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How To Choose Best Help Desk Software: 5 Strategies That Guarantee A Solid Purchase

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help8Now that you’re convinced about the value of help desk software, you’re ready to buy one. Before you do based on technical specifications alone, consider the following areas that can help you shortlist the best or top help desk software for your company.

Here are 5 steps on how to choose the best help desk software:

1. Set a budget

Help desk software products come in different forms and sizes. What is good help desk software for a large enterprise may not be true for a small business. Similarly, your need will depend if you’re a B2B or B2C business. When assessing your budget, make sure to get only the features that you need. Help desk software is usually offered as a cloud hosted or online solution that you subscribe with a monthly or annual fee. Other pricing factors include: number of users, extent of technical support, and features.

Do you really need a mobile platform for the help desk? How many users do you need to use the system? Can you scale the help desk subscription plan up and down to match your low and high seasons? Do you need a live chat or 24/7 toll-free hotline, or an email pipeline will do?

2. Identify your priority

Having a clear picture where you’ll use the help desk software makes reading a product comparison review more meaningful. Reviews often benchmark products based on robust features alone. But you don’t the need the most robust features; you need features that match your needs.

Your help desk priority may be as simple as providing customers with more touch points to contact you; or as complex as making customer service more efficient by cutting on redundancies.  Your priority may also be monitoring your customer service agent’s performance. Different priorities require different modules, so knowing your most pressing need forces you to benchmark the help desk software based on your need, not on general robust features.

3. Ask for a free trial or demo

It’s a sure step on how to choose best help desk software. In fact, eschew a vendor that doesn’t offer a free trial or demo. Ask for a trial that includes all the features that you need. Assess the three main functions of the help desk software: ticketing, automation, and reporting.

Can you easily track calls? What specific customer service processes can the software automate? Can it collate relevant data like duration of conversations, resolution rates, and turnaround time? Also check for email compatibility. Some help desk software products only support Exchange servers (or another operating system), which hinders the ticketing system if you’re using IMAP or web based email service.

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Likewise, check for possible security issues. Does the software have data encryption like SSL to protect your customers’ private data like names, addresses, and phone numbers?

4. Check vendor credibility

Look beyond the help desk software’s bells and whistles and make a background check on the vendor. Some of the critical issues to check include: how much is the software’s uptime/downtime? Does the vendor provide technical support and to what extent? Does the vendor offer a money-back guarantee? In most cases, a simple Google search of the vendor’s name will reveal discussion threads about the company. Go and make that extra effort lest you got blindsided by flowery sales pitch.

5. Check for possible discounts or deals

Looking for discounts should be your last step, but it’s not to say it’s unimportant. You can save up serious cash if you do your homework on how to choose best help desk software. Are you an NGO, a trade organization, or educational institution? Some vendors offer a reduced rate for these types of entities. You can also check or ask a sales representative for promotional offers like an introductory price. Furthermore, you can get discounted rates if you subscribe for a year instead of a monthly setup.

Buying help desk software is not all technical talk. It’s a business decision. Keep these tips in mind and you’re on your way to getting the best help desk software for your business.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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