The Importance of Help Desk Software for Small Businesses
When it comes to your IT help desk processes, a key objective for small business owners is to continually improve the level of service provided to customers. By delivering exceptional service, you can begin to develop a strong brand reputation. Which, in 2020, is valued higher than both competitive pricing and product quality.
One way small businesses can enhance their customer service and support operations is with the help of technology. In fact, as many as 52% of brands consider technology important in being able to deliver an excellent customer experience.
In this article, you’ll discover the importance of moving to a more technology-focused approach for your IT support processes. As well as understanding the benefits of using help desk software for small businesses. We’ll cover:
What is Help Desk Software for Small Businesses?
Help desk software brings all of your IT support channels such as email, social media, phone and SMS, together in one place. This enables you to effectively keep track of customer conversations, requests and complaints. Meaning nothing gets missed and no tickets are left unanswered.
Using help desk software for small businesses allows you to:
- Efficiently manage and track requests
- Improve the response time of customer queries
- Build self-service portals with knowledge base and FAQs
- Collect requests from all channels with multichannel features
- Streamline the workflow of your support team
A leading feature that is utilised by both small and medium businesses (SMBs) is the ability to efficiently manage end-user communication. All requests are given a unique reference number and are turned into ‘tickets’. These tickets can then be tagged, categorised and prioritised accordingly. As well as be assigned to the right team member. This gives you an overview to see which tickets are outstanding and which have been actioned.
Help desk software also brings more effective organisation to a business’s customer service processes. It allows teams to easily collaborate and avoid answering the same query. As well as supporting Service level agreements (SLAs) to help monitor your team’s performance.
Typical Helpdesk Features that Small Businesses Need
A modern helpdesk tool will provide a support team with the right features to effectively monitor and manage their support processes. Although some features are aimed more at larger organisations, such as remote support and internal self-services, there are many functions that suit the support operations of SMBs. Including:
Multichannel ticketing system
Enables customers to contact you via any channel and turn all communications into tickets. These tickets can be tracked, managed, assigned, and prioritised with ease.
A centralised channel dashboard
A helpdesk tool provides an all-in-one message dashboard that is ideal for small businesses who are sharing an email inbox. This lets you and your team see all customer enquiries and requests coming in from all channels.
Knowledgebase and FAQs
A handy feature of most help desk software for small businesses is having the option to build a self-service portal. This allows end-users to find a solution to their issue by searching resources such as knowledge bases and FAQs. In fact, 12% of customers prefer this method as opposed to directly contacting a support agent.
Live chat integration
By installing a live chat function, customers are able to easily get in touch whenever they like. All chats are then converted into tickets and placed inside your centralised dashboard. As small businesses generally operate in limited hours, this is a handy feature for reducing missed requests when out-of-hours. Live chat integration is popular among users, with 77% of customers choosing to leave a website without it and go elsewhere.
Analytics and reporting
A small business generally doesn’t have the resources or time to monitor and track performance information regarding their support processes. Being able to collect the right data gives you detailed insights into performance metrics. As well as helping to identify gaps and opportunities in the service you provide.
If you offer services outside of the UK and to non-English speaking territories, this is a handy feature. It allows team members to speak to customers in their native language while still providing exceptional support.
5 Benefits of Help Desk Software for Small Businesses
Identifying the need to improve your IT support processes can be an exciting moment for your business. Whether that be enhancing your customer service or increasing the efficiency of your support team. Either way, choosing the right help desk software can provide many benefits for SMBs. Including:
Increasing workflow efficiency and organisation
The right helpdesk tool ensures your team receives, manages and resolves customer requests in an organised way. All while processing multichannel communication through one single system. It reduces the need for paperwork and spreadsheets as well, meaning a reduction in errors.
Reducing user response times
Help desk software for small businesses will provide features that focus solely on customers. As well as functions to speed up customer service processes, such as:
- Ticket automation
- Team collaboration
- Knowledge Bases and FAQs
Automating helpdesk processes can be valuable for small businesses wanting to improve their response times and save on costs. In fact, manually handling a help desk ticket is believed to cost $22 (around £17).
One example of automating your support functions is using a ticketing system function. This saves time by automatically assigning tickets to team members and organising them according to the request type. Such as a query regarding delayed shipping being quickly assigned to a member responsible for dispatching orders.
Another IT helpdesk process that benefits from automation is responding to support requests. By automating queries, it not only reduces wait time and boosts team productivity, but it also helps to reduce backlogs. One way to achieve this is to set up canned responses to FAQs, where messages can be triggered to send instantly. This then eliminates the need for a ticket to be raised and allows your team to focus on more complex enquiries.
Providing proactive customer service
The function of proactive service is to anticipate the customer’s needs. By doing so, you can identify issues that haven’t yet occurred or ones that the customer isn’t aware of.
For example, a web hosting company may need to temporarily shut down for planned maintenance. But, before doing so, they’ll need to notify users. With access to help desk software, this communication can be quickly issued via email, text, social media or SMS.
Proactive service can also have a big impact regarding an SMB’s brand loyalty. On average, 68% of global customers have a more favourable view of brands that contact them via proactive customer service notifications.
Measuring performance metrics
Modern help desk software for small businesses is packed full of analytic and reporting tools. This allows for greater visibility of the support requests you receive. As well as identifying the level of service your team members are providing.
With access to detailed metrics, you can monitor SLAs too. This includes agent response times and the rate of first-contact solutions.
Some tools also allow customers to rate and review their service experience. You can use this information to identify those team members who are knowledgeable and are delivering a reliable support service. As well as those who aren’t.
As a small business, providing customers with a good service experience is essential. Excellent customer service equates to happy customers. Happy customers lead to brand loyalty. Which, in turn, results in greater customer retention rates. A profitable customer doesn’t just buy from your company once; they return time after time.
Repeat business is the key to increasing profits for SMBs. By encouraging customers to come back, you can not only boost your revenue but also increase their overall lifetime value to your business.
In fact, getting customers to return for a third purchase could result in more profit than acquiring 15 new one-time customers.
How to improve customer service with Help Desk Software for Small businesses
Utilising help desk software for small businesses helps to improve customer service levels in several ways. For one, it brings all of your IT support channels together in one system. Allowing you and your team to provide support efficiently and according to problem severity.
The right tool will help to speed up ticket resolution times too. As well as allowing you to offer customers a proactive service.
It also provides detailed metrics that help measure KPIs and, ultimately, enable you to improve customer satisfaction. Which, is an essential goal for all SMBs.
So, how can you find the right help desk tool for your business? Well, as a starting point, highlight the channels that need to be included. Then identify the type of user interface that would work best for your team. Also consider the type of helpdesk tool you need, such as cloud-based or open-source.
As a small business, scalability is crucial. Meaning the help desk system you choose should be able to grow with your business. Perhaps you don’t need an all-in-one solution, but rather a software that you can build upon over time. Eventually adding different modules as your company expands.
Finally, be sure to set a realistic budget and examine what the total cost of ownership will be to ensure you’re confident of a good ROI.
To help find the best help desk software for small business, use our detailed Help Desk Software Buyer’s Guide.