Modern Help Desk Software for Companies of all Sizes
Satisfied customers are the be-all and end-all of any successful company. Modern help desk software, with which they can be optimally operated, is therefore indispensable for companies of all sizes and in all sectors. The following is a presentation of proven cloud solutions for every requirement.
Retaining customers is more difficult than attracting new customers. Above all, SaaS providers and all companies that are active in some form in the booming subscription economy know this. For example, those who sold software in the PC era had to focus on acquiring new customers. Because with the sale of a one-time license, the goal was already achieved.
Whether the customer was actually successful with the software or not was secondary in the classic license model. The SaaS or subscription model has fundamentally changed that. Acquiring new customers is just the beginning. The goal is no longer to win new customers but to retain them in the company over the long term. Providers must therefore ensure that their customers remain satisfied with the product and benefit from it.
In the subscription economy, in particular, customer success is crucial. In addition to good service, which is regularly improved through updates and adapted to changing customer requirements, fast, friendly, and, above all, efficient customer service plays a critical role. Anyone who abandons their customers when they have problems does not react promptly to their wishes or requirements or does not promote dialogue with them, simply loses them to the competition.
Better customer service through process automation
In times of WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, chat bots and the like, the classic support channels such as telephone, email or contact forms on company websites are no longer sufficient to offer professional customer support. Modern help desk services promise a remedy.
These are aimed at companies of all sizes and in all sectors that want to improve customer service through the automation of recurring processes, collect customer feedback in a structured manner and reduce support requests to a minimum by providing public knowledge databases and customer portals. In addition, such tools have collaboration tools that improve collaboration between support staff and ensure greater productivity in everyday life.
With reporting and analytics functions, which are now part of the standard repertoire of professional help desk software, they also provide management with important insights into the performance of the customer service team. By analyzing important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as customer satisfaction or average response and ticket processing times, companies can ensure that customer service is continuously optimized.
However, choosing a suitable help desk solution that offers the necessary features and fits both the support team and the customers is not always easy. On the one hand, the market supply can hardly be seen through. On the other hand, the systems are aimed at different user groups.
Choosing a suitable help desk solution that offers the necessary features and fits both the support team and the customers is not always easy.
In some cases, you will notice large differences when you compare the functional scope of different help desk solutions. You will look in vain for the perfect help desk software that suits all companies. Rather, companies have to find a solution that best suits their specific needs. Anyone who needs a system for in-house IT support will have completely different requirements than someone who has to serve external customers.
While providers in the consumer market, for example, have to expect support inquiries via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Co., providers of business solutions for business customers do not need to worry about social media as a support channel. The customer’s support needs and the expected services as well as the support channels to be supported play a central role in the selection of the right solution.
In the following, we show what is important when choosing the right help desk solution in different application scenarios and present professional alternatives for different user groups, from startups and SMEs to larger companies that not only serve external customers, but also internal IT – Want to provide professional support.
Modern Alternatives for Startups and SMBs
While good, old e-mail is seen as the number one productivity killer in internal corporate communication, it is still indispensable in external communication with interested parties, partners, and, above all, customers. For this reason, email is still one of the most important support channels. Anyone looking for help desk software to better manage their support emails should take a look at Help Scout. The solution from Boston primarily focuses on email and live chat support.
Social media and telephone are deliberately not supported in order to keep the solution as simple as possible. With Docs, Help Scout also offers the option of creating a modern online help center in which customers can search for tutorials, operating instructions, and best practices themselves.
The range of functions is rounded off with useful collaboration functions such as automatic notifications and assignments, comments, and status updates, which improve collaboration between the support team. Also useful are the integrations with other business solutions, as well as the extensive reporting tools with which you can analyze and evaluate the performance of the customer service team.
Front is a good alternative to Help Scout, from which startups and SMEs who want to use other support channels in addition to email and live chat can benefit. Since it was founded in 2013, the French startup has secured almost $ 80 million for its expansion. And that from renowned VCs and business angels such as Point Nine Capital from Berlin, Slack founder Stewart Butterfield, and the renowned startup incubator Y Combinator. Front enables companies to manage all external communication with their customers in one central location. Teams can jointly manage different e-mail addresses such as contact @, sales @, and support @, as well as other communication channels such as SMS, Twitter, LinkedIn, and telephone. Front attaches great importance to the user experience and scores with practical tools that enable the collaborative processing of customer inquiries in a team.
Intercom is one of the best examples of how modern customer communication works, especially for Internet companies who call their customers users. It’s a comprehensive all-in-one suite that does much more than just provide customer support. In addition to Inbox for e-mail and live chat support, the solution consists of other sub-products: Platform for user analytics, Messages for the automation of personalized sales and marketing campaigns, and Articles for the creation of a customer service portal.
