A Comparison of Cloud-Based Help Desk Software Programs

Consumers want responsive and high-quality help when they run into problems. They don't want to be on hold for hours, reach answering machines, search for non-existent self-service options or wait days for someone to respond to their request for help. An engaging and enjoyable customer experience significantly benefits a company's retention rates, with Internet Retailer reporting an 89 percent customer retention rate for businesses providing a robust omnichannel customer experience. LogMeIn found 76 percent of consumers defect to a competitor if they have a bad experience with a brand.

Cloud-based help desk software programs bring several benefits to your organization. They offer a fast and streamlined deployment, as the vendors maintain the hardware and software directly. Your costs may decrease, as you no longer require on-site application servers and the associated overhead expenses that come with them. You gain remote access to your help desk, which makes it easier to manage geographically dispersed teams. You have many choices for cloud-based help desk solutions, so explore these options during the procurement process.


Talkdesk started in 2011 when co-founder, Tiago Paiva, who worked at Procter and Gamble at the time, grew frustrated with the inefficiency of the company's contact center solution. The co-founders built the first version of the platform for a contest held by Twilio, which they won. Today, the company serves 2,000 clients, with per agent pricing plans designed for mid-sized and enterprise businesses. Talkdesk's primary purpose is to make it painless for organizations to set up an integrated digital call center. The system eliminates the data silos that can exist between customer service teams and your customer relationship management tools. Your customer support staff works out of a centralized panel containing all available information you have for a particular client. You eliminate redundant data entry and help customer service employees achieve faster resolutions. To make things even easier for you, Talkdesk offers one-click integration with 25 leading business solutions, including Slack, Zendesk, Shopify and Salesforce. You can also add Talkdesk features into Salesforce and other supported platforms via a CTI widget.


Zendesk started in 2007 in Copenhagen when three friends sought a more "zen" approach to customer service. Today, the company serves 75,000 customer accounts. This help desk solution focuses on a UI that consolidates requests from every support channel to improve overall response time. Zendesk helps you cut down your support cue and reduce customer frustration by creating a knowledge base filled with common solutions and information. You gain insight into your CX through built-in analytics. Thus, you can identify unaddressed customer needs, track your help desk staff performance and optimize problem areas. Additional features, such as third-party integration, position this platform as a compelling option for improving the entire customer experience. Zendesk offers multiple plans suitable for any size business.


Varun Shoor started work on Kayako in 2001 at 17 years old. He was frustrated at the poor quality of online support at the time and by 2003 launched the cloud-based version of this help desk solution. Simplicity is the primary focus for Kayako, with a minimal UI that makes it easy to focus on customer tickets. You have support for email, live chat and voice in this system, along with a self-service support center. Kayako has customer profiles that consolidate all interactions between the customer and your company, and it has 100 report types that give you valuable performance information. Kayako targets the small and medium size businesses, non-profit and open-source industries. The company also offers an on-premise software version.

Oracle Service Cloud

Oracle is a large-scale software solutions provider working with over 420,000 customers globally. Oracle Service Cloud is an enterprise-level cloud-based help desk solution providing a comprehensive feature set. You get every standard help desk option, such as full multichannel support, self-service knowledge base management and online support software. Oracle Service Cloud adds in additional tools for agent empowerment, analytics and customer engagement. Agent mobility and unified desktop allow help desk staff to answer tickets from any location. Third-party integration leverages your existing data and infrastructure to improve your CX. Social listening tools identify customers who would benefit from proactive support outreach. You also have access to policy automation and field service management tools. Oracle Service Cloud targets enterprises that are looking for a tool to help with their comprehensive CX improvement strategy.


Freshdesk's founders got fed up with poor customer service after a broken TV led to a lot of frustration. They launched the software in 2011, and now it serves 50,000 clients. The Freshdesk solution supports multiple channels, including mobile in-app, Facebook pages and a feedback widget. The self-service functionality integrates with your forums and offers a single sign-on option. Help desk agents stay engaged and productive through gamification and automation. Five different service plans open access to every size business. You can customize your access by adding more agents to your plan if you need to scale or using day passes that accommodate short-term spikes.


Desk.com, acquired by Salesforce in 2011, focuses on optimizing your help desk operations for speed. It accomplishes this through a case management panel that automates many fundamental processes, such as moving priority tickets to the top of your support queue, assigning cases to the agent most likely to get a fast resolution, and using macros for standard answers. Desk.com's multichannel support works with Twitter, Facebook, voice, email and live chat. Your support team has access to a fully functional mobile app for smartphones and tablets. You can make multiple self-service portals designed for different brands, products or services, so it's easier for customers to find relevant resources. The reporting features let you track agent and product performance. Desk.com primarily works with the small business market through three product tiers.


UserVoice's founder spent too much time hunting down customer feedback through forums, blogs, websites and other channels. He wanted an easy way to find out what was on potential customers' minds, so he created a product-management-focused solution in 2008. By 2011, the company expanded UserVoice to include help desk features so companies could assist consumers after their product purchases. This help desk solution focuses on delivering a customer-friendly support option designed to reduce your overall ticket volume. Mobile and Web-based support channels are available, but you need third-party products to add voice or social media into the mix. UserVoice offers a standard knowledge base but sets its self-service apart via the Instant Answers feature. When a customer reaches out for help, the system compares the message with available resources. It makes relevant suggestions to guide users to self-service options rather than sending a basic ticket. This cloud-based help desk is best suited for mid-size businesses.

Cloud-based help desk solutions come in many configurations and the right one for you really depends on your needs. Using this comparison can help you narrow down your vendor list and reduce the time it takes to make a final selection.

At TaskUs, we remain agile and flexible, giving you the freedom to sign on with a new cloud-based help desk provider or we can integrate with your existing systems. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you provide exceptional customer experiences and improve the bottom line.


  • https://www.internetretailer.com/2013/12/31/why-omnichannel-strategy-matters
  • https://blog.logmein.com/customerengagement/infographic-contact-centers-missing-mark-customer-care
  • https://www.zendesk.com/company/press#key-facts
  • http://www.kayako.com/company/
  • https://freshdesk.com/company/history
  • http://www.desk.com/about
  • https://www.uservoice.com/about/history/
  • http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/oracle-fact-sheet-079219.pdf


June 07, 2016