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How to efficiently support customers with help desk software

Providing everything from online, email, live chat, and mobile support to a variety of features and components, help desk software and customer self-service tools can make a big impact on your ability to bring timely, effective service to your customers.

What is help desk software?

Help desk software aids your customer service staff in providing support to customers. Customized to your needs, help desk software can include omnichannel capabilities such as live chat, chatbots, online tutorials, email support, voice support, knowledge base libraries, client portals, and reporting.

What help desk software can do for your business

Excellent customer service goes a long way with customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. Help desk software gives you all the tools you need to address customer issues, helping you:

  • Provide proactive service. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can predict problems, letting you get on top of any concerns quickly. Predictive care paired with help desk software can alert customer service staff of equipment needing repair.
  • Address customer needs immediately. The features of help desk software help you provide a variety of ways to get customers the support they need, the moment they need it.
  • Manage incoming requests. Build a support platform that can create, track, and assign customer tickets, keeping your team efficient and on the same page.
  • Improve team performance. Full visibility helps support staff stay efficient as they manage requests.
  • Keep customers happy. Help desk software enables your team to offer great service—increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Identify trends and anticipate needs. Discover what your customers find most challenging, provide answers to common questions online, and learn how best to support your customers.

Crafting a comprehensive help desk experience

Help desk software is often part of a larger customer service software offering. When considering what you want to include in your help desk software experience, you should learn the different elements of customer support.

  • In-person support. On-site, live agent support allows you to directly connect with your customers.
  • Virtual agents. Connecting via phone or web, virtual agents are just a phone call, email, live chat, or text away.
  • Self-service application. Guiding customers through support steps, customer self-service applications can address common questions and provide in-depth detail using text, images, or video.
  • Client portal software. Housing documents, data, or workflows specific to customer projects or accounts, client portal software provides your customers with the resources they need.
  • Knowledge base. FAQs, videos, tutorials, and documentation are all great resources to provide in a knowledge base—an online library of support resources.

Features to look for in help desk software

As you evaluate possible solutions, look for help desk software that offers the following features:

  • Automation. Create smart workflows, add assignment rules, and complete tasks—automations within help desk software eases and speeds customer support.
  • Ticket management. Keep track of open requests and move customer tickets through to resolution.
  • Data-driven insights. Built-in intelligence can provide recommended steps, suggest resources, or highlight areas needing attention.
  • Multi-channel capabilities. Access your help desk software from any device, wherever you are. Mobile access lets your team stay on top of everything going on.
  • Customizable dashboards. Craft a support experience that keeps your team efficient throughout the workday.
  • Predictive care. Don’t wait until a customer lets you know there’s a problem—address issues proactively. The Internet of Things sends the performance data of connected devices and triggers alerts if service is needed.
  • Integrated experience. Connect and unify data to flexibly integrate efforts with marketing, sales, and field service.

Adding self-service customer support to your help desk software

Customer self-service features are a great way to enhance your help desk software experience. By allowing customers to help themselves to the information they need, they can find resolution regardless of call volume or time of day.

There are a variety of self-service application options you can offer your customers, including:

  • Online knowledge base. Make answers easily accessible by posting resources, tutorials, and FAQs online.
  • Interactive voice support. Engage with customers through voice-guided instruction, guiding them through each step.
  • Kiosks. Support customers where they are, even when you're not. Physical kiosk structures can provide self-service capabilities, in locations you need them most.
  • Self-checkout. Speed cashier service by letting customers handle it themselves. Self-checkout is a great tool to easily manage high volumes of customers.
  • Support apps. Custom self-service apps can make the customer support process convenient and efficient, letting you develop an experience with video, animation, images, text, and access to live support.

Customer self-service offers the following benefits:

  • 24/7 access to support. Regardless of the location or time zone of your customer, customers can access self-service support whenever they need it.
  • Reduced costs. Self-service applications reduce the load on your support staff, helping them focus on the high priority requests.
  • Decreased ticket volume. With more customer needs resolved through self-service, your overall ticket volume will decrease, freeing up customer service staff.
  • Accurate information. Self-service content can be updated whenever you choose, meaning you can provide customers with the most up-to-date information.
  • Flexible and scalable. Regardless of call volumes and how they fluctuate throughout the day, self-service support seamlessly handles customer concerns.

How other companies use help desk software

See how the City of Lafayette, Louisiana used Dynamics 365 for Customer Service to develop a call center for non-emergencies, engaging citizens and helping offer government transparency.

Bring help desk software into your business

Find the features you need to offer a variety of customer support options in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service. Take your customer service experiences further with a unified system that works seamlessly with other marketing, sales, operations, and field service tools.