This means that the software can cover all interactions between a company and its customers in every phase of the customer life cycle – keyword customer engagement. Automation plays a central role in this. With the offered chat and answer bots, companies can create their own workflows and automate repetitive tasks. For example, if a customer asks about a specific product feature, the bot can suggest a suitable article from the integrated help center. An advantage for software providers: With the help of various SDKs (Software Development Kits), Intercom can be integrated into any web, desktop, and mobile apps. Startups that offer digital products and services and want to bring marketing, sales, and support under one roof should also take a closer look at the intercom alternatives HelpCrunch and Outseta.
Classic Enterprise Solutions
These new products from startups, which have hit the market in the last five to ten years, have to hold their own against the big market leaders who serve startups and SMEs as well as large companies with their extensive enterprise-class solutions. These include Zendesk, Salesforce, Zoho, and Freshdesk, among others. Since it was founded in Denmark in 2017, Zendesk has grown continuously.
The company has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2014 and the range of functions is now extremely extensive. In addition to multi-channel support, the main functions also include user-friendly self-service options such as knowledge databases, customer forums, communities, and portals. Zendesk is also known for its professional automation tools such as macros and triggers. It can be used, for example, to automatically forward support tickets, complete tasks, address important problems, and send notifications.
Happyfox impresses above all with its great flexibility in mapping individual customer service processes. If you are looking for simple help desk software that can be easily adapted to your own requirements, this web tool from India could be just the thing for you. The main functions of the platform, which is also multi-channel capable, include comprehensive ticket management, self-service portals and a detailed reporting module. Support tickets can be categorized as required using numerous parameters and automatically forwarded to various support agents according to freely definable rules.
Ticketing management, multi-channel support, integrated time recording, knowledge databases, customer forums, and detailed reports on productivity, customer satisfaction, and other relevant metrics: These are just some of the countless features that FreshDesk has up its sleeve.
Behind the solution is Freshworks, a large software company with branches in India and Silicon Valley, which provides several business solutions for everything to do with sales, marketing, and support. In addition to the usual standard features of a powerful multi-channel solution for high demands, Freshdesk offers an interesting feature that you will not find with every provider: “Gamification”.
Various game elements that are implemented in the solution should turn the processing of support tickets into a kind of playful competition. For example, if a support ticket is successfully processed within an hour, the responsible support agent receives X points. If the customer is particularly satisfied with the processing of his order, the agent wins another five bonus points. Every company can define its own rules of the game to motivate and reward its employees when they perform above average.
For internal IT support
In addition to such solutions for external customer support, there are specific offers on the help desk software market for in-house IT support, in which employees are treated as customers. Larger companies that need an in-house IT support solution can use another product from Freshworks: Freshservice. This is an ITIL-oriented service desk solution (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) in the cloud, with which medium-sized and large companies can modernize their IT.
Jira Service Desk
Jira Service Desk is in direct competition with Freshservice. This is offered by Atlassian from Australia, which is known for popular productivity apps such as Jira, BitBucket and Trello. Service Desk is based on Atlassian’s flagship product Jira, which has long been established as a proven project management system for software developers in the industry, and offers a central point of contact where employees can ask for help, report problems or request new services from the IT department .
The scope of the solution is left to the customer: Users can provide basic help resources or set up comprehensive, ITIL-compliant service management. The solution also offers many integration options with other Atlassian products as well as third-party tools. Through the integration with Confluence, users can easily set up a self-service portal in which customers can access helpful information independently. From Jira Service Desk, users can connect their preferred resource management tool to assign, track and directly link requests to resources.
With ServiceNow, SysAid and Samanage, there are further professional service desk solutions of the enterprise class, which have also successfully asserted themselves on the market.
TrackingTime’s Help Desk Software Integrations
TrackingTime provides a solution to record the time of employees and collaborators within the best help desk software. These allow you to effectively manage your clients’ service requests and make follow-up reports. With TrackingTime integration you can Track time on tickets right from Freshdesk with just one click, View the work hours performed by agents on Zendesk, or count the amount of time you’ve spent working for each ticket on Supportpal.
Help desk software is the first step to better customer service
Modern solutions from the cloud enable companies to automate and accelerate customer service processes – with the aim of increasing customer satisfaction and thus building better customer relationships. Customers, support staff and management can all benefit from this.
In addition to established high-end solutions such as Zendesk or Freshdesk, startups and SMEs are able to choose from a variety of less well-known, but still powerful (and usually cheaper) alternatives. In terms of functionality, design, and usability, newcomers such as Help Scout, Front or Intercom do not have to fear comparison with the top dogs – on the contrary. When choosing the right help desk solution, companies are well-advised to precisely define their requirements and try out alternatives that are optimized for their individual use cases, i.e. that do not offer any unnecessary features and are as easy to use as possible for the support agents.