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What Is the Purpose of Help Desk in a Business?

What is the purpose of help desk in a business?
The purpose of help desk in business is to resolve customer complaints and queries in an organized and accurate way to ensure customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers ensure a company’s long-term profitability. The efficient use of help desks is also known to aid businesses in enhancing their service quality and improving the skills of service staff, especially in handling customer queries and issues.

A help desk is a vital business resource that functions to help lessen downtime in customer support services by increasing their efficiency to ensure the satisfaction of end users. At the core of a help desk platform is ticket management that sorts customer conversations in many ways including by urgency, date, and demographics. This feature can also automate processes to speed up the resolution of cases. But there’s more to help desk than simply handling tickets. This is why we’ve prepared this article, presented in a Q&A format, to explain the various facets of help desk solutions, starting from the basics to the relevant aspects.

purpose of help desk

1. What is the purpose of a help desk?

The principal purpose of a help desk is to cut down IT services and functions’ downtimes, making them available for much longer periods of time. These platforms focus on end users, making sure that technical issues and customer concerns are quickly addressed and resolved.  Issues are also easily prioritized by category, allowing IT professionals to engage in multitasking.

When needed, a help desk can customize tickets so that more detailed information is collected and issues categorized for convenience. Such tools can automatically assign issues by analyzing tickets. These can be assigned to relevant staff who may be more adept in handling certain issues than others.

2. What is a help desk?

Help Desk refers to a breed of software solutions, which involves all apps and systems that businesses use to respond to customer queries and concerns in the shortest possible time. 

These tools showcase common features such as:

  • Ticket management
  • CRM
  • Contact management and ticketing
  • Point of contact
  • Registration mechanisms
  • Lead extraction
  • Tutorial builders

3. What are the benefits of using a help desk?

Now that you know what is the purpose of a help desk is, it is just as important to know how such platform can benefit a business. The following are but some of a help desk’s benefits:

  • Automation of customer services
  • Productivity and issue tracking
  • Better view of customers’ data
  • Improved asset management
  • Better scalability of infrastructure
  • Minimizes issue resolution time

Source: The Rockefeller Corporation

4. Why should you use a help desk software?

According to Aspect, 68% of customers patronize companies that offer good customer service. One of the easiest ways to execute quality customer support is through a reliable help desk solution.  Aside from the fact that these can automate the customer support process, there are also plenty of reasons why businesses should use these tools. They eliminate the need for agents to respond to individual inquiries sent via email as such can be moved to help desk queues. 

Now you may think that your business is doing good and therefore, does not need a help desk solution. Remember that these tools are designed to improve customer service, which every single organization must keep on reinventing to achieve growth. Help desks allow organizations to standardize excellent customer service to any issues, boost efficiency and save valuable time. This is especially true in the case of data entry, which such systems eliminate. They are also capable of categorizing and streamlining issues by importance. 

Knowledge bases, which are an integral part of help desks, allow clients to resolve common issues on their own, enabling agents to focus on more complex problems. They can likewise set ticket priorities and the amount of time permitted for resolution. Metrics such as customer satisfaction, ticket volume, resolution times and agent performance are tracked by help desk solutions, making sure that customers get the support that they deserve.

Read our detailed top 20 help desk software guide here will get you up to speed to knowing the best options you have in the market today.

5. How do software tools optimize help desks?

The primary goal of help desk software providers is to automate all aspects of customer support. The ideal help desk solution must have core capabilities that include an automation suite, reporting and optimization, and ticket management.

Aiding agents in redirecting customer queries and concerns to competent staff is the principal function of the automation suite. This capability makes sure that all tickets are responded to quickly, which is made possible by automated notifications.

The reporting and optimization functionality is seen as the most critical of the three, enabling decision makers to collect vital information related to critical help desk areas. From this, managers get insights on how their help desks are performing, allowing them to come up with much-needed improvements.

Perhaps the most useful feature of help desk solutions, ticket management allows managers to respond to calls and log them easily. It likewise enables agents to receive and answer customer feedback via social media.

6. Who should lead the way in implementing help desk solutions?

As with any other corporate undertaking, help desk implementation starts from the top, with executives initiating the process. However, onboarding a help desk solution is pretty labor intensive and requires the cooperation of all parties involved, including the vendor, prospective users, and managers. Such collaboration is needed so as to be able to define, document and develop a working help desk.

Constant communication among stakeholders is also necessary for developing the perfect help desk solution. This is where the importance of vendor-client communication is highlighted. Such is accomplished by holding kick-off meetings where a vendor is able to define a company’s help desk needs by determining the business’ organizational structure and processes that need addressing. This is essentially how effective help desks are implemented, with vendors and businesses kickstarting the whole process.

