Help desk software continues to be one of the most overlooked and underappreciated feats of technology in the field of business. Not only does it give consumers the chance to be heard, it also paves the way for business owners and stockholders to look closely at the problems that may exist within their company and find room for improvement in the services or products they offer. Looking at it from a larger scale, one can look at it as mutualism – where both parties are able to benefit.

help desk agents

Though helpdesk software is the current trend in the world of business, customer service technologies have actually already been on the rise in the past. These technologies of old have contributed to the progression of the technology today, and it has proven to be an important subject to consider in practically every aspect of business.

Besides, the deeper lesson technology teaches humanity is that the present is an improved imagee of the past, each photo cropped together to form a new and better one. As for the future, people can only wait for what’s in store.

Looking Back

Customer support had already been a major consideration way back when businesses and the entrepreneurial revolution was born. However, they were not nearly as advanced as what people have nowadays. People had to travel to the actual source of their product or service to get the customer service they need. Considering their mode of transportation and communication, it proved to be a tremendous hassle.

people being helped

When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, everything changed. Telephones made it easier to communicate from one line to the other. Businessmen were quick to take advantage of the technology, and soon, telephone switchboards were invented. Switchboards were set up across the nation in order to accommodate multiple telephone calls. As a result, consumers began to opt to directly communicate with the store where they purchased their products or services in.

Fast forward to the 1960’s, large companies decided to focus their energies on answering queries about their products. Years in the business have taught them that having loyal customers reaps benefits, thus the ‘Call Center’ was born. This was a part of their initiative to increase efficiency in customer service. It served as a place dedicated to answering phone calls and receiving concerns regarding their product. Inevitably, communications technology boomed as touch tone dialing replaced the rotary dial system which telephones originally had. This led the way for computers to recognize and respond to only sounds, and eventually, to voices.

women call center

Interactive Voice Responses or IVR soon became an innovation in the 1970’s when this technology was integrated in the established Call Centers. However, they were only limited to a small range of vocabularies. In the 1980’s, things changed as more complex and elaborate phone trees were launched and the then in-demand technology grew more complex as it went into the 90’s.

Eventually, the internet came into existence in the early 90’s, which led to a faster and more intricate evolution of the customer service element in businesses up until today.

When the internet was introduced, a new channel in which customers can interact with a company came along with it.  By 1996, internet use and instant messaging had grown enough to allow businesses to utilize email and 1-on-1 chats to personally interact with customers. Once again, the technological evolution had cut out the middleman of IVR and operators of the past.

While the internet boomed, various experimentation’s in programming and coding were also in the works, as most companies relied on the latest technology brought about by computer science. The increasing experimentation with software and coding led companies in the late 90’s and early 2000’s to begin implementing customer support through previously independent software and help desk solutions which merged to form modern helpdesk systems.  Companies such as Salesforce, Microsoft and Oracle became major players within the industry, providing contact centers with everything from CRM software to cloud-based solutions.

The Present

From the olden days and into the current, help desk solutions have been through so much innovation. Thanks to computer technology, the big burden of customer support can be moderated by help desk software. Efficient help desk software solutions such as that from http://www.jitbit.com/helpdesk takes a huge chunk off the helpdesk managers’ and employees’ stressful workload because of its integrated design. Help desk or service desk software works to automate the service management and support function.

jitbit

The truth of the matter is that the easier it is to access tickets from help desk centers, the faster the customer agents can reply. The faster these agents can reply, the more productive the customer support department is. For bigger businesses, this service is integral to maintain their stature in their respective industry. Similarly, it is important for up and coming businesses, which can definitely help them in their development process. This allows them to know what they can improve on and what they can innovate in their product or services.

Help desk systems also allow customer support agents to more easily categorize and rank issues according to their severity or importance. Giving these agents capabilities to prioritize issues can provide a better pathway for efficient working.  This is one major feature of good help desk software. Names, Category, and Tags all make it so that all customer service related activities become more organized and systematic.

At a basic level, a help desk ticket serves as a label for a specific client engagement. Each ticket includes a title and description of each issue. For more detailed information and better categorization, a company may opt to add custom fields like addresses and contact information to integrate for better categorizing and tagging. Moreover, helpdesk software has been built into its system to cater to the specific needs of every client.

