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The Help Desk
What is a Help Desk and how it can help your business.
Unless you're producing immediately expendable items, such as fire and forget rockets, your products are going to require some kind of product support. If you want to stay in business and continue to have repeat customers and referrals, the question isn't whether or not you'll have some kind of product support. Rather, the question is how you're going to support your product.
The Help Desk is the answer to the question. The Help Desk is the basis of your product support. The Help Desk is the hub around which your product support revolves. The Help Desk is the means by which you provide the support.
What is a Help Desk? Is it some person sitting in a corner office or cubicle with a phone and a pad and pencil? It could be, but it wouldn't be very effective. You can add a computer and now this person can play Solitaire all day. What you need is the right kind of software to manage your Help Desk. The Help Desk then is essentially a software package designed for product support along with trained and knowledgeable people who can use this package and along with communication tools to provide customer support and product satisfaction to your clients.
The key ingredients are the right software package, knowledgeable and trained staff, and communication tools.
You should make sure you choose your Help Desk Software package with care. First, decide what you want to do. Do you want to provide basic technical support? Do you want to provide multi-tiered technical support?
Second, decide how you're going to go about providing this Help Desk support. How do you want to manage your incoming issues? How do you want to keep track of problems? What kind of integrated tools would you like your support professionals to have available to them?
Third, you definitely want to make sure your Help Desk Software solution is one that your technicians are able to easily learn to use and operate.
Choosing your staff is also an important part of your overall Help Desk solution. A lot of your decision on how to staff your Help Desk will likely be on how technologically complex your product is and how easy it is to use. A lamp would be an example of an easy product to support. Is it plugged in? Is the bulb burned out? Is the power to the outlet available?
A computer software solution would be a more difficult product to support. You may wish to provide multiple tiers for such support. The first tier would answer the simpler questions. A second tier could answer more difficult, and finally a third tier could deal with the impossible issues. You may even have engineering resources assigned to assist in dealing with the most difficult issues. Your Help Desk Software solution needs to be able to manage these staffing choices.
Of course, communicating with your Help Desk customers is very important. How you communicate will also affect the choice of your Help Desk solution. You may choose telephone support only. You may choose telephone and email. You may choose both or even another option such as remote access. Your Help Desk solution should allow you to integrate your communication techniques into the Help Desk process.
In short, a Help Desk Software package is the critical portion of an overall Help Desk solution. A Help Desk is your way of providing customer support for the products you make and sell. A Help Desk is also a crucial element of customer satisfaction, repeat business, and referrels.