The major add-value of a product or service over its competition is very often in the quality of support available to customers. Inexpensive online help desk systems can streamline customer support, free your support personnel from tedious administrative work and provide better support than other methods.
Typically in the past, customers would either email the support request, never knowing if it was received and when it would be acknowledged, or they might telephone the support department. Long waits on hold, constantly busy lines, incomprehensible replies by exotically accented personnel providing by foreign outsourcing companies, or being asked to leave a message, helped to increase customer impatience and frustration. Calls often needed to be routed to the appropriate personnel, wasting valuable staff and customer time. Few issues were resolved on the first call. On the next call, the customer might reach another individual who has no background about the issue, and experience the frustration of having to repeat all the information once again. Everyone's time was wasted, the customers were dissatisfied and the company looked bad.
Online help desk systems are changing that scenario. With online help desk systems, knowledge bases, help documents, FAQs and documents resolve many customer problems without the need for any trouble ticket and without intervention of support staff. If necessary, customers can initiate their own trouble tickets. The tickets can be routed to the right person who provides the correct reply in a timely fashion. Companies that employed called centers found that online support saves time of support staff as well as reducing frustration of customers waiting on call center lines. Moreover, online help desk software makes it easy to track issues and to share issues and resolutions among the entire support staff.
Help desk software
performs many of the functions of an online support staff. It provides reliable and authoritative answers from the knowledgebase and other resources and allows initiation and routing of trouble tickets. Since the customer-visible knowledgebase plus internal data are visible to all employees, support people can rapidly become expert in supplying the correct answer quickly, even when customers did not. Support employee training time is greatly reduced, and the same number of support personnel can give better service to more customers.
A good help desk program includes the following features:
- Easy customer ticket initiation and tracking
- Knowledgebase for users
- Common files for users
- Ability to create a complete help facility and tutorials
- Addition knowledgebase for employee reference only
- Ability to specify automated responses
- Ability to built and use a library of "canned" responses
- Troubleshooting to walk users through solutions
- Present common solutions to a problem from the knowledgebase before the customer opens a ticket
- Good tracking of issues and resolutions
- Reporting and metrics
- Easy management through a simple backend interface for support personnel
- Easy branding and customization to fit with the look and feel of the business' Web site
- Open interface to integrate with other popular applications
- Easy integration with a live chat application
- Mobile support
- Import of customer emails into the system
- Possibility to reply by email to customer help requests
- Ability to separate requests by departments
- Selective use of only features you need
- Syndication of help requests so all support personnel can see them
- Rapid installation
- Care-free maintenance
- Full support
Not surprisingly, help desk software systems have quickly become the most popular type of customer support program. They are certainly essential for online businesses, but they are also used by utilities and other types of business with an online presence. They improve customer satisfaction and therefore contribute to all-important customer loyalty.