7 best opensource helpdesk software tools
A help desk is always in a need of help. If the helpdesk is not good and up to the mark you will suffer from misplaced tickets, SLA’s is getting violated and a lot of frustrated customers. These problems can also lead to the customers leaving you. The problem is that you might have to shell out a lot of money and sometimes it can be as high as $100 to $200 a month on software. This is a common problem faced by many. Our constant try is to ensure that we solve all the problems that our readers are facing this is exactly why we have decided to write this article on desk top software tools that are absolutely free. These are options that you must give a try and you will never be disappointed.
Some also feel that there is too much of information on the start screen and the configuration option which makes it difficult to understand.
Overview about UserVoice
UserVoice is a good suggestion for the shops that are getting a lot of user suggestions for the product improvement and need a solution that will help them to improve the ranking and organize the helpdesk. The UserVoice can also help a lot in processing the suggestions. It will give you the ability to eliminate many versions of the same suggestions and save you time. If you have many variation of the same suggestion with different words and spellings you will really find this very helpful.
However, you must keep in mind that there is a little possibility that one-agent shop will get many product improvement suggestions. If you actually want many suggestions then you will have to hire more agents and pay for the full product.
- The chat requires SnapEngage.
- The community feature of UserVoice does not seem like a community at all. Many users feel that the forum is weak.
It also helps the customer support representatives to understand where they can improve.
We will now mention some of the cons of UserVoice so that the users can take a better decision:
- Suggests searches as the user types.
- It easily integrates with Facebook.
UserVoice – This is the first option that we will be discussing. It is ranked third on Capterra’s rankings of the top 20 customer service software providers. This ranking is completely based on the total number of customers, users and also social media presence. The free option is limited only for one agent and has limited functionality. However, all the features that we have listed below apply to this free version.
Stand out features of UserVoice are as follows:
Freshdesk – The second option that we will be going to discuss is the Feshdesk. This is ranked fourth in Capterra’s rankings of the top 20 customer service software providers. The free option of Freshdesk is for three agents. However, the functionalities will be limited.
Stand out features of Freshdesk are mentioned here:
- Easily prioritize some of the customers based on the SLA policies.
- It will easily convert emails and tickets into knowledgebase articles.
- It has the ability to use 16 different languages.
- It can be accessed via mobile friendly site.
The demand for Freshdesk’s solution for temporary increased demand is solid. You can easily add extra agents for a day or so if you have a lot of backlogs to deal with. You can do this by spending as low as $1 to $3. This can be done without changing your plan and that is the best part. There is also a possibility to purchase these in advance and use them as and when needed. Many users find the customer service of Freshdesk just amazing.
We will also talk about some of the cons of using Freshdesk now so that the readers can compare it with the other options that are available:
- Some people are of the opinion that when you compare Freshdesk with others you will feel that it is a little slow.
- Freshdesk can easily gamify the customer service. It also provides good rewards for excellent services in order to improve the employee morale and engagement. This is a great point but gamification is not available for the free version of Freshdesk.
Overview on Freshdesk
It is a good idea that gamification is made available only to the larger shops. There has to be competition between the agents for gamification to seriously work. If you do not have more than three agents the other features of Freshdesk will continue to work. If you are just having one agent even if you grow to three agents the Freshdesk will remain free and that is indeed a very good idea.
- Spiceworks – The last in the list that we will be discussing is Spiceworks. The free version of Spiceworks is well managed and backed up. The free version is also self-hosted. The self-hosting is a premium service that actually comes with support and backups for the product. Spiceworks is easy to download and use. Within seconds of downloading it you can actually start to work with it.
Stand out features of Spiceworks are as follows:
LDAP/Active directory synchronization is available.
It is free no matter how many agents you have working for you.
It allows mobile integration.
It provides multi-site support.
It is fast and easy to install
It provides server monitoring services.
Some Cons of Spiceworks are mentioned below:
If your network is large the performance of Spiceworks can become slow.
It might be a challenge to install Spiceworks on VMWare, Unix and Linux.
Overview of Spiceworks
The free version of Spiceworks is self-hosted. Some people might not want it and they would want the backups and management to be handled somewhere else. If you want that then Spiceworks is not the option that you should choose.
Apart from the names that we have mentioned above there are other free tools that you can use and these are Zoho, Sysaid and ManageEngine. The free service that they offer is very good and definitely worth it.
