For any business that provides service to customers (or even to an end-user), access to customer support is very much needed. The common saying is that having these technological advancements in support portals is becoming “the cornerstone of nearly every industry.” As such, recent technological advancements have brought online support portals and customer service together.

helpdesk graphic

Thus, helpdesk software was born.

However, what exactly is help desk or service desk software and how can it really help a business succeed? Are they worth the investment of a company, and are they that really an imperative element for service-centered businesses?

Help Desk and Service Desk Software

Technically speaking, a help desk is primarily focused on meeting the needs of the end-user. In a business enterprise, a help desk is the place where a user of information technology can call to get help with a problem. In larger companies, it may consist of a group of experts using software to help track the status of customer problems and analyze these problems for the benefit of the company as a whole.

As such, it aims to manage and resolve complaints or incidents as quickly as possible by acting as a facilitator between end users and support staff on a daily basis in order to keep operations running as smoothly as possible.

help desk agent

Once an unexpected problem is reported by an end-user, the help desk serves as a digital logbook where the issue is documented, tracked and eventually resolved in one way or another.  Typically, this is the only point of contact for an end-user, who can submit any concern via email, phone or web portal.

In addition to logging and tracking incidents, a help desk should be able to provide access to a knowledge base and to track tickets. For this reason, a helpdesk ticketing system has become almost necessary for a service-based business to accurately deal with customer issues.

The purpose of help desk software is to assist in improving the efficiency of a business as they carry out their service processes and internal system resolutions. This may include sending out alerts when end users submit incidents, receiving, logging and sending tickets to the proper technician and instigating any necessary follow-up after an end-user’s incident has been resolved.

Meanwhile, a service desk can generally do everything that a help desk does. However, they have an added feature of also enabling the planning, structuring and delivery of IT services at the same time, rather than simply reacting to incidents. Much like a help desk, a service desk is also a single point of contact, but in this case, it serves both end-users and IT service providers as well.

Rather than being singularly focused on meeting the needs of end users, a service desk also aims to meet IT objectives as well as to manage and improve service processes. As such, both end-user to IT communications and internal IT communications take place through a service desk.

The purpose of service desk software is to automate as many of the common functions of a service desk as possible in order to streamline those processes. These might include change management, problem management, configuration management, release management, security management, service level management and availability management.

help desk office

This software is best when based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is the service desk management framework made up of a set of IT best practices. The standardized ITIL framework helps the service desk to best meet the base needs of a business through service strategy, improvement, design and delivery. Usually, the more expansive service desks can even function to provide an organization’s entire scope of support services including human resources, accounting, legal and facilities departments, as well as change management.

Help Desk and Service Desk Software Benefits

Both a help desk and a service desk act as a single point of contact for end users, which results in the more prompt resolution of incidents and streamlined service. As a result, both increased end-user satisfaction with service as well as a reduction in service costs for the business should follow.

As far as an increase in the overall company productivity and efficiency is concerned, these are the benefits of having help desk or service desk software:

  • Helpdesk software efficiently handles pre- and post-sale issues, both online as well as offline.
  • Web based helpdesk software enables a business to grow as it helps potential and existing customers to communicate with the business or supplier, and smooths problems faced in customer service.
  • With a help desk software system in place, a business does not need to expand its telephone call management system and can deploy employees more effectively.
  • The helpdesk software ensures that a business offers 24/7 customer support and incorporates several self-help features that customers can take advantage off. This system streamlines time management of employees who then only handle problems that are insurmountable by the software system.
  • A business can automate several processes like maintenance of a data base, stock records, movement of goods and marketing trends. The help desk software is a valuable tool for business that uses analytics to formulate business plans.
  • The helpdesk software increases efficiency of employees by providing physical and technical data on tab.
  • Helpdesk software in businesses is the central point through which problems are detected and managed. It streamlines business processes.
  • Helpdesk software plays a major role in management information systems and helps companies formulate goals and business plans.
  • It helps companies identify problem areas and find solutions. The helpdesk software efficiently handles the audit trail, freeing manpower and increasing business efficacy.
  • An ideal helpdesk system improves management efficacy and spurs business growth. It detects hitches in a system and gives immense scope for improvement.

Main Impact of having Help Desk and Service Desk Software

Because of the benefits mentioned above, having your own helpdesk system provides a larger impact on the company as a whole. Mainly, this involves better customer satisfaction, quality improvement, and more efficient operational processes.

Customer Satisfaction: The main advantage of a help desk is to improve customer satisfaction. Customers know exactly where to go for information because the contact information is clearly visible on product brochures and company websites. Some companies outsource their help desk services to offshore companies. However, this strategy may not work if customers begin to experience poor service, such as long wait times and poorly trained staff. As such, having your own customer service easily accessible is the best tool to satisfy your long-term customers.

