Help Desk Software Introduction
Use help desk software to track all aspects of customer inquiries from addressing the problem to finding a solution. The software should also be able to access inventory records and organize ready solutions for problems in particular industries and businesses.
Make sure you work with a provider that offers a reliable training program for you and your staff to use the software. Will the provider come to your worksite to conduct training? Is there a customer service number your employees could call if you have questions after training? Will there be a set of troubleshooting tips that your company will be able to handle on its own?
Determine which license you would prefer for your software. Generally, there are four to choose from:
- Named seat license: Guarantees individual access for every employee that will use the help desk software
- Concurrent license: The number of licenses that can be used to access the software at the same time
- Site license: For larger companies, you can provide unlimited access to the software for everyone in the company
- Application Service Provider (ASP) license: Allow software manufacturer to host the software on their servers and you pay a monthly subscription rate to access the program.
Help desks are often treated purely as a commodity. For many customers, the vendor you choose will be their primary point of contact with your business. Those interactions can have a significant impact on people's perception of your company, positive or negative. Throughout the selection process, try to keep in mind that you are not just looking for a low-cost supplier - you are looking for a partner who will have considerable influence over your brand and customer satisfaction.
Help desk software can help your business handle many types of calls:
- Taking orders
- Customer service
- Tech support
- Qualifying inbound leads
- Answering service/messages
When businesses reach call volumes that demand a significant capital investment, such as help desk software, they may want to consider outsourcing. Help desk service providers can help you save money because they lower their costs by spreading the cost of employees and technology over many customers.
If you have in-house help desk software, you will want to make sure that the provider can provide connectivity from their system to yours, allowing you to easily exchange data. If the provider uses the same software you do, you may be able to set up a real-time direct connection, allowing you to see updates as they are made.
You may want to look for help desk software providers with experience in your exact industry. This can reduce the amount of training needed and help launch your program more quickly - but of course is no guarantee of success.
Help desk software typically includes applications for call management, call tracking, knowledge management, problem resolution, remote control and self-help capabilities.
Most vendors will provide you with a free 30-day evaluation period to try out the help desk software. Is it user-friendly? Does it include an installation wizard that takes you through the install process step by step? Does it feature all of the applications that you need for your help desk solution?Purchasing tips
- Check support. Make sure your provider's support hours match your business hours to ensure you can get help when you need it. Also, understand what level of support is provided.
- Focus on what matters. Sales pitches can be rife with flashy features and technical lingo that obscure the basic purchase facts. Keep your focus on the features that matter to your business.
- Balance low prices with good service. Do not simply purchase the lowest price deal - seriously consider the ongoing service you will receive.
- Involve the affected. Even though it can take time to involve multiple people in the purchase, doing so can help ensure your purchase becomes well integrated.
- Flesh out all the fees. Very attractive pricing that is asterisked with "additional fees may apply" should be thoroughly investigated before you sign up.
- Make the most of references. References can be a tremendously useful source of information about your potential vendor. Ask them specific questions about what works and doesn't work with the vendor. To ensure a similar experience, speak with businesses comparable to yours.
- Keep long-term needs in mind. Build in flexibility to expand or decrease your system or service commitment in future years.
- Authorized providers. Check whether you are dealing with an authorized reseller. If not, it can affect your warranty and access to support and parts.