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What is Helpdesk Software?

Helpdesk software is used to manage customer queries and provide support from one centralized location. With helpdesk software, customers can get answers to their questions quicker and resolve problems with greater ease, and your business can streamline and automate support to save time and money.

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Why Do I Need Helpdesk Software?


Today’s customers and end-users expect five-star customer support, and that includes around-the-clock care, answers at their fingertips, and absolutely no sitting on hold waiting for a customer support rep. This is one of the many reasons why helpdesk software is so important to a modern IT business.


Not only does helpdesk software come with a ticketing system where customers can submit problems and get them resolved easily, but an advanced helpdesk system will also include self-service functionality such as a Knowledge Base, a FAQ section that can be updated dynamically, and articles, how-to’s, and plenty of tutorials.


From the business’ point of view, this is a real win/win. Customers are getting the answers that they need faster and at their own convenience, and the pressure is taken off from customer support to cater to the customer’s every need, or engage in repetitive conversations about common challenges or points of friction.


Take onboarding for example. Traditionally, a CSM might have spent 2 hours of their week talking to a new customer about common IT challenges. Multiply that by 10 new customers, and they suddenly aren’t doing that much else with their time! With a helpdesk solution, you can create a learning path for new users with FAQ, onboarding tutorial videos, tips and tricks, and the ability to send a ticket if there are niche challenges that they still need help with. Suddenly, those two hours are reduced to just a few ad-hoc minutes, and your CSMs are freed up to add strategic value elsewhere and have more sophisticated conversations that provide greater value.


As your business scales, there’s less need to onboard new customer support agents, as so much is being dealt with through automation and self-serve.


The History of Helpdesk Software


Helpdesk software has changed over the years. In fact, it started out without any software at all! The original helpdesk was a telephone call center, where people could call and ask their questions. However, this was not at all scalable, you needed a person at the end of every single call.


The first sign of helpdesk systems as we know them was the early days of the internet, back in the 1980s. Customer service started to be offered via email, which meant that customers could reach out in their own time to ask for help, and get responses around the clock. As time zones were no longer an issue, outsourcing began—and many businesses started working with lower-cost regions to employ call center agents. This allowed them to scale up support without adding too much cost to their bottom line.


It wasn’t until the new millennium that help desk software solutions came onto the market, allowing businesses to revolutionize the way they offered customer care. The internet has grown exponentially, and cloud-based systems have made collaboration easier than ever before, and helpdesks are now much more reliable and feature-rich than email alone, offering shared inboxes, automation, prioritization, knowledge access, customization opportunities, and smart integration with other parts of the business, such as billing or reporting.


Today, customers who benefit from helpdesk software can send in a challenge and have any technician or staff member answer them and support their needs, and businesses can benefit from robust reporting and analytics to track the impact and effectiveness of their customer relationships. There are now thousands of options on the market for helpdesk and ticketing software of all kinds, some integrated with larger tools such as Customer Relationship Management or RMM suites, and others standalone.

The Pros of Helpdesk Software


So, what are the main benefits of using helpdesk software? Let’s look at the top 5.


Improve issue resolution: Helpdesk software supports you in answering queries faster, with greater accuracy, and with consistency across the business so that repetitive queries are resolved immediately. In fact, you can save best-practice answers so that technicians always know the best way to respond. On the customer side, they know they have a way to reach you, and can grow confident in your ability to support them when they need you.


Intelligently utilize staff: Helpdesk software allows you to prioritize certain issues to meet customer SLA, or route tasks to the right member of staff for easy resolution. You can even escalate issues from within the helpdesk, so that managers are tagged in to deal with a more strategic issue where necessary. Say goodbye to a whole lot of manual and repetitive tasks, and free up staff to add value elsewhere.


Boost customer satisfaction: Customers want responses immediately, and they won’t wait longer than a few hours—max. Helpdesk software allows you to automate responses where possible, and alert technicians to tasks that need the human touch. Rather than allow emails or missed calls to slip through the net, a ticketing system provides a single centralized form of communication – that can be shared by stakeholders across the business.


Streamline communication: A smart helpdesk software can convert emails to tickets so that all communications come in through the same channel, making sure that nothing falls through the gaps. Technicians and agents can simply log in each morning and have their tickets ready to go, complete with prioritized actions, and a full customer history to get valuable context.


Access metrics and reporting: With a centralized system for all customer queries, you can quickly get a grasp over the common challenges, using this to tweak the product or service, update FAQs, or even create a Knowledge Base—a learning path or an academy. Internally, you can track customer satisfaction, technician performance, and important key metrics like CSAT, NPS, and more.


The Cons to Think About When Onboarding Helpdesk Software


The only real cons to think about when onboarding helpdesk software are the costs of onboarding, maintaining, and upgrading the system. Today, many companies offer integrated helpdesk and ticketing functionality with their IT support suite, or with their Customer Relationship Management software, which can help to streamline the costs associated with the purchase.


The real question you want to ask is, what are the costs of not deploying a helpdesk solution? These could well be high, due to frustrated customers, a lack of insight and visibility into customer needs, poor one-on-one customer support, and a reputation of not providing best-in-class self-serve options for your clients.


Atera’s Helpdesk and Ticketing Offerings Tailored for IT


At Atera, our helpdesk and ticketing software is part of our Professional Services Automation (PSA), providing a simple and streamlined way for you to communicate with your IT clients as a Managed Service Provider, or across the organization in corporate IT.


Our helpdesk has deep opportunities for automation, so that issues can be remedied immediately where possible, providing auto-replies, scheduled tickets, auto-escalation, and prioritization of tickets according to customer SLAs. Our AI-based ticketing makes this even smarter, so that tickets can be prioritized or channeled to the right team members by the keywords that are included in the text itself.


Self-serve is also an essential part of the Atera helpdesk software. Provide your customers with your own branded Customer Portal, synced with your ticketing system so that your customers have a direct line for any queries or challenges they might be facing. Include a Knowledge Base, Frequently Asked Questions, or any important articles that you think they ought to know about, adding to your reputation as a trusted advisor, rather than just the IT support.

Frequently Asked Questions