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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