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Quick Guide to Help Desk Software

Whether you’re taking support tickets from customers or a fielding tech questions from a hundred employees, help desk software will be beneficial in increasing productivity and time management. As a tool for sorting requests, logging historical data and providing support call guidance, help desk software is beneficial for any sized business. If you’re in need of a management system for the IT department, this is your solution.

Features

Help desk software increases productivity thanks to a variety of features that will make your employees’ jobs easier. From historical data to quick search, the right software can make a difference in both time and money. So, before choosing the right program, be sure that you know all the features available to you.

Basic

  • Historical data: Knowing the history of each employee computer or customer will allow your IT department to troubleshoot and fix the problem more efficiently
  • Web based: Getting software on the web saves time and money. Not only can you access the program from anywhere, but your employees can leave the office for a call and still have access to the necessary information.
  • Support history: For customer based help desk software, it will be critical to know their support history. If they’ve had similar problems, it will be easier to assess their current issue.
  • Reports: This is beneficial for managers, as it allows you to track and print reports on progress, work times, etc.

Extensive

  • Post call emails: Some program allow you to automate an email to callers post support call.
  • Forums: If using help desk software for customers, forums are a beneficial way for your employees to solve problems without spending time on the phone. It can also reduce call volume, as this will be a place for customers to answer each other’s potential questions.
  • Tags: Service agents can tag tickets making it easier to search for and find later on.
  • Mobile: For service technicians, this will be beneficial.

Internal versus External

Internal

Whether you’re operating in a small, medium or large sized business, the right help desk software may be just what your IT department needs to get their service requests organized and time lined. Some benefits of internal help desk software include:

  • Training: With the right software, you’ll spend less time training and more time supporting the internal network.
  • History: All support tickets received will be stored and logged in the historical data, allowing IT to make better judgments based on previous problems.
  • Reporting: Managers can track and assess what employees are doing what, how long they spend fixing a problem, etc.

External

As a company that fields and processes customer support tickets and questions, utilizing help desk software will be beneficial in a variety of ways. The right help desk software will make the calls faster and more efficient. With customer information organized and available, your support team will be more successful in meeting customer needs and providing greater satisfaction. •

  • Customer information: Customer information will be stored and placed in their personal files. This will allow your support desk to be personable as well, making a tough time for your customer much more pleasant
  • Support history: Has this problem already occurred? Know when to troubleshoot and when to move on to the next step by assessing their call and support history.

Assessing the Value

When considering which help desk software to buy, cost will of course be a significant factor. However, as with any type of software, you’ll need to add in the costs that aren’t listed on the buying price. With technology moving at a rapid pace, you need your software to last you, so it’s important that you assess its value now, and in the future.

  • Maintenance: how much will it cost you to update and maintain the software? Often times these updates are free, however, for a lower level program, you may have to pay.
  • Employee training: Will you need to train your employees? If so, consider the time it will take and whether you’ll need to hire on more employees
  • Set Up: Will you have to hire someone to set the program up for you? Tie that into the overall cost if installation is something you or your team cannot do alone.

Pricing Scales

As with any type of software, pricing will change depending on the features you need and whether you go with a high or low end program. To decide which software will be the best for your company, you’ll need to have a detailed list of the features you need, the amount of employees or customers you’ll be working with, and how many IT members will need to access the system. There are three tiers of pricing

  • .Free: Free software options are bottom of the barrel, offering only the most basic help desk options and limited user access.
  •  Basic: With 10 users, and basic features, you’ll find most programs to be about $250/month.
  • Middle of the road: For a fully loaded program, that can be used by 10 IT support employees, you’ll be spending around $700/month. • Unlimited users: If you need to have unlimited user access, even for the most basic program, pricing ranges from $300/month and can go upwards of $1,000/month for more program functionality. • Self-hosted: For a top of the line, self-hosted program pricing can reach over $5,000/month.

Related Terms

If you’ve decided to move forward with your help desk software needs, it’s critical that you can talk with a sales representative confidently. To do that, you should know the terms and buzz words associated with help desk software. This will allow you to correctly relay what you need and/or want.

  • Self-hosted: Installed on every computer, and running from your server, this solution is less customizable, and can be expensive with installation fees and time spent on set-up. However, there is often longer support periods included for these self-hosted programs.
  • Web-based: Highly customizable, no installation required, this is where software is going. With easy access, no matter where you are, choosing a web-based program may make the most sense for a busy company.
  • Intelligent call processing (ICP): Features such as this bode well for the end user. This is a feature that routes your caller to the correct support employee based on the gathered customer information.
  •  Natural language processing: Allowing your employees to search through the database using their own terminology, this makes for a seamless interaction.
  •  Self-help tools: This will be valuable for an IT team who has never worked with the program before. It will give them easy access to knowledge bases, tutorials, etc.

Choosing the right help-desk software for your business is integral to internal and external operations. In order to reap the benefits of greater productivity and customer satisfaction, you must have all the right features. But, before you get on the phone with a representative, be sure you know what you need and how to discuss that confidently.

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