happyfox, help desk

Excellent (4.5)

Bottom Line

HappyFox has few equals when it comes to managing tickets, but it can be pricey and doesn't offer as many integration options as the competition. Even so, it's a no-brainer for a help desk Editors' Choice award. US Street Price$29.00

  • Pros

    • Best-in-class ticket management capabilities
    • Asset management functionality
  • Cons

    • Missing some key integration points
    • Priced above peers with no free tier

HappyFox retains its place as one of the most comprehensive help desk solutions we’ve ever reviewed, though it also remains one of the costliest solutions as well. But in this case, you get what you pay for with a high-end, super-functional solution. Deep new integration with Slack gives agents the ability to perform tasks such as entering tickets without switching to a HappyFox webpage. Similar integration is coming for Microsoft Teams as well, all of which keeps HappyFox atop our Editors’ Choice awards list with the likes of Freshdesk and HaloITSM.

However, HappyFox’s most favorable scenario is one where you’re supporting customers. If you’re handling an in-office service desk for IT professionals, HappyFox has some gaps. For example, while HappyFox’s asset management feature has seen some improvements since our last review, it doesn’t quite match those from Freshservice and ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus. You still must create assets individually or import them from a CSV file.

HappyFox Pricing and Plans

HappyFox has maintained essentially the same pricing structure on a per-agent basis since our previous review. The entry-level tier, dubbed Mighty, is still $29 per agent on an annual contract. The remaining three levels (Fantastic, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus) are still $49, $69, and $89 per agent per month respectively.

There’s new pricing for large organizations and unlimited agents, starting at $1,499 per month for an annual contract and dropping to $1,299 if you sign up for a three-year commitment. These plans also come in four different levels: Starter, Growth, Scale, and Scale+. Each adds some level of additional functionality and the number of tickets included in the base price (10,000 for Starter, 20,000 for Growth, 100,000 for Scale, and 250,000 for Scale+).

Compared to another Editors’ Choice winner, Freshdesk, HappyFox is more expensive, though its tiers are also more feature-rich. HappyFox doesn’t offer a free plan, which might push microbusinesses in another direction. If you’re looking for the absolute lowest price, Editors’ Choice honoree, Zoho Desk is your best option, with a free plan for up to three agents plus plans priced at $12 and $25 per agent per month. Overall, as far as this crop of help desks goes, HappyFox sits comfortably at the high end of the affordable class.

Interface and Unique Features

From our last review, you won’t see any significant changes in the HappyFox user interface. The most notable update to user interaction comes from a new focus on conversational ticketing, currently available from within Slack with Microsoft Teams soon to be added. Other products like Zendesk include Slack integration, but not at the level of HappyFox.

For two reasons, team messaging integrations have become key selling points for help desk products. First, many companies are trying to integrate their help desk data more closely with related workflows, especially sales tools such as customer relationship management (CRM). Team messaging is one of the most popular ways to do that. The other messaging application for help desks is customer-facing. Traditionally, customers contact a service desk using the phone or email, but that’s expanded into other channels in recent years, notably social media. More recently, however, both customers and internal employees have wanted to use messaging platforms with secure public access, and the two most popular are Slack and Teams.

happyfox, help desk

Another standout feature is HappyFox University. For companies that need to get service agents, or even an entire service desk, up and running quickly, this free feature brings a focused training capability to bring new agents up to speed. This will also be important in the coming year since employee turnover has become such a challenge for many companies. Improving the onboarding and training process for new and existing employees can help reduce friction and employee burnout.

