History Of Help Desk Software: Why It Became Important In Business

Category: Help Desk Software

help5Remember the time when you bought that latest television set from a shop and found out you had a hard time fixing its channels? You would do what was the best method then: calling up the vendor or manufacturer’s number to help you set up the channels. However, like in many cases of yesteryears, more often than not, no one was answering your calls or if in case someone answers, the guy in the other end of the line cannot help you at all. For the customer, that means a bad customer review. For B2B or B2C companies, that can mean the loss of potential customers and may have a direct effect on their income. For an owner of a small business, that would almost tantamount to disaster.

Thankfully, customer support these days have become better, thanks to the availability of modern technologies and tools to help customers. The top companies and businesses these days are taking advantage of these tools, such as help desk software programs, to provide good assistance services to their existing, new, and potential customers.

So, what are help desk software programs? What is the history of help desk software? Why is it important to have a good help desk software solution for a business or an enterprise?

Before we answer these questions, let us first explain what “help desk” means.

Help desk: what you need to know

Broadly, a held desk provides customers or end users with support and information related to a product or service offered by a company. A help desk’s main purpose is to troubleshoot issues or problems as well as guide customers or end users about a product or service such as computers, software, food, electronic equipment, to name a few.

These days, many corporations and businesses provide help desk assistance and support to customers using a number of channels such as websites, email, toll-free numbers, or instant messaging. The rise and popularity of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have also resulted in the use of these platforms to help customers. In some companies or businesses, there are a number of in-house help desks that are designed to provide guidance or support to employees.

So you may ask: what then is a help desk software program? Generally speaking, it is a computer program that serves as a database storing and managing lists with the concerns or issues of the customers. These computer programs are used by companies to create, maintain, and solve complaints, inquiries, or issues from the customers, or requests that are issued by the employees of the company.

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A help desk software program issues “tickets” containing the request of the customer on a specific issue, the current status of the request, and other important data. These tickets issued by a help desk software program helps the users working with the software to quickly identify, add to, and/or notify them regarding the status of a request from the customer or in-house employee. The tickets are a way for the company to make sure that there is no client left behind waiting in vain for his or her inquiries.

Help desk software programs come with an array of features, such as a separate support portal for administrators and technicians, email-to-ticket conversion, surveys, file attachments, knowledge base, among others.

One obvious advantage of help desk software is ticket management. Ticket management allows customer support staff to work more efficiently. Added features include the capacity to see flagged tickets, view recent tickets, and search tickets. Another benefit of the help desk software is that it also has a mobile version, allowing the customer support staff to have access to the tickets without necessarily having to use a laptop.

There can be a few dedicated teams using a company’s help desk software. Possible ones include:

  • Server team
  • Desk side team
  • Network team
  • Miscellaneous teams

What is the history of help desk software?

Generally, even before the term “software” had become popularized to describe it, help desk software has been around for a long time. Before the start of the 20th century, companies often relied on a basic means of interaction, including face-to-face conversations. If a customer had a concern or inquiry about a certain product or service, they would go to the original store along with the item.

Even before businesses had workers that use individual desktop computers to help customers about their products and services, they already had workers that use other technical equipment, including dub terminals to have access to the mainframe computer, typewriters, telephones, dictation machines, among others. These technical tools have been used to address technical and non-technical issues. Companies have long used staff to help address the issues of customers and devised a way for their staff to monitor these issues as well as their work.

In1876, telephone is invented. Less than two decades later, telephone switchboard got invented, allowing customers (the wealthy ones at least) to directly communicate with the original store about their problem.

Fast forward to the 1960s. Call centers emerged, allowing big companies to invest money in departments and staff primarily dedicated to handling and receiving inquiries from customers. Developments in modern technology, such as the interactive voice response technology in the late 1970s allowed for better and more efficient customer service.

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In the late 1980s, outsourcing began as an industry, with many companies outsourcing customer service as well as support in countries abroad such as India. About a decade later, help desks emerge, which were soon followed by the emergence of the World Wide Web, email, as well as live chat support.

Desk top computers, email, and live chat support have significantly brought advancements to help desk software programs. It is no wonder that desk help software solutions became widely used in 2000s.

The rise of social media platforms in 2008 onwards resulted in a new level of engagement and interaction between companies and customers. Customers are now using tools such as Facebook and Twitter to provide feedback on products and services, with customer support staff quickly responding to their inquiries or questions.

These days, consumer computers are now using remote desktop software, allowing remote administration in customer support systems.

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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jacob wallace says:

For email marketing, if you’re computer-savvy, or know someone who is, I’d recommend PHPList. It’s an online application, installed in your server, really powerful for managing email marketing campaigns.

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