Selecting the right help desk software is extremely important. This section outlines the features of one of the leading players, as well as offering a download for a no-obligation trial.
The latter is probably the easiest way to understand the capabilities of help desk software and place its role into context
- Single user interface from a web browser
- No other client installation and most PC’s now have a browser preinstalled making the software immediately available to any one with network access and a link from a web or intranet site or know the support URL.
- Customers or internal staff may log support calls themselves and are given a ticket number – this lets them know that the call has been logged and an action will follow. Email notifications may be automatically initiated but are unnecessary and just promote the excessive use of emails.
- Access to the call history from the user/customer call log screen allows them to see the progress and status of the call they have logged without having to make follow up telephone calls, sending emails to the support desk or interrupting engineers out on call.
- To further reduce the load on the helpdesk we provide definable FAQ’s (with attachments of documents), links to other useful internal or external web pages and a ticker that gets displayed to the customer when they enter the support site. These tools can pre-empt a support call and reduce the workload.
- Common browser techniques ensure no training is required by customers/users even remotely familiar with a browser.
- Intuitive work flows and automation ensures support staff can use the application with little or no training.
- Enhanced with simple screen layouts ensures that technicians can quickly and painless maintain the system. This is especially important for technical helpdesk where staff are generally less prone to writing documentation or recording details of events.
- The applications naturally provides an ‘out of the box’ Intranet for that department and all their documents may be held or linked to from there to compliment their support process.
- To assist with recurring call types a quick call registration process is available with user defined templates of calls. This may be for an individual event such as unlocking a user account to multiple recurring events such as setting up a new user including a number of atomically generated calls for buying the PC, setting up their account, configuring , installing, training etc. There is also a button to instantly generate a new call from an existing one with all the same details brought across.
- Scripts may be set up to ensure that the appropriate information is recorded against a call type. These can also provide some resolution suggestions with OK, yes/no and text entry prompts.
- Follow up diarised events may be recorded and Operators are presented with their scheduled actions when they access the helpdesk system.
- Time tracking and recharging of the service costs.
- To cater for emails requests that are received, there is integration with MS Exchange server to allow emails sent to a predefined support mailbox to generate a call when the email is opened.
- Telephone support requests may be entered very quickly via the New Call screen which has specially designed rapid search techniques to ensure the customer is not left waiting while the call is logged. The same scripting may be applied to collect more relevant information or resolve the issue immediately.
- SLA records and monitoring with traffic light flags to highlight calls that have exceeded the response or fix times along with email escalations and reports of the SLA target percentages achievement.
- Controlled menu options access for Operators and permission may be set to disallow call ‘closure’ or’ reassignment to other Operators’ for each individual Operator.
- Reporting is provided by ASP pages which provide drill down into more detail. There are also a number of automatically generated graphical representations. Crystal reports may be integrated but the flexibility of searches provided with user specified sort, display and the ability to export to Excel spreadsheets does not require it.
In recognition of the differences in support of internal and external customers, three versions are available, specifically designed for either general support (sitehelpdesk), IT support (sitehelpdesk-it) or Customer support (sitewebdesk).
Many vendors attempt to wrap these up in a single application. This can makes their use overly cumbersome and some features rendered irrelevant, cluttering the process. We would suggest that ease of use is a very important issue.
FREE TRIAL: TRY IT OUT
The vendors of the SiteHelpDesk product have provided a copy of the software for a free, no obligation, trial. To download your copy, visit the SiteHelpDesk Download Page.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS PRODUCT
SiteHelpDesk is documented more fully at: HelpDesk Software.