If you’re searching for the best help desk software features, you’ve found the right article. With so many software options available, it’s easy to lose sight of the core functions a robust customer support function needs to prioritize. We’ve spent hundreds of hours studying the best help desk software features to shortlist the ones that are an absolute must-have.
Every support agent's worst nightmare is dealing with customer support requests manually with no way to filter or search through the data by name, keyword, date, or priority
The Place of Help Desk Software in Your Business
Help desk software is an essential part of an effective customer support function. Small businesses may be tempted to address support requests via phone and email to save money. However, this isn’t a viable or scalable solution in the long term.
Dealing with customer support requests manually, with no way to filter or search through the data by name, keyword, date, or priority, is every support agent’s worst nightmare. The right help desk software can help you steer clear of this situation and save plenty of time and money. However, these are the features your software solution must possess to add this level of value.
6 MUST-HAVE Features of Help Desk Software
1. Automated Workflows
One of the key benefits of having help desk software is that it can boost the efficiency of the customer support function with automated workflows. Use this feature to automatically route tickets, prioritize support requests, and trigger automatic notifications for users and your team.
Zendesk and Freshdesk are great examples of help desk software with automated ticketing workflows.
Pro-tip: If you’re looking for help desk software options, have a look at our detailed guide on the best help desk ticketing systems. Here, we discuss the top 12 IT help desk systems, common mistakes to avoid when buying one, pricing, features, and much more.
2. Service Level Agreement (SLA) Management
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) set contractual expectations for the standard of service you’re going to deliver to your customers. SLAs outline the timelines for your support agents to respond to customer support requests. They also define the KPIs used to measure the quality of service provided and agent performance.
SLA management is an important help desk software feature because it ensures transparency. Having this feature also makes it easier to maintain your standard of service, because the client’s expectations are clear.
Zoho Desk and Vision Helpdesk offer robust SLA management features.
3. Branding Customization
Regardless of the help desk software, you may be using, it is important to maintain your brand consistency at every customer touchpoint.
From the customer’s perspective, imagine visiting a support portal where the user interface is off-brand. If the support function looks disconnected from the main website, would such an experience inspire confidence and build trust with your company?
This is why customization is an important help desk software feature. It allows organizations to ensure a seamless transition from their main website to the offsite support center.
HappyFox and Zoho Desk are examples of highly customizable help desk software solutions.
4. Self-Service Capability
The best help desk software features allow your business to maximize efficiency and minimize manual input from your support teams. Decent self-service capability means a lot of the user journey is automated. The reduced input from your employees means you are cutting costs, saving time, and boosting customer satisfaction with quick solutions to common problems.
A self-service feature serves users via FAQs, Knowledge Base, forums, and chatbots that allow them to find answers on demand and in real-time. Consequently, we rate self-service as a key feature to look out for when buying help desk software.
Popular help desk solutions that offer robust self-service features include Zoho Desk, Kayako, SolarWinds, Spiceworks, and HappyFox.
5. Knowledge Management
In addition to having self-service capability, your help desk software must support the individual components a robust self-service portal requires.
A comprehensive knowledge management feature allows you to create and embed a large database of user guides, FAQs and case responses, as well as knowledge base articles into your IT service management system.
This valuable content takes your support center to the next level by addressing the most important customer questions immediately, and without continued human input.
The best help desk software to offer knowledge management is Zoho Desk, JitBit, and Vision Helpdesk.
6. Multi-Channel Support Functions
The world is a noisy place today. The end users of your products and services have no shortage of communication platforms. They use these channels to talk about your brand, share product recommendations, and compare prices.
Whether these conversations come to you via email, support tickets, or social media, your help desk software should be able to funnel this information into a single ticket management system. This is where the cross-channel or multi-channel deployment feature comes in.
Multi-channel support allows your IT support team to streamline service desk operations and address customer issues across all supported channels smoothly. Not only does this get answers to your customers faster, it creates impeccable brand credibility across multiple customer touchpoints.
Some of the best help desk software solutions for multi-channel deployment are Vision Helpdesk, Freshdesk, Zendesk, and Zoho Desk.
What is Help Desk Software?
In a hyper-competitive business environment, the companies that last are the ones that truly care about their customers.
Simply making a sale is a job half-done. Customers expect organizations to be available for them throughout the product or service lifecycle. They expect instant solutions at the very first point of contact. This is where help desk software adds value to your customer experience and internal productivity.
According to Knowledge Management: Systems and Processes by Irma Becerra-Fernandez and Rajiv Sabherwal, help desk software is a technology that aids the operations of any help desk that is mandated with the responsibility to troubleshoot problems with computers and related products.
Help desk software is also used to track service requests and to help diagnose potential reasons for problems.
The Benefits of Using Help Desk Software
Some of the main benefits of using help desk software are:
- Integrated communications: Your agents can easily communicate on a single platform regardless of their physical location.
- Collaboration: Customer support staff can readily collaborate on complex tickets.
- Consolidated channel support: Support agents can manage customer interactions efficiently via multiple channels on the same platform.
- Efficiency: It’s a significant improvement over email support. Tickets can be tracked and managed in a single location, giving all of your team complete visibility of the progress of a given issue.
- Great service: Because tickets are visible to all help des agents, no customer gets overlooked, and open tickets can get handed over between agents without confusion or delay from the customer's point of view.
- Brand confidence: Your business makes a solid impression on customers and appears bigger than it is.
- Task automation: Automation features allow for common yet repetitive queries to be answered quickly via the knowledge base without human intervention.
- Performance management: Managers can track agent performance and other metrics important to the company such as speed of ticket resolution and number of issues resolved.
- Data-based reporting: Using the power of data science and AI, organizations can identify customer experience, customer success, trends, and frequent problem areas.
Our Last Thoughts on Help Desk Software
Businesses that hope to stay competitive and scale need to invest in help desk software with the features required to provide lifelong customer service. These solutions act as more than just help desk ticketing systems, they are imperative customer service touchpoints offering a robust support channel for your HR, product support, or IT help desk.
The best help desk software features would allow you to save time, cut costs, help with issue prioritization, boost efficiency, and improve customer experience. All the things that will set you apart from your competition.