A help desk is a resource that enables businesses to attend to customers’ inquiries in a timely and efficient way. It allows organizations to respond to questions about their products and services. They can also provide customers with how-to information to resolve product-related issues.

The help desk supplies businesses with valuable insights into the concerns their customers have. If your company uses help desk software, you get access to several benefits. You can use the information it captures to improve business productivity and customer experience. You can also track the performance of staff assigned to respond to customers’ concerns.

How Do Help Desks Work?

Your customers expect seamless communication with your business. And that’s what help desk software helps you achieve. It integrates all interactions of a customer across various channels and allows your team to access them from a single location.

This means that an agent on your team can cross-reference multiple conversations that a customer has had with your other agents. This brings them up to speed on what that customer’s issues are. This background knowledge enables them to rapidly respond to issues with precision.

Types of Help Desks

There are various kinds of help desks, each devoted to handling a particular inquiry type. They include:

1. Customer Service Help Desk

Customer service help desks respond to questions, comments and suggestions made by customers. They assist the customer with information that helps them solve product problems.

2. IT Support Help Desks

An IT company usually maintains help desks to assist clients with concerns or problems using its products or solutions. Organizations also have IT help desks to resolve internal problems with IT equipment or software.

For example, your staff could have issues using the project management application. Such issues will be handled by an external help desk—usually that of the project management solution vendor. However, your internal IT support help desk will be called in if your staff has problems logging in to their workstations.

3. Finance Help Desk

Finance help desks receive and respond to customer inquiries about finance-related issues. They’re usually found at banks and other financial institutions. They can also be found at other organizations that receive lots of finance-related inquiries.

4. Legal Help Desk

Law firms may have legal help desks that attend to requests from a prospective or existing client. These desks provide resources to answer a client’s questions about legal issues. Other organizations that aren’t law firms can also have a legal help desk. This helps them deal with legal questions around products, user contracts and other legal matters.

5. HR Help Desk

These help desks are designed to respond to employees’ questions about HR-related issues. These include inquiries about training, form submissions, leave policies and general office procedures.

Why Help Desk Software Is Important for Your Business

In today’s fast-paced world, the functionality of help desks can be extended with the use of technology and software. Web-based and cloud-based help desk software enables businesses to resolve customer’s issues.

Here are some ways a help desk software can help your business:

  • Omnichannel: It lets you view all your support channels in one place. This allows you to transfer a customer between communication channels with ease
  • Analytics: You get analytics and reporting on agent interaction with customers, which you can use to evaluate their performance
  • Customer insights: Help desk software comes with analytics and tagging functions. These provide insights into how customers perceive your product. You gain a better understanding of what your customers like or don’t like about your products and services
  • Frequently asked questions: You can track customers’ frequently asked questions and create resources like FAQs and guides. These resources enable customers to self-resolve their problems without reaching out to your help desk. This reduces the number of tickets you get and the workload on your agents
  • Automation: It also allows you to automate support tasks. You can set up an autoresponder that sends an automated reply to customers when they ask certain questions

What Are Help Desk Services?

Help desk services refer to the type of assistance that’s provided by a help desk. For instance, a legal help desk offers assistance on legal matters. An IT help desk may explain the steps for installing software. It could also provide guidance on how to use or troubleshoot an IT product or service.

Help desk services are usually delivered over the following digital channels: emails, live chat or voice/video call. Savvy businesses respond to inquiries via their customers’ preferred communication channels. Having the right business communication solution makes this easy.

Here are some of the services that customers can get from a help desk:

1. Software Installation

An IT help desk can guide customers through the steps for installing software on their computers. It can also handle the installation on the customers’ behalf and help them understand how the software works.

2. Account Management

Help desk managers assist new software users with access to their accounts. They also help existing users with renewing their old accounts.

3. Incident Response

Help desk agents may receive requests to resolve security threats like malware and hacking attempts. They can provide proactive advice to users and guide them on removing malware. If serious, they can escalate the issue to a cybersecurity expert within the company.

4. Troubleshooting

Support agents work with customers to resolve product usability problems. After the customer explains the problem, agents may ask key questions to better understand the situation. Once they do, they suggest possible pathways to resolve the problem or escalate it.

What Software Do Help Desk Services Use?

If you are considering deploying help desk software for your business, you will have to choose one from these categories:

1. Internal Help Desk Software

Internal help desk software handles inquiries from employees within an organization. It’s usually deployed to aid IT and HR departments attend to questions from other staff members. This tool allows your help desk staff to resolve internal problems and increase productivity levels.

2. Enterprise Help Desk Software

This caters to inquiries from within and outside an organization. An enterprise help desk comes with multiple tools and features that you can customize to suit and support your business needs. However, this software is intended for large companies with a lot of employees. It provides your agents with access to a robust knowledge base and tools to better deliver help desk services.