Third-party integration was a weak point for HappyFox when we last tested it, but things have improved in several areas. You can now connect to single-sign-on (SSO) providers, including the more sophisticated offerings from bigger-name identity management vendors such as Okta. You can also hook HappyFox up to voice over IP (VoIP) provider JustCall as well as WhatsApp for connecting with users or customers using text messaging. These new integrations are additions to a smaller but now decent list that also includes some CRM platforms. We’d like to see more in the analytics class, but if that’s critical for you, there’s always the HappyFox REST API.

happyfox, help desk

Ticket Management

As mentioned above, users or customers can enter tickets through the usual email or phone channels as well as social media, though HappyFox limits this to Facebook and Twitter. Other methods include the self-service portal, which is fairly easy to create, and Slack and (soon) Microsoft Teams integrations.

Once you’ve got a ticket in the system, HappyFox Workflows is in charge of the routing process. This module brings a new advanced business process automation capability to enhance the ticket management process further. The selling point here is an easy point-and-click process to create not just one-step but multi-step workflow and approval chains. Some competing solutions only do this using scripting languages, so administrators need to know some coding to get it working. We found HappyFox’s UI usable if not quite as simple as the brochureware implies. Expect a learning curve, though nothing crippling.

happyfox, help desk

Like Jira Service Management, HappyFox uses the phrase “conversational ticketing” to describe the process of handling tickets from either Microsoft Teams or Slack. This happens via AssistAI, another HappyFox feature that’s new since our last review. It provides an AI-based assistant to answer questions without contacting an agent, similar to Zoho Desk’s new Zia AI. This tool integrates directly into Slack and Teams, providing answers as if a human was on the other end of the chat stream.

Administrators can use AssistAI to answer those common user questions that eat up too much of their time, such as resetting a password. If an answer isn’t satisfactory, the module will propose creating a support ticket that will then get routed to the appropriate agent. User feedback helps refine AI responses based on whether a proposed solution was helpful or not. Slack support is available now, with Microsoft Teams integration currently in the beta-test stage.

Aside from direct phone or email connection points, the self-service portal is the last way to get tickets into HappyFox. This has seen upgrades on several fronts since our previous review.

Setting up your portal is a point-and-click process that HappyFox enables using templates. Pick a template and add some custom information and links, and you’ve got a basic self-service portal. This can also get branded if you’re pointing it at customers, or you can import your code if one of HappyFox’s templates doesn’t suit you. The templates have a lot going for them since they’re not only easy but also responsive, meaning they’re optimized for both a desktop browser and mobile-device experience.

An important feature if you’re aiming your portal at outside customers is that HappyFox now includes search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities to help customers find your portal more easily. Basically, this means you can create an FAQ page about your product that customers can find easily using Google or another search engine. It also lets you build a quick sitemap of your external help desk website and ensure you’re using search-engine-friendly URLs.

Reporting and Exporting

Since our last review, reporting tools have been improved to include the release of a V2 modular reporting capability. Updates also include exporting to Excel and CSV formats with a single click. A new HappyFox Business Intelligence tool adds the ability to gain deeper insights from data buried inside the help desk system. We would have liked to see a deeper integration to an analytic tool such as Microsoft Power BI, which you’ll find in some competitors (notably the free Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk), but HappyFox may address that in the future.

happyfox, help desk

(Editors’ Note: Spiceworks is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s parent company.)

Lifecycle reports bring a new type of reporting to HappyFox, monitoring the entire ticket lifecycle to measure performance. HappyFox considers the complete lifecycle of a ticket to be the time from ticket initiation until closure. Reports measuring the agent’s amount of time or status help identify any potential bottlenecks in your ticket management process.

New reports can be created from scratch using a straightforward fill-in-the-box approach. Selection criteria for multiple fields allow report authors to gather just the data of interest, while an Edit Report button lets you modify existing reports. An Update and View button lets you view your revised information before saving it to the system. Once you’re satisfied with how the report looks, click Update and Save to keep your changes.

Full-Featured and Entirely Customizable Help Desk

HappyFox continues to deliver highly customizable features at competitive (though not cheap) prices. The unlimited agent pricing will appeal to large enterprises with multiple support teams. Slack and soon-to-come Microsoft Teams integration enhance agent productivity and make interactions with customers more conversational.


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