A beginner’s guide to a help desk

Are you using a shared email inbox to communicate with your customers? Have you missed responding to certain emails? Do you find it difficult to make customers happy? If you’ve been searching for a solution for these problems, you’re sure to have come across the term “Helpdesk Software” and are probably wondering what it means.

If you want to know how a “Help desk Software” can help you communicate better and improve your relationships with your customers, you are in the right place. This page is going to answer the following questions

What is a customer support software?

What is a help desk software?

Let’s say you are an online retailer selling sportswear on your website. You probably get a lot of queries from customers - questions regarding size issues, what materials the clothes are made of, shipping costs, expected delivery dates, refund requests and so on. They may not just want to email you but might also tweet about you or post on your facebook page or prefer to chat on your own website with one of your representatives. Whatever be their mode of communication, they expect you to be there and address their concerns. If they begin a conversation on twitter but suddenly switch to phone, they still expect you to connect the conversations and be able to answer their question. That’s where a helpdesk software can help you.

So, what does a helpdesk software do?

A helpdesk software streamline conversations across channels into one place, keeps track of user requests, enables you to communicate with customers more easily, and helps you deal with other customer support related issues better.

So if you are a online retailer, let’s say selling sportswear, a helpdesk software will help you store all the queries coming in from multiple places. You can automatically categorize and prioritize them and respond as necessary.

Let’s say a customer emails you to ask when a particular brand of sneakers will be available. You say it will be available again only during the fall season, which is three months away. If the customer contacts you again on twitter in three months, your helpdesk software will provide you the context of the previous conversation so you know in advance what the customer is going to ask. You can use this knowledge to respond to queries accordingly or even be proactive with your answers. Your help desk software can also seamlessly merge these two conversation threads across Email and Twitter so it is easier for you to manage without having to switch between tools. But the customer will still get the response on the channel they want - which is Twitter in this case.

Who can use a helpdesk software?

Helpdesk for small businesses

Small and Medium sized businesses have very similar requirements. Small sized businesses require helpdesk software with powerful automation capabilities. The automations enable the support teams to focus purely on answering tickets while it automatically takes care of routine helpdesk tasks. Mid-sized businesses are focusing almost exclusively on growing rapidly. They need a fast, scalable solution that helps their teams be as efficient as possible - A good helpdesk software can help in both situations.

  • Helpdesk software can automatically tag, categorize and prioritize incoming requests and assign these queries to your agents based on your requirements
  • Helpdesk software are much more efficient than email since you don’t have to juggle the same inbox, folder structures and logins between various team members.
  • A helpdesk software can help you setup SLA policies to ensure your agents honor deadlines for solving customer problems. In case deadlines aren’t met, helpdesks can also automatically escalate tickets to managers.
  • A good helpdesk software will automatically ensure that multiple agents aren’t trying to answer the same ticket and stop customers from being spammed by multiple responses from your agents.
Helpdesk for enterprises

Enterprises require different teams to work cohesively together and without impacting efficiency to come up with responses for their customers. Enterprises need a way to measure their team’s performance and implement strategies to improve rapidly where necessary. A helpdesk software can help enterprises in the following ways:

  • An enterprise-grade helpdesk software can intelligently manage agent availability across shifts, geographies, time zones, languages and route tickets to the right agent to get the quickest response possible.
  • A versatile helpdesk software can integrate with other tools the business uses such as CRM software, billing and payment systems, package trackers and so on to get the right information necessary to solve a ticket.
  • A good helpdesk software brings your sales, marketing and support teams together. It increases visibility into each other’s workload and enables them to work together better.
  • Any good helpdesk needs to be compliant with industry standards for data protection like TRUSTe, ISO 27001:2013, SSAE - 16 & HIPPAA, SOC I, II, III and so on. Make sure the helpdesk you choose has data centers across the globe as well as enterprise class in-product security features to help you manage your data security challenges.

How can a Helpdesk Software help my business?

Support more easily

With a helpdesk software, your agents can respond to emails, answer phone calls and chat with customers from one place. No need to juggle various tools and logins.

Increase Efficiency

A helpdesk software can help automate most support tasks. Your team can dedicate all of its efforts towards tackling the customer’s problems instead of figuring out paperwork and maintenance.

