How Much Does Help Desk Software Cost? Comparison of Pricing Plans

How much does help desk software cost? In general, pricing for help desk software comes in the following types:

  1. Free
  2. Open API
  3. Monthly subscription
  4. Per-User pricing tier
  5. By-Quote plan
  6. Licensing
  7. Software bundle

In this article, you will find a comprehensive comparison of pricing plans to make browsing easier for you. We will weigh the pros and cons of each payment package as well as provide some examples that may help you determine which one has the most potential for giving you a better ROI.

When companies receive a flurry of messages from customers asking for assistance, it can be challenging to give all of them an equal amount of attention in a timely manner. Hence, help desk software tools were created to help simplify and speed things up. But, how can you possibly choose the best one from among dozens of available options out there? The most straightforward answer: measure its value for money.

Before getting down to the nitty-gritty, we will first discuss a few pointers on what to look for when buying a help desk software. This way, we not only focus on software that offers the lowest price but also help you zero in on programs from which you can get the most use out of.

What to Look for in a Help Desk Software

Source: Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report

According to the Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, 97% of respondents believe that customer service is an important factor when it comes to a consumer’s loyalty to a particular brand or organization. Meaning, providing good customer support is just as important as producing quality products.

However, not all help desk platforms are created equal. There are software solutions that offer basic ticket management systems and multi-channel support for a small price while there are premium options that cost more in exchange for advanced integrations and robust data reporting tools. So, before you start comparing prices, look for these features first:

  1. Flexible Ticketing Management Tool. Often included in premium plans, customizable ticketing systems can help you adapt based on the current needs of your system. This way, you won’t have to implement a new platform every time your requirements change.
  2. Email Compatibility. In the chart provided, a majority of consumers’ most commonly used customer service channel is email. Make sure your clients can reach you more conveniently by finding a help desk platform that is compatible with your emailing system. Luckily, most programs provide this, be it in their free or paid plans.
  3. Live Chat. In a study by Forrester Research titled “Making Proactive Chat Work,” 44% of online consumers say that live chat is one of the most important features a website can offer. This allows you to engage customers as they check out your products, increasing the chances of conversion.
  4. Knowledge Base Repository. Products or services have their respective sets of guidelines the same way all appliances come with manuals. When looking for a help desk program, be sure to choose one that has a knowledge base. This way, your support staff can get access to all the information about your brand and your products with ease.
  5. Data Security. Your help desk system handles a lot of confidential data. Safeguard the names, addresses, and other sensitive information of your customers by making sure your help desk platform has security tools. These are often included in basic subscription plans and premium software packages.
  6. Seamless System Integrations. The needs of every company can evolve as time passes, making it imperative that you implement a flexible help desk platform. To do this, you must choose a program that not only provides regular updates but can also support multiple integrations.

Types of Help Desk Software Pricing Packages

So, how much do help desk software cost? Prices vary, but they often depend largely on your company’s size and requirements. To help you get a better grasp of this, we have compiled some of the most common types of help desk platform pricing packages.

Free Application

Free applications may be categorized in three different ways. The first one is pretty self-explanatory–it lets you enjoy the services an application has to offer, free of charge. The second one, which is referred to as freemiums, is a pared-down version of paid plans that require you to pay for advanced tools, integrations, and other capabilities that you might need as your business grows. Lastly, there is an open API option, which we will be discussing later.

These options are great for startup companies and small businesses that do not have the financial resources to invest in expensive software solutions. However, not all free applications are scalable, so if you cannot upgrade it to suit the needs of your growing company, you may have to find a different tool.

Examples of Help Desk Platforms With Free Plans:


Freshdesk is an award-winning help desk platform built to cater to the customer support needs of small to large businesses. Built with features for help desk ticketing as well as a knowledge base and community platform, this software can also provide insights, time tracking solutions, and email management options. It can run satisfaction surveys, support multiple languages and brands, as well as integrate with live chat, phone support, and game mechanic applications. This product is also a boon for entrepreneurs who want to view their customer support efforts and their CRM status in one convenient platform. For all these merits, our expert review team recognizes it as one of the top apps in the category. You can try its features at no cost when you sign up for a Freshdesk free trial here.

