, your own domain
Startup $69/month Up to four agents supported, all Freelancer plan features
Company $129/month Up to seven agents supported, all Startup plan features, downloadable backups
Enterprise $249/month Up to nine agents supported, add an agent for $29, all Company plan features, hide JitBit watermark, expedited support, HIPAA compliance, BAA

And although JitBit customer reviews are mostly positive, some users indicate that the system is difficult to integrate forms and social media into the platform.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Simple help desk focused on email

  • Grid view helps you track new and ongoing tickets

Cons
  • Difficult to integrate social media and forms into the platform

Best For Ease of Use : HappyFox


HappyFox

HappyFox

Why We Chose It

HappyFox is a relative newcomer on the help desk scene. We chose it as the best for ease of use because it balances a full suite of ticketing features with an intuitive interface that can be customized to any type of view or workflow.

HappyFox’s dashboard makes it easy for teams to manage ticket requests across multiple channels, including Twitter and Facebook. While you can communicate with users by phone, HappyFox also provides communication through live chat, email, and social network ticketing.

HappyFox uses a round robin algorithm to identify which agents are available and can be fine-tuned to weigh agent limits and consider particular agents over others. Tickets can be automatically escalated to higher management if it’s nearing your SLA limits.

The self-service portal connected to your knowledge base so customers can find answers to popular questions without creating a ticket. This helps cut down on calls and also shows you which articles are the most helpful to your customers.

HappyFox’s powerful report engine makes it easy to create custom reports to monitor the performance of your agents. Customer data collected can be easily shared with other departments via the platform’s many CRM, marketing, and project management integrations.

HappyFox offers two plans suitable for small to medium businesses with two others geared toward enterprise-level businesses. Although the company doesn’t offer a free trial, you can schedule a one-on-one demo to tour the product based on your needs.

HappyFox also offers plans that are determined by the number of tickets and custom fields rather than the number of agents. These plans range from $1,499 to $4,999.

A self-service help desk for users allows you to support tickets there. Your access to personalized support grows with the plan you select.

Plan Cost Features
Mighty $29/agent/month Omnichannel ticket creation, SLA management, knowledge base, single sign-on from GSuite/SAML/Azure, SSL certificate hosting, migration assistance
Fantastic $49/agent/month All Mighty plan features, satisfaction surveys, custom ticket queues, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics integrations, multi-brand support center, multilingual knowledge base, round robin ticket assignment
Enterprise $69/agent/month All Fantastic plan features, task management, Uptime SLA, proactive agent collision, contact group specific knowledge base, contact group custom fields, advanced reporting
Enterprise Plus $89/agent/month All Enterprise plan features, agent scripting, 2TB attachment storage, advanced audit logs, 24/7 email/chat/phone support, customer success manager
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Intuitive interface

  • Self-service portal connects customers to answers without having to enter a ticket

Cons
  • No free trial

  • Lag in email notifications, resulting in a delay in response times

HappyFox gets fairly good customer reviews, but some users note a lag in receiving email notifications from the platform, resulting in delays in response to tickets.

Final Verdict

Small businesses rely on ticketing systems to get their customers the support and help they need quickly and efficiently. The right ticketing system can take the stress out of how your company will respond to customer support tickets.

Our top pick is Freshdesk because it is reasonably priced and has a shared inbox that makes it easy for tickets to be assigned to the proper agents in a timely fashion. But every business is different. Check out our list and see how each provider could potentially meet your business's needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Ticketing Systems?

A ticketing system (or help desk) is software that helps your business efficiently receive, manage, and resolve customer support issues. The best platforms feature powerful automations that can tag and route tickets to the right customer service agents to streamline and improve response times.

All good ticketing systems support multiple channels of communication, allowing customers to place requests via email, phone, live chat widgets, or even social media messaging apps. Offering these communication options to your customers and streamlining the routing of their requests can help you resolve issues faster and create happy customers.

Who Needs a Ticketing System?

A ticketing system can be invaluable to your business if you offer multiple products and services and are currently trying to field customer issues with emails and phone calls.

At a minimum, you’ll want a ticketing system that’s easy to use for your agents, has automatic ticket creation and sorting, and can prevent two agents from working on the same request. You’ll also want the option to create a self-service portal so customers can answer their own questions by tapping into an existing knowledge base or articles published on your site.

How to Choose a Ticketing System for Your Business

Choosing a ticketing system for your business depends on your specific needs. For example, if agents find themselves answering the same questions over and over again, a ticketing system that can automatically respond with answers to common questions is helpful. If there are agents who are versed in different products or aspects of products, being able to customize which tickets go to which agents can help improve customer service. Finally, for companies using SLAs, a ticketing system that automatically escalates tickets if they’re at risk of breaking the agreement is a necessary feature.

A ticketing system with a wide range of software integrations can help you generate leads by importing customer data and insights into your CRM software. Finally, more sophisticated ticketing systems can detect when customers are lingering on a product or checkout page, giving you a chance to connect with them and close the sale.

What Are the Expected Costs of Ticketing Systems?

Most ticketing software solutions offer monthly pricing for each agent using the system. Pricing is often pay-as-you-go, so you can cancel anytime, but it’s often cheaper if you pay for an entire year upfront.

Ticketing systems typically offer two to three plans suitable for small and medium businesses, plus an additional one to two enterprise plans for larger companies. Pricing for the most basic plans is usually under $30 and includes features like automatic ticket creation from emails and possibly other channels, a dashboard or unified inbox, team collaboration, basic automation rules, and a customer knowledge base. Some ticketing systems offer a free plan with very basic features, including creating tickets from emails, a team dashboard, and basic automations.

Mid-level plans typically cost about $30 to $50 and support more custom rules and automations, expanded software integrations, detailed reports and analytics, customer surveys, and custom workflows. Enterprise plans cost even more and can run into the hundreds of dollars. Of course, they come with the most advanced features and best support.

How We Chose the Best Ticketing Systems

During our process for choosing the best ticketing systems, we looked for software that was cloud-based to avoid system conflicts, had an easy-to-use interface, robust automation rules, supported multiple communication channels (especially live chats), and also made it easy for customers to find their own answers via a knowledge base.

Additional considerations were platforms that had detailed reporting and analytics and integrations with a wide variety of third-party software to support lead generation and marketing. Finally, we looked for software with plans priced for small and medium businesses and with free trials to let businesses test-drive these products.

Customer Service

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