In today’s extremely fast-paced business environment, even seemingly straightforward tasks like maintaining customer relations needs to be optimized for speed. In some companies, its customer support center may consist of just one or two people who answer the phones and handle all incoming problems. Of course, call volumes and customer expectations often exceed what the staff is able to deal with – ergo, the advent of automation of customer support through help desk software.
Technically speaking, a help desk software is a resource designed for consumers to contact a company when they are having problems with the product or services provided by that company. Help desks institute a multi-tiered troubleshooting approach by having personnel with extensive technical knowledge available. In layman’s terms, help desk software is a system that automates the management of customer support.
In the typical scenario of the past, a customer sends a support inquiry via email, never knowing what to expect or if they will receive any acknowledgment response at all. Perhaps, they try to get help by phone, only to end up being put on hold and shuffled through different agents. This wastes the time of both the company and the customer.
In some cases, when this process is disrupted, customers are left frustrated while the image of the business suffers a crucial blow. Problems like these are why help desk software was invented.
History of Help Desk Software
Before the era of telephone or computers, businesses mostly relied on face-to-face interaction to resolve customer issues. This meant that the customer had to visit a company’s store or office with the product to get their problem solved. With the invention of the telephone in 1876, and the telephone switchboard in the 1890s, customers began to have the option of calling the company about their problem.
The advent of the telephone increased customer support productivity, but it still had a long way to go. In the 20th century, companies started making use of equipment like dictation machines, typewriters, and dumb terminals with access to a mainframe computer to address customer issues.
Companies then started to set up call centers and train designated staff to receive and handle customer inquiries in an organized and efficient manner. When the technology of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) came, it was a huge boost to the nature of telephone customer service – which helped customers to perform basic transactions and receive assistance without even talking to an agent.
Still, this required companies to dedicate many employees and much more infrastructure to execute their customer service efficiently.
The 1990s saw the advent of the internet, email, and live chat. This development enabled US companies to outsource their help desk to low labor-cost countries like India and the Philippines.
The improvements in technology and infrastructure and the presence of an educated workforce in these countries who could articulately speak with international customers over the phone were the main reasons for the boom in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry which started in the late 1990s.
The next thing that happened when BPOs blossomed simultaneously with both communications technologies and software development was the grand entrance of help desk software. In the 2000s, companies started to use help desk software widely. Help desk software providers also started to pop up – like the early Manageengine.com, www.VisionHelpdesk.com, http://www.Jitbit.com/helpdesk. As the years went by, advancements and other offered features began to grow.
This decade also witnessed the growing popularity of social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. The meteoric rise of social media platforms in 2008 onwards resulted in a new level of engagement and interaction between companies and customers.
Customers are now using tools such as Facebook and Twitter to provide feedback on products and services, with customer support staff quickly responding to their inquiries or questions. Recently, companies have also started using remote desktop software to access customers’ computers to find out details about the issue before suggesting a correct resolution.
Why Help Desk Software is Important for Companies
Companies always compete with each other – and when their product or service features are deadlocked with their competitors, customers tend to favor the company that has the better customer support system.
In the current competitive era, earning customer satisfaction is the primary goal of any business enterprise and organization. It is a well-known fact that happy and satisfied customers can help business organizations unlock greater revenue opportunities, and make them stand far above their competitors. Quality customer satisfaction can also help in strengthening the brand image, which further influences customer loyalty.
Having a quality help desk software helps companies deal with customer support in the most efficient manner. Help desk software automates much of the customer support system.
As a start, the software pulls customer support emails from an email ID and lists them in a single place. This is part of the process is called Ticket Management, where a customer can file a “ticket” that will be received and read by a tech professional – or even just a program that’s carefully designed to manage tickets. It allows a help desk executive to answer calls from customers and log them easily.
The next step is now for a help desk coordinator to ensure that questions from customers are redirected to employees who’re capable of answering them satisfactorily. The automation program that the help desk software developer coded can iron out various company issues. It enables the coordinator to get notifications when a support executive hasn’t responded to a ticket, or when a ticket has been left unresolved for a significant (and professionally unacceptable) length of time
Finally, information about the ticket and the customer can now be read by managers, tech support, customer support, or other personnel. The thing is, all tickets are already sorted, organized, or even fixed even before they reach this end of the Customer Support system. As such, companies can deal with customer support concerns faster, more efficiently, and more effectively.
The Perks and Benefits of Help Desk Software
A help desk management solution functions as a one-stop solution for all customer support, queries, requests, complaints and assistance needs. It empowers a customer support team to handle all customer complaints and requests from one place without any hassle.
Help desk software also helps to create more efficient monitoring & tracking. Companies can efficiently monitor and track the current status of any complaint or service request raised by a customer using an advanced help desk management solution. As such, it allows companies to have a constant watchful eye on the complete problem resolution cycle, starting from the time of its registration to the final resolution.
Improved customer relationships come with the effective use of help desk software; by providing top-quality customer support and assistance, (due to improved efficiency and quickness) your business can earn quality customer satisfaction without any complications. It also further allows companies to maintain healthy and profitable relationships with new and existing customers.
Any advanced help desk management solution also simplifies various complex and time-consuming day-to-day processes. This allows for better problem resolution and timing as it enables customer support teams to save crucial time and effort spent on handling customer complaints and requests. Minimizing total time spent on resolving a problem is always a result of a simplified system – one that can be provided by help desk software.
Finally, an advanced help desk management solution allows businesses to improve the quality of assistance and support provided to the customers. With various tools and features, companies can assure their customers will be able to get complete and accurate assistance with all their problems and questions in mind.