A comparison of 3 online Help Desks

A comparison of three Help Desks

This year at IDRsolutions we had decided that we wanted to improve our sales operation and the way in which we communicate and provide support to our customers.

So far we have moved our sales operation to be using Close.io and my colleague Bethan wrote a brilliant article on how close.io has helped us improve our sales and my colleague Rob has written a fantastic article on Atlassian’s bug tracking tool JIRA.

What is a Help Desk?

A Help Desk provides users with a centralised self-help location to quickly find the answer to their support related questions. This is not to be confused with a Service Desk which is used for customers and a support team to communicate about specific problems.

What is the purpose of a Help Desk compared to a support forum?

They both have slightly different purposes. A support forum is more of a place for people to be able to ask questions and get responses from people within the community. A support forum can sometimes lack structure and have lots of duplicate questions if it isn’t monitored correctly. A help desk allows the support team who deal with customer’s questions on a daily basis create specific documentation to questions which are frequently asked. Therefore a help desk has a better controlled structure.

Three helpdesks we looked into at IDRsolutions

Zendesk – Guide

Zendesk Guide is one of the leading help desk solutions which is trusted by over 40,000 organizations worldwide. It helps to raise productivity, lower costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

Features:

  • Simple and easy to use
    Guide has a simple and easy to use UI for both the user and the customer – It provides a simple rich text editor
    for the agents to be able to create new documentation. It is very much a drag and drop system (meaning there are no
    excuse for not using it).
  • Works straight out of the box
    You don’t need to have purchased the family of products to get Zendesk guide to work.
  • Self-service
    Guide allows your customers to help themselves to your knowledge base.
  • Multibrand
    You are able to create multiple help centers or knowledge bases to reach different audiences, regions or brands.
  • SEO ready
    Guide is optimized so search engines can understand your content and customers can find answers no matter where
    they look for them.

Integration:

Guide integrates brilliantly with its own Zendesk family of products, it also has its own app store where you can install various apps such as:

  • JIRA
  • close.io
  • Mailchimp

Pricing:

There are two price points for Zendesk guide (you can find out more here):

  • Free
    There is a free lite version which can use, this allows you to run basic reports, have a basic request form, and
    knowledge base.
  • Per Agent Fee (£15.00)
    The paid version gives you a lot more control over your helpdesks appearance. It also gives you more features
    such as being able to have your help desk as multi lingual and community forums.

HeroThemes – Knowall WordPress theme

Knowall theme is a paid theme which you can purchase and install on your WordPress instillation. They have a live demo of the theme on their site.You can take a look here.

Features

  • Plugin capability
    Being a WordPress theme it has the capability to support plugins such as Yoast SEO, Gravity forms and Contact Form 7.
  • Works out of the box
    Once you’ve purchased the theme you can go straight ahead and install it onto your WordPress theme.
  • Self service
    This like most of the other help desks available it allows your customers to help themselves to your knowledge base
  • Reporting analytics
    As this is a one off fee it includes analytic reports such as who is discovering which pages and helps to find out what you are missing documentation on.

Integration

Apart from being able to integrate with other WordPress plugins this is a stand alone solution which doesn’t integrate well with other tools such as your bug tracking software or your service desks.  However, the WordPress platform is very open to users being able to create their own plugins.

Pricing

The knowall theme is a one off fee of $149. However, they do offer a 30 day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with the product.

Atlassian – JIRA Service Desk

JIRA service desk is a hosted service desk platform which was developed by Atlassian. The system is a very popular help desk solution and it is widely used by many popular open source projects. This help desk varies slightly from other help desks as it is a service desk and help desk combined.

This product is aimed towards companies who are looking for a way to communicate internally and provide an all-rounded solution which integrates well with JIRA as a bug tracking tool.

What’s the difference between JIRA software and JIRA Service desk?

JIRA Software is a purpose built experience specifically for software
teams
. JIRA Software combines powerful developer tool integrations with the most important elements of agile development.

JIRA Service Desk is purpose built for your IT and service
teams
, providing them with everything they need out of the box for incident, change and problem management.

Pricing

$10 per month for 3 agents or $20 per month for 4+ agents. Plus a licence for JIRA confluence.

Are you using a Help Desk? Which one did you go for?

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Sophia is a part of the Marketing and Development team at IDRSolutions, She is currently working along side the team on the development of JPedal and JPDf2HTML5. She also spends her time completing marketing activities and enjoys writing blog articles.
Sophia

About Sophia Matarazzo

Sophia is a part of the Marketing and Development team at IDRSolutions, She is currently working along side the team on the development of JPedal and JPDf2HTML5. She also spends her time completing marketing activities and enjoys writing blog articles.

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