Help Desk Automation: The Ultimate Guide & Top 7 Tools

As per a report by Online Dasher, 77% of customers believe that the best service a company can provide is a quick response. 

If you’re dealing with slow support, errors, and inefficiencies, you need a solution to streamline support, cut down on repetitive tasks, and boost customer satisfaction. That’s where helpdesk automation comes in.

This article will explain the functioning of helpdesk automation tools, and their significance in a holistic customer experience (CX) and guide you in choosing the appropriate software for your operations.

What is Helpdesk Automation?

Helpdesk automation refers to a technological solution empowering customer support teams to minimize the need for human agent intervention and streamline operational workflows through automated service processes. 

These processes encompass tasks such as ticket routing, ticket escalation, and ticket resolutions. 

The goal is to reduce manual intervention, increase response times, and improve overall customer satisfaction by automating repetitive tasks within the help desk system.

What is the impact of limited automation on IT helpdesk performance?

Inefficiency and Inaccuracy

  • Manual Tasks and Data Entry: Repetitive tasks like ticket creation, routing, and updates consume valuable time and increase the risk of human error.
  • Information Silos: Scattered emails, phone calls, and notes across different platforms make it difficult to track issue history and find information.
  • Slow Response Times: Manually handling high volumes of tickets can lead to delayed responses, frustrating customers and impacting their productivity.

Lack of Visibility and Control

  • Limited Reporting and Analytics: Without automation, it’s difficult to measure key metrics like resolution times, first-call resolution rates, and agent performance.
  • Reactive Approach: Traditional help desks often operate reactively, scrambling to solve issues as they arise instead of proactively identifying and preventing problems.
  • Poor Visibility into Trends and Root Causes: Manually analyzing data makes it challenging to identify recurring issues, trends, and root causes, hindering proactive solutions.

Limited Productivity and Collaboration

  • Agent Burnout: Repetitive tasks and constant context switching can lead to agent fatigue and reduced productivity.
  • Lack of Knowledge Sharing: Siloed information and limited collaboration make it difficult for agents to share knowledge and learn from each other.
  • Inefficient Ticket Escalation: Manually escalating complex issues can be time-consuming and inefficient, delaying resolutions and increasing customer frustration.

Reduced Customer Satisfaction

  • Frustrating Wait Times: Slow response times and long resolution times can damage customer relationships and negatively impact brand reputation.
  • Lack of Self-Service Options: Traditional help desks often lack self-service portals and knowledge bases, forcing customers to wait for agent assistance.
  • Inconsistent Service Quality: The reliance on individual agent knowledge and skills can lead to inconsistent service quality and customer dissatisfaction.

Why is it essential to automate your customer support process?

Automating your customer support process is crucial for optimizing IT support operations. The use of an automated helpdesk system addresses various challenges by enhancing efficiency, visibility, and effectiveness.

Through task automation, response times are accelerated, and the workload on support agents is significantly eased.

This not only allows support teams to prioritize complex tasks but also contributes to overall productivity and job satisfaction.

The streamlined process leads to a reduction in workload for dispatchers, further enhancing the efficiency of the support system. In essence, automation becomes a key driver for a more effective and streamlined customer support environment.

What are the benefits of Helpdesk automation tools?

Several stakeholders stand to benefit from using an automated helpdesk automation tool:

For Customers

    • Faster Issue Resolution: Automated systems can handle and respond to customer queries more promptly, leading to quicker issue resolution.
    • Consistent Support: Customers receive consistent support, ensuring a uniform interaction experience.
    • Self-Service Options: Automation often includes self-service portals, allowing customers to find answers independently.

For Dispatchers and Support Agents

    • Efficiency: Repetitive tasks are automated, reducing the workload on agents and allowing them to focus on more complex issues.
    • Improved Productivity: Agents can use their time more efficiently, increasing productivity and job satisfaction.
    • Skill Utilization: Agents can concentrate on tasks requiring expertise, contributing to a more fulfilling work environment.

For Businesses

    • Operational Efficiency: Automation streamlines workflows, leading to increased operational efficiency and faster response times.
    • Cost Savings: Automated processes reduce the need for extensive manual intervention, resulting in cost savings.
    • Data-Driven Insights: Automation provides valuable data and analytics, offering insights into customer trends and support operations.