7. How should I implement a help desk system?

Implementing a help desk solution, although a Herculean task, can be achieved quite efficiently provided certain things are observed and others avoided. The first thing one has to do to implement such a system is to try to keep it simple. A simple solution can offer all the basic features and functionalities that customer support calls for. It will also be easily learned and understood by support staff, paving the way for ease-of-use.

In due time, a simple solution can eventually be upgraded as the need arises. Another thing to remember is to identify the parts that your employees will take part in your workflows and how they can influence the implementation of the platform. To achieve this, an implementation team should be able to identify processes that should be followed. Once done, the needed help desk capabilities in managing such processes can be determined.

Source: ClickFox

8. How to Efficiently Roll out a Help Desk System

For a chosen help desk platform to succeed, you will need to convince users of the benefits of the tool. In short, you have to get them to support the use of the system and there are several ways by which this can be done.

  • Inform users on how the system can benefit both them and management.
  • Provide a thorough explanation of the entire help desk process so that users would know what to expect from the system. Focus on how fast the solution can address issues.
  • Teach users the role they will play in the program. A demonstration of how to use the software is recommended.
  • Make sure that everyone involved knows about the help desk. Do this by conducting training and issuing reminders.
  • Ensure that ticket submission remains simple.
  • It is recommended that company executives be present when the system is officially introduced. Management support is indispensable in these sort of events.

9. What are potential help desk problems?

  • Inadequate knowledge of business – Outsourcing help desk is a tricky proposition. The vendor should have adequate knowledge of your business to be able to provide efficient customer support. Agents who lack knowledge can negatively impact your company’s customer satisfaction. In such cases, the idea of providing customer support through in-house agents might be a better idea.
  • Insufficient agent training – The problem of high attrition rates in call centers from employee resignations is real. This could be due to the fact that call center workers view their jobs as temporary work. Companies can change this view by motivating workers to stay longer by providing them with the proper training, which can improve workforce capability and stability. Providing employees with a wide array of skills can help them become better at doing their jobs and versatile.

10. How to Choose the Best Help Desk Software

Not all help desk solutions are created equal. They vastly differ in features and functionalities, not to mention their pricing models. The following is a guide on how to purchase the right help desk software. It will walk you through critical issues that should be taken into account before committing to a platform.

  • Avail yourself of free trials – Lots of vendors in the market offer free trials of their help desk solutions. Signing up for these is quite easy or if you prefer, watching a demo of how the software works can also help you make a purchase decision. Trials allow prospects to explore a product’s key features before actually making a purchase. They likewise can learn about a product’s setbacks and look for a better alternative if necessary.
  • Know target businesses – It also makes sense to know what particular solutions specific business types and sizes require and what they use it for. For small businesses, help desk software is mostly used for customer service and technical support. IT companies, on the other hand, use them for more efficient and organized customer services. Meanwhile, third-party BPOs and call centers use these products to automate customer support.

We can see six trends happening in the field of help desk in the next few years, if, in fact, they haven’t started yet.

  • Self-service capabilities from AI use – End user self-service capabilities from artificial intelligence-enabled help desks are seen to become a common thing. This will be achieved through the use of technologies such as virtual digital assistants and chatbots. Self-service support will no longer be confined to searching knowledge bases and FAQs.
  • Improved configuration from machine-learning technology – Support staff will soon be able to access a wide array of data sets as they become integrated into help desks through the use of machine-learning technology. This will result in significant improvement in issue diagnosis and problem management.
  • Help-desks to become more user-friendly – As help desk solutions have become even more feature-rich, operating them has also proved to be difficult for many users. More complex dashboards have been developed, adversely affecting user experience. Such development is seen to wane in with new tools simplifying agent interfaces with the goal of boosting efficiency in mind.
  • More business-focused help desks – Businesses’ integration of technologies changes help desks’ orientation to a business-focused one. Help desk agents are seen to sustain digital processes by maintaining user access, addressing data discrepancies and managing workflow issues.
  • Gamification to boost agent productivity – Gamification has become a very handy tool in motivating agents. Companies employ reward systems to boost agent productivity, motivating staff to perform better in the process.
  • The growth of the help desk software market. The growth of global help desk market is at 49.3% CAGR from 2014 through 2019.

Examples of Help Desk Software Solutions

1. Zendesk

zendesk dashboard

One of the most popular help desk solutions currently in the market, Zendesk is a cloud-based platform aimed at both small and large business enterprises. The software is guaranteed to help organizations cut costs, ensure consumer satisfaction and boost employee productivity. The platform can manage thousands of tickets in a single day, with integration with online channels such as email, chat and social media easy to achieve. Such integrations aid companies in effortless tracking and delivering customer support. Once installed, Zendesk can be accessed from any computer or mobile device, making it ideal for small enterprises.

Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so when you can sign up for Zendesk free trial.

