Helpdesk Software: A Complete Guide
Customer Support

Helpdesk Software: A Complete Guide

An informative guide that talks about the benefits, know-hows, market scenario, trends, and features of the helpdesk software that help drive a better customer experience.

Sanjoli Jain

21-12-2021

10 Min

When Southwest Airlines responded with a creative tone to one of their customers through Twitter, it caught the attention of a large number of Twitter users. When one customer posted their question in the form of a poem, the brand’s support team provided an answer to match. Southwest Airlines usually takes pride in its reputation for excellent customer service. Their customer service enabled through social media comes across as something really fun to read and experience.

Southwest Airlines responded

Adding some personalized experience to support interactions can go a long way in establishing brand loyalty. Plus, it is just plain fun on the support end. Brightening a customer’s day is more than worth a few extra seconds of effort. But, providing this experience is not as simple and smooth as it may look on Twitter. At least not without proper tools and tech in place. You need a process that can help you with everything from identifying customer pain points to responding to them as quickly as possible. For example, the above-mentioned customer tweet (customer effort) would have gone in vain if the company would not have been able to reply instantly.

Helpdesk software is a growing feature that is commonly found on websites to help users resolve their queries. However, helpdesk software cannot just be viewed as a functional component of tech support. While it is there to help, you need to make sure it does. Helpdesk solution should be seen as another channel to deliver an exceptional customer experience to retain and win customers. And hence it is important to know everything about a helpdesk management software before you begin picking one.

In this article, I will walk you through the know-hows of helpdesk management software that helps B2B and B2C brands deliver an exceptional customer experience.

What Is Helpdesk Software?

Helpdesk software is a one-stop contact point that provides centralized information and helpdesk management software to handle a brand’s internal and external queries. A helpdesk management software enables the companies to resolve customer grievances faster and efficiently. They can simply do this by automating the complaint resolution process with helpdesk management software.

Types of Helpdesk Software

There can be multiple ways of categorizing the helpdesk management software considering various parameters. For example:

  • By their deployment
  • The size of business
  • The type of target users
  • The customer support function
  • The source code accessibility

Here are four common types of helpdesks:

1. Web Helpdesk

Web helpdesks are cloud-hosted or software-as-a-service (SaaS) where the company can rent the solution based on a subscription. This way, they can save on the cost and scale up quickly whenever they need.

2. On-premise Helpdesk

When companies own and host the software and have complete control over the helpdesk, it is solely responsible for its maintenance and functioning.

3. Enterprise Helpdesk

Enterprise helpdesk does not just have the standard features of a helpdesk. It goes beyond addressing customer queries with faster resolution rates. It also includes features improving overall support efficiency.

DeskXpand is an intuitive, automated helpdesk software designed to overcome all the latest enterprise challenges. Take a personalized demo today.

4. Open Source Helpdesk

Brands won’t need a user license or permission to access the source codes in an open-source helpdesk.

What are the Business Benefits of Helpdesk Software?

You must be wondering, why is helpdesk software so important? Here’s why:

The biggest benefit of helpdesks is almost zero to minimal downtime. No one likes it when the system fails, and the issue resolution is put on hold, whether it is the customer or employee. Helpdesk software has a positive impact on multiple faces like customer satisfaction, increased agent productivity, and operational/business benefits.

Customer Satisfaction

1. Customer Satisfaction

Everyone wants their query to be resolved quickly with minimal effort. Helpdesk software can help you delight your customers by ensuring first contact resolution (FCR). You can keep the customers informed by sending out timely updates about the status of their complaints. Moreover, helpdesk software makes it easier for the customers to reach out to you.

2. Agent Productivity

The most significant benefit of using helpdesk software is agent productivity. It helps you automate repetitive tasks so that your agents can focus on difficult queries that matter. Through a knowledge base, customers can search and resolve queries on their own, and agents are spared from answering minor questions repeatedly.

3. Business Operations

Helpdesk solutions help you streamline business operations to meet SLAs and prioritize specific actions. You need to empower the supervisor with intuitive graphs and data points and then monitor its functioning. The supervisor/manager gets to have a 360-degree view of the operations and can make informed decisions based on that data.

4. Scalability

It is always preferable to turn to a helpdesk software than hire and train a new workforce. Helpdesk software makes it easier to create, sort, assign tickets as per the expertise. This contributes to business growth and improves customer support functions.

Industry-Specific Use Cases of Helpdesk Software

Multiple businesses mistake customer support as a cost-centric problem and hence end up tightening their team’s spending. This makes them move their customer support offshore. This leads to drastic results like unhappy customers, high employee turnover rate, and PR debacles galore. If you look at it correctly, excellent customer support is a revenue generator. It gives a cohesive CX that aligns with an organization’s purpose irrespective of the industry niche.

Following are some well-known industry-specific use cases of helpdesk software:

I. Retail and Ecommerce

Retail and Ecommerce

Sources: eMarketer, and ACS

Ecommerce businesses tend to face problems at every point of their services. They’re used to receiving issues like missed queries, long response time, managing customer data, and maintaining support requests at high volumes. Ecommerce-specific helpdesk software can change this drastically.

