Are you looking for helpdesk software for your business and wondering how much you should expect to spend? If so, then this article is for you. Instead of just talking about various helpdesk solutions and the per agent/per month cost associated with each, we have created three fictional small businesses and broken down the costs accordingly, using the helpdesk solution that best meets their unique customer service needs at the cheapest cost. After reading, you should have a better understanding of where your business fits and which solution might be best for you.
TJ’s TurnTables – FreshDesk
2 – Number of Customer Service Agents
$576 – Two-Year Cost
First 6 months = Used Free Plan
$16/agent/month (blossom) x 2 agents = $32/month
$32/month x 18 months = $576
TJ’s TurnTables sells and services DJ hardware and products (turntables, microphones, speakers, amps, speakers, etc). Tj, the owner, has had extensive DJ experience himself and is pretty well known in his area. Because of the business’ service/sales expertise, DJ actually has a pretty lucrative online site where the business sells hardware/products and also manages their service department, which gets turntables and other hardware sent to them from around the country for service work. TJ’s TurnTables is not a big business, and cannot afford a big support staff. However, they do have 2 customer service reps, which are important assets when managing online orders and service requests. TJ is looking for a solid helpdesk solution which can scale with his business and has lots of integrations so that he can add functionality as needed. His goal is to keep a smaller support staff, but provide them with the tools necessary so they can still handle a high-volume of tickets.
Although limited to 3 agents, FreshDesk has one of the best free helpdesk plans in the industry. You can create/manage email tickets, configure web forms, set up canned responses, create/manage workflow rules, get phone integration, and even create basic reports. When TJ was researching, he knew that this would be a great starter solution, since he only had two agents and could not afford to pay for a high-end helpdesk solution right out of the box. Within 6 months, things had really picked up. Dj’s TurnTables was really beginning to leverage social media and customer interaction on its website. As a result, the business upgraded to FreshDesk’s Blossom Plan ($16/agent/month), which gave them a variety of additional tools, including social media monitoring, customer satisfaction surveys, community forums, and advanced reporting.
Although still using the blossom plan, TJ likes the fact that he can upgrade to a more powerful plan at any time. Also, with over 60 third-party integrations, Tj knows that if and when his agents need a feature/function that FreshDesk does not provide, he can find a solution to meet that need outside of the FreshDesk system, while still having peace-of-mind that it will play nice with the FreshDesk management system/interface.
Strategic Social – Deskero
5 – Number of Customer Service Agents
$4,560 = Two-Year Cost
$38/agent/month x 5 agents = $190/month
$190/month x 24 months = $4,560
Strategic Social is a company that specializes in connecting techies (website designers, social media marketers, etc) with non-techies (traditional businesses with little tech experience that want to increase their online presence). Due to the recent focus on online marketing, the company is growing. They have recently expanded to 5 customer service reps and are looking to find a new helpdesk solution for their business. Strategic Social is looking for a social media focused helpdesk solution that is easy to setup/use and allows multi-channel social media support, so they can keep on top of their techy clients’ needs. But, they also need a solid email ticketing solution, so that their non-techy business clients can get ahold of them without too much work.
Strategic Social decided Deskero was the helpdesk solution they were looking for. Deskero is all about social media and has the most advanced social media ticketing options in the industry. You can connect unlimited Facebook and Twitter accounts and convert any Tweet, post, message, or comment into a support ticket. Also, when managing social media tickets, any response from a customer service agent matches the original form of the complaint/problem. In other words, if a customer complained via a Facebook comment, your customer service agent’s response will be posted as a response comment (or message to message, post to post, etc). Also, Strategic Social has a variety of promo videos/ads they run on YouTube, which makes Deskero’s new YouTube ticket feature (only one in the industry) a godsend. Also, Deskero has good email ticketing features, which means that Strategic Social can also manage their less tech-oriented clients effectively as well.
After some research, Strategic Social felt that Deskero’s business plan ($38/agent/month) was the best choice for them. It includes all the basics of Deskero’s cheaper plans (email ticketing features, live chat, etc) but also incorporates a live-chat widget on your website and has more in-depth ticket routing rules.
For an in-depth breakdown of pricing for all the various plans/providers discussed in this article, see Fit Small Business’ Best Help Desk Software Buyer’s Guide.
Core Cable – Zoho Support
10 – Number of Customer Service Agents
$3000 = Two-Year Cost
The first year = Used Free Plan
Second Year = $25/agent/month x 10 agents = $250/month or $3000/year
Core Cable provides cable and internet hardware and installation services. Because Core is primarily investing their customer service budget on support staff (they’ve hired 10), they are looking for a cheap but functional helpdesk solution that can scale with their business. In order to streamline their business workflow, Core is also looking for a helpdesk solution that has a companion CRM and other small business solutions, so information can be centralized in one database.
Why Zoho Support?
Core Cable ended up selecting Zoho Support as their helpdesk solution. To begin, Zoho allows unlimited agents on its free plan (unique in the industry). All 10 Core Cable reps could accept/create email tickets, set up a knowledge base and community forums, configure web-contact forms, and create default canned responses for common problems, all without ever paying a dime. After a year of using Zoho’s free plan, Core Cable realized they needed more advanced features like time tracking, social media monitoring, live chat, and workflow rules. As a result, they upgraded to Zoho’s enterprise plan ($25/agent/month), which gave them all the advanced features they needed at a cost still significantly cheaper than industry competitors.
Also, because Zoho Support seamlessly integrates with Zoho’s other business solutions, including Zoho CRM, Zoho Books (accounting), etc. Core Cable had a single business solution that could manage and automate most of their business processes/tasks, which is exactly what they wanted.