We’ve all been on hold waiting for customer service; it’s so common that we often try to find other ways of getting the answer. For many of us, a quick-reference answer in a knowledge base or FAQ is the first go-to before calling in. While we all identify with this, few of us see things from the other side. As a customer service specialist, the last thing you want is customers waiting for answers they need. Let’s address this and look at ways to improve the speed and quality of answers.
As your business grows, so do your customer service needs. While handling each case individually may work at first, this will quickly grow to be difficult to manage. A help desk provides a central dashboard that conveniently displays all information, and an online ticketing system queues incoming queries from multiple channels. This helps make sure you properly queue incoming questions and can effectively organize, categorize, and prioritize these tasks for your teams to process. This article will you choose the right help desk system for your business.
What is covered in this article:
Before we get to into why you should be using a help desk and ticketing software system, first let’s look at what they are and what some of the common features are.
What is a help desk?
A help desk is an organizational tool that companies use to categorize, manage, and monitor support inquiries for customers. A software program featuring a dashboard, a help desk provides a single point of contact and enables help desk operators to track, prioritize, and process queries and tasks.
Most modern help desks are a software system that is managed by an operator. These customer help desk tools enable communication through e-mail, telephone, website, and online chat, and offer ways of tracking requests that come in. Commonly, help desks are comprised of four main components, with additional features worked in. At their core, a help desk management software usually includes:
1. Knowledge base
Also known as a help center, these are self-serve areas where users can search out their own answers. Often, these are in the form of a FAQ and provide simple, immediate answers to common or important questions users may have.
A knowledge base, or FAQ database, enables users to find their own answers faster. Designed for simpler answers, these are often direct, to the point, and help answer the question that the user has. These are constantly updated based on the feedback received by customers. As trends emerge that require constant support, these areas of the knowledge base software can be expanded on, updated, and improved to help provide users the fastest answers to their questions.
As these knowledge bases are not ideal for more complex queries, customer support operators will be the next resource for customer queries. When the resources in the knowledge base are insufficient, operators will work directly with the client to answer the query and help them proceed. Ideally, these issues need to be tracked and followed up on so that questions commonly asked can be added to the knowledge base. Over time, this help center will expand as more information is added based on the feedback of users. This way, you are responding to immediate requests while also building a solution to help mitigate operators needed to help your customers.
2. Ticketing system
A software system that enables incoming requests to be collected in one place, queued, organized, and prioritized. A support ticket system is often a main component of a help desk, as it queues incoming queries and requests based on when they were received. By managing all requests in one area, these requests can be queued based on the time they were submitted no matter what channel they were received through (email, online chat, phone, etc) and then organized, escalated, and prioritized on a case-by-case basis.
Keep reading to learn more about ticketing tools and their applications.
3. Call center
A staff department that helps answer complex customer issues. The call center is also responsible for tracking inquiries and making sure that self-serve support is updated so users can find more answers they are looking for there. They should also be trained on how to properly answer customer service calls.
4. Live chat
An application that provides automated answers to common questions. A live chat is a common feature for modern online help desks, helping to give users a chance to answer one-off questions that they can’t find answers to in the help center. It also gives users a chance to communicate without needing to wait on hold.
Ultimately, help desk manager software is designed to make the experience of both the end user and agent as efficient, effective, and convenient as possible. This helps the customer get timely, relevant, and useful answers to their questions while also creating a system that makes it easy to provide answers to customers as well as improve on how those answers are provided.
What is ticketing system software?
Ticketing system software collects customer support inquiries and enables these requests to be accessed, categorized, and managed from one place. Ticketing systems help with organization and prioritization of requests, as well as logging them based on the time they were received.
Ticketing systems are ideal for managing a high volume of questions that require support, as well as enabling methods for escalating and prioritizing certain requests. By creating a standardized ticket, no matter what channel the customer uses to submit their inquiry – email, online chat, or phone – the requests will be standardized so they can be processed properly and in chronological order.