While Freshdesk offers monthly and annual subscriptions, it also has a free plan called Sprout that can support unlimited agents. It is inclusive of an email channel, a standard phone channel, a basic social channel, and a knowledge base. This package also lets you access their app gallery. 

Zoho Desk

The industry’s first context-aware support desk system, Zoho Desk offers comprehensive tools to help you deliver better customer service effortlessly. It is equipped with a ticketing system, a call center application, a social support tool, company-wide collaboration capabilities, and other help desk essentials. Offering SMB and enterprise payment packages, Zoho Desk also offers a free plan that can support up to 10 users and provide help desk essentials such as email and ticket management, knowledge base function, basic reporting, and domain mapping. You can check out its features without worrying about paying an upfront fee when you sign up for a Zoho Desk free trial here.

Zoho Desk

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Open API

Open API, as mentioned earlier, can be classified as a type of free application. This subscription plan includes the basic program as well as access to certain internal functions of its system. More often than not, these kinds of software solutions can be republished as you desire, without being restricted by copyrights or patents. This is great for businesses with in-house IT professionals or web developers who can create systems tailored to the company’s needs.

Example of a Help Desk Program With Open API:


osTicket is an open-source customer support software specializing in ticket management. It has a complete suite of features that enable you to collect incoming inquiries across different channels, manage and delegate tickets, as well as store help desk data in a customer portal. It is completely configurable, making it easy to implement. Offering monthly subscriptions for those who want advanced features, osTicket also has a free self-hosted plan that can support unlimited tickets and users as well as configurable attachments.

Monthly Subscription

Are you looking to subscribe to a platform but do not want to commit to it for a long period of time? Then monthly subscriptions may be the option for you. This pricing scheme will allow you to use all the features and capabilities of a particular software while paying small amounts for the service monthly. Ideal for businesses that can’t afford to allocate a large amount of money for software, monthly subscriptions are also great for growing companies that are still in the process of determining the kinds of software that they need.

Example of a Help Desk Platform With Monthly Pricing Plans:


Zendesk is a cloud-hosted suite of customer support applications. Offering ticket management features, multi-channel support, screencasting tools, and CSS rebranding capabilities, this platform also provides reporting and analytics solutions. On top of that, it has an open API that lets you seamlessly merge the platform with over 100 out-of-the-box integrations and third-party applications. For pricing, Zendesk offers five monthly plans ranging from $5/agent to $199/agent, depending on the types of features you will be using and how advanced the tools are. For more comprehensive help desk functionalities, Zendesk offers its Suite packages starting with $89/agent/month and a build-your-own enterprise plan. There are add-on products available, as well. If you want to check its features you can easily do so when you sign up for Zendesk free trial here.


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Per-User Pricing Tier

Per-user pricing schemes or user-based payment plans charge according to the number of people who will be using the software. Often inclusive of complete access to program features, this subscription package is great for businesses who want to forecast revenues and ROI more easily. However, the downside to this is that it can get costly for enterprises with a large workforce and growing businesses who have yet to determine the number of people they will be employing in the future.

Examples of Help Desk Platforms With Per-User Pricing Plans:


LiveAgent is an award-winning help desk support platform known for its powerful and intuitive features. From live chat and email support to social media integration and ticket management, this software promotes better client engagement for businesses of all sizes. Easy to set up and implement, this application is chock full of robust features that reinforce your customer support efforts and boost customer relations. LiveAgent offers three types of user-based plans: Ticket Plan, Ticket + Chat, and All-Inclusive, which are priced at $12, $29, and $59/agent/month, respectively. You can sign up for a LiveAgent free trial here.


Freshservice is a cloud-based customer support platform created for small startups, mid-sized businesses, and large enterprises alike. It has a comprehensive suite of tools for ticketing, asset discovery, vendor management, incident management, advanced reporting, survey creation, domain mapping, and time tracking. Equipped with a knowledge base, this platform is easy to install and maintain. Freshservice has three user-based monthly plans that are billed annually: Blossom at $29/agent, Garden at $49/agent, and Estate at $79/agent. You may also choose to purchase additional assets for 20 cents/asset/month. You can take a closer look at its features at no cost when you sign up now for Freshservice free trial here.