Quality Improvement: Help desks can contribute to improve the quality of a company’s products or services. When customers call a help desk, specialists typically fill out problem reports describing a call. Companies can use software to tabulate and track these reports from initiation to resolution. Designers can review these problem reports to implement improvements. If several customers call with the same problem, the help desk might alert quality control and possibly senior management so that the company can fix the problem quickly.

help desk manProcess Efficiencies: A central help desk department means customer support calls come to the same people. This enables staff members to build on their skills and become experts in several technical areas, which in turn leads to faster problem resolution. Help desks are often part of corporate information technology departments, which can enhance process efficiency.
For all these reasons, having helpdesk and service desk software has been one of the most important features that service providing businesses put emphasis into. Since customer satisfaction has always been the selling point of these kinds of businesses, service portals have become a vital cog for any business in any industry.

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6 Reasons Why Your Website Sucks (and What You Can Do About It)

Have you ever browsed the website of a big company like Dell or Samsung? Were you impressed with how easily you found what you were looking for, despite the all the complexity of their product lines? I guess you probably were. These websites are built to the highest of professional standards. And as a result, the user experience is seamless.

But all too often, startups fail to emulate the seamlessness generated by the big companies. What seems like it should be straightforward and easy turns out to be a lot more complicated than they imagined. Here are some of the reasons why your website sucks and what you can do about it.

1. Boring headlines

In a world that’s full of low brow content and click-bait, it can be hard for your business to compete. People will click on titles that they find the most titillating, rather than the most informative. Titles which aren’t attractive aren’t going to attract much attention on the internet. They might interest specialists, but not the general public.

Making the titles on your website sexier is an easy first step to making your site more attractive. The next step is to include interesting images and perhaps infographics to reel in even more people. Often it’s just about keeping up with what others in your industry are doing, just to enable you to compete.

2. No blog

If you’ve spent any time browsing the sites of smaller companies, you’ll have noticed a trend over the last few years. They all have blogs. No longer is blogging reserved for foodies and disgruntled youth. It’s a tool that practically everybody is using to drive traffic to their websites. But why?

It all comes down to content. First off, search engines love new content. In fact, they take it into consideration every time they calculate your site’s ranking.

But also, the people looking for your product will probably want to read more about it. That’s why you’ll often find blogs on the sites of companies that sell complex products.

Legal firms, for example, make a point of running blogs that explain how their processes work in layman’s terms. It’s all designed to be helpful, accessible content for potential customers.

3. No website marketing plan

Your website is like the display window at the front of a department store. It’s the public facing part of your business. And it’s got to look good. But all too often, startup websites aren’t fronts for their brands. They’re generic templates that look as if they’ve been thrown together in five minutes.

Building brand identity through your website is an essential part of building a successful business. Because it’s your website that the public and other businesses see, this is what defines you. That’s why it’s so important that it’s good.

Take a couple of hours thinking about exactly what information you want to communicate through your website. What should it be saying about your business? And are there any graphics or logos that you should include to make it consistent?

4. Being too modest

The internet is full of people unashamedly screaming out for attention. Sometimes what they have to offer is good. But most of the time, the content itself is far from ideal.

The problem for the startup, however, is being heard above the noise. This is challenging enough in itself. But often startups will be further hamstrung because they are too modest to seek publicity.

The key to generating interest in your website is to tell your story. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, of course. It just has to be the story about why your company is unique.

Customers are most interested in your story than you realise. Stories are what draws them into your firm’s brand. It’s what gives customers an affinity with you do. And it’s what gives them something to believe in.

If your startup is an ethical company, you can build this ethical aspect into your brand by telling a story. Perhaps you wanted to set up a chain of healthy, fast-food restaurants because you objected to what the big corporates were doing. This is the type of story that people can really get on board with. And it’s the sort of thing that will align them with your brand.

5. Failing to list on established sites

Even if you do everything right, your website may still get lost in among the billions of pages on the internet. That’s why it’s worth using more established sites to get a leg up.

The first thing that you can do is make comments on other sites. The goal here isn’t necessarily to build links. It’s to create engaging, helpful and meaningful content that will build reputation. As your name floats around the internet, this will divert more traffic to your website and help improve its visibility.

The second thing that you can do is write articles and try to get them published on other websites. This will mean that more people will come into contact with your message. And more potential customers are likely to want to know more about you by going to your website. Guest blogging is an excellent way to get your site known to another site’s audience.

The third thing that you can do is connecting your site through popular social media channels. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all being used right now by businesses to promote their websites and their content.

6. Failing to use pay-per-click advertising

In the early days, very few people will visit your site, if any. The majority of your business will be done through word of mouth and recommendations. But there are limits to that kind of growth in a digital economy. And that’s why pay-per-click advertising is so important.

Essentially, PPC funnels interested customers to your website, dramatically increasing traffic. PPC is moderately expensive for a startup. But it’s something that can be tapered down once you build your reputation and traffic increases naturally. Often PPC advertising pays for itself. Most small businesses will use something like Google Adwords.

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