Guide to Help Desk Software: Market Insights On How To Make The Right Purchase

Category: Help Desk Software

helpHelp desk software solutions may have very different features, pricing plans and functionalities. In this article we’ll share some insight on things you should keep in mind when comparing various help desk software services. We’ll include factors that are important both for small business and big enterprises

However, before we move on to the tips, we should first answer the question: what is help desk software exactly?

Well, the term has resulted in confusion since the term can refer to two types of support organizations: teams that provide top service to external customers of your B2B or B2C company (those that have bought goods or services) and teams that provide service to internal customers (or employees).

But in both instances, help desk software programs store customer information in a database that is searchable, monitors interactions, and automates the resolution process using a ticketing system. This main functionality, in its simple sense, increases organization and efficiency of a company or business.

Aside from this main functionality, help desk management software programs also offer some, if not all, of these features:

Knowledge management system. This refers to a repository of descriptions or information to some of the most common problems or the ones that were previously resolved. This repository might be publicly available on a self-service website that customers can visit, or meant for internal use by your customer service representatives or technicians. Most knowledge management systems have advanced search features to help users, whether your customers or your business team, to find the right answer. Some software programs may event autosuggest articles or queries as the person types.

Self-service. People can use portals to look for solutions to problems. Self-service features can include documentation about the products and services you offer, downloadable patches, user-friendly searchable FAQs, instructional how-to pages, or community forums as well as other types of communities. If a user or visitor cannot find the right solution, self-service features fo often allow them to send a ticket.

IT network management/asset management systems. Asset management solutions can track changes to software as well as hardware configurations, while network management tools can track the health of computer servers as well as other network components. These functions may be offered through integrations with information technology service management (ITSM) tools.

Reporting. Some software programs have reporting tools that can track overall service desk performance as well as agent productivity. Performance metrics usually include the total number of open tickets; ticket resolutions that can be categorized according to agent, date, or shift; average time of complaint resolution; satisfaction of customers; among others.

Support using a smartphone or tablet. Many help desk software program vendors offer a Web or tablet/smartphone application version of their solutions. Agents can then use these features to handle tickets, record and read customer data, use the knowledge base, check out reports and do other activities or resolution issues using their table or smartphone.

Service level agreement (SLA). SLAs can be guaranteed to customers, along with other service guarantees. This will allow, for example, your help desk team members to conduct prioritization triggers, immediate and automatic escalations, and other customized rules to assure that the tickets are handled in compliance and with topmost priority with SLAs.

Remote control. This feature allows your company technicians to control and access a customer’s computer even from a remote point, applying remote diagnosis as well as resolution even with very minimal customer involvement.

Why the need for a help desk software

Help desk software programs allow firms and businesses to quickly look at IT crises. Organization can also gain efficiency at the same time in ongoing IT management tasks. What does it mean to you? This means more savings for your company through workflow tools, automation, and self-service.

Many company systems will integrate outstanding practices from the IT Infrastructure Library, regarded as an international set of rules as well as guidelines for the IT Service Management field.

Done correctly, help desk software programs can boost operations in five main ways:

  • Reduce work lags of employees from tech issues that remain unsolved
  • Reduce costs of manpower due to self service
  • Identify and solve issues that keep on recurring
  • Automate issue escalation, triaging, and prioritization
  • Give transparency and better communication into service requests starting from creation all the way to resolution

The landscape

Help desk software programs can address external or internal customers. Some serve both, while some products serve either internal or external customers.

Internal. This support software generally serves internal customers or employees. In most cases, the help desk software provides for the information technology needs of customers. However, there are some other examples, such as a service desk devoted to human resource management for issues on employee benefits.

External. This software program serves consumers or those businesses that have bought products or services from a company that provides the support. These help desks could resolve IT-related issues or even general customer service issues. Since the companies, industries, businesses, and companies that need external service desks are very diverse, buyers of this kind of software program might need the capacity to integrate with marketing automation, sales force automation, and call center software systems.

Market trends

Another important thing that you will learn from this buyer’s guide to help desk software is that you should be able to monitor the industry trends.

For example, a hot help desk software feature these days is social media integration. Many customers these days have used social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, and other popular platforms to send out their customer service requests. Thus, businesses need features for processing issue or service requests from these social media channels just as they would handle tickets that are sent through other channels such as email or phone.

These days, help desk software tools also need to have multi-channel management. Consumers these days send service requests using a mixture of email, web self-service, live chat, and community usage. Thus, businesses need to use innovative tools as well as processes to make seamless service from these channels. So when a customer decides to continue talking about his or her service request from live chat to email, the company would not have a problem.

For more information about project management software, check out this buyer’s guide from Novo Solutions. Tom’s IT Pro also has a very helpful guide for consumers like you.

Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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