Kayako Software Review

May 26, 2016

Kayako is available as a SaaS cloud-based customer service platform and as an on-premise Help Desk and Customer Support solution. The software is supported by Windows 7 and 8, Vista, XP, Mac OS, Windows 2000, Linux and Web browser (OS agnostic).  The cloud-based solution is known as Kayako OnDemand and the on-premise solution is called Kayako Download. The company also has Kayako Fusion which is the customer support via documentation such as email, remote desktop support, live chat, self help, VOIP, and ticketing.

Brief History of Kayako

Kayako is the brainchild of Varun Shoor. Shoor was born in a city in Punjab, India and started Kayako at age 17 with no formal education having dropped out of college. His family is involved in the business of manufacturing hand tools like hammers which is where he got his influence to start his own business. As a young man, Shoor’s passion was design and learned programming at the young age of 13. He took what he knew and applied to what he called “stuffy business help desks.”

Kayako was launched in 2001 with no investors or capital. St 16 Shoor simply began experimenting with web hosting when he chanced upon a company that sold customer support solutions. He decided to create his own open source customer support software. Today, 15 years later, Kayako software is still an open source solution available to all, cost-free for charities and has managed to turn a profit despite having no external investors.  The company moved its head offices to London and manages branches in new Delhi and Jalandhar with a staff of more than 140.

Kayako has more than 30,000 customers from around the world and offers a 30 day free trial.

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Features of Kayako

Kayako is your 24/7 Help Desk that offers 4 main avenues for customers to contact you: email, web, mobile, and live chat.  It provides quick answers to customers who don’t have to wait more than a few seconds to get queries answered. The self service portal that can be customized beautifully allows Kayako users to manage tickets efficiently while providing users with a means to communicate via video and a well-thought-out layout and design.

Some of the features of Kayako include:

Manage Tickets – All tickets that come in are prioritized, sorted, forwarded, and given time targets. The tabs are organized and easy to understand and use.  As tickets are worked on, the changes are updated automatically although entries must be done manually. Macros are available as well as notification. Replies can be made ‘private’ among staff users which allow your customer service staff to leave notes regarding a specific ticket in order to prevent delay in progression and response.  Each ticket incorporates all the information needed to have on hand immediately including billing, comments, and actions taken.  Tickets can also be color coded flagged which can be used by the user to indicate status, urgency, or location.

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Live Chat –  The live chat is very simple and direct. Anyone can look at it and know how to use it. It’s just like chatting with a friend on a social media account but with a detailed timeline.

Scaling, automation and customization – Kayako allows users to use the software and alter it according to their needs.

Reports and analytics – Kayako provides users with feedback and data on customer satisfaction, ticketing performance, and create tailored reports and audited logs for easy cross referencing and analytics. The Report Writer and Queries have auto completion, auto suggestions, and syntax and grammar correction through its text editor.

Troubleshooting Wizards – These wizards are one of the reasons Kayako has been getting rave reviews. The wizards allow for self diagnosis and quick resolution of tickets. They free up the time of your staff from the simple issues that come with using the software.


As a cloud-based solution, you have a choice of 3 services:

Case – Includes ticket and email management, ticket routing, workflow, target setting, and tracking. It costs $29/month/agent if paid monthly or $24/month/agent for annual billing.

Engage – Includes live chat, real time monitoring, voice and click-to-call. It costs $29/month/agent if paid monthly or $24/month/agent for annual billing.

Fusion – Includes email, ticket, live chat, calls, and tracking It costs $49/month/agent if paid monthly or $39/month/agent for annual billing.

For On-Premise Use

Case – Includes ticket and email management, ticket routing, workflow, target setting, and tracking. The charge is $3,000 for 10 agents a year

Engage – Includes live chat, real time monitoring, voice and click-to-call. The charge is $3,000/10 agents/year

Multi-Channel Fusion –  Includes email, ticket, live chat, calls, and tracking and costs $4,000/10 agents/year

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Reviews from Verified Users

Some of the comments favoring Kayako as the Help Desk software to use say that the lay-out, design, and organization of the software especially the ticketing is phenomenal.

“It’s a very easy system to pick up and transition into. It’s user-friendly.”

If compared to the email Inbox, Kayako is a far better option because nothing is allowed to slip through unattended or unresolved. This will boost your business image among your customers and the positive feedback will reverberate and help improve your reputation in your industry.

It also helps that the pricing is still affordable although the company has increased the price about 3 to 4 times since 2001. Nonetheless, the range has remained manageable for most users.

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On the downside, the software struggles with heavy traffic (over 10MB) making it difficult to attach large files. The reporting could also be friendlier especially for quick emergency access to critical data. And although the set-up is relatively simple, you may probably have to consult with the company’s customer service for assistance with full customization. However, once you are over this hurdle, it’s clear sailing all the way! If you are willing to pay $299, Kayako can install the software in your system  as part of their after sales service.

Finally, if you are looking for a system that is intuitive, responsive, and customer-friendly, Kayako comes highly recommended by experts from different fields and industries.