Help desk agents respond to service requests and provide technical assistance to customers using help desk software. Apart from providing an office space for a help desk team, setting up and running a help desk requires minimum agent equipment investment. Basically, a help desk agent needs a computer, a headset for handling inbound/ outbound calls and a high-speed internet connection to get started.
Typically, the minimum computer requirements for a cloud-based help desk would include at least 2 GHz multi-core processor, at least 4Gb (preferably higher) memory (RAM) and at least 500 MB of available hard disk space. If your help desk is going to manage voice interactions, your team also needs high-quality headsets. They should have noise cancelling capabilities that help minimize distractions that might prevent agents from providing high-quality service.
To ensure seamless service and smooth operation of the software, running a help desk requires a fast and stable internet connection that has enough bandwidth to be able to handle the incoming ticket volume and phone calls. A poor internet connection would negatively impact the quality of interactions between your help desk agents and your customers.
Setting up an in-house help desk requires allocating and equipping an office space that would provide an adequate level of comfort and safety for agents. Workspace size, functional and hardware requirements will heavily depend on the size of your help desk team and media formats supported.
Though cloud-based help desk solutions are increasingly becoming prevalent across small and mid-size businesses, big-size organizations with larger helpdesk teams might prefer on-premises deployment. Setting up and running an on-premises help desk additionally requires having your own servers to host the help desk software. Specific server requirements are commonly listed by a help desk software provider.
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In order to efficiently handle customer interactions and service requests from various support channels, agents need to be equipped with professional help desk software packed with the right set of features and capabilities. Ticket management, automation rules, SLA management, multichannel communication support, reporting and self-service capabilities are some of the essential features of modern help desk solutions.
Customer relationship management is critical to ensuring high-quality support and a smooth service experience. CRM stores all the information related to customers and their interaction history with the organization. That enables help desk agents to deliver highly relevant, personalized support. Most help desk systems come with built-in CRM or allow integration with a company’s existing CRM system.
Help desk agents may use call management tools to support voice customer interactions. With call center and VoIP capabilities integrated into the help desk, agents can handle inbound calls and outbound communications. Features like automatic call distribution (ACD), call routing, call recording and other call center features ensure efficient management of inbound calls, while auto-dialing tools (such as auto dialer, predictive dialer and power dialer) may be needed for handling large outbound call volumes.
Help desk software systems commonly include or can be integrated with reporting and analytics tools that provide managers with insights on agent productivity and performance and allow tracking critical help desk metrics and KPIs. Based on that data, help desk team leaders can identify areas that need improvements or spot underperforming agents who are not meeting performance goals and require additional training.
To ensure a help desk support center is properly staffed and operates at its peak efficiency, help desk managers may additionally utilize workforce management tools. WFM software allows help desk managers to calculate and forecast help desk staffing requirements, create and assign appropriate agent schedules, monitor agent adherence and conformance to schedules.
The real cost of setting up a help desk support center from scratch will be influenced by a number of factors, such as the size of your business and your support team, your customer support budget and the type of help desk software you go for (on-premises or browser-based help desk software). When calculating the totals of setting up and running a new help desk center for your business, take into account the following expenses:
The costs of setting up and running a help desk center will also vary based on whether you opt for cloud-based or on-premises deployment. Cloud-based help desk software solutions like LiveAgent require monthly subscription fees that may differ depending on the pricing plan you choose and the range of available features. While on-premises help desk tools require upfront investment that includes purchasing the software license and the servers, as well as ongoing maintenance and operating costs.
Setting up and running an in-house help desk requires an office space (unless you are going to set up a remote help desk with agents working from their own locations), proper agent equipment (desktop computers/ laptops, headsets) and a stable high-speed internet connection with enough bandwidth capacity to meet your ticket volume. Implementing on-premises help desk solutions additionally requires your own servers to store and manage data.
To effectively handle service requests coming in from various communication tools, agents must be equipped with fully-featured help desk software that integrates with CRM and call management tools. In addition, help desk managers may utilize reporting and analytics tools to track various help desk metrics and KPIs as well as workforce management tools to ensure efficient help desk staffing and agent scheduling.
When calculating the cost of setting up and running a new help desk center take into account the cost of office space rent and utilities, furniture and agent equipment, employee salaries, hiring and training of new agents as well as the cost of help desk software. When it comes to deploying on-premises help desk solutions, additional expenses would include the cost of software license, hosting your own servers and ongoing maintenance, while cloud solutions would require ongoing monthly fees.
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