3. Open-Source Help Desk Software

Businesses may opt for open-source help desks instead of one that’s licensed. An open-source help desk is fully customizable, as users have access to its source code. However, you need to have a skilled IT team to handle the complex programming required to customize the tool.

4. Web-Based Help Desk Software

A web-based help desk solution provider hosts the software on its server. This means you pay a monthly or an annual fee to access it. The service provider also helps you manage data, security and updates.

5. Cloud-Based Help Desk Software

As the name implies, cloud help desk software is hosted on the cloud. Such cloud-based solutions offer users several benefits. For one, you can access the solution from any geographical location. Also, you can quickly scale your help desk to meet increased demand. This is particularly useful when your business is launching a new product or an update.

How Help Desk Ticketing Software Helps Your Business

Customer service is a top priority for every business. Delivering top-notch customer service improves customer loyalty. It also boosts your competitive edge and increases sales. However, many small businesses, especially those with a growing customer base, find it difficult to deal with customers’ inquiries. This is where help desk ticketing software comes in.

This software collates relevant data about all the interactions a customer has with your support desk. These interactions may occur via email, phone call, text, social media, etc.

When a customer sends a complaint or inquiry to your help desk, help desk ticketing software automatically creates a ticket. This ticket contains the details of the inquiry or complaint. Your agents can refer to this ticket to monitor the progress of an interaction and any resolution efforts made.

Help desk ticketing software has the following features:

  • View ticket status: With help desk software, your agents can view the status of a ticket to monitor its progress. This enables seamless communication across channels. It also ensures that your agents deliver a coordinated response to customers’ needs
  • Self-service: Resources like FAQs and forums can be made available to customers who prefer to resolve their problems themselves
  • Ticket history: Ticketing software records details from a customer’s previous interactions with your business. This enables your team to trace the history of all interactions. It also provides documented proof of your resolution efforts
  • Notification system: A ticketing software notification system sends alerts to its users and customers. The alerts inform them of changes in a ticket’s status or other activity they should know about
  • Omnichannel ticketing: This feature is vital for businesses that interact with customers through multiple channels. Your agents can access details of those messages and respond to them via a single integrated touchpoint
  • Customization: It’s hard to find a help desk ticketing system that takes care of your exact needs. However, the ideal ticketing software offers some level of customization. This allows you to tailor its functionalities to meet your specific requirements
  • Grouped tickets: Your agents can group tickets covering a specific kind of concern under a single ticket tag, then deliver a single response to all of them at once

With a help desk ticketing system in place, you can engage your customers across multiple channels in a seamless manner. Your response teams will be able to transfer customer requests to departments and tiers that are qualified to handle them.

The software also allows you to reassign calls or inquiries to agents with fewer responsibilities. Redistributing call traffic across your service team ensures that inquiries are attended to in the shortest possible times. As the demand for service from customers increase, your team will want to prioritize workflows. This enables them to attend to more important tasks first. Customers that prefer self-service can access a robust lineup of resources.

Help Desk Certifications

While help desk software can improve your company’s ability to resolve customers’ problems, they will only be effective if you have qualified agents managing them.

Help desk institutions offer training programs that equip support teams with the skills they need to manage help desks. There are several kinds of certification programs available from these bodies. Each certification imbues the holder with a specific skill.

If you would like your team to get better at managing help desks, you can have them undergo any of these training:

1. ITIL Foundation

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation course covers basic help desk support skills. It shows the learner how to use help desk software. It’s offered by AXELOS, a venture that trains individuals in project management and IT services best practices.

2. CompTIA A+

This online training course is offered by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). It takes participants through the tools they will be working with at their support roles. It also shows them how they can manage data security concerns while on the job.

3. Network+

Network+ is also available from CompTIA. This focuses on network troubleshooting skills. Help desk technicians need such skills to handle network connection issues.

4. HDI-CSR

The Help Desk Institute (HDI) offers this customer service representative (CSR) course to help desk agents. It teaches them how to manage customer expectations with help desk tools and the steps involved in this process.

Resolving Issues Promptly With the Right Help Desk Services

Your customers expect you to resolve their issues quickly and efficiently. You don’t want to disappoint them. If you have the right help desk software in place, you will be able to handle their concerns and resolve their problems in the shortest possible time.

Your agents need a help desk software that’s easy to use, intuitive and comes with essential capabilities. This enables them to handle customers’ inquiries swiftly and efficiently. These features will help your agents attain peak productivity and serve customers properly.

If you are looking for an enterprise tool that meets these criteria, you’re in the right place. 8x8 provides cloud-based help desk software that’s ideal for small businesses. It simplifies and automates your interaction with customers and frees up time and resources that you need to grow your business.

Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center, you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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