IT Help Desk Software
A modern IT department has many needs. It must provide technical support, keep track of technical assets, provide access by users, handle security and more. For this reason, IT help desk software does much more than allows you to take care of trouble tickets. It needs to be flexible and customizable to address a variety of your IT department’s needs.
Foundation of IT Help Desk Software
Needless to say, help desk software wouldn’t be worth its name without the help desk. Some of the features of this aspect of the software include automatic notification of new tickets and updates, the ability to route issues to the appropriate personnel, record keeping and more.
Since many support issues come up again and again, support software allows you to design templates for common initial responses. Of course, a templated answer is not always going to work, so users will also have the ability to update their tickets if the expected solution doesn’t strike gold.
Adding a knowledge base is another good way to take care of common IT issues. One of its main benefits is the fact that users won’t have to wait for a response to a ticket if they can find their answer within the knowledge base’s bank of answers. Many versions of help desk software will include programming for a knowledge base so it’s easy to set one up.
Other Benefits of IT Help Desk Software
The core of any help desk system is the knowledge management system, or knowledge base. This is a cross reference of all support requests and their resolution. When a customer has a question or problem, this database is searched for the answer or solution. The philosophy behind this is that if a customer has a question or problem, the odds are that someone else has already had that same question or problem.
There can be several categories in which this information is organized such as:
- type or model
- manufacture year
- software version
- operating system
- software title
- problem type
This way a person can query on “Maytag Jetclean Dishwasher made in 2011 won’t dispense soap” to find a similar problem and read the solution. The more categories used the better the results will be.
IT department support software is made to do more than just allowing you to provide technical support. It also makes it easy for the IT department to keep track of hardware and software. Automatic detection will allow it to make an inventory of all of the equipment and software currently connected to your network. This will make it easy to spot changes and usage trends. The asset management module also allows you to record the service history of machines, their lifespans, and other important statistics. The IT department will definitely run more smoothly with an asset management program in place.
One of the most important aspects of any support software is the interface users access. A good, intuitive interface makes it easy for users to find and use the knowledgebase, submit trouble tickets and see any updates to those tickets. By making these things easy, user frustration is kept to a minimum and irate exchanges are lessened.
Self Service versus Operator Assisted
The software should give the customer the option to attempt to get an answer to their own question or to speak with someone who can help them. Self-service support has become very popular but some companies go to an extreme and make it difficult to actually find someone to help with a problem. This is often a key complaint by customers when rating service.
The self-service option is ideal for certain issues:
- obtaining software patches or upgrades
- downloading manuals and user guides
- finding configuration information
- getting help with set up or assembly
- simple troubleshooting
The skills required for troubleshooting are learned and not all people have them. Even the most sophisticated help desk software will be beyond someone who calls and says “When I turn on my dishwasher, it makes a funny whirring sound”. Someone who knows what questions to ask and how to query the database is needed on the other end of the phone sometimes.
Remote Desktop / Remote Access
In a hardware or software company, remote desktop applications allow the help desk personnel to connect to the customer’s computer and troubleshoot problems. It allows them to perform certain actions on the computer system itself, when required to fix a problem. While this was a common component of IT help desk software in the past, it has become less common and less necessary as a wide variety of free and low cost remote desktop applications have become available over the past several years.
Mobile Device Management
More and more, mobile devices are becoming integral aspects of corporate IT networks. Mobile device management allows these machines to be added to the IT department’s asset inventory so their usage, service history and other statistics can be easily tracked.
IT Help Desk Software Summary
These are just a few of the major features of IT help desk software. Most packages will include many other standards, such online chat, calendars, scheduling ability, the ability to set trouble ticket deadlines, performance benchmarking and more. To get a look at what Help Desk Premier can do for your IT department, give it a try. You’ll surely see that your department will run more smoothly and efficiently with the help of a solid and flexible help desk application like Help Desk Premier.