The Dilemma of the “Right” Help desk. A help desk is a support ecosystem that collects, organizes, stores, and helps you solve customer problems in a streamlined manner. It is a must-have for every new and upcoming business that wants to come out of the email rut and provide customers the support they expect. However, choosing the right help desk for your business is not easy, thanks to the countless options available today with each one every bit as good as the next. When you decide to trade email for a better alternative or when you find yourself doing less with more, you can start with these elemental steps. Choose the Right Help Desk. Define What Help Desk Means to Your Three StakeholdersWhat Functions Do You Need the Help desk to PerformWhat Features Do You Look for in a Help Desk?Define Your Help Desk BudgetSign Up for a Trial to Evaluate the Chosen Help Desk 1. Define What Help Desk Means to Your Three Stakeholders While each business is different, there are three stakeholders who define every business decision. They are also the ones who will benefit from using a help desk -- your customers, customer service agents, and your business. Laying out their expectations and goals can help you cut through most of the available options. The Role of Help Desk in SMBs. For small to medium businesses, moving from crowded emails to an all-in-one help desk makes a world of difference. Read more. Your customers’ expectations. Your customers want quick help, whenever they want to, and however they choose to contact you. Customers tend to abandon brands that consistently make them wait for answers, let alone leave negative reviews. The help desk you choose should address the customers’ need for: Speed: With automation workflows and business intelligenceAvailability: With chatbots and self-service knowledge base. Accessibility: With omnichannel integration that connects the channels. Ultimately, your customers want a consistently good experience in order to gain trust in your business. HappyFox offers a help desk that will orchestrate your business processes flawlessly and ensure consistent experiences every single time. Your customer service agents’ expectations. Once you know what your customers expect, you should lay out your service agents’ goals and cross out the options that don’t serve both. Agents want to provide the best support they can while maintaining productivity. The absence of a help desk affects support agents the most because they are left to manually carry out each step in support. So, a help desk that automates complex processes with ease and keeps rudimentary work out of the agents’ way is the one to choose. Your business goals. Every business differs in the form it provides support. An e-commerce company has the maximum number of interactions with customers than a healthcare company. A company catering to elderly demographics would place far more emphasis on telephony than social media support. Define what kind of a business you are, what kind of customers you cater to, and what budget you could allot (more on that later). 2. What Functions Do You Need the Help desk to Perform Cover the basics first -- as a growing business, what functions do you expect your help desk to perform on a broad level? Some help desk providers advertise advanced help desks when in reality the so-called advancements don’t matter much to the user experience. In an attempt to be futuristic, some disregard the concerns and scenarios that are more important to their users. A help desk should: Be the single point of contact. The customer shouldn’t have to worry about where to reach you so you would respond, nor should the help desk staff about missing a request because it didn’t come through a specific platform. A help desk’s basic job is to solve this problem and serve as a single point of contact that stores all the service requests and resolutions under one roof. Simplify effort. A help desk ticketing system should simplify the efforts of both end-users and help desk agents. Users should be able to drop the request and move on to whatever they came for, and agents should be able to get straight to the problems with minimal manual effort. Be scalable. Every company wants to grow ultimately. Your help desk solution should be as compatible with your future business self as your current. HappyFox offers a help desk that grows with you; you can save a lot of hassle and money by choosing a help desk you don’t have to replace when your customer base grows or when you evolve from a small business to an enterprise business. Be open to optimization. As your business needs evolve, you would need more than a ready-to-go help desk. You may want to automate more complex processes, explore complicated integrations, and a host of other optimizations you would need to provide a better support experience than you did yesterday. Now you can’t find a ready-to-go help desk that could do all these, but finding a help desk with adaptability will be a good start. 3. What Features Do You Look for in a Help Desk? Help desks have features that can make the end user’s life easier. Modern-day help desks offer innumerable features, each with its own purpose. But you can cut through the clutter by starting with these must-have help desk features: Omnichannel support. Every customer request you get -- via email, chatbot, live chat, social media, and mobile app -- should be automatically converted into a help desk ticket. Omnichannel support connects the interactions from all channels of engagement, providing a seamless customer experience. Since all requests land in one place and are displayed on a common interface, there would be no stepping on toes. A knowledge base. Your help desk should have the ability to host a knowledge base consisting of self-help materials like faq pages and troubleshooting videos. Customers can find answers on their own should they choose to. Self-service portal. A self-service portal is a broader interface where all your self-service resources reside. It hosts the knowledge base, community forums, support centers, and many more. Chat support. Chat support is a must-have resolution channel. Customers who want quick support, website visitors who want real-time assistance in their buying journey, customers who have a question at odd hours, find chat support their go-to option. Ensure your help desk provides chat support or has options to host a chat tool. HappyFox Help Desk enables integrations with sister products like HappyFox Chat and HappyFox Chatbot, which would complement your help desk further. Help desk automation. Your help desk should enable you to automate redundant tasks and thereby enhance productivity and minimize manual effort. There are countless automation use cases like ticket management, approval automation, asset management, ticket routing and escalation rate, SLA reports, automated email extraction, etc. Automation future-proofs your help desk. Automation is the key to unlock greater CX heights. HappyFox lets you automate several key customer support use cases. Read more. Analytical capabilities. Analytics is the last but essential factor to look for in a help desk system. Because it helps you understand how your help desk benefits you and what to improve. Check out HappyFox Business Intelligence and the examples provided to see how much difference analytics can make. 4. Define Your Help Desk Budget Once you have defined your goals, functions, and features, you can start laying out the budget plan. There are some critical parameters you need to consider. Software compatibility and external integrations. Some forget to check how compatible a help desk is in another ecosystem or with another CRM software. If your help desk doesn’t blend in, you may need to chuck your existing tools and get new ones to go with the help desk. Or, you may face the need to get the rest of your tools from the same service provider. That is expensive as well as impractical. You should check this during your help desk trial. HappyFox Help Desk offers internal as well as external integrations with products like Wrike and Shopify, in a friction-free ecosystem. Team size. Understanding help desk pricing plans can be daunting. Some claim their pricing to be based on team size, but it could be more complex than that. There could be limitations in the number of agents in a support team, the number of active users, etc. When you book a demo with a product expert or during your trial, clarify if there are any undisclosed or hidden costs. Check out the pricing page of HappyFox Help Desk which clearly explains the features that come with each pricing plan based on team size. 5. Sign Up for a Trial to Evaluate the Chosen Help Desk You will find a lot of articles about the best help desk software on online tech forums, Youtube, and Google searches. Once you have shortlisted a top few, sign up for an extensive trial to evaluate the help desk for all the factors discussed. Include your function heads, service reps, and customer-facing functions to evaluate the help desk from their perspective. If everyone gives a go-ahead, you have got your help desk right there. If not, repeat the process. Be in constant touch with the solution providers to clarify all your doubts, and ask if all their features can be tried during the trial. Try HappyFox Help Desk. Start with HappyFox -- it has little to do with bias and more to do with our confidence in our help desk potential. In fact, the limitations of many other help desks and the advantages of HappyFox Help Desk served as inspiration for the above compilation. Book a demo and try HappyFox for yourself, and achieve your vision of exceptional customer satisfaction and service experience.