Also, a powerful advantage of having help desk software is the ability to include metrics, charts and graphs in its documentation system. This greatly helps managers to track all their employees’ performance. Metrics such as average time spent resolving tickets, and number of resolved tickets can help managers run detailed reports to discover trends.

Looking Ahead

As technology leads the charge towards the future, its many new applications are along for the ride. Helpdesk solutions are also beneficiaries of this grand movement forward.

business tech

What is trending today is what is called Self-Service options by way of mobile devices. Though it may be true that one can get proper hands-on assistance from technicians and customer service representatives, more and more people are leaning towards self-serving ideology mainly because it is faster and easier. This integration to mobile and social technology can only move forward as virtual support is likely be used more often.

Since most people today are tech-savvy, it is more probable that traditional support lines will be less used and the power of mobile technology will be more apparent. Randstad technologies mentioned that in a few years’ time, there will be what is called ‘face-to-face in-store support’ where consumers get to visit walk-in service desks and get trained by specialists. Similarly, people can get live tutorials and “test drive” new devices to assimilate their Self-Service approach. From this, one can say that the future is really bright for the help desk field.

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5 Simple Steps to Getting Started in The Cloud

All start-ups and small businesses have heard that the cloud is everywhere and can transform your business. But what is it and what can it do? Cloud-IT specialists Principal have the answers.

Confusingly, the cloud is used by providers, software sellers and businesses who want your money as a catch-all term for a variety of things. It can become quite complicated, but it doesn’t need to be.

The cloud is basically an on-demand storage or software resource that you can access immediately through the internet.

Tech giant IBM offers a handy definition of the various different types of cloud applications which is a good place to start. It’s likely that after reading that you’ll have more questions than you started with. To help, here are 5 simple steps to getting started in the cloud.

1. Pick your cloud

The first thing to clarify is, like the sky above, there isn’t one cloud – there are infinite numbers of potential clouds. As a business, you need to configure one that works for you.

As a small business you will want to focus on how the cloud can benefit you. For most, that’s likely to be moving certain data and applications to the cloud.

The first step is to analyse your data centre usage. This audit can identify your current software and storage requirements, enabling you to identify areas that could be better served in the cloud.

It’s important to recognise that to work any proposed move needs to improve efficiency and be cost-effective.

The bottom line is, if it won’t save you time or money, then think again.

2. Solid security

The cloud is as secure – if not more secure – than your own proprietary network, but you still need to be cautious.

Once you’ve identified the information and software you’d like to be hosted by the cloud then take the time to assess what this means for security.

The Data Protection Act and European Data Protection Regulation all have implications for how you manage and store data, and how you select your partners too – more on that below.

3. Simple strategy

Once you’ve done the groundwork, you can begin straight away. Microsoft, Adobe, SAP are just a couple of the huge names who have moved to providing software via the cloud. Dropbox is a leading name in cloud storage, but isn’t the only one.  All you need to do to get started in the cloud is get your credit card out and sign up.

If you do though, you could be making a mistake. According to tech bible ZDNet, what most cloud projects miss is a strategy – and we agree.

A solid cloud computing solution needs structure. This will help create a system that works for the organisation and your customer. It is also built with the future in mind, growing and developing as your business does.

4. Cloud culture

Your implementation strategy is important. Equally important is how your organisation embraces the cloud. It’s all about culture.

The cloud offers freedom to access information, work collaboratively, remotely and at all times of the day. But it comes with some new risks. These are particularly important to recognise as employees increasingly use their own devices for work.

Businesses need to develop working practices and approaches that are fit for the new world of the cloud. You’ll need to introduce new staff guidelines for document sharing and storage to help you and your employees work in a new way.

5. Provider or partner

If you’re tech minded it’s relatively easy to set-up a personal cloud, but you need to explore whether it’s the right approach for you.

Focusing solely on individual providers can leave you with a fragmented cloud system, with complex and inefficient interdependencies between different pieces of software from different providers.

In the end, you could end up paying for a system that far more complicated than the one it replaced.

One way of avoiding this is working with a partner who can help you configure a cloud solution that works for you. They can also take care of some of the security and access issues, helping you devise a strategy for success.

A successful transition to the cloud needs some thought and some planning, but genuinely does have the power to transform the way you work – increasing productivity, efficiency and profit.

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