It’s time to upgrade your help desk, but what help desk tools are essential? If you’re considering different types of help desk tools to make that final decision, we’re here to help. Whether you’re an early stage business, or you’re firmly established and looking for change, giving proper consideration to your customer service processes is crucial.

As we all know, each customer is unique. We’re all human, after all. As such, their questions, queries, and issues should be approached with tailored service that fits the personality and policies of your business. There’s no blanket approach here, and the needs of your business may differ vastly from others. Your help desk applications should reflect this, allowing your company to provide customer service that meets the unique needs of your customers and employees alike.

Customers value businesses that respond to their questions quickly and accurately. In a fast-paced world that is showing no signs of slowing down, people don’t like to wait a long time for information or answers. We all want instantaneous support when faced with a problem. And this applies to the business world too. Focussing on customer satisfaction is a sure fire way to boost the reputation of your business, and grow within your industry.

All this can be achieved with the right help desk tools. Different help desk programs will offer a range of features and tools, some of which may be invaluable to your business. Others may be more superfluous, cluttering up your help desk. It can be difficult to know which ones are essential for creating a more streamlined experience for your customers and staff alike.

We’ve put together this guide to the different types of help desk tools, programs, and solutions to help you move your business forward. Below we will look at the tools that are offered typically on most robust help desks:

Help Desk Ticketing

Help desk software offers an array of solutions that help customer service agents to work more efficiently, stay organized, and deliver quality service that will ensure increased customer loyalty.

One help desk tool that enables agents to do this is help desk ticketing. A robust ticketing system eliminates a variety of roadblocks that can hamper the delivery of effective customer service.

For example, if your business solely dealt with customer inquiries via email, there is scope for confusion to be run into. If an agent handling a query needs assistance from another member of their team, a purely email based system could result in customers being unnecessarily notified about internal communications. Equally, as your business grows and the number of customer queries with it, it becomes much more difficult to stay on top of communications. Research shows that nearly half of customers (46%) expect companies to reply within 4 hours of them getting in touch. The longer customers are left waiting, the likelier they are to take their custom elsewhere or leave negative feedback.

So, how does a help desk ticketing system work to avoid these problematic scenarios?

A ticketing system is a valuable tool within a help desk. It receives service requests, which can be from various sources and channels, and automatically turns them into tickets. These requests can come from email, contact form, social media, text, telephone, or another platform.

Once tickets are created, they are managed and dealt with by agents within the help desk software.

The best ticketing systems will make the work of your customer service team simpler, increasing productivity and reducing customer wait times. Each ticket is given a unique reference number, meaning cases are easy to keep track of, and can be referred back to clearly and accurately by employees, regardless of which department they’re in. This is thanks to centralized information, that can be accessed via the help desk across your business.

Now we’ve been over how help desk ticketing solutions work, at a glance, we can dive into exactly what they can do for you and your business.

The various features and capabilities of ticketing software serve as a great relief to business owners and their support staff. With a lot to look for in a great help desk tool, having so many benefits in one place takes much of the strain off of building the perfect help desk solution for a business. Here are the key benefits of a ticketing system, and some advantages it can bring your business.

Organization achieved with helpdesk tools

In business, growth is great. But, it becomes stressful if your systems don’t adapt to keep up with demand. More business means more customers, which means more requests.

Ticketing systems help to organize a high volume of customer requests. Tickets can be more easily managed, ensuring no requests are missed or left unanswered. Additionally, tickets can be prioritized and tagged, promoting a more streamlined workflow for service agents.

Helpdesk Ticketing Consolidates Interactions

Customer service is no longer just telephone or email based. Today, people like to communicate with companies through various channels, from in-app messaging, to comments on social media posts.

Ticketing solutions mean your help desk takes an omnichannel approach to customer service. Regardless of where customer communications have come from, your ticketing system will gather them together in one easy to manage place. Even if one case involves several channels, they can all be linked together to ensure no information or contact is missed. This consolidation also means that, should an agent need to hand over a case to a colleague, all the required information will be ready for the new agent to view and familiarize themselves with.

Provides Customer Context

Any quality ticketing system will keep a history of customers’ previous interactions with your business. As a result, customer service agents can receive communications from a customer, and gain an insight into whom they are dealing with, and how best to support them. This is particularly useful for accessibility. For example, if a customer who is hard of hearing telephones an agent, appropriate accommodations can be made.

Equally, customer context can be useful for dealing with potentially abusive or aggressive customers, helping your agents to feel more confident and comfortable in doing their job.

Promotes Collaboration

Members of your customer service team can interact with one another via a ticketing system. Notes can be left on interactions outlining any actions that have been or need to be taken. Cases can be escalated through departments, or handed over to senior team members if necessary. Internal communication and collaboration can be done without the customer being notified and potentially confused as a result.

Maintain Service Level Agreements

SLAs (service level agreements) are easily set and managed within a help desk ticketing system. Expectations of customers can be consistently met, upholding the reputation of your company and its top tier customer service.

Clear goals can be defined, deadlines met, and promises kept.

