Customer Service, (aka Help Desk or Customer Support) software is often considered part of the bigger CRM (Customer Relationship Management) wheelhouse. That market has grown a staggering 2000 percent in the past 25 years – and is predicted to outgrow all other software categories in the near future. Software Advice, a leading software research company, just released a look back at the industry over the past 25 years.
Let’s take a look at the 4 key milestones they identified:
Ticketing – ticket management was, and still is to this day, the primary building block of help desk software. Beginning with a need to organize processes and document steps to resolve issues, ticketing capabilities grew along with the explosion of email and email-to-ticket creation in help desk software. In today’s help desk environment, ticket automation and multi-channel creation are must-have features.
Self-Service – similar to email’s impact on ticket automation, the explosion of the internet really prompted a shift to customer self-service options in customer support. Beginning with early FAQ pages on company websites, this now includes features like knowledge base, community forums, and customer portals. With benefits to both customers (quick answers when/where they want them) and companies (lower support cost and quicker resolution times), self-service is sure to continue it’s rapid growth in the help desk world.
Social Media – as you can see, the growth of customer service software has really mirrored the growth of the digital age. As consumers and businesses alike turn to the world wide community for referrals, complaints, and resolutions, modern help desk software can’t ignore this popular channel. Integration with popular social sites like Facebook and Twitter are becoming more and more common – and shouldn’t be ignored. This also means that different departments (sales, marketing, customer service, development) all need to work together more than ever to make sure customers are heard and taken care of properly and efficiently.
Mobile – the latest development in the world of customer support software is the move to mobile support. With international customers and agents, everyone wants to be able to access help when and where they need it. Customers don’t want to be limited in how they contact you, and agents should be able to answer inquiries no matter where they are.
Help desk software is a growing, and vast market – if you’re looking for the right software, there are a lot of options and a lot of features to consider. The above is just a basic overview of what is available today, and that is sure to continue evolving. The key in bringing all these pieces together is to find a system that integrates the various features you need, along with the various channels your customers are using, into one uniform, easy to use system for your help desk team. In the end, there are really 2 key results you want from your help desk software: Make your agents lives easier, and Make your customers’ lives easier.
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