The key Features of Helpdesk automation tools

Here are the few key features that an automated helpdesk should offer

  1. Ticket Routing: Automation can categorize and route incoming support requests to the appropriate personnel or teams based on predefined criteria. This ensures that each issue is directed to the right individuals for prompt resolution.
  1. Canned Responses: Canned responses, are a simple and routine query that can be handled automatically with predefined responses. This helps provide quick acknowledgment and initial support while freeing human agents to focus on more complex issues.
  1. Escalation Management: Automation can assist in identifying critical issues and escalating them to higher-level support when necessary. This ensures that urgent matters receive prompt attention.
  1. Integration with Other Systems: Helpdesk automation often involves integration with other business systems, such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or ITSM (IT Service Management) platforms, to ensure seamless information flow and a unified support experience.
  1. Workflow Automation: This functionality allows organizations to automate ticket routing, escalation, onboarding, and addressing common customer inquiries. Consequently, this liberates agents to concentrate on more impactful and value-added tasks.
  2. Knowledge base: Establishing a dedicated knowledge base enables you to automate your customer service and minimize ticket volume. Customers can independently explore FAQs, find relevant solutions, and resolve issues conveniently.

A Comparison chart of the best helpdesk automation tools

Software

Price

Free trial

Key Features

Desk365

All features for just $10 /agent /month

21 days

Zendesk

Pricing scales from $55 to $115 /agent /month

14 days

HappyFox

Starts at $20 extending to $65/agent/month

14 days

Help Scout

Starts at $20 - $65 /agent /month

14 days

Hiver

Starts at $10 - $40 /user /month

14 days

Freshdesk

Starts at $15 - $65 /user /month

21 days

Zoho Desk

Starts at $20 /agent /month

15 days

Top 7 Helpdesk Expert Automation Tools​

Here is a list of helpdesk automation tools to try in 2024

1. Desk365

Desk365 delivers a robust cloud-based ticketing system, known for its user-friendly interface and seamless implementation. Packed with features like efficient ticket management, collaborative tools for teams, automation, and SLA capabilities, Desk365 empowers businesses to optimize their customer support operations, guaranteeing swift attention and resolution for every ticket.

The responsive mobile version of Desk365 enables support teams to stay connected and address customer inquiries from any location at any time. This feature ensures businesses can maintain exceptional customer support, even when team members are on the move.

Shared Inbox

One of the most useful features of ticketing software is its shared inbox. With Desk365, you can have a shared inbox which allows multiple team members to access and manage customer tickets from a unified centralized interface. It helps to ensure that no emails are missed or overlooked and that all customer inquiries are responded to promptly. Furthermore, Desk365 offers omnichannel support, which seamlessly consolidates customer conversations from various channels into the shared inbox.

Desk365 shared inbox

Ticket Creation and Assignment

Utilizing Desk365, you can effortlessly assign emails to designated individuals or teams, ensuring that customer inquiries are directed to the most suitable person. When a customer submits an inquiry through email, Desk365’s email ticketing system seamlessly transforms it into a ticket. The system captures vital details, including the customer’s contact information, issue description, and any relevant attachments. Subsequently, the ticket is assigned to a suitable support agent for resolution.

pulling all the details for a ticket

Ticket Categorization and Prioritization

Desk365 allows you to categorize tickets based on the nature of the enquiry or the product/service involved. This helps support teams to prioritize and allocate resources accordingly. By assigning different levels of priority, urgent issues can be addressed promptly, preventing any potential escalations. This helps to ensure that customer enquiries are handled in the most appropriate manner.

tickets list page in Desk365

Ticket Tracking and Escalation

Desk365 allows support agents to track the progress of each ticket from submission to resolution. This ensures transparency and accountability throughout the support process. In cases where a ticket requires escalation to a higher-level support agent or supervisor, our system provides an easy mechanism for such escalations.

creating a new SLA policy in Desk365

You can configure SLA rules to send reminders before the Response Time and Resolve Time are reached. Also, you can configure escalation rules that specify when and who to notify in case of SLA violations.

setting up reminders and escalation rules for SLA

Collaborating on Tickets

Collaboration is an important aspect of Desk365. It allows team members to work together on customer issues, discuss the issue using private notes and comments, and provide feedback. This helps to ensure that all team members are on the same page and that customer conversations are handled efficiently and effectively. This promotes knowledge sharing and enhances problem-solving capabilities.

collaborating on tickets using private notes

Automation Capabilities

Desk365’s automation feature allows teams to automate repetitive tasks such as assigning tickets, sending notifications, setting SLAs, and more. This helps to save time and increase efficiency, allowing team members to focus on more important tasks.