Workflow Management for Help Desks

Workflow management is another help desk tool that will improve the performance of your service team. As with ticketing solutions, there are different types of workflow management software, so understanding how they work and what they can do is vital for building the best help desk application for your particular business.

So much of business nowadays is based on data and repeated processes. Having tools that can take on the majority of this work leaves your employees free to offer a personalized service to customers. Business process management (BPM) tools can create, execute, and manage business processes smoothly and effectively. Many of these solutions are available as drag-and-drop, no-code software. This means BPM dashboards can be easily integrated into existing applications, meaning no extra fiddly work for IT professionals, as well as new tools in a familiar place for service agents.

Workflow management software helps to keep employees on track and working towards a unified goal. This can be achieved with a number of tools. These can vary from software to software, so being aware of which ones matter most to you and your business is imperative when upgrading your help desk applications.

Deadline Tracking

Whilst ticketing systems help keep track of SLAs and deadlines, it is not their primary function. Workflow management systems are designed to keep workers on top of things. That’s why looking for workflow management software with comprehensive and clear deadline tracking is key. Use of color coding, easy to read visuals, and an intuitive structure can help your business keep up with deadlines with ease.

KPI Reports

Keeping an eye on KPIs provides an insight into how projects are going, and whether certain areas need to be improved. Having an easy-to-understand dashboard, which displays this information, can also help to motivate employees and keep them aware of where their work is in relation to overall targets.

Workflow Templates

So projects can be worked on immediately, using a workflow management solution that offers templates is a wise choice. Many software options offer customization, allowing your workflow to fit perfectly to your business needs.

Within these templates, engaging visual breakdowns of data help to inform teams in an accessible and simple way.

Interactive Charts & Project Boards

People process information differently. Some work well with numbers, others with words, and some with visual representations of the two. A feature of a great workflow management tool is interactivity. Being able to customize and adjust things like Gantt charts or Kanban boards for varying projects will enable employees to manage their workflow and take on new information efficiently.

All of these tools are necessary when a business is investing in help desk software. Help desk software is there to make business processes run smoother, and ensure the best service possible is given to customers. Another amazing feature of the vital help desk tool that is workflow management is automation.

Automating workflow may sound almost too good to be true, or that it at least comes with a catch. Surely something so game changing for a business must be incredibly complicated to integrate with existing platforms or apps? Not with Wavity. Thanks to our no-code solutions, you can automate your workflow by simply dragging and dropping. Life is made easier for everyone with our Digitized Workflows.

With Wavity’s wBot designer, you can automate your way. The DIY Robotic Automation Process lets you tailor processes completely. Add conditions, actions, and controls, giving you full control over just how you automate your business processes. It’s a workflow management tool that will make you wonder how you ever got along without it before.

Having automation tools as part of your help desk upgrade can reduce the amount of menial tasks in your customer service agents’ workloads. By utilizing clever tools, simple responses can be automatically sent out, giving customers fast responses with information that is unified across your company. Automation also enables workflow management software to assign tasks to agents, ensuring cases never stagnate or get left unattended. Reporting is also made much easier by automation. Managers can gather data and calculations that have already been done for them, streamlining business processes.

Help Desk Reporting Solutions

Reporting solutions is one of the help desk tools that will enable you to drill down deeper into how customer service can be improved to keep up with ever-increasing demand.

Help desk reporting is the act of consolidating data, like average response time or number of tickets answered, into easy to digest visuals and reports.

Having all this information made available in one place enables managers to get a clearer picture of how their team is performing. Compiling these sorts of reports manually can take up lots of precious time. Having a tool within your help desk software that can do this will take strain and pressure off already busy department heads, leaving them more time to focus on workforce management.

Keeping reporting within one help desk tool means operations are streamlined, as everything your team needs is in one easy to access place. As mentioned previously, reports and progress towards KPIs being made visible can be a great motivator to service agents, with reports and goals tailored to your specific business’ aims. Help desk applications offer different types of reporting, and it is up to you to decide which take priority. In order for that decision to be made easier, here are some of the types of reporting your help desk might need.

Key Metrics Reporting

Help desk reporting can act as a window into how efficient other aspects of your help desk applications are, and how well they are serving your business. Time and SLA metrics can tell you whether your ticketing system is up to scratch. Key metrics reporting can be used to pull big data, providing a broad overview of customer service efforts. Or, they can be used to deep dive into specific datasets, analyzing things on a more microscopic level.

Some key metrics your help desk software should report on are:

  • Average first response time
  • SLA first response
  • Average response time
  • Average resolution time
  • Resolution SLA
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) score
  • Unresolved tickets
  • Ticket volume

Reports by Time Frame

It isn’t just marketing or sales that generates activity-based data. Customer service is a buzzing hive of action, which generates myriad statistics to help indicate how the department is performing. All the best help desk software will offer the option to create reports by day, week, month, and even year. This enables managers to analyze time periods, identifying spikes in types of customer activity, as well as agent resolutions.

Geolocation Reporting

Gleaning an insight into who your customers are and where they’re based can assist with approaching resolutions. It can help your business in taking steps to prevent potential problems that customers may get in touch about later on.

