Customer support and sales is one of the most challenging area of operations in the service industry. Customer Support and after sales is critical to the success of any loyalty retention program that the brand is trying to build. If returning customers form the major chunk of any brand’s consumer base, then it can easily be said that the customer support is the spine of any service or manufacturing related routing process. And if one has to identify or recognize the spine of a successful customer support service system in an organisation it is inevitably the help desk software that the agency is using for assisting agents for the process. Customer support software or help desk assistance multimedia kits are integrated systems with the ability of simplifying and centralizing the associated documentation of customer interactions with facilities for separate access by agents at different or the same time. Some of the bare essential features that every recommendable help desk assist software should have include first and foremost primarily are:

1. User friendly installation and configuration

User friendly installation and configuration followed by comprehensible compact concise and easy import of users to the application system. This is the beginning of inducting a help desk assist software to an existing customer support operations system. With easy installation to precede the configuration setup can be implemented without requirement or presence of a technician or an IT Systems expert and then if that is followed by functional operation, the next step would be importing users to the new ecosystem of their existing work atmosphere and get acclimatized to the latest change. One of the key features to be checked in this element or aspect of the help desk assist software is that it should be checked for provisions to edit and limit access according to specified job roles, as well as allow easy segregation while exporting data to local systems. After importing all end users, they need to be mapped to their roles and corresponding access areas and limitations. Categorization of the imported data into convenient and relevant editable groups is an important feature all selectable help desk assist software should possess.

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2. Ticketing features & highlights

The next distinction to look out for when striking off the list of features in a prospective help desk assist software that work in the favour of the customer support work process is the ease of conducting operational transaction and its associated entails. The process of logging a service request with a corresponding ticket identified by a unique number and saving interaction details along with respective customer information for later reckoning is the summary of the basic functional operation of a help desk assist software. Moreover, efficiency in converting user intimation by various channels, phone, email, or chat to log service requests automatically to be picked up for action from the queue itself, is also an aspect of the software works in the benefit of the process and the spectrum of support services offered. In addition the ticketing system should allow the ability to categorize tickets and assign individual SLAs to them, in addition to a provision for requesting technician to be sent on the site of complaint.

3. Customization specification

A good help desk assistance software system always creates provision to allow and accommodate inclusion of customized knowledge bases and integrated mechanism. Once integrated with the knowledge base and its diverse solutions, the same can be used as a reference to pull out solutions for various tickets types, various other additional parameters may be included to serve the best interests of consumers and in an attempt to automate the workflow as much as possible with minimal requirement for manual user input. A flexible time format to support various time zones can also be a desirable trait in help desk software. This way representatives can work simultaneously in different time zones without getting respective data mixed and can enjoy the ease of operation in servicing different time zones.

4. Assimilating user groups

Another favourable feature to look out for in a prospective help desk assistance software should be enabling creation of user groups and assimilating into different communication processes. Once that has been done the help desk should have provisions for ticketing progress to be notified or alerted on specified email addresses. These sort of advanced synchronizing features make customization in communication a lot more comprehensible and justifiably so without the intervention of a technical expert. When the user friendly attributes of a software application overrule the technical prowess it demands, it encourages an environment of exploring with the latest addition to the central ecosystem and bring new discoveries or innovations to the front.

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All this without affecting or compromising the primary operations and thus having a feature which allows email alerts for ticketing changes in specified user groups to be automated to corresponding email addresses, it not only serves as a gentle reminder but also makes monitoring and surveillance at different levels very convenient and thereby induces a sense of security and safety in everyone. Even the client representatives are impressed by such particularity and systematic arrangement of the entire process within defined boundaries and helps win their trust regarding maintaining confidentiality with the sensitive data that is being dealt with during routine operations.

5. Intelligent Software Programming

Preparing for the future by anticipating changes it may usher is a highly commendable practice that is known to be endorsed by highly successful people at work. This theory or practice is not limited to success only at work. Even highly intelligent ancient civilizations are known to have pre-emptive measures and sometimes even precautionary measures by anticipating changes in the near future and preparing themselves up for it. Medical science thrives on the age old adage precaution is better than cure. So preparing for the future by virtue of adequate foresight has always known to be equated with a sign of intelligence. Hence a very desirable feature and as a matter of fact the icing on the cake would be a help desk assistance software with a certain measure of intelligence with a scope for making provisions for the future.

Now, to elaborate on what that essentially means is that a software application system that is not too rigid and displays flexibility in accommodating changes for customization with a view to the future. For example, as stated above having all the necessary approving authorities on automated email alerts for every ticket raised in a particular area has already been discussed but in the event of a complaint that requires a technician to visit the site and manually repair, the software should have provisions to omit unnecessary approvals and the entire process of a ticket rising up the stacks as and when it moves up the line of the approvals in place. Only after all necessary approvals have been put in place does the technical help desk receive that ticket which is unwanted time wasted in waiting for approvals because of the inherent functionality of the system.

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Now that functionality is something that has been specifically designed for a purpose and it is not required to be rectified or done away with, but in case of smart software, it can learn or be trained to override the protocol in case of a particular exception case. That would be an immensely favourable feature and an application for the future. We already have discussed how different levels of employees get corresponding levels of access and restrictions on functionality with top of the hierarchy receiving collapsed restrictions on their access. However, to add to that if instead of restricted access if designations could be referenced by certain privileges for certain levels. Also an analytical tool on the assistance software would really be a futuristic enhancement which would allow agents to track their own performance with real time data and help them identify scope for improvements.