Help Desk Software…and More!
Welcome to Helpdesk.com, a leading destination for IT help desk software. Here you’ll also find downloads and resources for help desk management, IT asset management, CRM software, help desk jobs, industry events, service and support white papers, and more.
Since 1995, Helpdesk.com has been the service and support industry’s premier online resource for all things help desk and support related. We’re a trusted source of reference for the global audience of IT evaluators, buyers, users, and desktop support professionals who believe in the benefits of delivering premium customer service and internal IT support. We appreciate you visiting our site!
Resources for IT managers, system administrators and others include service and support vendor listings, help desk and CRM white papers, and industry event listings. Resources for IT buyers and evaluators include free and trial software downloads (for help desk, CRM, and more), educational white papers, vendor listings and reviews, and more.
What is Help Desk Software?
This write-up provides an overview of today’s modern help desk software features and requirements. Included below are links to valuable service desk resources and software downloads.
Help desk or service desk software works to automate the service management and support function. Typical support desk purposes include helping users retrieve lost passwords, helping customers troubleshoot product issues, assisting employees with hardware and software technical problems, and more. There are number of service and support solutions available that offer rich and robust functionality for optimizing the help desk management process. Common service desk application features include:
- Incident, problem and request management: This covers one of the main facets of service automation softare — to assist end users and customers in troubleshooting hardware, software, product, and other technical or operational/process related issues (including, of course, lost passwords). Good help desk software will include rich capabilities for service desk staff to troubleshoot, diagnose and solve issues quickly and effectively. More robust software will enable end users to solve issues for themselves, without the help of the support staff (which is a big plus for help desk operations).
- Self-service capabilites via the Web and mobile: More traditional help desk implementations were client/server based and forced the end user or customer to contact the support desk directly for problem solving and general questions. Today’s modern help desk managment solutions are built with accessibility and mobility in mind, taking advantage of more sophisticated and secure web and mobile technologies — a.k.a SaaS, the “cloud”. Hosted service desk packages make it easier for client sites to implement, while rich web-based interfaces and mobile accessibility apps empower help desk staff, users and customers to troubleshoot issues no matter where they are. Self-service capabilities work to reduce help desk stress and dependency, making for a more efficient and proactive support staff. This leads to higher satisfaction levels across the board – staff, users, and customers.
- Service level agreement management: Key to maintaining an effective help desk (as well as client relationship) is understanding the measures, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs) that govern the process. Service desk software equipped with SLA management capability helps ensure a more effective process and delivery of support servies. Degradation in service delivery can be costly, damaging, and difficult to recover from. When evaluating software, make sure it includes provisions for SLA management.
- Knowledge management: A subset of the incident/problem management, knowledge management capability ensures the support desk is not only provisioned with pre-defined problem/resolution “pairs” (to answer the more basic and predictable questions expediently), but also has the ability to “learn” in a sort of “cognitive” fashion. The “smarter” the help desk software in terms of “self learning”, the more effectively the software can help automate end user and customer problem resolution without the need for service desk staff to intervene. On the flip side, making problem resolution data readily available to the support desk staff ensures the quickest and most effective help desk ticket resolution possible. When evaluating software, rich knowledge managment capabilities – including the ability to define problem resolution sets, rules and knowledge trees – will ensure peak satisfaction and service delivery efficiency.
Other key service desk software features:
- IT asset management
- Change management
- Reporting and analytics
- Customer relationship management
Modern service automation software supports ITIL standards and is fully web, SaaS, and mobile enabled. Moving into 2013, many organizations have pinpointed the help desk as a key area for improvement and optimization, as many existing service desk deployments are built on older software standards.
For further information on service and help desk management, visit these other valuable resources:
- Wikipedia Help Desk Overview
- HDI’s Service Management Buyer’s Guide
- The Help Desk Coach (Training site)
- Free Software Downloads from Helpdesk.com
Read the latest from the Help Desk Coach…
Q. Dear Help Desk Coach,
The new company I’m working for has an innovative product my team and I support. Although the company website explains what the product is and how it works, my team and I are constantly getting calls/contacts from non-users asking us to explain about the product. This detracts from our time supporting existing users.