Zendesk

An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

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Deployment is a breeze as the software can be installed within minutes. It offers the ability to set up online service portals that are accessible 24/7, knowledge bases, along with online forums. These features allow customers to search a solution to a particular concern themselves. In addition, Zendesk can be used to customize the help desk in accordance with a company’s brand, providing tools to help businesses improve their image.

Aside from these, the platform can also serve as a reporting and analytics tool. With Zendesk, businesses can graph consumer satisfaction ratings and customer support team performance against specific targets. Other functionalities include integrations with business and productivity tools and multichannel customer support. 

Detailed Zendesk Review

2. Freshdesk

freshdesk dashboard

Freshdesk is a cloud-deployed help desk software that is targeted at small and large businesses. Its key features include integrated game mechanics, multichannel capability and multiple SLA policies and self-service portals. More standard functionalities such as ticketing, a knowledge base, and a community platform also come with the system. You can sign up for a Freshdesk free trial.

Freshdesk

Freshdesk

Try out Freshdesk with their free trial

The software allows agents to quickly convert emails into tickets, resulting in speedy response times and improved service accuracy. Popular third-party application integrations are also available, which include CRM and multimedia tools like Google Apps, YouTube, and Slideshare. The platform is mobile optimized, supporting devices running on Android and iOS. Social media capabilities allow users to monitor consumer posts regarding products, allowing decision-makers to resolve potential issues.

Detailed Freshdesk Review

3. SysAid

SysAid dashboard

Another award-winning platform, SysAid is a fully featured, scalable IT help desk solution designed for large businesses. The software automates help desk processes to help IT teams focus on the right tickets. For instance, one of the most useful features of SysAid is that it automatically sorts and routes tickets to the right desk. This allows IT teams to resolve issues as quickly as possible.

SysAid

SysAid

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In addition to automatic ticket routing, SysAid also provides asset management and remote desktop capabilities. Users will be able to manage IT assets right from the service desk, with each ticket already containing relevant records and asset information. The platform’s remote desktop feature also works on most Windows versions, so IT teams can easily connect to users’ devices to resolve issues, wherever users are.

Detailed SysAid Review

4. Salesforce Service Cloud

salesforce service cloud dashboard

Salesforce Service Cloud is a popular help desk solution that helps business provide faster and effective customer issue resolution. Ready to use from out-of-the-box, this application provides a completely customizable help desk solution that also empowers your clients via dynamic online communities. You can try this app when you sign up for a Salesforce Service Cloud free demo.

Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce Service Cloud

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A major part of the Salesforce business suite, this platform offers an extensive customer support solution that includes service console, case management, omnichannel routing, contact management, account management, social media customer service, customer self-service, and live chat.

Salesforce Service Cloud also supports extensive integration so you can easily incorporate it with all the customer support tools you’re using, with the added ability to improve those existing tools.

Detailed Salesforce Service Cloud Review

5. Freshservice

freshservice dashboard

Cloud-based help desk software Freshservice is known for being able to boost any business’ customer services. It has a myriad of features, which include ticket management, a knowledge base, asset recovery, and CMDB. The solution is designed to automate all tasks related to customer support. The ticketing system is highly customizable, with field templates providing just about any company’s needs. It is likewise capable of sending out notifications, service levels, proactive notifications, and escalations.

Freshservice

Freshservice

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In addition, a plug and play information technology infrastructure library comes with the app, allowing users to keep up with best practices. The software’s self-service portal enables customers to resolve certain issues by themselves by being able to raise tickets, browse the knowledge base and raise older tickets. Freshservice can be accessed from anywhere at any given time as it has a mobile app. As the solution is cloud-deployed, it does not require maintenance and ensures data security. You can sign up for a Freshservice free trial.

Detailed Freshservice Review

6. Zoho Desk

zoho desk dashboard

Zoho Desk is a help desk platform that functions within the context set by the user which allows more efficient customer support. Aside from automating repetitious tasks to help higher staff productivity, this solution enables clients to receive timely response using any access devices and provides agents with the necessary tools for providing efficient support. Your managers are also provided with data-based business information to help them make evidence-based decisions. Some of its recent enhancements include its robust, context-driven AI named Zia, a robust context-driven AI, and Blueprint, a new process management tool.

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk

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Major features include role-based control, multi-department management, contract management, multi-channel support, and multi-brand help center. It uses a per-agent pricing scheme so your cost is based on how many agents you have. It is totally free if you only operate with 3 agents or less. When you sign up for a Zoho Desk free trial, you can also test-drive the complete features of the paid plans.

Detailed Zoho Desk Review

7. Wix Answers

wix answers dashboard

Wix Answers is a smart, full-suite help desk platform that features intuitive tools like a knowledge base, integrated call center, multi-channel ticketing system, and other functionalities for providing quality customer support. A free help desk solution, Wix Answers is already present in the robust Wix website technology, you are assured that you can provide appropriate and prompt customer support, along with a host of other features. You can sign up for a Wix Answers free trial, too.

