Help desk software can yield immense value for small businesses. To maximize the potential revenue impact of your help desk software, you not only need to know what software features to look for, but you also need to know how to budget for software and how to value what you’re receiving.

You probably know that all help desk software are not created equal. And while you may be applying that thought process to features and functionality, the same should be applied to pricing and how you are charged. Here are 3 pricing related items to think about as you choose a help desk software.

1. Explore a Proof-of-Concept

When you’re searching for a new help desk software, you should have the opportunity to explore the software before paying for it. While many companies will give you demos or recorded webinars, you need more than that. To ensure the successful implementation of any new investment, look for an opportunity to try the software within your own environment first.

This is important for three reasons. First, building out a proof-of-concept will allow you to design the process you want, not the process you have. It’s important that instead of changing your processes to fit your support tool that your software can be adjusted to fit your needs. You’ll be able to test out your tool with your real customers to get feedback before committing to a contract, which will be beneficial for both of you.

Secondly, by taking advantage of a trial or short window of time testing a tool, you can figure out exactly what you’ll need to be successful. For example, you’ll know if your preferred software connects to your other tools, or if you need to take the time to customize the tool to make it work best for your customers.

Finally, you’ll be able to compare the new tool to your current software on measurable KPIs to ensure that you’re improving your business. This comparison helps maximize value in a low-risk fashion.

2. Plan for Success–and Scalability

As your business evolves, your processes need to change, too. Investing in a flexible help desk software can help future-proof your business as long as you consider the future now. However, if you don’t select the right software to support your growth, you may end up paying substantially more over time when you are successful. This happens when companies have you pay on tiers based on features, rather than users. This means that as you grow, what you are charged may change, or you may find yourself needing to change your software or subscription plan to meet the needs of your future team.

You can avoid this problem, however, by thinking through your future growth when selecting a software. Look for a tool that will scale and grow with you, rather than one that will require you to change plans as you grow. Also ensure that the software you purchase allows you to test new process changes in real time to validate improvement without rolling out changes en masse.

Searching for a software that covers these needs will ensure a smooth growth trajectory when you need support the most.

3. Include Your Users

One of the biggest considerations for budgeting for help desk software is the cost of access for your customers. You may wonder why you should consider paying for access for your clients. This access is helpful for customers to self-manage their support requests, but it also allows them to directly request support.

For example, if you allow your customers to directly access your support platform, they can see the status of their requests. Additionally, by having customers directly request support, it will help your team be more efficient because your customers will start requests with all of the required information. This eliminates a communication bottleneck. Further, if your customers have access to your help desk software, it opens a direct path of conversation between your customers and your team, allowing them to directly request what they need to find a resolution.

You don’t have to jump in all at once, though. Build out a proof-of-concept with a subset of users to get their feedback. Once you have it, iterate the process with additional users until you’re ready to roll out your help desk software to your full customer base.

Deciding on a help center software is a critical one for a growing business. With these three tips, you can make sure you’re thinking about the right kind of software to fit your budget, meets your current and future needs, and allows your team to directly work with your customers

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