Looking for a Help Desk Job?
See our *real-time job listings* in association with CareerBuilder. Find a help desk or customer support job today!
The Future of Service Desks in a World of Tech-Saavy End-Users
Randstad Technologies recently published an Infographic called “The Future of Service Desks: All About User Experience”. The Infographic positions the IT Service Desk in a rapidly changing world of tech-savvy end-users, within an environment that is increasingly being driven by mobile technology and social media channels.
Whether you’re managing an internal helpdesk or external customer service desk, you’ll need to stay on top of the latest tactics and strategies to ensure maximum client satisfaction. While IT helpdesk management or service desk automation software can help streamline and optimize operations, it’s the “human factor” that arguably counts the most for effective support that satisfies your end users. Visit our Help Desk Coach section for insights into effective service and support desk management.
Q. Dear Help Desk Coach: *New!* My company develops software for a specific market, and we also support that software for customers who have purchased a support option. I never know how to turn down a customer without sounding harsh if they call with an issue but don’t have a contract for support. Just saying “No, you don’t have a support contract with us, I can’t help you” is difficult to say and I hate leaving the customer frustrated with our product. Is there a better way of turning them down? Ted Tech Support
(See below for response!)
A. Dear Ted: People like options. Fortunately, your owner could create an option of a one-time fee for resolving a single issue on a call. This can be an option you can offer. Rather than saying “NO” to a customer, a positive response to the customer’s request could be: Mr. Customer, I really want to resolve your issue. There are options we offer to make that happen. We can charge you a one-time fee for help with that one issue today, or we can provide unlimited support for a year with a yearly contract. Which would be best for you? It might be best if you write it out and have a ‘cheat sheet’ in front of you for those calls, so you can respond easily and with confidence…
About Donna Earl & The Help Desk Coach
Donna Earl (aka the Help Desk Coach) specializes in assisting help desks and tech support deliver world class customer service. Since 1990 Ms. Earl’s international consultancy has helped organizations strengthen leadership effectiveness, customer loyalty, customer retention, and employee productivity. She is an internationally recognized speaker, business educator and consultant, executive coach and author.
Donna is a published expert on Customer Service and quoted in publications including Investor’s Business Daily and The Wall Street Journal, both US and European editions. Her articles and column are also published on Helpdesk.com. The fresh insight, emotional intelligence and proven strategies she brings to seminars on Customer Service transform help desk and employee performance. She has presented to over 200,000 people worldwide.
It’s a Social – Join The Social Help Desk Revolution!
It’s impossible for an IT professional to go anywhere without hearing about the social media paradigm transforming the help desk function. Help desk software providers are rushing to augment their platforms with tools and technologies integrating social features and functions. The more advanced solutions not only embed Facebook/Twitter integration, but actually make these social platforms the center point of the solution (or in some cases at least provide the option for this). One could argue that social integration, like Facebook and Twitter, are probably more ideal for external customer (CRM) support.
- Read It’s a Social – How to Get Your Help Desk Into the Party! (Helpdesk.com blog)
- Read more: Help Desk Software TO THE CLOUD! (Helpdesk.com blog)
See Gartner’s Latest Service & Help Desk Software Magic Quadrant!
Gartner’s recent Magic Quadrant for IT Service & Support Management Tools (ITSSM) provides an insightful comparison of top service and support software vendors in the space. Functionality reviewed – pertinent to the help and service desk – includes problem/incident managment, change management, knowledge management, request management, and more. If you’re presently evaluating help desk service and support software, be sure to review Gartner’s assessment of vendors, including strengths and watch points. Also be sure to read it if you’re interested in learning more about the state of the industry in terms of technology and trend.
For further information on service and help desk management, visit these other valuable resources:
Other Featured Destinations
|Resources||Help Desk Coach Resource Center|
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|Careers||Help Desk Job Listings|