Why does a business need a helpdesk?

Customer support is one of the most crucial aspects of a business. Only when you’re able to help customers navigate their way through difficult experiences smoothly, will you be able to win their confidence and trust. This is where a helpdesk software comes into the picture. An effective helpdesk streamlines how you communicate with your customers and respond to their problems. It brings customer queries from multiple channels such as email, phone, chat, and social media into a single, unified location, making it easier for your agents to provide contextual answers. A helpdesk also has a plethora of additional features that will help improve agent productivity, enable customers to better self-service, automate assignment of tickets, get important insights into team performances, and much more.

What are the types of helpdesks available?

A helpdesk solution can either be on-premise, or can be delivered over the internet on the cloud. In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at their definitions, and the key differences between their operation and maintenance.

Cloud-based helpdesk

A cloud-based helpdesk is delivered over the internet, similar to a website. It is hosted on an external server, and can be accessed anytime, by agents and administrators with the help of a web browser on any device.

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On-premise helpdesk 

An on-premise helpdesk software is installed on a business’s own servers in their respective location or premises. It gives organizations complete control over the hardware configurations, security features and more, and requires them to bear the costs for its maintenance and updates.

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The differences between cloud-based ticketing systems and on-premise helpdesks

Cloud helpdesk software

  • It’s extremely easy to get started with a cloud-based helpdesk. You can create an account for your company on the service provider’s website, and login to the tool to access its features and functionality.
  • It can be accessed with the help of an internet connection irrespective of the location of the agents or admins. The data is always stored and backed up on remote servers, and businesses do not need to stress over consolidating and retrieving data.
  • The security aspects are all taken care of by the service provider, and businesses should exercise discretion, ensuring they’re buying a secure and compliant solution.
  • They get timely updates from service providers without any disruption or lapses in performance.
  • They usually follow a recurring subscription-based model, on a monthly or an annual basis. They are generally considered to be more affordable than on-premise helpdesks, and have trial periods to help with evaluation.

On-premise helpdesk software

  • Installing on-premise helpdesk solutions is a time-consuming process, that requires the expertise of your IT teams and hosting partners.
  • It requires all agents to work from a single location, and therefore works better for companies that do not have support teams across multiple geographies.
  • Businesses get complete control of the security features they want to implement. It is, however, very expensive to implement high-level data security features and cross-site scripting mitigations.
  • Although you get more control with on-premise solutions, updates to the servers are inconvenient and can require shutdown of operations when patches and upgrades are being implemented.
  • They usually consist of an upfront one-time payment. However, all the costs for maintenance and upgradation need to be taken care of by the business and not the service provider. Separate licenses are to be purchased if the helpdesk has to be implemented in multiple locations.

Questions to address before purchasing a cloud-based ticketing system

If you’ve decided to go for a cloud-based helpdesk and feel it will be a right fit to handle your customer service requirements, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself before deciding on the best solution.

Is the cloud helpdesk that I’ve chosen easy to use, and can I onboard my team quickly?

It is extremely important for your helpdesk to be easily accessible with well-distinguished modules and simple navigation options. Look for a solution that combines ease-of-use with strong functionality, where you wouldn’t have to train your team extensively, to perform basic operations.

Is the tool I’m using omnichannel?

One of the main reasons people opt for a helpdesk is to unify their different channels of communication under a single umbrella. Find out if the helpdesk of your choice is capable of omnichannel support wherein customer queries via email, phone, chat, and social media can be accessed within a single, common location.

Is the solution scalable as and when my team grows?

As your business scales, you will need to scale your customer support as well. For larger teams, helpdesks with basic features might not make the cut. They might look for a more enterprise-specific feature set like a Sandbox test environment, audit logs, custom SSL certificates, and others.

Is it integrated with other tools that are essential for my business?

You will have certain processes and tools in place for specific business operations. For example, you might be using a CRM to store and manage customer information, a marketing automation tool to send out emails and promotional campaigns, and an invoicing tool to take care of your finances. While choosing the ideal cloud helpdesk software, ensure you verify that it supports all the integrations you need.

Is the solution I’m opting for affordable?

Price is a key differentiating factor when you have to make a choice between equally capable helpdesks. Sign up for free trials with a number of helpdesks and opt for the solution that offers the best price-to-performance ratio. While you’re making your decision, ensure you are aware of any fine-print or hidden costs.

Why Freshdesk is the best cloud helpdesk software

Enable customers to help themselves

Use Freshdesk’s knowledge base to make it easy for customers to find answers without having to reach out to your support team for every minor concern. Populate your knowledge base extensively with solution articles, frequently asked questions, and more.

Collaborate with internal teams

Freshdesk makes it a breeze to collaborate with internal teams and resolve customer issues faster. Our powerful collaboration suite lets you perform actions like sharing ownership of issues, splitting customer tickets into smaller sub-tickets and having team discussions right inside the ticket thread.

Improve productivity with automations

Freshdesk helps automate routine tasks to improve the speed and efficiency of responses. From assigning tickets to a particular agent, creating preset responses for frequently asked questions, to defining escalation rules if deadlines aren’t met, you can do it all.

Get insights into team performance

Keep a close eye on the performance of your support agents and increase individual accountability using Freshdesk’s in-depth analytics. Get a bird’s eye view of all the necessary helpdesk information and drill down deeper to spot bottlenecks and improve processes.

Integrate with over 500+ apps

You can extend Freshdesk’s capabilities by integrating with a multitude of apps from our Marketplace. The apps are spread across various categories and help bring different business functions together.

Get 24x7 support

Freshdesk offers 24x7 email support and 24x5 phone and chat support with all its pricing plans. You can shoot any question at us and rest assured, our support team will be with you right away.