The fact is the free versions of helpdesk software are usually limited in users and functionality. The opensource software is usually fully functional for users of different kinds. These are also extremely customizable. It depends on the team how they are configuring and installing the software. Most of the OpenSource helpdesk software companies also offer a preconfigured version that is very useful for installation. We will discuss some of these options now in this article.
- osTicket – With the help of osTicket you will be able to associate your SLAs with the help topics, tickets, departments or filters. Not only this, you can also set up overdue alerts so that you do not miss on any due dates. The customer portal of osTicket contains all the requests and answers that you can access later.
Stand out features of osTicket are mentioned below:
- They have unlimited SLA agreements.
- They will also have space in ticket for notes of all actions.
- With the help of osTicket you can add videos, images and logos to the tickets.
Some cons of osTicket are as follows:
The only con of osTicket that we can think of is that although the community support is quite strong sometimes the larger issues take a long time to get resolved.
Overview of osTicket
OsTicket does have many interesting features that makes it a full-fledged help desk software tool and includes a ticket filter tool too that can filter incoming tickets in phone calls, emails and web forms to the right agents. It also has an auto-responder that will help you to set work-flows as per the ticket type. There is a possibility to ensure automatic canned responses and the system also offers dashboard reports.
OTRS Free – The OTRS Free can offer email notification when the tickets are created and changed. The tickets can be sorted by status like pending, in-process, escalated, watched, open, such as new, escalation time, by priority, SLA service and many more such options. The system will report as per the number of tickets and the processing time.
Stand out features of OTRS Free are:
- It is available in 34 different languages.
- It can also offer out of office features and visualization of the agents that are away.
- It has an option of search auto-suggest.
- There is a ticket lock feature to ensure that two agents cannot work on the same ticket at the same time.
Cons of OTRS Free are mentioned below:
The only con of OTRS Free that we can think of is that it has an admin manual that is more than 300 pages long.
Overview of OTRS Free
We will now give a slight overview of OTRS Free. The most useful benefit of OTRS Free is the fact that it can easily automate any number of requests. This ensures that the errors are reduced and the efficiency of the agents is increased. They call this a process management module. You can have standardized process on billing; ordering and decision dialogues guide the service agent and the consumer with the help of this. The best part is that the free configurable workflow makes the tickets almost automatic.
- Mantis Bug Tracker – This is the most commonly used tool to detect defects in software. Mantis Bug Tracker is a very powerful tool as it is easy to configure. It allows the agents to decide which email notification they actually want. This can be done by setting filters to define the minimum severity of the issues and to get the notifications. Different level of access can be given to different users and the changes to the tickets can be recorded in the audit trails.
Stand out features of Mantis Bug Tracker are mentioned below:
- It helps to set user access by project and role
- It enables revision control of text fields and notes.
- It can show graph relationships between issues.
- You can track issues that can be resolved by RSS feeds.
Cons of Mantis Bug Tracker are as follows:
The only con of Mantis Bug Tracker is that the configuration requires manual editing of php files which can be a difficult task for non-developers.
Overview of Mantis Bug Tracker
The best part of Mantis Bug Tracker is its plugin system. They have over 50 plugins. These plugins can help to do a lot of things tweet a notification when a problem is solved. It can also send SMS messages and update status in the external project management system. It is easy to install and use.
- Bugzilla – The Bugzilla is the last option that we will be discussing on this article. It is much simpler when it comes to functionalities compares to the others that we have discussed so far. It is clean and easy to use as a result many people prefer it. Bugzilla has some advanced features that can remember the search that you were doing. It also has some editable user profiles. The email preferences and bug permissions are comprehensive.
Stand out features of Bugzilla are here:
- It remembers the queries.
- It allows advanced search
Cons of Bugzilla are mentioned here:
- The configuration can be a little complicated especially if you are not a Linux or UNIX administrator.
- The system cannot be customized.
- The Bugzilla is very difficult to install on Ubuntu servers.
Overview of Bugzilla
If you need something simple and easy then Bugzilla should definitely be your first preference.
Most people feel that a better system means spending a lot of money. This might not be true all the time this is what we have tried to explain in this article. We hope that you will find this article a great help and it will help you to improve your systems. You can also use the Capterra’s helpdesk software directory to compare the options. Analyze all the options well and then take a well informed decision.