When a company moves their business online, they enter a new world, a world that never sleeps. The days of writing a letter to a company or calling them for help are gone. Clients expect instant service whenever and wherever they currently are. They are equipped with internet-enabled smart phones and tablets and their business never closes.
One of the most fundamental parts of customer interaction is communicating with the client about resolving issues. This usually involved a lot of paperwork and a team of people to accomplish, but not anymore. Customer support software, also called IT help desk software, is here to simplify customer interaction.
Web-based IT help desk software allows clients to save time by avoiding lengthy phone calls made even longer by being switched around from one department to another. Now, a client can submit a set of questions and get along with life while the support staff compile quality answers in a timely fashion. Since the service is email and web-based, customers can submit questions via online forms 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The majority of customer issues can usually be solved in a matter of minutes. This is where knowledge base software comes in handy. The knowledge base contains articles and instructions that answer a client’s questions or solve his problems without even having to contact the support staff in the first place.
Using the knowledge base is as simple typing in a question or a short description of a problem and instantly getting answers. This feature allows both parties to save time and money while still getting an issue resolved. An employer may open the system to his own employees, which means a more efficient and faster system to handle any internal inquiries ranging from company policy to technical support.
The most important part of help desk software is the automation of work. The trouble ticket software will quickly and easily convert question emails into tickets which allow tracking of each customer’s problems with ease.
This streamlines the whole support process and rules out any chance of mistakes or delays. Also, the customer support software keeps a record of all tickets created, thus providing the support staff with a history of each client’s interaction with the company.
To top it all off, it is possible to simply purchase a web-based software solution from a professional company. This way, the people that know everything about running customer support software are in charge of security, uptime and keeping everything running smoothly.
To summarize, web-based IT help desk software is the product of the future. It allows clients to receive help irregardless of where they are or what time it is. It also automates and normalizes the whole process, saving time and money for all parties involved, while providing a high quality support service to the client and ensuring a long and healthy business relationship.
Top help desk software
This cloud-based solution offers packages that can appeal to both small and large companies alike. Zendesk features easy setup, zero installation, and the ability to customize nearly every aspect of the help desk’s appearance through custom coding and add-ons. Notable Zendesk users include Twitter, Sony Music, and MSNBC.
Key features include a Web-based interface, a WYSIWYG Editor, SSL encryption, SSO, real-time analytics which can be used to track agent performance, workflows, and rule-based ticket assignments. Zendesk also includes spam filters, Twitter integration, smart phone compatibility, and a full history of every ticket submission.
For the basic starter package, which features email functionality and a help desk, prices start at $9 per month per agent for up to three agents. The mid-priced package, which allows for customization and the creation of a forum-based community, typically costs $29 per agent per month, while the most expensive option, which tacks on analytics and 24-hour technical support, costs $59 per agent per month.
Kayako Fusion (formerly known as SupportSuite) is available as a self-hosted and remotely-hosted solution, i.e. the help desk can be hosted on Kayako’s Web servers. Due to the software’s user-friendly interface and pricing, it can work well for small and mid-sized companies. Larger organizations, however, may want to purchase add-on products, such as KayakoMobile for smart phone support and the Branding Fee License to remove Kayako branding from the help desk’s front-end.
Key Fusion features include live chat, automated ticket responses, email management, the ability to create a knowledge base, and project management tools, such as calendars and task scheduling. Article commenting and rating is also available and can be turned on or off at the support team’s discretion.
This self-hosted PHP based software solution can be installed on any shared hosting provider and features the ability to convert emails into support tickets. Its pricing structure offers a basic option to small companies with low revenues as well more robust options for mid-sized companies.
Key features of Help Desk Pilot include rule-based ticket assignment, automated email responses, multilingual support, RSS feeds, search tools, analytics, and plugin support, which allows for further customization of the help desk’s functionality.
Packages start at $399.95 for the Standard package, which supports up to five agents, and go up to $1,799.95 for the Enterprise package, which features unlimited report customization and support for up to 30 agents. To add a knowledge base to any package, the necessary plug-ins must be purchased, with prices ranging from $99.95 to $149.95 per plug-in.
Hesk is a PHP based help desk that is available as a self-hosted or remotely-hosted solution and is typically employed by small to mid-sized companies with tighter budgets.
Key features of Hesk include a Web-based interface that is visible to both customers and support agents, an unlimited knowledge base, spam prevention, automated email responses, and advanced search capabilities. It also features automatic ticket assignments, community voting, analytics, and multilingual support.
The self-hosted version of Hesk, which features Hesk’s branding, is available for free. To remove Hesk branding from the help desk, a license can be purchased for $39.95. The remotely-hosted version of Hesk is available for $19.95 per month and offers companies the freedom from worrying about software installation and additional server maintenance.
This flexible Perl-based help desk software solution is available as a self-hosted download and a cloud-based solution. It features packages that will appeal to small business owners as well as larger companies that require more robust options and accounts for a large number of staff members.
In order to use the self-hosted version of PerlDesk, you should be running either the Linux or Windows operating systems. Machines running Linux must also install Perl, MySQL, and a web server, such as Apache or IIS. For Windows-based machines, MySQL is required. Companies that purchase the cloud-based version of PerlDesk do not need to worry about installing any additional software.
Key features of PerlDesk include a branded user interface, branded email templates, the ability to fully customize the customer-facing portal, a knowledge base, automatic ticket generation, and analytics. Support staff can also access every function of the help desk through any Internet browser from any location in the world.
ServiceDesk Plus is a self-hosted solution that works with both Linux and Windows operating systems and the Oracle, SQL, and MySQL databases. Typically employed by larger organizations with higher revenues, all versions of this software support an unlimited number of end-users and allow the purchase of additional staff accounts. Notable ServiceDesk Plus users include Honda, Hallmark, and Intel.
Key ServiceDesk Plus features include a Web-based support portal, a knowledge base, email integration, text message ticket alerts for staff, and the ability to survey clients about their satisfaction with the support team’s service. Additional features include analytics, software license management, and ITIL readiness.