Helpdesk generally refers to a physical space that is often manned by someone from the customer support team of a company. In recent times, it is just a means to reach out to a company when some help is needed. Most companies give out an email ID, support website address and toll-free phone number to their customers. Customers can reach the company through these when they need help.
“Help Desk” or “Helpdesk”
This is one of the popular questions that is asked about this topic. Many of dictionaries of popular dictionaries only had the word “Help desk.” But Cambridge Dictionary online had the word “Helpdesk.” It calls it the Business English. But the underlying meaning behind both the terms remains the same.
History of Helpdesk
In the first half of 20th century, companies heavily relied on the use of face-face interaction to resolve issues of their customers. To get their problems solved, customers had to go to the company’s store. Companies hired special staff to communicate with customers. This facility later came to be known as the Helpdesk
With the introduction of new technologies, the second half of 20th century saw a transformation in the field of customer support. With the use of Telephones and Telephone switchboard, helpdesk assumed a new approach. Customers used the telephones to voice out their problems and companies had to hire new personnel and set up call centers to customers reaching by phone calls. Training the support staff was essential to organize and handle customer inquiries to ensure that customer needs are met efficiently. A lot of money was invested in this form of Helpdesk.
There was a big leap in telephonic customer support when the Interactive voice response (IVR) was introduced which reduced the investment by a good amount and also reduced the workload of the support staff.
The advent of the Internet created new avenues for the Helpdesk to be implemented. Customers could contact helpdesk through the Internet, and this led to the massive use of email and live chat systems for Helpdesk. Companies even outsourced their helpdesk personnel to low-cost countries, and customer support became a big industry employing millions of people worldwide. For example of helpdesk company, Concentrix is a business services company, started in 1991, and it provides services to major companies in various sectors.
As the companies grew, the number of customers and their needs also grew. E-mail could not be used as the primary channel of customer support because every new query became a string of emails and it was tough to prioritize and resolve each of the problems. A new form of Helpdesk was needed, and it evolved as Helpdesk Software.
Helpdesk as a Software
In the 2000’s, companies began to use a diverse kind of software packages to deal with customer-care issues. Interactive and participatory software programs were designed for submitting and tracking issues to help customers and support agents.
These software packages were collectively called as the Helpdesk software. These are software packages which enable the customer-care operators to accept, track and respond to support requests in an organized fashion. It makes the Helpdesk service more efficient and enterprising. They could provide
- Self-service portal
- Service-level agreement (SLA) management
- Support ticket management and
- Feedback monitoring
Creating a Modern Helpdesk
The 21st century saw a sharp rise in micro investment companies and small businesses which have fewer employees compared to regular-sized firm or corporation. These companies cannot afford to hire many numbers of support staff and hence focused on making the excellent self-service portals which reduced the workload on support staff to a great extent.
These self-service helpdesks do not require a separate Helpdesk software but can be incorporated into a business website by means of extensions called Helpdesk Plugins. These Plugins work as Knowledgebase to create and organize the support articles given by the company and is equipped with various features to meet the needs of the customers to serve as a Self-service Helpdesk.
Building an excellent customer support Helpdesk from your business website has become the key to achieving best customer satisfaction. There are several ways in which a great customer support Helpdesk can be done.
Helpdesk Software Vs. Plugin
There are many differences between Helpdesk software and plugins; the main difference is in the needs of the company and the money it can invest to buy the Helpdesk.
Helpdesk software can be of crucial when many number agents are working to resolve support tickets. It is very much beneficial when there are various teams (departments) working with the helpdesk and helps to reduce time and personnel and can resolve issues efficiently.
The cost of a Helpdesk software depends on the company size, the size of the team, and what the business needs. Most of the software is not a onetime buy and needs to be renewed every month. This would be trivial if both the investment and the team is small, and especially if you are a startup.
The Helpdesk plugin, on the other hand, is a onetime buy option and much less of cost comparing the Helpdesk software.
Software in the form of plugins can be easily integrated with the website platform which is better than using a separate helpdesk software where you need an independent platform only for the support work.
Helpdesk Knowledge Base
A Knowledge Base (KB) is a software program which organizes information so that it’s easily searchable and browseable. So creating a self-service helpdesk with a KB is the best way to help customers find the help that they are searching. There are features in a KB with which it can get optimum results.
