What is help desk software?

When you have more than one person working on customer service in your company, it's time for something more than an email inbox. 

This is the part where making up your mind seems rather challenging. You doubt if you need to shell out and buy a piece of unfamiliar software, when your email inbox is so simple. So here's something that might help you understand better what exactly help desk software means and if you need one.

So, what is this "Help desk software"?

Help Desk is a conversational name given to the function in a company that solves customers' grievances. Customers contact the help desk when they have a question or a problem. An employee from the company then addresses the question to the customer's satisfaction.

In a textbook scenario, help desk is a physical space that's often manned by someone from the customer support function. In reality, though, it's just a means to reach out to someone from a company when some help is needed. 

How does it help simplify your customer service provision?

Most companies give out an email ID and/or a toll free phone number to their customers. Customers can reach the company through these when they need help. Help desk software simply automates as much of this as possible.

Generally, helpdesk software consists of at least 3 parts, namely:

Together, these three functions form the crux of helpdesk operations.

Ticket Management helps organize customer requests and helps you cut through the clutter. Here's how:
  • The software pulls customer emails from an email ID and lists them in a single place—almost like rerouting emails to a more organized tab.
  • It allows the help desk executive to answer calls from customers and log them on cloud, easily. 
  • It allows customer support executives to listen to and respond to customer feedback on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. 

All of these are common examples of Ticket Management.

The Automation Suite goes a bit further, enabling better assignment and implementation of work. That means,
  • You can ensure that questions from customers are redirected to employees who're capable of answering them satisfactorily.
  • You can set up automatic notification rules, that alert you when the customer's replied or left some feedback.
  • When a support executive hasn't responded to a ticket, or when a ticket is taking too long to get resolved, SLAs can ensure that these are brought to your notice and taken care of immediately. 

And then there's Reporting & Optimization.

It constitutes the most important function of customer service. It pulls pertinent information about all the critical aspects of the helpdesk. Managers and leaders can understand things such as 
  • Ticket load on the customer service team, 
  • Turnaround time & resolution rate of each executive
  • Average customer happiness levels, etc. 

Metrics like these give managers a quick perspective of how things are faring and let them make amends for the better.

Apart from these, what else should you look for in customer support software?

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    Multichannel capabilities

    Like it or not, your customers will get in touch with you through multiple channels, like live chat, social media, telephony, and more. Help desk software puts all of these messages in one place.

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  •  

    Customer history

    With all customer messages in one place, you can look at their previous communications with your company and understand them better.

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  •  

    Collaborative features

    Customers' questions are almost never limited to one department. A support tool can help your teams come together and work on tickets a lot faster, without the loss of vital information.

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  •  

    Flexibility

    Can you get the support software to blend in with the tools you're already using? Can it be extended and integrated with the apps you are familiar with?

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  •  

    Self-service portals

    It's the best way to ensure that your customers have instant answers and your team has fewer tickets to handle.

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What if you end up not liking the help desk tool after you buy it?

There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to trouble ticketing software, and almost all of them come with a free trial period. Evaluate them, compare them, choose the right pricing plan and software. It definitely is worth the effort.