These systems are ideal for tracking incoming, and allow for categorizing and escalating requests as the support specialists deem necessary. A ticketing software helps build a queue system, regardless of the medium the customer uses to input their request – such as via email, phone, or online chat.
3 best help desk software solutions
As with many applications, it’s important to choose a tool that is ideal for you in order to get the best results. While there is no straight answer, there are some features that are essential for any ticketing software, such as multi-channel support, a knowledge base that facilities self-service support, and historical and analytical reporting.
For more help choosing the right help desk for you, see our list of the best 3 help desk software solutions below.
1. Wix Answers
Wix Answers is a help desk software designed and used by Wix. As a full-service customer support tool, Wix Answers has a knowledge base, built-in call center for support, and a multi-channel ticket management help system that work seamlessly to provide an ideal user experience. With a fully customizable and SEO optimized knowledge base, you can match your brand’s style. The ticketing system utilizes a rule engine and smart suggestions to efficiently manage tickets.
Wix Answers is a cloud-based system, making it accessible and convenient for all members of your team. Complete with templates, a content editor, task management tools, and and customizable help center that works intuitively with your ticketing system and call center, you have everything you need to manage your customers experience. More importantly, customization features enable you to match the style of your business and brand.
Wix Answers also utilizes widgets to add pertinent information where your users need it most; use these widgets to add information or answer frequently asked questions. These widgets can be highly customized to suit various needs, and located uniquely within your site to give users the answers they need most where they are most valuable.
Cost: $30/month for all products (Free 14-day Trial)
Best Feature: Wix Answers draws on the years of experience Wix has helping their 150 million users manage these requests for their websites and services. With this hands-on experience, they’ve turned this into a full service — with your needs in mind.
The Zendesk Suite is a comprehensive customer service software that has all four essential components needed to provide efficient, useful, and applicable service – support, guide, chat, and talk. Zendesk uses embedded support so that customers can access the support when they need it most, without needing to leave their user experience. This can help connect them to the help center, online chat, or the call center in just one click.
Zendesk also has enhanced features that can be used to improve the customers’ and customer support specialists’ experience. Answer bots can provide automated answers based on common queries, targeted and behavior based messaged can be sent to customers based on triggers during their use, and repetitive rudimentary tasks can be automated to free up the workload. For help desk operators, Zendesk provides a unified workspace in the form of a dashboard, enables skills-based routing so tasks are sent to the person who can best answer or respond to the request, and supports business rules so that automated triggers can funnel tickets specifically within your desired workflow.
Best Feature: By isolating their main services in an easy-to-grasp concept of support, guide, chat, and talk, Zendesk highlights the four major components of the best help desk software. More than providing the basics, they have a variety of features that can be built off these four pillars of customer support tools.
Freshdesk, as a component of the Freshworks product line, is a high-quality omni-channel help desk that focuses on ticketing, collaboration, automation, and self-service features. Their emphasis on self-service applications that leverage predictive analytics and automation makes this product ideal for a user who wants some help with running their customer ticketing system effectively. Ultimately, Freshdesk helps manage requests using a ticketing system that works across all channels, enabling collaboration and automated support that will help get answers and insights faster and more efficiently.
While the call center and online chat features are not built in to the Freshdesk product, they are available through Freshworks and will integrate seamlessly with other Freshworks tools. Since they work intuitively together, this offers more flexibility over the features you need as part of your help desk and more customer support options.
Best Feature: Freshdesk focuses heavily on the potential rewards (largely saved time) for automating repetitive work processed and collaborating with teams to resolve customer inquiries. Ultimately, this service is about maximizing output and reducing barriers to provide fast, efficient customer support.