The superiority of Self-service portals
According to ITworld Canada, companies are investing 30% more every year in their Helpdesk programs and in developing their KB articles.
In a small set-up, providing self-service articles are the best way to meet customer needs because 40% of the customer queries are repetitive and mostly the queries are for guidance to using the product rather than troubleshooting. Even if troubleshooting is involved, it would mostly be an earlier solved issue than a novel problem.
Also, customers do not like being treated like machines, especially when they talk to IVR (Interactive voice response) which can be frustrating many times and when issued with a support ticket, they are made to wait for a long time which is not good for business.
Impacts of Helpdesk plugin on business
Self-serving Helpdesk plugins have become a phenomenon in customer support industry. They have many advanced features to empower your business. They have impacted modern business in several ways, which are:
Updated and New articles
Creating and editing the articles is the backbone of maintaining any Helpdesk portal. With the Front End Editing option, writing new articles and editing olds articles has become very easy with just one-click the open the editing option. This becomes handy when you are always working towards creating the best user-friendly articles.
Customization for your Brand
The very looks of your support site can help differentiate your brand. A support site has to be customized for a user-friendly interface, reduced complexity, and better styling. Advanced Hero Branding and Drag and Drop elements features is available in the Plugin which allows for the best customization to promote your brand reach.
More Consistency and Satisfaction
When a customer talks to different support executives, the information they receive may be inconsistent, or they may not be satisfied with the information they are given. In the case of helpdesk articles, customers can be referred to the respective articles to ensure the consistency in support.
This adds credibility to the business because of their accuracy and consistency. Customers can find what they want by themselves, giving them gives a sense of satisfaction which they would not get while asking help from a support executive.
Time-saving by easy Findability
In a self-service helpdesk, customer need not spend a lot of time to find the exact support information because they use a search bar which provides a keyword search.
This search option is equipped with the Live Ajax search which provides the best matching results by Keyword Prioritisation and Partial keyword matching, in a very short time. This option saves a lot of time, and the accuracy of this feature ensures that the customer finds the specific articles.
Save a lot of Money
Since the Helpdesk plugin encourages self-service, the number of staff can be reduced and by that the amount spent on employing and training customer service executives is brought down. This empowers the entrepreneur to invest more money in other departments other than customer support.
The onetime buy option of the Helpdesk plugin is also a major money saver because the monthly subscription of the software version cost a huge sum on a regular basis..
Best User Experience and excellent Flow
A self-service portal powered by a Helpdesk plugin has all the articles arranged adequately in their respective Categories and has a Table of Contents which shows all the topics and sub-topics arranged in hierarchical order.
There is a consistent flow to the articles which are read by the customer, and they need not have to search every time for the next article. This creates a continuity of information provided, and the enhances the user experience.
Grouping the end users
Due to the market needs companies may like to create customer groups depending on the products bought or by their location. Some companies may even have their support as a premium feature for their product.
Having a Helpdesk-login for each user or user group could help in these cases, and for this purpose, the Helpdesk plugin would have User Access Control and Password Protection feature to set a priority element or when your support articles changes with different customer groups.
Analyzing the Performance
Determining the overall performance of the customer support is a must for any healthy business. Extensive analytics and insights are there in Helpdesk plugin which helps you to understand your customer needs and will enable you to optimize your support for customer satisfaction.
Provide proper Feedback
Having a good feedback system helps you to understand how happy your customers are with your support. Rating the support articles is the best way to get this feedback. A Voting system with like or dislike options, and emo-voting is given by the Helpdesk plugin to meet this need. With this system, you can know which articles your customer likes and which ones need a change. Updating your articles based on this feedback will give a sense of involvement for your customers which is crucial for business.
Best WordPress Helpdesk Plugin
With all things said and discussed the Helpdesk With all things said and discussed, it is clear that the Helpdesk plugins have a huge impact on business. I would like to introduce you the best one available in today’s market.
It is the Helpie, most powerful and advanced Helpdesk WordPress plugin available. All of the features mentioned above are present in Helpie, and much more features are also available. It is a is a simple and powerful plugin for you to organize documentation/knowledge of any kind for your WordPress business website. It also has a 24/7 support, which is critical for any website which is using a plugin.
If you don’t believe me, check it out in Codecanyon, a trusted site for all WordPress plugins.