It’s usually pretty difficult to tell when it’s time to upgrade a software system, especially when it comes to your help desk software. Even in the best cases, an outdated or small help desk system can be frustrating for everyone involved. Users are already upset that something isn’t working right on their end, and sometimes they have trouble being patient while your team searches for a solution.
So, how can you tell when you’ve outgrown your help desk software? For starters, it's beneficial to be armed with some metrics that tell you how your users are experiencing your system. For example, tickets may be moving slowly through the resolution process. Your rate of customer complaints might be higher than usual. Your help desk staff could report that your current processes are no longer efficient for resolving tickets.
Signs like these usually point to a problem with your help desk software. On top of that, here are five telltale indicators that it’s time to upgrade your system:
1) Customer queries are left unanswered. Business growth is obviously a good thing, but sometimes it can cause some unintended problems. For example, when you don’t have a lot of customers, it’s easy to get a jump on customer queries. As your customer base grows, it’s common for tickets to remain in your help desk system, and it becomes more difficult to prioritize the volume of tickets coming through your system. In this case, look for help desk software that automatically classifies and prioritizes tickets as they come in, and offers reporting features that will allow you to spot any inefficiencies that remain, such as lack of equipment or staff members.
2) You’re out of data storage. Older help desk systems may have limited storage options, which makes it difficult to hang on to a complete history of tickets and resolutions. Upgrading to a new cloud-based system (i.e. SaaS - Software as a Service) can be intimidating, but it will provide faster access to solutions and better record-keeping. And, once you go through the SaaS onboarding process, it's easy to create a more productive workflow.
3) Your system doesn’t connect. Modern SaaS systems connect via API and communicate efficiently and automatically (see #5). If your help desk doesn’t share information with your project management software and your customer relationship software, you’re making extra work for your support team, your developers, and your sales team to communicate. A good help desk will have API access or export capabilities.
4) You don’t have a customer hub. Does your help desk staff spend a significant amount of time troubleshooting problems that could be easily solved by clients themselves? You can eliminate frustration from your clients and your team members by upgrading to a system that includes some customer self-service features. For example, a customer hub on your website can reduce ticket volume by providing solutions to common problems and offering built-in live chat for quick problem resolution.
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5) You need better automation capabilities. As you grow, automation is key to prioritizing and resolving tickets quickly, generating data reports, and maintaining an efficient workflow. Automation can be helpful in the ticketing system, especially if they allow you to customize the rules to best suit your ticket resolution process. For example, you can set rules that will automatically remind your staff to follow up on tickets (especially important for help desk SLAs), ping customers when a ticket requires more information, and escalate, route, or close tickets as needed. Taking these small manual tasks off your team’s plate can improve resolution time and prevent tickets from slipping through the cracks.
Choosing New Help Desk Software
If any of these signs sound familiar to you, there’s a good chance it’s time to upgrade your help desk software. Now, how do you choose the best one for you? Start by talking to the people who handle your help desk tickets and find out what could help them do a better job. Find out what help desk software features are "must have" so your team handle a greater volume of tickets with more efficiency. Even though new help desk software is an investment, it will pay off in improved productivity, greater customer satisfaction, and reduced overhead.
Megan Pacella is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com. She is a Nashville-based freelance writer specializing in healthcare, wellness, and lifestyle content. In addition to writing for national outlets such as USA Today, she works with a variety of healthcare companies to create patient engagement and education programs.