The Need for Help Desks and Help Desk Protocol

Efficient customer support is crucial for the success of businesses today. Help desk software is therefore a must-have tool to provide first-rate service for your current, potential, and new customers. This software has revolutionized customer service. Prior to the 20th century, customers had to personally return to the original store for product assistance. Employees back then often relied on the telephone, dictation machine, or typewriter to resolve customer inquiries.

The invention of the switchboard in the late 1800s enabled customers to contact the store about issues, although not all customers could afford to make these calls. Call centers surfaced in the 1960s and later became more efficient with the introduction of Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The need to outsource customer support lead to the emergence of the help desk in the 1990s. And the introduction of live chat, email, and social media feedback tools have since enhanced help desk software. To that end, to maintain the highest level of service, help desks adhere to a specific protocol. Here's what you need to know about help desks and help desk protocol.

The Types of Help Desks and Its Tasks

There are basically three types of help desks. Your business help desk operates via Human Resource (HR), legal, and finance support teams. Legal teams usually help with contracts, while your HR service team supports your employees on employment or payroll matters. Your finance team usually handles account-related queries.

Customer service help desks concentrate on providing efficient service for your customers, while your Information Technology (IT) support help desk assists your employees with IT issues.

Help desks have four primary functions. These are to:

  • Help ascertain the level of customer satisfaction
  • Provide product or service-related answers to customer queries
  • Boost agent productivity and
  • Enable a single and reliable point of contact for customers

Why Help Desk Software Is Necessary For Your Business

Help desk software can empower your customers to assist themselves via FAQs. It's also far more effective for tracking than regular email and enables inquiries to be shifted from your customer's inbox to a queue. This helps your agents prioritize requests more efficiently.

Using help desk software is also a far cry from utilizing those outdated sticky notes, as the ticket system serves as an effective reminder for ticket resolution times. You'll also be privy to agent productivity or performance, call volume, and customer feedback.

8x8 offers the perfect help desk solution with its Virtual Service Desk. This cloud-based SaaS model supports your agents irrespective of geographical location. It does not require any IT staff, and has integrated email, chat, and phone features, so your employees can request support via a myriad of channels. This solution is cost-effective, as you won't need to install any hardware.

What Does Help Desk Protocol Entail?

The primary component of help desk protocol is your ticketing system. Documenting help desk procedure via a ticket management system is a great template for ongoing customer service. The ticket system is designed to organize issues as they are reported, by issuing tickets.

A ticket is basically a support request submitted by your customer via the help desk. Requests here don't necessarily have to be problem-based. The queries could also be complimentary or a simple product-related inquiry. Tickets are usually created via email, although the system allows you to manage customer interactions from several other channels. These channels could be instant chat, phone calls, or social media.

Once support calls arrive via your help desk, an agent logs the call with all the details pertaining to the customer's request. Your software then tracks the progress of the request from inception to sign off. Your software also monitors all issues that have been resolved. Analytic tools also help you track agent performance via performance reports. These reports are used to help improve call resolution times and agent productivity.

With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center, you'll get historical and real-time reports. This grants you insight on agent performance and how your customers are currently being served. Our analytics help you identify service trends too. You can also detect performance anomalies and identify issues before it escalates.

8x8's software has several dashboards, including a queue dashboard where you can view your call volume, and an agent group dashboard. The group dashboard ensures that customer requests are routed to the correct group of agents.

Here's a typical example of a ticket sequence or cycle:

  • Your customer submits a ticket using the help desk software's online interface, or by sending an email
  • This ticket then enters an automated queue
  • Your team of agents are notified via email or an alternative notification that a ticket has arrived
  • An available agent assigns him or herself to the ticket
  • Your agent garners customer and query-related information and logs a call
  • Your customer and agent interact by conveying updates and replies to the service ticket
  • If the call needs to be escalated elsewhere, additional people and notes may be added to the ticket
  • Once the issue is resolved, the agent signs off the ticket

Conclusion

Help desk software plays a vital role in improving or maintaining customer service. The software was first introduced in the 1990s and has grown in leaps and bounds with the inception of email, instant chat, and social media platforms. Help desk software can be divided into four types. This software helps determine your level of customer satisfaction and agent productivity. Help desk protocol revolves primarily around a ticket management system, which tracks logged calls from inception to resolution. Agent productivity is also measured via your software's analytical tools and reports.

Choose a help desk and SaaS technology solution and focus on what's important: growing your business. 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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