Strengthen collaborative efforts

You can collaborate efficiently with a helpdesk software. With better visibility of who is responding to a ticket, which customers already have answers and which tickets still need to be answered, your team can support customers better together.

Provide better responses

Communication is easier and answers are more helpful when you have more context. You can always access past interactions with any customer on any channel from a single, unified customer database.

Improve Customer Loyalty

A Helpdesk software can streamline your customer support process so that it is easier to make customers happier. Happy customers means loyal customers who will keep returning to your business.

Analyze and Improve Faster

Is your teams’ responses fast and accurate enough? A good helpdesk software will provide the metrics you need to measure your team’s performance so you can learn when to improve and when to appreciate them.

How do you choose the right helpdesk software?

Style of Support

How do customers try to reach you? Do they get in touch with you via email, social media or phone? Or do they prefer to chat with agents directly on your website? Make sure the support software you choose fits your customer expectations and your style of support.

Usability

A support software with intuitive and approachable UI means your agents can start supporting immediately without needing special training. Higher prices does not automatically mean a better helpdesk and a complicated UI does not necessarily mean feature-rich.

Price

Shop around, compare features, read up reviews and then decide which helpdesk software fits your business workflows better. Higher price is not guarantor of quality and if you are just starting out, even a free helpdesk software can be more useful than just using email.

Choosing the right customer support software for your business

Calculate how much Freshdesk can save for you. Check out our ROI Calculator

What type of help desk fits my business?

Multi-Channel Helpdesk

Gone are days when people reached out to support through phone or email. Your customers are everywhere and so should you. Offer multi-channel support to your customers via chat, website, phone and email, with Freshdesk.

Learn more

Social Helpdesk

Facebook and Twitter aren’t used only to share updates with friends and family. Use these platforms to know how your customers feel about your brand by making your helpdesk more social. Turn every tweet or a Facebook post into tickets and act on it for an exceptional customer support experience.

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Global Helpdesk

As your business grows and expands so will your customer base. Your customers shouldn’t have to wait till your business hours to receive a reply to their ticket. Your global business deserves a truly global helpdesk. Support your overseas customers in their local language and time zone.

Learn more

What are the Essential Features of a Helpdesk?

Every helpdesk software is different. Some provide a basic platform that require you to setup a lot of integrations and plugins before it is support-capable. Others require you to just login to talk to your customers. Some require you to integrate with reporting suites to analyze your performance while others have AI crunching your numbers out of the box, to help you improve. Whatever the individual capabilities may be, you will need these six essential features in your helpdesk.

Multi-Channel Ticketing System

A fully configured helpdesk software can help you manage incoming tickets better by automatically tagging, categorizing and assigning tickets. This support software can streamline tickets from multiple sources into one place so your agents don’t have to juggle multiple logins and passwords but can communicate across channels like Email, Phone, Social Media etc. from one place.

Collaboration

A good helpdesk software will help teams collaborate better by increasing visibility between them. By keeping agents proactively informed of ticket owners, responses and priorities, a good helpdesk software can keep your global team on the same page with no extra effort so they can just focus on supporting customers.

Automations

A powerful helpdesk software is one that reduces the agent effort required in making a customer happy. With powerful automations, support software can automatically handle day-to-day tasks based on time-based and event-based triggers. You can create custom workflows to adapt these automations into your business workflow so that tickets are routed to the right agent for the fastest response.

Reporting and Analytics

You cannot progress if you do not know where you are. Every good customer support software suite will have robust in-built reporting features that let you analyze your performance metrics and let you know where you and your team need to improve. These analytics can also help you understand how and where your team needs to improve.

Customization

Certain enterprise support software can be customized completely so that it feels like an extension of your business and makes the entire support experience feel like an extension of your brand to the customer. By tailoring the after-sales experience for your customer to also be reflective of your business, you can build brand recognition and customer loyalty more easily with support.

Want to try a helpdesk software?

Freshdesk is a cloud-based help desk software which helps small sized businesses build relationships with their customers easily. Freshdesk also helps enterprise businesses to collaborate better across the globe, and enables more efficient businesses processes for better customer experiences. If you are looking for an intuitive, easy-to-use helpdesk software, we’re here.