The Complete Guide to Hesk – The Affordable Help Desk Software for Exceptional Customer Support

Delivering excellent customer support is vital for companies today but extremely challenging to scale.

Between multi-channel requests pouring in and customers expecting quick resolution of issues, ad-hoc methods of request tracking simply do not work anymore. Teams soon get overwhelmed. Customer satisfaction declines rapidly.

Implementing a sophisticated help desk system is the only way to streamline request management in the modern, always-connected world.

But is attaining help desk software nirvana only for the bigger players? What about solopreneurs, small teams and bootstrapped businesses? Must effective customer support come at a steep price?

Fortunately not! Let me introduce you to Hesk – an open-source help desk platform with enterprise-grade capabilities made easily accessible without the typical high costs.

In this comprehensive guide, learn how Hesk can be the help desk at the heart of your customer support goals for the year ahead – giving users an exceptional experience while being exceptionally affordable for any business!

Why Even Small Teams Must Invest in Help Desk Software

Firstly, it is important to acknowledge what a robust help desk system brings to the table for managing today‘s elevated customer expectations:

1. Support Scalability

Around 80% of customers prefer to self-serve their basic support needs like account changes, password resets or invoice queries. Help desk knowledge bases and FAQs make this possible without agent assistance.

Live agents stay free to focus on complex technical troubleshooting or nuanced product recommendations demanding human expertise. Such smarter allocation of resources results in 3x more tickets resolved on average.

2. Process Consistency

Standardized processes for repetitive tasks eliminate delays due to confusion. With help desk workflows guiding agents at every stage, time to first response and overall resolution reduces by over 30%.

3. Improved Visibility

Help desk reports provide complete visibility allowing managers to monitor performance, identify recurring problem areas needing attention and accurately measure agent workload. Such data-driven insights are key to maximizing productivity.

4. Enhanced Satisfaction

Finally, help desk software features like SLAs, reminders on awaiting responses all collectively impact customer satisfaction. Over 60% of consumers say prompt and contextual resolutions directly drive loyalty and long term value.

Clearly, scaling support requires looking beyond ad-hoc tools like shared inboxes. Help desk software addresses systemic issues for superior, scalable experiences.

Now that I have your agreement on why your business needs help desk software irrespective of size, allow me to introduce a superb solution – Hesk.

Hesk Help Desk Software – Why It Should Be Your #1 Choice

Unless you have been living under a rock the past few years, you must have heard about Hesk. This long standing open-source platform is loved by over 120,000 businesses globally.

Created in 2009 by developer Klemen Stirn to address his own customer support requirements, Hesk offers enterprise-class capabilities tailored for modern channels without enterprise-sized costs !

Let‘s explore why Hesk should undoubtedly be your preferred help desk platform:

Hesk dashboard

Comprehensive Support Channels

Hesk allows capturing and tracking requests from all your channels – email, website forms, social media as well as calls – through a unified help desk.

No more painful back and forth on endless email chains or missed notifications on social. Support via Hesk gets you a singular dashboard monitoring queries from everywhere customers connect with you.

Built-in Knowledge Base

Hesk help desk software allows you to easily author and publish FAQs, how-to articles, troubleshooting guides as your knowledge base.

Such contextual help resources available right on your platform lets customers self-serve for instant resolutions. With questions already answered, less tickets even reach your agents!

Simplified Ticket Management

Hesk provides a complete workflow for managing support tickets through assignment, reminders, priority tagging and status tracking until resolution.

Such streamlined routing and management of customer queries is vital for timely responses. It also provides standardization for agents to avoid repetitive questions on what‘s next.

Agent Collaboration

Collaboration features like shared ticket inboxes, @mentions and internal chats make it simple for agents to confer with team mates and managers to accelerate complex query resolution.

Performance Analytics

Hesk helps analyze the pulse of your customer support through reports on number of tickets, first contact resolution metrics, historical trends plus agent and customer satisfaction scores.

Such insights help continuously refine processes, identify recurring issues and even predict support volumes to stay ahead.

Flexible Customization

Hesk provides numerous configuration options including UI themes, tailored ticket fields, access roles and permissions allowing you to tailor the system to your exact needs.

As an open source platform, the code base can also be customized further based on any unique practices you follow for support.

Clearly, Hesk brings together a powerful set of capabilities for delivering efficient, customer-centric experiences at scale. And the best part? All this available freely or at nominal pricing!

Let me walk you through getting your own Hesk help desk instance set up.

Getting Started With Hesk in 3 Simple Steps

Hesk shines when it comes to easy setup and operations suitable even for non-technical teams:

Step 1: Install Hesk

You have the flexibility to install the open-source Hesk version on your own PHP server or use the Hesk Cloud hosted option:

Self Hosted:

  • Download and install on any PHP 7.0+ and MySQL server
  • Handles updates and maintenance yourself
  • Free usage but comes with "powered by Hesk" link

Cloud Hosted:

  • Hesk SaaS platform with instant setup
  • Managed updates and maintenance
  • Extra features like reports, automation
  • Starting at $29 per month

Step 2: Admin Configuration

Post installation, access the Hesk admin console to walk through configurations – branding, users, categories, teams and notifications can all be customized to your environment.

Use the in-built settings checklist to ensure all recommended options are reviewed before launch.

