The good news is that there’s plenty of high-quality free IT help desk software available, so even if you’re on a tight budget, you should still be able to find a solid option. With that in mind, here is a guide to choosing the best free IT help desk software for you.
Inform yourself regarding any legalities you must meet
In particular, look at what data will be stored in (or even processed by) your IT help desk software and see where this leaves you in terms of regulations and compliance. Being clear about this at the start of the proceedings can save you a lot of time later as it will stop you even looking at free IT help desk software which you will never be able to use for legal reasons.
Figure out what your customers expect from you
It’s fine to say “great service” but what does that actually mean to your customers? For example, to a younger demographic it may mean the ability to tweet basic (non-confidential) questions and get answers almost straight away. For an older demographic, however, it may mean speaking to someone on the phone or explaining themselves via email (or even fax or letter).
Figure out what you would like to offer your customers
On the one hand, you need to meet, if not exceed, your customers’ expectations. On the other hand, there is nothing to stop you from trying to guide their behavior and it often makes a great deal of sense to do so. For example, you could try to steer customers away from contacting your help desk for basic queries by making it easy for them to find the information for themselves. This can be a win for everyone – provided that you implement it properly.
Ask your customer service team about their current needs and wants
Strategic goals are important, but at the end of the day, they will only have any practical significance if your customer service team is empowered to implement them. In other words, any help desk software you choose has to work for them in practical terms.
While each customer service team will have its own ideas about what this means in practice, there are two key rules of thumb it’s worth keeping in mind. Firstly, it should be immediately obvious how to perform any task and secondly, the more frequently a task needs to be performed, the quicker and simpler it should be to do (i.e. the fewer clicks it should need).
Define your current specifications for IT help desk software
The three previous points should all feed into a list of current specifications for IT help desk software. This list should make it very clear which specifications are essentials and which are preferences and ideally should rank the latter in order or priority. As a word of caution, be careful that you are absolutely accurate about what really is essential and what is not. You want to avoid “overloading” your IT help desk software with non-essential features which could just end up adding complexity and basically being more of a nuisance than a help.
Think about what you need to do to future-proof your customer-service offering
These days what that means in practice is looking for ways to streamline and automate processes so that your human employees can spend their time on tasks where they actually add value. Even if you’re not ready to go down this path at the moment, you can look for help desk software which can support it so you know you’re good to go with it whenever you are ready.
Create a shortlist of candidates and test them thoroughly
It is impossible to overstate the importance of testing help desk software before you commit to it. Even though free IT help desk software does not require you to spend cash on it, it does require you to integrate it with your systems and to ensure that your customer service team is trained on it. In other words, it still needs an investment of time (and possibly some money) so it makes sense to do your research thoroughly before you make a final decision.
If you’re interested in learning more about the best free IT help desk software for you, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.