configuring automation rules during ticket creation

Reporting and Analytics

Desk365 provides valuable insights through reporting and analytics features. Using Desk365, teams can track key metrics such as response times, resolution times, and customer satisfaction. This helps to identify areas for improvement and ensure that customer enquiries are handled effectively. Managers can access data on ticket trends, response times, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction metrics. These insights enable businesses to identify areas for improvement, optimize support workflows, and make data-driven decisions.

agent performance report for the last 7 days

CSAT Surveys

Desk365’s CSAT surveys are a valuable feature that allows teams to gather feedback from customers and measure their satisfaction levels. This helps to identify areas for improvement and ensure that customer needs are being met. With Desk365, you can easily create and send CSAT surveys to customers and track their responses in real-time.

creating a new survey in Desk365

Email Templates

Desk365’s email templates are a useful feature that allows teams to create pre-written responses to common customer enquiries, saving time and increasing efficiency. With our canned responses feature, you can create and save templates for frequently asked questions, common issues, and more. This helps to ensure that responses are consistent and accurate, and that customers receive timely and helpful support.
Cheak out: 13 tips for writing customer service email effectively.

inserting a canned response into the ticket reply editor

Collision Detection

Desk365’s collision detection features notifies team members when multiple people are working on the same ticket. This helps to prevent duplication of effort and ensure that customer enquiries are handled efficiently. With our collision alert feature, team members can avoid stepping on each other’s toes and work collaboratively to resolve customer issues.

collision detection feature in Desk365

Pricing:

Lowest Paid Plan: $10/agent/month
Highest Paid Plan: $10/agent/month

Free trial available.

Learn more about Desk365

2. Zendesk

Zendesk email ticketing system

Zendesk, tailored for exceptional customer experience, streamlines customer service with automated email notifications upon receiving customer requests. AI-powered routing directs tickets to the appropriate agent based on criteria like priority, expertise, capacity, or availability.  

The agent workspace in Zendesk consolidates tickets into a unified view, highlighting critical conversations and surfacing relevant customer information automatically.   

The intelligent triage feature utilizes AI to predict customer language, sentiment, and intent, providing context for agents in the Zendesk Agent Workspace.  

Additionally, Zendesk offers advanced reporting and analytics tools for effective team management, featuring native reports and customizable dashboards.   

Features:  

  • Macros for tickets  
  • Email triggers  
  • Unified agent workspace  
  • Ticket routing/categorization/tagging  
  • Context panel intelligence  
  • API & integrations  
  • Unlimited email addresses  
  • Knowledge base  
 

Pricing:  

Lowest Paid Plan: $19/agent/month  
Highest Paid Plan: $99/agent/month

3. HappyFox

Helpdesk email ticketing sysytem

HappyFox  ensures omnichannel support, enabling agents to handle requests via phone, SMS, live chat, and email. It utilizes custom queues, tags, and fields to effectively route requests.  

Collaboration tools empower agents to share ticket information, expediting solutions. The Private Notes feature facilitates internal communication on customer tickets without the customer’s visibility.   

Alongside its email management system, HappyFox plans encompass help desk features such as SLA management, self-service tools, embeddable widgets, and a mobile app for help desk accessibility.  

Features:  

  • Omnichannel support  
  • Ticket assignment  
  • Ticket categorization  
  • Knowledge base  
  • Chatbot support  
  • Knowledge base software  
  • Automation tools  
  • Reports 

Pricing:  

Lowest Paid Plan: $29/agent/month  
Highest Paid Plan: $89/agent/month  

Learn more about HappyFox alternatives.

4. Help Scout

Helpscout email ticketing system

Help Scout , a widely used email-based ticketing system, simplifies the management of shared mailboxes for teams of all sizes. Boasting a user-friendly interface, it offers crucial features for streamlined team email management, including ticket routing, prioritization, automation, analytics, response templates, and tagging, among others.  

In addition to its robust ticketing system, Help Scout provides customers with built-in functionalities such as a knowledge base and live chat. Moreover, its seamless integrations facilitate easy collaboration with both new and existing customer channels and databases.   

Help Scout focuses on simplicity and collaboration, making it an excellent choice for small and medium-sized businesses. It offers a shared inbox that enables teams to collaborate on resolving customer inquiries effectively.  

  Features:  

  • Customizable Workflows  
  • Customer Feedback Mechanisms  
  • Team Collaboration Features  
  • Rule-based Automation  
  • Response Templates  
  • Robust Analytics  
  • Live Chat  
  • Knowledge Base  
  • Ticket Routing, Tagging, and Prioritization  

 

Pricing:  

Lowest Paid Plan: $20/agent/month  
Highest Paid Plan: $65/agent/month  

Learn more about Helpdesk alternatives.

