…A help desk system is a program that is designed to manage your company’s trouble ticketing and customer support management within an easy-to-use framework. Whilst generally related to IT systems and software support, help desk software solutions are now deployed for various customer support tasks.
A help desk system generally interfaces using a variety of methods such as email, online via a presented interface and manual entry by an agent. The system enables an organisation to proactively manage support instances which can be anything from user instruction to network system interruption.
The main purpose is to aid the organisation to centrally manage user requests and system downtime by means of recording and managing the issue within a trouble ticket that allows support staff to record update and resolve issues constructively and efficiently.
Many small to medium-sized organisations manage support requests using spreadsheets, email or CRM. Whilst this may suffice in the short term, medium to long term issues may be lost due to inaccurate recording of data, lost details or unfulfilled efficiency gains.
Root cause analysis
Identifying the root cause of an issue will always help resolve IT issues quickly. An example of this is a switch failure which would cause all downstream devices to fail. Using a standards based help desk will enable a tree-like incident resolution structure which isolates and identified the root cause of a failure allowing remedial and preventative actions to be taken
Knowing the hardware and software assets under your control will ease in implementation planning and upgrades. An example of this is identifying all desktop PCs in your network that do not require extra memory or hard drive space to allow for an upgrade of an operating system
Self help Support
Using a cloud-based help desk will allow your IT users and supported partners to register support tickets directly onto the system. This reduces the time spent on telephone calls and emails.
Intelligent routing of issues
If your organisation retains multiple IT staff skilled in different disciplines, then your cloud helpdesk may be configured automatically to route IT issues to the relevant staff for the problem that has arisen. An example could be a switch failure routed to the network architect.
ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)
ITIL is a best practise framework that focuses on aligning IT with the needs of the business. The majority of cloud help desk systems both conform and adhere to the ITIL practices for service level management.
What to watch out for
Choosing a system to fit your business is the key to good support. Below we have listed some pitfalls to watch out for when selecting a supplier.
Many providers traditionally tried to lock customers into a single version with no upgrade support or discontinue support on a previous version. This is really only applicable to on-premise software, but worth keeping an eye on for cloud-hosted versions.
How proprietary is the system that is being proposed? Are there migration tools to assist switching vendors? Does the vendor offer upgrade support as part of the cloud service?
Does your help desk software integrate with your email and CRM system? Does the provider offer their own implementation to allow for customer management or integration with voice over IP (VOIP) or Instant Messenger (IM) services?
At Compare the Cloud, we’re here to help you get started and identify suitable providers who will meet your needs. Take a few minutes tell us about your company n our Cloud Comparison tool, and we’ll present you with some informed options – and help your take full advantage of a Cloud help desk system.