Help Desk Software Comparison – 5 Features You Should Always Compare

Category: Help Desk Software

helpWhen you read a review of some top help desk software, it’s a good idea to keep you current business goal in mind. As a matter of fact, even before you start comparing various help desk software solutions you should ask yourself some key questions:

– What is the main reason that made you look for a help desk software?
– Do you have enough human resources and budget to use a help desk?
– What other of your departments will benefit from using a help desk software?
– Who will manage the help desk software solution?

Areas to check during help desk software comparison include:

1. Ticketing management

The help desk software should cover the whole range of customer engagement from receiving the query to resolution. Whether you’re a small business or large enterprise, it’s critical to keep tab of the status of customer concerns to avoid escalating a simple question into a cancellation threat. The best ticketing systems not only allow you to monitor queries, but prioritize urgent messages from mundane concerns. Likewise, look for capabilities like role assignment, forwarding, alerts for unaddressed queries, and notifications to keep all engaged support agents on one page and ensure consistent and progressive replies to customers.

Tip: When conducting a free trial or demo run, create test queries (don’t tell your staff) that need the attention of people from different departments (logistics, finance, I.T., sales, etc.). Check how well the ticketing tool has followed the query and its status, as it’s passed on from one person to another.

2. Process automation

When doing a help desk software comparison also focus on the automation system. What specific areas can the software pre-set? Common tasks like call routing, priority tasking, and dynamic forms should be automated. Most help desk software have these functions. What you need to assess is how simple the help desk software can automate these tasks. In general, the fewer steps are required to pre-set a process, the better the software.

3. Report and metrics

Go for help desk software with a simple, neatly outlined dashboard that allows you to drill down to the most important data, including: query volume by touch points; average call duration; common types of queries; and resolution rate. Report and metrics collects relevant data from customer engagements and processes these into meaningful trends or patterns. Check for help desk software that can transform these data into graphical representations for easy processing. But beware of having extra features (ex. 3D effects) that only add noise to the insights. Keep it simple but powerful.

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4. Self-service and knowledge base

Good help desk software must also include a self-service portal. This feature can be inclusive to your subscription plan or as an add-on. The self-service portal is often a community for customers to get help. For instance, a customer can request a password reset or find information in the knowledge base without having to call a support person. This tool encourages customers to find for themselves the answers to frequently asked questions; thus, freeing your customer service frontline from unnecessary calls.

5. Technical support

No matter how robust the features, help desk software will have a glitch or two at a worst possible time. Compare the minimal technical support you’ll get from the vendor and the extent of support for paid subscription. Furthermore, check the touch points for support, such as: live chat, email, phone, or forum. In most cases, you just need an email support that responds within 24 to 48 hours. But a phone support is important during emergencies like a downtime, when your help desk itself is engaged with an angry customer.

Help desk software comparison need not be complicated. Once you know what to look for, as we’ve explained above, the technical specifications will be less intimidating.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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