Helpdesk software can help you:

  • Streamline queries through a single dedicated inbox
  • Manage queries from multiple channels
  • Monitor all queries from a single place
  • Decide who deals with the query
  • Align order fulfillment with customer expectations

II. Travel and Hospitality

Travel is a volatile and dynamic industry. It is pretty competitive too. During the past few years, due to the massive changes in technology, the support vertical of the travel industry has seen quite a shift. Some use cases of helpdesk software in the travel and hospitality industry are mentioned below:

  • Say goodbye to the conventional manual process of query booking
  • Self-service helps solve repetitive booking queries
  • Track customer history and communication seamlessly
  • Web admin panel for centralized planning

III. Software and IT

Studies show that a standard IT problem occupies a major share of the agent’s time. An IT helpdesk solution empowers individuals to find answers quickly. Besides, people expect resolution at lightning speed, and helpdesk software helps you deliver just this. Some use cases include:

  • Decrease the overall wait-time for customers
  • Eases the ticketing process with the automation features
  • Define agent roles, permissions, and privileges
  • Provide instant solutions through the knowledge base and other self-service features

Start delivering frictionless and proactive customer service with excellent helpdesk tools.

IV. Manufacturing Industry

I know it sounds unusual to think about manufacturing business and customer support together. Manufacturing companies usually have to manage clients from across the globe. Helpdesk software can be deployed at various levels to streamline processes and reduce costs. Here are some use cases:

  • Help serve a personalized experience
  • Enables 24 X 7 support in multiple languages
  • Organize and integrate communication through multiple channels
  • Keep your customers and their staff informed with the latest information
  • Create performance reports, and manage resources accordingly

V. Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, patients are always looking for top-grade care. The best care is the one that covers quality care along with focussing on providing timely assistance. Patients are looking for quality healthcare with easy procedures and efficient systems. Here’s how a helpdesk can help in the healthcare sector:

  • Eases all the simple day-to-day operations
  • Query management in order to streamline patient inquiries
  • Easy and accessible self-service options
  • Patient history management helps gain complete context before the treatments begin

VI. Education

Students juggle multiple roles in schools and universities. The institutions they attend are extremely complex, with academic services, administrative functions, requests, and other activities that need to function like clockwork. Here are some benefits:

  • Consolidated knowledge, services, and information.
  • Helpdesks save time as it eliminates manual and repetitive tasks
  • It helps communicate new announcements instantly
  • It helps you prioritize tickets as per impact and urgency
  • It helps you gain insight into how well your team is performing and whether the end-users are satisfied or not

So these were the industry benefits and use-cases of helpdesk software. Now, let us look at the significant features before you begin picking an ideal helpdesk software for your business.

Features Of a Helpdesk Software

From the beginning of the resolution journey, helpdesk systems will help you create a ticket for every customer interaction and then assign, transfer, and merge them for faster resolution. Robust and intelligent ticketing features will help prioritize issues and expedite action based on the severity of the problem. Whether it is an internal complaint or an external one, never lose out on an opportunity to resolve the query up to the complainant’s satisfaction. Here are some must-have features of helpdesk software:

1. Omnichannel Support

Nowadays customers don’t want to contact the company through traditional ways like phone and fax. Brands need to use multiple channels to resolve customer issues in order to meet them where they go. An ideal helpdesk software supports multiple channels and will fetch queries from all possible interactions. Customers expect brands to be present on the channels of their preference. This includes:

Features Of Helpdesk Software

Google finds 85% of digital consumers start the purchasing workflow on one device and finish it on another.

By leveraging an omnichannel feature, your company can deliver a seamless CX and maximize customer satisfaction (CSAT). An omnichannel approach enables you to:

  • Ace overall support performance
  • Provide quick customer care
  • Provide real-time support through channels
  • Get in-depth insights for customer profiles

Streamlining customer data and messages across channels will help you provide exceptional service to your customers. The customer support team can also easily handle customer conversations through multiple channels from one roof.

2. Ticketing Features

Mismanaging tickets is the most common problem for customer support departments. Plus, if you are a brand that is still hung up on conventional manual processes, you may lose a lot of customers. This is where the ticket management features come into the picture.

Here are some features of a helpdesk tool that you need for ticketing:

  • Email to ticket conversion
  • Automatic ticket assignment
  • Shared inbox with shared access
  • Chat and comment within the tickets
  • Ticket notifications
  • Auto-responders or notifications
  • Service level agreements management
  • Collision detection
  • Unified interface for a single query
  • Robust data management to save customer history

3. Collaboration Features

Collaboration features are the foundation of helpdesk software. Collaborative features are critical to your helpdesk and are a must if you plan to build a customer-intimate culture.

Let’s have a look at some collaborative features that you must have:

  • Shared inbox
  • Collision detection
  • Merge similar tickets
  • Intelligent ticket assignment based on various parameters
  • Readymade responses
  • Lifecycle tracking
  • Fast ticket import
Deliver flexible and enhanced support experience

Check out DeskXpand’s robust and collaborative ticketing features. Take a demo today!