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By-Quote Plan

While quote-based plans can be expensive, this type of pricing scheme is one of the most cost-efficient options available. This kind of payment package allows you to maximize your subscription by optimizing your software according to your company’s needs. More often than not, software providers offering this kind of payment plan will ask you regarding the features you will be needing, the nature of your business, as well as the size of your company. This way, they can make sure that they are charging you only for what you need.

Examples of Help Desk Programs With Quote-Based Pricing:


An IT service desk and asset management software, Samanage offers a full suite of tools that can be deployed via the cloud. It is a flexible platform that can streamline your ticketing systems, monitor contracts, detect risks, and provide self-service portals for your customers. Known for its award-winning features, the program also has an intuitive design that provides an in-depth analysis of your performance as well as supports multiple integrations. As for their quotes, the price will often depend on the number of agents and devices your company requires. Should you want to get a better grasp of their platform before requesting an estimate, perhaps, you should sign up for their 14-day free trial first. You can easily sign up for Samanage free trial here before you request a quote.


SysAid is a help desk and asset management platform for large enterprises. Offering configurable and scalable modules for ticket management, communication, and inventory handling, the platform allows you to oversee customer support efforts using both desktop and mobile devices. The software is also an all-in-one IT service management solution that can support multiple integrations and third-party applications. For pricing, be sure to get in touch with their representative to get a quote. You can easily sign up for SysAid free trial here.

One-Time Licensing Fee

Help desk platforms are also sold through one-time licensing fees rather than via subscriptions. Often created for on-premise software solutions, this payment plan is a good option for companies who can pay a large amount of money upfront. Compared to subscriptions, this can be a more cost-efficient alternative as you won’t have to continuously pay for the same product regularly. However, software solutions acquired using this pricing plan often don’t come with regular updates or 24/7 tech support.

Examples of Help Desk Programs With One-Time Licensing Fees:

Vision Helpdesk

An award-winning customer support platform, Vision Helpdesk offers three modules: the multi-channel help desk, the satellite desk, and the service desk. These are built to handle ticket management automation, email parsing, client management, reports and analytics, as well as task management. Capable of integrating with third-party applications, this platform can also support multiple languages. Vision Helpdesk offers three one-time licensing plans costing $150 to $350 per agent.


KronoDesk is a streamlined help desk system with knowledge base access and tools for ticketing, customer support, and email automation. Fuss-free, user-friendly, and easily configurable; this web-based platform is built for businesses of all sizes. You may purchase the on-premise version of KronoDesk by paying one-time license fees that are priced depending on the number of users. It ranges from $99.99 for the Starter plan to $15,999.99 for the Enterprise plan.

Software Bundle

If you are looking for a help desk system but do not necessarily want to purchase a tool that solely focuses on customer support, then this is a boon for you. There are many CRM and ERP programs out there that include help desk features or can be integrated with customer support tools. This way, your investment can be used for multiple aspects of your business operations–not just customer support.

Example of a Help Desk Program That Come in Software Bundles:


WorkWise is an enterprise resource planning software created for medium-sized manufacturing firms. With over 25 applications built into its system, it has everything you need, from billing and scheduling to inventory management and order processing. On top of that, it also has a robust customer support system for call center operations. WorkWise offers two monthly plans based on software deployment. Their cloud CRM is available at $60/user, while their on-premise CRM costs $995/user with extra charges for annual maintenance.


Customers want to receive great service just as companies want to deliver it. So, as they search for businesses that can meet these demands, entrepreneurs should also strive to go above and beyond to satisfy their customers through the use of sound help desk platforms.

Now that we have answered the question “how much does help desk software cost,” you can start browsing for platforms that suit your business. To help you narrow down the list of programs to choose from, be sure to check out our list of top 20 help desk programs available on the market. We also have information on the history of help desk platforms if you want to learn more about its beginnings and how it evolved into one of the most in-demand tools for businesses.

Christopher Robinson

By Christopher Robinson

Christopher Robinson is a senior productivity research analyst who specializes in optimizing online collaboration and project management using Scrum and agile approaches. In his work, he always emphasizes the need for distributed work training and the formation of efficient work habits. His work was mentioned in various business publications, including Entrepreneur and InfoQ. He’s a strong proponent of the GTD model. He has been cooperating with the FinancesOnline team for 5 years now, and his publications always focus on practical aspects of productivity tools that can have an actual, transformative impact on a company.

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