Wix Answers

Wix Answers

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You can easily and quickly set up this help desk in a matter of minutes, without any training needed. Similar to building a website with Wix, you just need to select a template, make some customizations to reflect your brand, incorporate your library of articles, publish it, and you already have a professionally-designed and efficient help desk to address your customers’ needs. Using its knowledge base feature, you can easily create and manage your product or service information, FAQs, guides, etc.

Detailed Wix Answers Review

8. Hubspot Service Hub

Hubspot Service Hub dashboard

HubSpot Service Hub is designed to provide businesses and organizations insights into what customers search for, so service teams can use context when interacting with customers. Service Hub comes with a Conversations feature that features a universal inbox, which provides all teams access to previous and current customer interactions. This makes it easier for teams to collaborate to provide improved customer support.

HubSpot Service Hub

HubSpot Service Hub

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In addition to the Conversations feature, Service Hub also has a built-in ticketing system for more complicated customer issues. Tickets can be associated with contacts, so service teams can quickly see if a customer has an open ticket in the system.

You can also use Service Hub to provide customers with resources such as knowledge bases. Through these resources, you can provide customers with self-service solutions to their issues.

Detailed HubSpot Service Hub Review

9. Atera

Atera Dashboard

Atera is a remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform designed to help improve the productivity of IT service providers and IT professionals. This software comes with a robust help desk and ticketing feature, which automatically syncs tickets between the customer portal and the Atera platform. Ticket scheduling features also allow IT professionals to manage tickets more efficiently.

Atera

Atera

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As an RMM platform, Atera also comes with a wide range of features, including patch management, help desk and scripting, billing, and invoicing. Moreover, the platform offers real-time monitoring and alerts so IT service providers can resolve issues as they surface.

Advanced remote maintenance tools also ensure that IT teams can have full maintenance capabilities for client devices. With these tools, IT professionals can perform advanced tasks remotely such as uninstalling applications, installing patches, and running scripts.

Detailed Atera Review

10. Nice inContact CXone

NICE inContact CXone dashboard

Nice inContact CXone comes with plenty of features to help improve customer service levels. This solution is designed to provide a full 360-degree view of customer interactions. In turn, this ensures that agents can personalize customer service according to customer sentiment and past conversations.

To improve agent productivity, the software also uses skill-based routing through its Omnichannel Routing solution. With this feature, the customer always reaches the right agent during the first call.

NICE inContact CXone

NICE inContact CXone

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Nice inContact CXone also brings automation to help desk functions and customer service workflows. The platform lets businesses automate workflows through conversational IVR, which can verify customer identity and respond to commonly asked questions. Conversations can also smoothly transition from AI to agent when needed.

Detailed NICE inContact CXone Review

How to Choose the Right Help Desk Software

By now, you will have gained a working knowledge of what help desk is all about. As most businesses do, you can leverage the power of these tools to boost your customer support, your bottom line and achieve growth. There’s a ton of these solutions out there and making a purchase decision is not easy. You can also try these 6 free help desk solutions if the budget is tight or if you want to “get into the system” at no cost for now.

To help you more in selecting a suitable help desk platform for your business, here are some expert tips:

  • Determine if you need an SaaS (cloud-deployed) or on-premise help desk solution. Nowadays, most companies prefer SaaS as this type of deployment offers more advantages than on-premise platforms, such as lower total cost of ownership, subscription-based pricing, zero hosting, and maintenance, etc.
  • The help desk should be easy to use, simple to install, yet robust enough to address your ticketing and other help desk tasks. This ease-of-use feature should cover both your staff and customers who’ll be using the platform from both ends of the support cycle.
  • It should have the core functionalities that your help desk system requires. At the minimum, a help desk software must support ticketing, chat, reporting and analytics, self-service, automation, knowledge sharing, and CMDB.
  • Lastly, the help desk that you’ll choose should be scalable and offers some added features. As your business expands, so should your help desk system. In this regard, it should also have additional functionalities such as scalability, monitoring, remote control, and management capabilities for patches, mobile devices, IT assets, and network discovery. You can actually cut to the chase by simply test driving the top helpdesk tool in the market today, by signing up for a Freshdesk free trial.
Christopher Robinson

By Christopher Robinson

Christopher Robinson is a senior productivity research analyst who specializes in optimizing online collaboration and project management using Scrum and agile approaches. In his work, he always emphasizes the need for distributed work training and the formation of efficient work habits. His work was mentioned in various business publications, including Entrepreneur and InfoQ. He’s a strong proponent of the GTD model. He has been cooperating with the FinancesOnline team for 5 years now, and his publications always focus on practical aspects of productivity tools that can have an actual, transformative impact on a company.

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