5. Hiver

Hiver email ticketing system

Hiver‘s customer service ticketing system, streamlines communication across multiple channels. It enables agent assignment, email delegation, ticket tagging, and workflow automation, and provides a 360-degree view with live status updates. Automation of routine tasks is facilitated through manual configurations.  

The reporting and analytics software in Hiver tracks customer service metrics, offering customizable built-in reports tailored to business needs. Collision alerts prevent simultaneous work on the same ticket. If your Gmail-dependent team faces challenges with Google products at scale, consider Hiver for collaborative email management within Gmail.  

Features:  

  • SLAs (Service Level Agreements)  
  • 24/7 Chat and Email Support  
  • Shared Inboxes  
  • Unlimited Email Templates  
  • Shared Drafts  
  • Email Notes  
  • Easy-to-Analyze Reports
     

Pricing:  

Lowest Paid Plan: $15/agent/month  
Highest Paid Plan: $59/agent/month  

6. Freshdesk

Freshdesk email ticketing system

Freshdesk, the ticketing software by Freshworks, transforms customer queries into manageable tickets for efficient tracking, prioritization, and collaboration among agents. It incorporates knowledge base publishing, collaboration tools, email and social ticketing, and rule-based ticket routing.  

Expanding into FreshDesk’s Support Desk brings omnichannel functionality, including chatbot builders, social media messaging, advanced analytics, and SLA rules.   

Freshdesk’s customer email management software elevates customer service by consolidating issues into a unified inbox. Agents can effortlessly handle customer conversations, gather feedback, analyze trends, and more.  

Features:  

  • Proactive Collision Avoidance  
  • Help Desk Performance Analytics  
  • Email-based Ticket Routing  
  • Mobile Applications  
  • Connect with 500+ Apps  
     

Pricing:  

Lowest Paid Plan: $15/agent/month  
Highest Paid Plan: $79/agent/month  

Learn more about Freshdesk alternatives.

7. Zoho Desk

Zohodesk email ticketing system

Zoho Desk ticketing system facilitates seamless interaction between users and support teams via email, streamlining the process of ticket management within a shared inbox.   

This system empowers teams by providing tools to prioritize and promptly address customer inquiries. With features like progress tracking, Zoho Desk ensures efficient monitoring of ticket resolution.   

Moreover, the platform fosters conversations across diverse service channels, promoting a comprehensive and customer-centric support experience.   

Zoho Desk enhances operational efficiency with valuable tools like workflow builders, task automation, and the flexibility of customizable automatic ticket views.  

Features:  

  • Shared Inbox Management  
  • Ticket Prioritization  
  • Progress Tracking  
  • Multichannel Conversations  
  • Workflow Builders  
  • Task Automation  
  • Custom Automatic Ticket Views 

Pricing:  

Lowest Paid Plan: $20/agent/month  
Highest Paid Plan: $50/agent/month  

Learn more about Zohodesk alternative.

How to choose the right help desk automation solution for your business?

Selecting the right help desk automation solution is crucial for optimizing your support operations. Not every solution suits every team, so consider these tips and questions when choosing help desk software:

  1. Ease of Use:

    • Prioritize user-friendly solutions to ensure quick adoption by your support agents.
    • Complex products may hinder productivity, so choose a system that your team can easily navigate.
  2. Test the Software:

    • Take advantage of free trials to assess the software’s feel and capabilities.
    • Pay attention to the user interface, ensuring it meets your team’s needs and preferences.
  3. Time to Value and Implementation:

    • Select a solution that is easy to set up, allowing your organization to derive value quickly.
    • Consider the time it takes to implement and start benefiting from the automated help desk features.
  4. Customer Support and Best Practices:

    • Choose a solution with a dedicated customer success team and built-in best practices.
    • Look for vendors that offer robust support options, training opportunities, and accessible online resources.
  5. FAQs and Considerations:

    • Address common questions about help desk automation, such as how to automate a help desk and the impact of service desk automation.
    • Explore the areas of a service desk that can be automated and the suitability of automation tools for service desks.

If you’re seeking a comprehensive help desk automation solution, consider Desk365. It offers an all-in-one cloud solution with powerful automation features, an omnichannel agent workspace, robust reporting, and numerous apps and integrations.

Desk365  is designed to streamline operations and enhance support for both customers and employees. Take advantage of a 21-day free trial to experience its capabilities.

Table of Contents

Choose the right helpdesk for your business

Trusted by the best

Request A Demo

Let's Show You How Desk365 Can Help You.