Beginner’s Guide to Using Help Desk Software

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Whether or not to implement operational software is an important choice for businesses, especially small and medium businesses who have to make difficult decisions about where to spend operating dollars to get the best payback. If you have a help desk, though, implementing help desk software is generally a good place to invest for a significant return.

Process Uniformity

Implementing help desk software to facilitate your customer service business processes will force you to standardize how you help your customers. Standardization of these processes will empower your agents to provide better, more predictable service. Many out-of-the-box ticket management applications will guide your agent through the collection of important information for issue identification and resolution. Empowered with a process guide, your agents can focus more on making sure they understand the issue at hand and less on trying to remember if they asked all the right questions. Employees will onboard faster, and your customers will receive quicker issue resolution. Your help desk managers will be able to spend less time training agents on routine service and more time helping them improve their soft skills as well as running the overall operations of their departments.

Service Metrics

You want to give top-quality service to customers who are contacting your business, but without understanding your key help desk metrics, you have little chance of planning appropriate help desk staffing levels and training your employees to address your customers’ issues quickly and efficiently. Most out-of-the-box ticket management solutions will track ticket volume by contact channel, open and close rates, ticket categories, agent response times, ticket resolution times, first contact resolution, ticket backlog, customer satisfaction ratings and agent performance. Since most of the metrics are tracked by the software during the ticket resolution process, your employees aren’t burdened with additional data collection work, yet you gain access to robust information about your customer service operations.

Service Improvement

Empowered with these basic help desk metrics, you can optimize your help desk processes and make your employees more effective at serving your customers. Ticket volume by channel helps you not only plan appropriate overall staffing levels but also helps you understand how many agents you need trained and available at different times on different channels. We live in a world where customers decide how and when they will contact you, and you need to be ready to serve them on their terms. Tracking of ticket categories helps you understand why your customers are contacting you, which is essential to improving self-service functions and addressing root causes. Tracking first contact resolution and overall resolution times allows you to understand your customers’ experiences with regard to seeking help. Being able to serve a customer quickly and efficiently, optimally on the first contact, is paramount to having a satisfied customer.

Customer Satisfaction

If you have moved to subscription or pay-as-you-go terms with your customers, achieving high customer satisfaction is essential to protecting your revenue. Customers have many options in today’s competitive economy, and unhappy customers are more likely to seek another company than happy ones are. Implementing software to streamline and optimize your help desk interactions not only allows you to delight your customers when they reach out to you but also gather important customer satisfaction information in the form of after-contact surveys. Customer satisfaction scores are an important leading indicator of whether or not a customer will leave you to seek another company’s product.

Implementation of ticket management software is a key decision for your business, especially with so many operational processes competing for budget dollars. Investing in the improvement of your customer service process, however, generally brings significant returns in the form of employee and customer satisfaction.