Helpdesk Software Buyer’s Guide

Finding the right helpdesk for your organization can prove a difficult process. The right platform can revolutionize your internal and external support. The wrong platform can take a significant bite out of your organization’s bottom line.

With such a daunting proposition, where do you begin? Careful consideration of the following matters will make your evaluation process markedly less painful.

Type of experience.

Picture the perfect customer experience, from your customer’s point of view. Are they proficient with sending emails, or do they prefer to peruse your website for a knowledge base? Do they enjoy using multiple channels for support, or are they married to a particular mode of communication?

Your needs.

Every organization’s support needs are unique. It’s imperative that you define yours, and which of them deserve more attention than others. For example, if your team is relatively small, you might opt to stay away from a helpdesk that is heavily dependent on human intervention. Instead, you’ll be looking for a tool that achieves a higher degree of automation at a good introductory price.

Decisions, decisions.

The time will come when you’ll need to separate the essentials from the “nice to haves.” Make a list of your helpdesk imperatives. Which features are necessary to ensure your company can offer its standard of customer service? Additionally, what are some of the non-essential features that don’t serve an immediate need? Try to make your essentials list as short as possible—the shorter the essentials list, the easier the task of refining your choices will be.

The evaluation team.

Identify the major stakeholders for your future helpdesk solution. These are the members of your org who will either use the software or be directly affected by its features.

  • A junior support team member
  • A helpdesk power user
  • A manager or senior-level executive

With these diverse perspectives informing your strategy, you can confidently determine which helpdesk is the right fit.

Testing and trials.

Naturally, you want to ensure that your selected helpdesk software will integrate with your current platforms. But, more importantly, it should withstand the formidable pressures and tests your company regularly experiences.

To get the most comprehensive, digestible feedback, it’s best to have the entire team testing the software simultaneously. Pay attention to load times, the overall user experience (UX), and the intuitiveness of the user interface (UI).

Extensibility.

You want a system that can scale with your company, that will continue to serve your needs as your organization grows. It must be able to handle increased future customer support volume or potential peaks during certain times of the year. The last thing you want is to be forced to pivot in the middle of a growth spurt.

Reporting and analytics.

You’re going to want to measure the success of your customer service team and customer retention rates. The right helpdesk software should offer customized reporting on the KPIs that matter most to your organization.

Reliability.

What’s the uptime? A helpdesk that crashes during high volume is of little value. Not only will your company lose revenue, but it could significantly damage your support team’s morale.

Implementation.

Once you have made a decision, it’s vital to have a transition plan. There isn’t any doubt that moving to a new helpdesk solution can make for a large investment in both time and resources. Since the cost can be great, it’s vital to take enough time to make a thoughtful decision.

Here are a few questions that will help you formulate your implementation and rollout plans:

  • Will there be critical integrations?
  • Do you need to import your knowledge base?
  • Do you have to update your contact forms?
  • Will your team need training?