Help desk ticketing system comparison table
Now that we’ve outlined the best solutions a help desk can provide, we’ve created a comparison chart so you can help choose which customer service software is best for you at a glance based on features. See which products have the features you need so you choose the best help desk solutions.
|Call center||Yes, built-in||Yes, but not built-in||No|
|Online chat||Yes||Yes, but not built-in||Yes|
|Analytics||User and team analytics all in one place, built around actionable insights||Omni-channel user analytics in one location||Actionable insights one click away|
|Automation||Auto-route support inquiries by topic and skill of employees||Automate chat responses with Answer Bot||Automate responses for common inquiries|
|Self-service||Help center and contextual widgets||Help center||Help center|
|Collaboration||A bridge between the user voice and all departments to improve the product and drive the growth (product, R&D, marketing, success, etc.)||Simple communication between teams and with customers||Communicate with peers and customers in one place; collaborate with one-click|
7 benefits of using a ticketing system
While most help desk software systems provide basic features, the benefits of using a ticket management software can have a large impact on your business. Below are some of the main benefits you can expect to gain from any true service desk software. Keep in mind that comprehensive products have less popular features that could be useful for your needs.
When choosing the best help desk ticketing system for your business, consider some of the less essential features and what those would add to your help desk experience. Below is a list of some of the most integral benefits for using a help desk ticketing system.
1. Collect inquiries across multiple channels
In its most rudimentary form, a ticketing software collects inquiries and requests in one place, forming a queue for these incoming requests so that they can be processed in order. More than this, the best ticketing systems ensure requests across various channels – email, online chat, and phone – can all be found in one place using omni-channel support. This makes storing, organizing, and categorizing these requests much simpler and more efficient.
2. Prioritize requests
Now that we have all of our requests coming through the same system, we can ensure that they are organized based on the time they were received. Using this, a ticket queue management process can be created across multiple channels. Better still, these requests can be escalated and prioritized based on the specific needs of each case. This helps you escalate time-sensitive or important clients’ requests to better manage your workload.
3. Facilitates easy communication
By creating a help desk – or central dashboard – for customer service requests, we not only help customers, but also help our customer support teams deal more efficiently with their workload. Using a convenient application that can be accessed by various team members also ensures that they can easily and seamlessly communicate with each other. This helps with managing the requests that are being handled and to spread the workload effectively across your teams.
4. Inquiry funneling and skill-based routing
Since the ticketing system allows for the incoming inquiries to be organized and prioritized based on the details of the request, skill-based routing helps take that a step further. This automated process will assign inquiries to the relevant help desk operator based on their experience with these requests. Using this feature, you can funnel incoming inquiries to the team members that will best be able to handle the request. This will ensure that less time is wasted shifting workloads between team members, as it will be sent to the representative best capable of handling the issue.
5. Reporting and insights
Any true help desk software will have a reporting tool that helps track customer support requests, identify trends, and help you draw meaningful insights from the data. This is an essential component of the process, as it will help identify areas for development in your knowledge base so that your self-service can be improved. Remember that any improvement to self-serve features gives your users a faster answer and frees up your agents for more complex problems.
6. Identify and automate repetitive tasks
Now that you have a system in place that’s working for you, use the information gleaned from the data to identify trends, problems, and areas of improvement. From these insights, you can work towards developing solutions to automate repetitive tasks that are commonly required.
This information can also be used to help develop a more comprehensive and convenient knowledge base. After identifying trends and frequently asked questions, you can find ways of providing self-serve resources that will help end users get answers faster than waiting to communicate with a customer service representative. Not only does this help your users get direct answers faster, but also frees up representative for more complicated problems and tasks.
7. Improves service speed and quality
All of these features working together help make your customers receive faster and more efficient service. Organized and prioritized requests, easy communication, inquiry funneling, and insights drawn from reporting all help to provide a more personalized service, which ultimately means higher quality service, whether that’s due to faster service standard times or more accurate, relevant answers.
Now it’s time to put all this to work! Start by thinking about what your customer service needs are and analyzing your current customer support options. Use analytics and reporting to understand the gaps in your support structure. From there, it should be easier to follow the ticketing system that will serve your needs while being easy to use and integrate with your teams.
Before you know it, you’ll be making your support resources more efficient for customers by building out an expansive self-serve help center and filling gaps with online chat, call centers, and other more traditional customer services resources. Over time, you’ll see more trends and be able to improve service for customers while also reducing the costs of staff necessary to manage these requests.