Step 3: Agent Onboarding

With Hesk ready to take in tickets, train your agents on constructs like managing tickets and notifications, referring knowledge base for responses, collaborating on queries.

That completes the basics! Within minutes you can configure Hesk as per your specifics and open the floodgates to start capturing your customer support tickets.

Now let me share some proven guidelines all Hesk power users should follow on day-to-day operations.

10 Commandments to Manage Hesk Like a Pro

Learn insider tips and techniques to manage your Hesk help desk efficiently right from experienced Hesk pros!

I. Thou Shall Keep Thy KB Updated

Your knowledge base is a goldmine driving self-service and reducing repetitive tickets. Maintain articles covering new features, changes and commonly asked topics.

II. Thou Shall Review Reports Daily

Leverage Hesk reports on first contact resolution, reopening rates, satisfaction scores etc. to address gaps before operational issues arise.

III. Thou Shall Standardize Workflows

Create playbooks for common scenarios – onboarding, technical issues, refunds etc. Standard processes reduce variability and human errors.

IV. Thou Shall @Mention Wisely

Use @mentions judiciously so only relevant agents are alerted avoiding notification fatigue.

V. Thou Shall Automate Repeatedly

Identify and automate patterns around acknowledgments, status updates, assignment rules. Improves speed and accuracy.

VI. Thou Shall Gear Up For Volume Spikes

Analyze trends around events, seasonality, product launches. Get team ready with flexible capacity to meet demand peaks.

VII. Thou Shall Ask For Feedback

Run periodic satisfaction surveys and analyze feedback to eliminate recurring pain points proactively.

VIII. Thou Shall Reward Thy Agents

Recognize agents going above and beyond through shout outs, awards and incentives to motivate stellar service.

IX. Thou Shall Integrate Proactively

Connect Hesk across your web analytics, CRM, social media and other systems for deeper context.

X. Thou Shall Obsess About Customers!

With all the workflows, reports and configurations – don‘t lose sight of the sole goal of wowing your customers!

Adopting such help desk management best practices will ensure optimal utilization of Hesk for maximizing both agent productivity and customer happiness!

While the self-service capabilities and ticketing features form the core, Hesk offers several other nifty capabilities. Let me showcase a couple more prominent ones:

Hesk Mobile Apps

Hesk provides mobile apps for both iOS and Android allowing complete access for agents on the go. Agents can handle ticket assignment, collaborate with team mates and close out issues without needing desktop access.

Hesk mobile app


For developers or integrating Hesk with adjacent tools like analytics, Hesk offers robust REST APIs. Key entities around tickets, users, alerts etc. can be accessed programmatically enabling deeper automation.

Hesk therefore goes beyond just the traditional help desk capabilities to the needs of versatile teams.

Now that you have seen Hesk‘s range of features in action, what does the pricing look like?

Hesk Pricing – Enterprise Class Help Desk Without the Enterprise Cost

As discussed earlier, Hesk is available both as a free open-source download as well as paid self-hosted and SaaS options:

Open Source

The free Hesk version gives you full access to all the ticketing, knowledge management and portal features discussed with a "powered by Hesk" link at the bottom – that‘s it!

If you would like to white label Hesk or need priority support/updates, self-hosted and cloud paid versions are available.

Self Hosted Pricing

One time license fees starting at $149 for core platform , additional agents, SLA management etc. Yearly maintenance packages provide updates and dedicated support.

Cloud Hosted Pricing

$29 per month base fee includes setup assistance, updates, backups etc. Higher tiers add capabilities like satisfaction surveys, custom reports and premium support.

Clearly, Hesk makes enterprise-grade help desk software affordable for most businesses through flexible pricing.

For larger teams with 500+ agents or complex security needs, explore tools like Zendesk or Freshdesk. Otherwise, Hesk should undoubtedly be your preferred choice.

Real World Results With Hesk Help Desk Software

While the features definitely sound appealing, how does Hesk really impact productivity and customer satisfaction I hear you ask.

Here are some real world metrics from Hesk customers:

  • 23% faster resolution of support tickets
  • 62% reduction in back and forth communication
  • 52% increase in first contact resolution
  • 41% rise in customer satisfaction scores
  • 8 hrs per agent freed up from manual tasks through automation

Such measurable improvements even beating industry benchmarks vindicate Hesk‘s capabilities for delivering efficient as well as superior experiences.

Be it a 5 person startup or mid-sized ecommerce portal, Hesk can turbocharge support metrics for any team.

Final Verdict – Hesk is The Must Have Help Desk Armor for Your Business

Let me summarize how Hesk transforms customer support:

  • Comprehensive features take care of support needs – SLA policies, whilelabeling, automation etc. without expensive licensing.

  • Knowledge centric approach minimizes tickets through contextual self-service resources.

  • Omnichannel agility to track interactions via website, email, social media, calls seamlessly.

  • Simplified agent workflows eliminate variability for first contact resolution.

  • Valuable analytics provide actionable data to continually optimize performance.

  • Developer friendly extensibility to build custom help desk experiences.

  • Budget friendly pricing makes professional help desk accessible to most teams.

With capabilities matching top tier commercial tools, Hesk successfully democratizes enterprise-grade support for businesses of any scale at any budget.

Implementing Hesk can therefore be the smartest investment this year towards delighting your customers cost effectively!

Still need any further convincing? Get started with a 15 day free trial now to experience Hesk‘s capabilities first hand without any commitments.