Nowadays, virtually every person that has some presence online has an email, making it one of the most widespread digital technologies. Importantly, this wide penetrance is complemented by a huge versatility of the electronic mailing system – it can be used by individual users and businesses alike, it offers a simple and intuitive interface but also complex rules for email filtering/grouping/labeling. This has enabled businesses to implement various email-based support systems, both internal and external (for customers).
Although such customer or employee support systems do not require financial investments, they do have a number of drawbacks. Thus, while it is easy to handle a few emails a day, it becomes progressively more difficult to do this once the number of email messages increases beyond a few dozens. Creating advanced filters is laborious and forcing all employees to learn to correctly use these is often challenging. Besides, such a system is prone to occasional mistakes (such as a forgotten cc field, or a misspelled keyword used for filtering, a wrong forwarding address), which can mess up the workflow badly.
All these can result in poor productivity when employees spend precious time scrolling through the inbox to locate support requests, debate assignments of tickets/ tasks/ responsibilities. This can lead to forgotten clients or employee requests, difficulty in tracking the evolution/the updates for a given query/task.
How Can Help Desk Software Increase the Efficiency and Reliability of the Workflow
Help desk software comes with the following advantages:
- it helps to clearly assign tickets/tasks, which eliminates confusion about every employee’s responsibility.
- it provides a centralized means to store data (all queries/requests) so that collaborators, IT technicians, and any other persons involved can easily get access, rather than have to perform logins into numerous email accounts, each belonging to a different employee, in order to get the details. For each task or query, the entire history of the issue and all participating parties can be viewed in a single place.
- it helps to prioritize tasks (a ranking system has to be created for this) so that urgent issues get solved first. Prioritization is hard to achieve in an email-based support system.
- it ensures more efficient collaboration by allowing multiple support agents to work on the same issue, which is normally depicted in a clear, standardized and concise format – by contrast, working together via email is more time consuming because collaborators have to skim the entire email thread (which is normally long unstructured text).
- it allows the deployment of a self-service support system directly to customers. Namely, customers are able to directly find solutions to their problems by navigating the knowledge base, which leads to fewer queries addressed to the support staff (and lower costs for the company). Depending on how competent and self-reliant customers are, they can find this option really beneficial and time-saving.
- it allows efficient monitoring of the productivity of each customer support agent (various metrics can be reported), each department, as well as more general statistics like the average time needed to solve an issue of a given type, etc. Importantly, such a tracking system will also mean more discipline for the employees, who would be aware that potential excesses can surface.
Considering all those listed above, the advantages of a dedicated software solution for a help desk become simply undeniable.