When profits go down, the first area in which a small business may want to save money is its help desk. This type of frugality has its costs, however, in the form of long call backlogs, angry customers, and eventually even lower profits. A better option would be to improve the efficiency of the help desk in order to ensure even better service at a lower cost. One of the best ways to accomplish this task is by purchasing help desk software to streamline operations.
There are a variety of help desk software packages on the market. Among the most popular are Support Wizard, Parature, and FootPrints. Help desk software can assist the small business owner in comprehensive, adaptable problem resolution including generating and tracking tickets, responding to requests, and automating communications using outlets such as through calls or email. Help desk software is particularly useful for small businesses in which key personnel often travel, because it can allow access to the help desk over the Internet.
In case you think it’s too expensive, consider the costs to the customer of a software-less help desk:
o Time wasted deciding where to go for help.
o Time wasted on hold for customer support personnel.
o Time wasted reading through dense product manuals.
o Time wasted through poor procedures and practices.
Ultimately time wasted for the customer will result in dissatisfied customers and poor business performance. Direct costs to your business may include:
o Lower employee productivity when staff is called away to assist.
o Duplicated support efforts.
Nevertheless, be prudent when considering the purchase of help desk software, because not all packages are appropriate for small businesses. Some packages include hidden charges such as frequent updates, so it would be a good idea to find out what updates are expected and how frequent they occur. Nevertheless, think carefully before going to the other extreme and using free help desk software available on the Internet – these packages usually have serious limitations and are appropriate only for very small operations. Nevertheless, small businesses should choose software with a relatively small number of features. Keep it simple because it’s unlikely a small business will need every feature of a complex product, so why pay for it?
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