What Should a Business Look for in a Help Desk Solution?

what to look for in a help desk

It happens to every business. At some point, while your head’s down trying to build the business and acquire customers, there comes a time when all of those customers you’ve won over come knocking.

When you’re small and nimble, you might be able to get by with just your Outlook inbox and a contact phone number for a while. But eventually, every growing business needs to find a solution to customer support—enter help desk software.

Once you decide to make the jump and invest in a help desk solution, choosing the right one can be overwhelming, to say the least. Like any software today, help desks come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and feature sets. To help keep you out of the weeds, we’ve pulled together the 4 most important things your help desk software needs—the rest is just gravy.

Why do you need a help desk anyway?

Before we dive into your must-haves, let’s talk about why a help desk is so important for a growing business. After all, you’ve gotten by without one for this long—why invest now? For one, a help desk brings some much needed scale and organization to your customer support.

The best help desk software centralizes your customers’ entire journey, plus all the conversations and interactions they have with your team, in one place. That makes it a lot easier to keep track of where customer relationships stand and ensure nothing falls through the cracks and ends up costing you a customer. Since all of your touchpoints are in one place, your team can be more accessible to customers across support channels, from phone to live chat to Twitter.

Most help desks also give you the opportunity to build up self-service customer support tools, like a knowledge base and FAQ page. That means you can lighten the burden on your support team while you increase the quality of your support. Speaking of quality, help desk software also provides the opportunity to measure and improve upon your team’s customer support performance over time.

To put it in a nutshell, the right help desk software enables your team to work more efficiently, providing better customer support at scale.

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the features and benefits you should look for in your new help desk.

Easy for Your Team to Learn and Use

The number one thing every good help desk solution needs is ease of use and adoption. The most capable software in the world won’t help your business if your team can’t figure out how to use it. That’s why you need a help desk solution that reps can get the hang of quickly and use effortlessly down the line.

Help desk ease of use isn’t just about your team’s experience using it day in and day out. It’s also about how that software adapts to your team over time. Is it scalable? Can it grow with your team? Is it seamless for support agents to collaborate with one another? How about across teams, like sales or product?

Enables You to Offer Multi-Channel Support

Today’s consumers are digital natives. They interact with brands across every channel. They expect brands to be accessible above almost all else—and provide a continuous experience everywhere they interact.

That’s why today’s help desk solutions absolutely need to enable multi-channel support. And that means more than just being available in each channel. It means facilitating a conversation that’s channel-agnostic and continues on seamlessly from one channel to the next.

Whether the conversation begins over the phone or social media, you need a help desk that lets agents move from one channel to the other without losing the context or history of the customer’s journey and the query at hand.

Provides Customizable Self-Service Support Options

There are a few compelling reasons to choose a help desk that enables self-service support options. One, as your customer base grows, it can put a heavy burden on your support team. Self-service support helps to weed out simple and common customer questions, so your support reps can focus on more pressing and complex customer concerns.

Two, customers love self-service support. For better or for worse, as much as 40% of consumers now prefer self-service over contacting your team to solve their problems. Because of the benefits for both the business and consumers, support teams have been quick to jump on the trend. Now, 70% of customers expect you to offer self-service options on your website.

Affordable as You Grow

Now that you have a better idea of your must-haves for a help desk solution, it’s times to get practical. Hopefully you have a shortlist of help desk software options that tick all the boxes above (and any other requirements specific to your business.) The next part comes down to what you can realistically afford to pay for a help desk.

More than just the monthly or annual cost today, it’s important to consider the functionality you’ll require  down the line—and how the cost of a solution might change as your team and requirements grow.

Help Desk Solutions to Choose From

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of what to look for in a help desk than when you started reading—but you might still be wondering where to start looking. The first step is identifying all of your options. While there are tons of help desk solutions to consider, some of the most popular include:

  • Help Scout,
  • Groove,
  • Zendesk, and
  • Kayako, of course!

We think Kayako is the best help desk for your business. We built our customer support solution for modern businesses and today’s customers—to enable customer support teams to treat customers like what they really are: people, not tickets.

To be fair, we are a little biased. To see for yourself, take a look at how Kayako compares to some of your other help desk and customer support software options.

Give Kayako a Try

If you’re ready to eliminate customer support headaches and start providing effortless customer experiences, start your trial of Kayako today—absolutely free for 14 days.

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About the author
Kiera Abbamonte

Kiera is a contributing writer to Kayako. She's based in Chicago and loves writing, exploring the city, and cinnamon coffee (not always in that order.) Catch up with her on Twitter or at KieraAbbamonte.com.

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