4. Performance Feedback

You must gather feedback from your employees and use this information to address specific issues. This will help you track their performances and work actively in order to boost their morale. Through a helpdesk, you can let your team know when and where they’re doing wrong and help them improve.

5. AI Chatbots For The Win

67% of customers worldwide used a chatbot for customer support in the past year.

Revechat

Customer service chatbots use machine learning and AI to answer basic customer queries. This may include questions like “how do I add more users?” or “What are the pricing structures?”

AI chatbots use your existing resources (like FAQs or knowledge base articles) to help answer and resolve your customers’ questions. You can also proactively suggest relevant answers before the customer even finishes typing. This way, customers can get faster and consistent support. This also means there will be fewer repetitive questions for your support agents.

6. Self-service Features

When the incoming ticket level goes down, the customer satisfaction levels go up. Self-service portals will help you bring down your overall incoming tickets.

Self-service Features

Customer Support – Self-Service Stats

A knowledge base with a good UI and UX is an ideal solution to empower users. Some benefits include:

  • Self-service is easily adaptable
  • Customers will become self-reliant
  • Quick and reliable solutions
  • Support cost reduction
  • Boosts social engagement
  • Increases customer satisfaction & success

7. SLA Management (Service Level Agreements)

SLAs define the level of service that customers expect from your brand. This includes remedies and penalties that would be charged when the service needs are not met.

It includes:

  • Simplified SLA target creation
  • Lifecycle tracking
  • Ticket resolution tracking
  • Preventing potential breaches
  • Custom alerts
  • Personalized notification
  • Measuring SLA performance

8. Ticket Automation Features

Recently automation features are limited to automating the ticketing features and help ensure smooth workflow. If you use automated chatbots, they’ll respond to your customers whenever they need them and whenever your team is not online. Your helpdesk can directly send a personalized acknowledgment response to customers whenever their queries are registered. You can also use features like auto-register, auto-assignment, etc.

9. Analytics and Reporting Features

Analytics and reporting features are a must-have when it comes to setting individual and team goals. Measuring your team performance will help you improve accountability. Hence, it would be wise to have reporting features with a consolidated dashboard to track team performance and daily goals.

Analytics will also help you serve a responsive experience and monitor agent performance.

Leveraging analytics will help you boost employee morale and will eventually motivate them. You can track your team’s performance and help them when they’re stuck somewhere.

Here are the three critical metrics that you must measure:

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Churn Rate
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)

10. Monitor your Social Media Often

Bad customer service invites bad press. Even a single mistake by brands can spread like wildfire on social media. This can make your shortcomings visible publicly.

Therefore, companies need to monitor their social media regularly.

OTOH, if you don’t, you also miss out on valuable opportunities to win your customers. If your social media channels are updated regularly, you can instantly solve customer queries through those channels. Let’s look at an example of Tesco Mobile.

Example: Tesco Mobile

Tesco mobile has a proactive approach for their social media customer support. The company uses social media channels to connect with its customers. A support rep is assigned to talk to the customers about their experience after they sign up.

Upgrade Your Customer Support with DeskXpand

What if I tell you that there’s an enhanced service desk management system with the latest ticket automation features. DeskXpand caters to all customer support needs from small to large businesses. Find out how you can update your service desks with DeskXpand. Here’s a brief feature overview:

  • Smart ticket management
  • Faster ticket import
  • Collision detection
  • Chat within the tickets
  • Smart ticket assignment
  • Canned responses
  • Measure SLA performance
  • Omnichannel features (email, FAQs, feedback forms)
  • Shared Inbox
  • To-do lists with integrated calendar
  • Self-service (Knowledge base, FAQs, video tutorials)
  • Customization
  • Data tracking and analytics

Ready to Serve an Excellent Customer Support?

Customer support is a lynchpin for any organization when it comes to maintaining brand identity. Brands across the globe need to leverage helpdesk ticketing software and see it as an opportunity to delight customers and engage with them in unique ways.

A visionary entrepreneur will want to solve issues even before they arise. It is all about shifting from reactive support to a proactive one. And only the best helpdesk software can help you perform this. DeskXpand helpdesk software can help you become smarter by forecasting your future problems pertaining to customer support and solving them.

Start Your Free Trial

Latest stories

A-Z Guide on Helpdesk Automation: Ideas, Benefits, & More

Your complete guide to everything about helpdesk automation. Learn all about what challenges automation can help overcome, ideas, and more.

Read More

Sanjoli Jain

07-12-2021

Finding the Sweet Spot Between Customer Support Automation & Human Touch

Finding the right balance between customer support automation & human touch two can be a slippery slope. But it’s not impossible. How? Find out here.

Read More

Sanjoli Jain

21-06-2022

The Art of Crafting Customer Service Philosophy For Your Brand

Tips to help you develop unique and authentic customer service philosophies for your business.

Read More

Sanjoli Jain

13-12-2021