A help desk system is software that has been designed to take in requests from users/customers of the company’s products and services.  Internally it can be used to log customer support calls or emails arising from technical issues or general customer inquiries.  Externally it can be used to support users of the organization's products and services.  In a number of corporations it is used primarily to log calls related to information technology or software problems.  A help desk system helps solve or troubleshoot problems for customers in an orderly manner.  This could include support offered via web, phone, instant messaging or email. 

Benefits of a help desk system:

1.  Increased customer service – A help desk system will help increase a company's level of customer service.  This is because it allows customer service personnel to be faster, more knowledgeable and more responsive.  Customers can also choose to use the web, email or phone to reach your company and log their problems.  Problem solving could be instantaneous or could require analysis and a call back if its technical issue.  Good customer service can help a company develop loyalty within its user base and provide greater customer satisfaction.

2.  Better information flow – With help desk software all information is entered within a centralized database.  All users can access this information and the support staff can act quickly on queries that have not been resolved.  This also makes the support staff more proactive in solving issues that keep on recurring.  With improved information flow there will be more customer satisfaction as the queries will be solved within the shortest time possible.

3.  Increased productivity – Some of the issues that keep on recurring can be automated using the help desk software thus having automatic responses to some queries.  This will save the organization a lot of time and reduce customer service staffing as many of the common questions can be answered automatically.  Activities within customer support will also be better coordinated resulting in more staff productivity.

4.  Better escalation process – A help desk software will also improve the escalation process for issues that cannot be resolved on the first call.  Though many organizations prefer a first call resolution, sometimes the problems raised are overwhelming to the front office staff and need more technical expertise.  This may require an elaborate escalation and followup process to solve the issue.  Help desk software can help with this by easily directing a problem to the next person in the hierarchy while tracking progress and followups.

5.  Easy follow-up and analysis – Since all calls, emails and chats are entered into a centralized database it is easy to follow-up on recurring queries and analyze them.  This will give an organization insight into the most common problems that keep popping up.  An organization can then convey these learnings to other departments which might be able to solve the root problems and improve product quality in the process.  With a help desk system it is easier capture data on how support staff are handling queries.  This data can also be used for training and staffing purposes.


Image Source:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/buenosairesprensa/5737875015/