With geolocation reporting, trends and spikes in data can indicate whether a certain type of query or issue is coming from customers in the same geographic areas. This information is invaluable for investigating and troubleshooting any systematic faults or areas of improvement within your business.

Reporting on Sources

Knowing how customers best like to get in touch helps businesses understand more about their customer profiles. This is incredibly helpful data when trying to market to them, whether you’re encouraging them to engage with your business more, or you’re looking for feedback on their customer service experience.

Reporting features on help desk software can tell you which devices customers got in touch from, as well as platforms like social media, email, or ant others.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Reports

The customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores are what measure how happy a customer is after every interaction with your customer service team or processes. Not only can the CSAT score be used to gauge overall customer happiness, but it can show CSAT scores against specific teams, and even individual agents. This type of reporting allows you to improve agent efficiency, as well as judging how well the overall customer service is received.

Agent Performance Reports

By utilizing help desk software, all the data about your customer service department is stored in one centralized location. This makes it simple to compile and access information about agents on an individual basis.

By tracking key metrics, such as KPIs and SLA metrics, you can get a summary of the efficiency and efforts of your service agents. Help desk reporting can track metrics like average response times, time spent on tickets, and number of tickets resolved. Alongside this, you can view the activity of agents. For example, reporting shows how many tickets were reopened, reassigned, whether public or private notes have been left on them, as well as the number of responses per tickets.

This information helps managers identify whether your business’ customer service processes are being adhered to, and whether further training in certain areas is required.

Having help desk tools that report on crucial aspects of your business’ customer service is incredibly useful, but what about when it comes to analyzing that information?

Help Desk Analytics

Help desk reporting and help desk analytics are two different tools that work in tandem with one another. That’s why it’s important for your help desk upgrade to include both of these help desk applications. Analyzing data collated in reports enables an organization to review its workflow, and make any adjustments for improvement if necessary. Without help desk analytics, your customer service team will be riding blind.

We’ve already discussed key metrics and how essential it is to track these in order to meet business goals. Help desk reporting collects this data, but the analysis of these reports is another task altogether. If your business is aiming to function more efficiently or gather more insights about its customer service provision, then it’s time to invest in help desk software that can handle analytics as well.

One important feature of help desk analytics tools is the distinction between key metrics and KPIs. In the previous section, we outlined significant metrics that can indicate the performance of customer service teams. KPIs differ to metrics, in that they measure the performance of service teams. A metric can be part of a KPI, but not the other way around.

An example of a KPI could be to improve the average reply time of your agents. In order to know whether this has been achieved over a certain timeframe, you can analyze these metrics:

  • Average first response time
  • Average reply time
  • CSAT score

Analytics pulled from these metrics will identify whether reply times have been improved upon, without detriment to the quality of service provided.

Another KPI may be to meet SLAs more consistently. Your help desk solution’s main aim should be to boost customer satisfaction as much as possible. As such, the tools within your help desk should ensure your business sticks to the commitments it has made to customers, by meeting SLAs. Again, help desk analytics can pull from various datasets to outline whether this is being done efficiently and in a way that upholds the desired level of service. Carrying out this analysis is significantly time-consuming, which is why only the best analytics tools should be incorporated into your business’ help desk upgrade.

As with all help desk solutions, tools should be easy to use and fit seamlessly with the rest of your existing applications. You’ll find that the best customer service analytics tools will be able to:

Identify Trends

So you can determine how best to approach recurring queries and customer issues, trends generated by help desk analytics will quickly reveal the best course of action for your customer service teams moving forward.

Diminish Redundant Workload

Analytics can reveal any repetitive issues or items that can be taken care of by either creating self-help documents or designing automated processes. This then lightens the workload of customer service agents, affording them more valuable one on one time with customers.

Connect the Dots

Taking the information gathered by reporting tools, help desk analytics should enable you to connect the dots, and have a clearer understanding of what is happening within your customer service department.

Looking for the perfect help desk upgrade for your company? See how Wavity can help!

Do you want to upgrade your business’ help desk applications, ensuring you have all the tools to streamline your customer service department, and move your business forward? Empower your service teams, by providing the SaaS help desk tools that will fit seamlessly into their familiar workflow. With no development or coding required, Wavity’s easy no-code help desk solutions mean your business can improve its customer service offering without delay or disruption.

Having all the necessary tools at your disposal, in one easy to access place, means you can see exactly what’s happening within your service department, and ensure your business is running on track. Agents can respond to tickets faster, work efficiently as a team, remain aware of their progress, and ensure KPIs and goals are met on time. All this, whilst keeping up with rising customer demand and meeting the growing expectations of consumers all over the world.

Whether you’re a new business, or you’re seeking an overdue refresh, you can quickly and easily transform your help desk into a dynamic dashboard, full of customized tools to suit your unique business needs. Just drag and drop, with no previous coding experience or knowledge required. At Wavity, we’re happy to walk you through how to get your perfectly customized help desk solution up and running.

Get in touch with Wavity today to book your demo, and see for yourself!

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