Helpdesk softwares have become a must-have as your employees grow. If you’re someone who’s lost in the ocean of information about choosing your helpdesk software, we’re not going to confuse you any more.

We have tried to deconstruct and dissect concepts relating to helpdesk software and ensure you are clear when you choose your IT Helpdesk.

So, what is a "helpdesk"?

As the name suggests, a helpdesk serves one purpose - to help your employees. Typically, employees seek help on technical issues from their helpdesk. Troubleshooting your workspace printer, helping employees solve a small bug in tools are examples of issues that bring them to the helpdesk. 

Simply put, the helpdesk is the first point of contact for employees to get answers or solution to their problems. 

Helpdesk software is a system that helps you keep track of requests and issues coming to the helpdesk. As organizations and businesses have evolved, helpdesk softwares have become more mature and robust. Modern IT helpdesk software lets you track, solve and automate problems coming to your helpdesk.

Essentially, helpdesk softwares are designed to create an online interface that collects, stores, tracks and helps you solve employees problems in a streamlined manner. 

That brings us to the most essential question,

What are the functions that your helpdesk should perform?

As you might have already figured out, a good helpdesk software is very essential to ensure that your end users stay happy. So, a good helpdesk software should ensure that it’s a 

Single point of contact

When the end user faces a problem or an issue, they should know where to go. The end users can reach your helpdesk through various channels like chat, phone, or by simply walking-in. The underlying point is to ensure that they know where to reach when they have an issue.

Help agents be more productive

A robust helpdesk software should ensure that your IT and support agents are not overworked. The helpdesk software should make the agents more productive by helping them automate redundant tasks.

Make IT agents and end users happy

A good way to measure the effectiveness of your helpdesk software is to see how happy your users and agents are. Hence, having a way to measure customer happiness (CSAT) inbuilt in your helpdesk software is very important.

Types of helpdesk

Employee requests come in various shapes and sizes, and so does the type of helpdesk you configure. Broadly, helpdesks can be categorized into:

IT support helpdesk

An IT helpdesk (or an IT service desk) is designed to focus on problems and issues faced by employees of your organization. Everything ranging from password resets to server maintenance is taken care of by agents in the IT service desk.

Customer service helpdesk

As the name suggests, customer service helpdesks predominantly focus on helping customers with questions, issues and problems with the services or products on offer.

Helpdesk for other functions

With the growth of collaboration at the workplace, functions like HR, finance, marketing, legal need helpdesks for themselves. For example, finance teams in your organization can have helpdesks to track and process invoices they get from various departments.

Based on the size, needs, and scale of your organizations, you might want to have one or all three helpdesks to ensure smooth operations. Owing to the focus of IT helpdesk, we will focus only on that in further sections.

IT helpdesk – The what and the how

The best IT helpdesk software should have the ability to make the life of your agents and employees easier. If you’re someone who’s using the ITIL framework or any other framework, it’s best to ensure that your IT helpdesk is compliant. In addition, capabilities like self-service portal, SLA management, reporting, project management, and collaboration are pivotal to support the increasing demand of employees.

However, if you’re someone who’s just starting out with your search for a good IT helpdesk, here are some ‘must-have’ features:

Email support

The ability to send and respond to emails from within your IT helpdesk software. Your IT helpdesk should ensure that these emails are automatically converted into tickets in your helpdesk software so that the agents can have complete context on the problem.

A robust knowledge base

Your IT helpdesk should have the ability to set up a knowledge base that encompasses all the frequently answered questions by the IT agents. This could have information on ‘how tos’, best practices in the form of videos, cheat sheets or in a way that’s easily digestible by your employees.

Self-service portal

A very important feature to have if you want to make your IT agents focus on more strategic tasks. The self-service portal is an intuitive place to get answers via the knowledge base (contributed by both employees and IT agents).

Helpdesk automation

Your IT helpdesk software should have the ability to automate redundant tasks by keeping the actions consistent. helpdesk automation can take up repetitive tasks like closing inactive tickets, automating repetitive scenarios (like who all to alert when onboarding a new employee), among others.

SLA management

Service level agreement is the contract between the IT agents and employees on the level of service to be expected in terms of time (or satisfaction levels). It could be on first response time, time to resolution, CSAT etc. Your IT helpdesk should have the capabilities to define the SLAs in a way that your organization wants.

Reporting capabilities

Helpdesk software reporting allows for you to track key metrics such as customer satisfaction, agent productivity, the cost of supporting employees, spend on IT assets, among others. A robust reporting is an absolute necessity to optimize your IT operations and save costs.

How much does an IT helpdesk cost?

There is no fixed answer to this. The cost of your IT helpdesk depends on a lot of factors like company size, size of your IT team, the number of IT assets you have, features you need and a lot of other factors. Based on these, an IT helpdesk software can cost anywhere between $15 to $80 per agent.

So, after all this information, if you’re still thinking about the how to choose the best IT helpdesk, here’s a handy guide. 

  • What are the channels through which you want employees to reachyou?
  • Is the cost of your IT helpdesk within your budget?
  • Does your organization require automation? (See if your agents are solving the same kind of tasks repeatedly).
  • What kind of reporting do you need?
  • Does your organization need a self-service solution?
  • Does the helpdesk software support use cases of other functions?
  • How many IT agents will be using your IT helpdesk?

On top of all this, it’s pivotal to ensure you involve the people who will use your IT helpdesk in the decision-making process. The IT agents will have their ears close to the ground, and hence you are more likely to make the right decision.

If you’re looking for an IT helpdesk that’s easy on your pocket and has a plethora of features, Try Freshservice. You will not be disappointed!

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