For any business that needs to provide customer service — which is most — helpdesk software is an essential part of the process. It allows you to track what’s happening with your customers, as well as manage your support staff. When used correctly, the right helpdesk software will boost both staff efficiency and customer satisfaction.
A critical part of setting up and maintaining your company help desk is making sure you have software that is going to fit your particular needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re small enough to do things manually in a spreadsheet, or big enough to require distributed cloud computing services. Software that doesn’t work the way you need will hurt your customer service.
With that in mind, here are five critical questions you should ask before making a final decision on which helpdesk software is going to be best for your customers, your support staff, and your overall business.
Where Do Most Of Our Support Requests Come From?
Where requests are coming from is one of the major determining factors in how support is actually provided. Your staff will naturally deal with people in different ways depending on the channel they are using to communicate. Speaking with someone over the phone is certainly not going to work the same as dealing with someone through Twitter.
It’s important to have an idea of which channels your customers tend to use the most when they need to contact you. For example, it’s a bit easier to keep track of things if most of your customer service is done over the phone. If you’re like most modern businesses, however, you’ve got support requests coming in from various online sources too. In that case, options like social media integration can go a long way toward streamlining support processes.
What Do My Customers Expect From Me?
The key to providing good support is really understanding what your customers expect when they contact your support team. Some customers expect speedy answers. Others might not mind waiting a bit if support reps are friendly and courteous.
You should be actively researching ways to improve and adjust. The best way to do this is to simply ask your customers what they want. The right helpdesk software will make it easy for you to get customer feedback as well as provide comprehensive reporting.
What Features Do I Really Need?
When looking through potential candidates, it’s important to not only look for features you need, but also make sure you aren’t getting too many features that you don’t need. There’s a fine line between getting extra value and just wasting time and money.
It’s good to think ahead and see if you could potentially use extra features in the future. At the same time, though, you don’t want to go with something that is going to overwhelm support staff and needlessly complicate things. Your support staff should be spending most of their time talking to customers, not ticking boxes, filling complicated forms, and searching through menus in the software.
Is The Helpdesk Easy To Use And Customer Friendly?
How your staff interacts with the helpdesk software is going to affect how they interact with customers as well. If the interface is difficult to use, it’s going to slow your staff down and increase dissatisfaction among customers asking for help. Getting the right balance of power and usability should be a top priority.
On the other side of the coin, if the software sends messages to customers, it’s going to affect their perception of the support experience. You should consider how those messages are composed. Can you customize messages to make them personal and friendly? Or is the system going to send out dry, canned responses that make customers feel like just a number in the queue?
Take advantage of free trials and software demonstrations to see how potential candidates really work. If possible, have one or more members of your support staff look at and review the software.
Am I Getting Value For My Money?
Last but not least, you want to be sure you’re getting real value for your money. Higher prices don’t necessarily mean better software or service. You also don’t want to be paying for bells and whistles that you and your staff will never use.
With customer support being such a big part of doing business these days, it’s increasingly important that all of your resources are being used efficiently.
Take Your Time And Make Your Choice
Look closely at your options and make your choice carefully. It might not seem obvious at first, but the helpdesk software you choose can have big effects on how your business functions and how your customers perceive you.
With your customers on one side, and your staff on the other, your helpdesk software sits in the middle. It influences what your customers see, how your staff works, and how both communicate with each other. By asking these five questions, you should be able to gather all the information you need to make the right decision for your business.