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Help Desk Software World:
What is a Help Desk?


The Help Desk is essentially a central point through which problems or issues are reported and subsequently managed and co-ordinated. From a general or wider perspective, it is san integral part of the service function, responsible for bringing resources together to address a problem or other issue.

Help desk users can of course be internal or external, making the function potentially critical in terms of both the organization's smooth running and the quality of support offered to customers.


HELP DESKS PAST AND PRESENT

  • Helpdesks have traditionally been used by Call Centres catering for customer enquires on pre or post sale issues.
  • Telephone support was the main media for providing support until the advent of the Internet. This has a number of weaknesses such as
    • Customers get frustrated waiting on hold or navigating the automated telephone answering message tree.
    • If telephone messages are left then the customer is not sure that their problem will be dealt with or given the priority it deserves.
    • Additional telephone calls need to be made into the call centre for progress reports if telephone calls are not made back to them
    • Companies cannot predict the volume of calls, especially during system outages and new product launches. This results in the need to have spare capacity in the call centre or risk alienating or losing customers.
    • Customer must explain their problem, often to somebody untrained and unable to resolve the problem immediately
    • All this adds up to additional costs of providing support through having spare capacity of staff, often under utilised telephone switch systems and associated equipment, phone call charges as well as the potential loss in revenue from unsatisfied customers.

  • The advent of the email culture opened the methods of support up but did nothing for the management of the support process. Without full email integration with a helpdesk system, there is a danger that the support process would move to the email system and a series of emails would flow between the customer and the support department. History of individual calls and related events or information about past calls resolutions would be lost.
  • The Internet provided a media for potential and existing customers to communicate directly with a supplier and to review and often buy their services on line.
  • The Internet based helpdesk complements the buying process and gave the customers a direct route into the helpdesk and took away the need for continually expanding the telephone call management systems. Few companies have fully exploited this potential.
  • The internet (or Intranet ) based systems have a number of benefits that overcome the limitations of a telephone support helpdesk
    • Available 24 hours a day – even if the call centre is closed. This is especially important in today’s business world where staff often work late or customers/staff are based overseas in different time zones.
    • More comprehensive self help facilities can be provided such as FAQ’s.

  • All support departments in an organization effectively provides a helpdesk for staff to obtain assistance on a range of physical and technical matters pertaining to the expertise of that department.



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