Helpdesk Guide for Beginners

Ivana author

Ivana Vnučec

Content Writer

⏱ Reading Time: 14 minutes

Can you imagine a world where customer service was delivered only by letters? We are not kidding. Imagine going to your old typing machine, sitting down and writing your complaint or reply, sending it to the post office or by a messenger pigeon and then waiting for the answer for weeks.  Yes, that’s how it was. And that was the very start of customer service.

 🚀Read: Omnichannel Guide for Digitally Advanced Brands🚀

The history of the modern customer service industry goes down to 1989. In 1989, Ron Muns founded the Help Desk Institute, a professional association with the mission to deliver innovative technical support. This was the year when IT troubleshooting helpdesk was born.


Picture 1. History of helpdesk

What is Helpdesk?

A Helpdesk is a contact place in organizations in charge of providing customers and employees support with queries. In the context of IT, it is a department inside an organization that is responsible for answering the technical questions of its users. Most major IT companies have set up helpdesks to respond to questions from their customers.

The questions and their answers are usually transferred via e-mail, telephone, website, or online chat. Additionally, there are internal helpdesks aimed at offering the same form of help, but only for the employees within the organization.

Fast and efficient problem solving wouldn’t be possible without a helpdesk software.

It automates the settlements process of filing complaints through handling tickets.  

A standard help desk offers a single point of contact for users to get assistance. Usually, the help desks handle requests by using help desk software, or issue tracking system, which enables the help desk operators to keep track of the user requests using a unique identifier, easily find solutions to common queries, prioritize cases, and so on.

Larger help desks make use of different levels to manage different kinds of questions. The first level is usually set up for answering probably the most common questions, or for offering answers that typically belong in a knowledge base or FAQ.

If the help desk technicians cannot solve the issue at the first level, the problem is then transferred to the second level, which will usually have better-trained staff who can handle more complex queries. Organizations may also use a third higher level, a group that generally controls software-specific requirements.


Picture 2. Help Desk Software

Why Successful Companies Use Helpdesk?

Help Desk has one ultimate goal – First Contact Resolution.

There are a lot of benefits that the company can get from the helpdesk. If you have a customer support team, and you want to provide seamless customer service, you need to have a helpdesk system.

A small business may have one centralized helpdesk in charge of all concerns, but more prominent companies may have several ones to take care of various problems and departments. Some companies have in-house help desks while others outsource from other companies that provide that service from within the country or abroad. Note that customers who benefit from help desks may be the company’s actual clients who paid for the product, services, or its employees.
The help desk, whether for your customers, internal users, or both can prove to be useful to your company. As in every relationship, one of the keys to a lasting one is communication.

A  customer service team is made available, so customers and users can communicate problems in the products, services, or the internal system. The team in return resolves such issues, leaving the company in a good light. 

Who Can Use a Helpdesk System?

Helpdesk is valuable for every kind of company. Startups, small business, large companies, and any variety of industries can use Paldesk. It is not just about providing customer service to your customer; it’s about giving exceptional customer service to your customer and building your brand reputation.

If you are a small company, you need simple helpdesk software as Paldesk. You are providing excellent customer service with the intuitive ticketing system, knowledgebase, tags, or notes. Small customer service teams can be challenging to assist with a significant volume of customers. With great helpdesk software, you can resolve the customer’s issue with ease.


Picture 3. Helpdesk Statistics by Finances Online

Helpdesk Software Types

Implementation Help desk software depends on the size of the companies, and their function needs. There are different types of software which are used:

1. Basic Helpdesk

These are often plug-and-play SaaS solutions that offer a base ticketing system for customer complaints. Other help desk features can be added but at an extra cost. Features like chat, knowledgebase, reporting, additional points-of-contact, and mobile may be offered separately.

This help desk software type is scalable and, therefore, ideal for small and growing businesses. A significant advantage of the primary help desk is its affordability. Some of the examples are  Zendesk, LiveAgent, and Freshdesk.

2. Web Helpdesk

This implies cloud-hosted and software as a service solution such as Paldesk. By renting any of those solutions, companies could reduce and track expenses.

3. On-Premise Helpdesk

Companies which wants to have total control over helpdesk has their software. They can host it so with that comes and responsibilities for its support and operate.

4. Enterprise Helpdesk

An enterprise help desk offers more features than a basic one, and it also addresses internal issues like IT assets. It has advanced features such as quicker resolution time and business efficiency in general.  

Aside from having a more extensive database, multiple contact points, and accommodating more users and customers, this help desk type may include IT asset management, SLA management, and account management.

It can also be customized deeper to match the company’s protocols. For instance, Freshservice Enterprise IT Helpdesk, ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus, and Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise HelpDesk are some of enterprise help desks.

5. Open Source Helpdesk

This help desk type is free and allows users to modify its source code to customize or integrate processes. It requires developer skills to tinker with the source code and adapt it to one’s required workflow or output. Vendors of open-source help desk may offer a fee-based technical service or a paid version with more robust features.

That approach makes modifying and improving a lot easier. It’s not necessary to have permission to access the source codes so developers can achieve their ideas faster. There are many open source help desks. For example, SugarCRM Open Source, Savane, and Google Apps Help Desk Workflow.


8 Helpdesk Key Features

Throughout the past decade, we can see how helpdesk software kept on improving and rising to seek new challenges. In 2018, not only got better, but the number of choices when it comes to choosing helpdesk software increased exponentially. Let’s break down the helpdesk features that are key to any successful business.

1. Well Designed Interface

When deciding on which helpdesk solution to choose, choose a help desk software that supports the learning curve of the employees who will use it. That’s why your selected solution should be pleasant to use, but also possess the ability to adapt to see a return on your investment.

Today’s customers often reach out to businesses in more than one channel. To offer truly excellent support, you need to support them on every channel they use. When looking for a helpdesk solution, make sure you get the one that integrates web, email, phone, and social media platforms into a single dashboard – a multichannel solution. Therefore, your agents won’t need to jump from multiple channels and handle various logins and passwords.

Your helpdesk solution must-have tools like that because it can help your agents speed through repetitive tasks and frequently asked questions. As a result, they can spend more of their time working on complex issues. Remember, it doesn’t matter how advanced and high a helpdesk software is if your employees can’t adapt to them quickly.

2. Mobile Support

To make a job as easy as possible for your employees, you need to integrate mobile support with your helpdesk software. At this point, it goes that mobile support is an absolute necessity. Customer issues do not go away when you leave the office; they can multiply.

Helpdesk solutions nowadays give your agents the ability to view their dashboards anywhere and on any mobile device.

This brings a whole new dynamic to the entire idea of mobile customer services. Pick a help desk provider that offers powerful mobility features that meet your needs. If your business relies on remote, mobility features could help them handle customers from without having to be in the office.

3. Customer Rating

As you know, customers opinion is essential. Customers want their journey to be as pleasant as possible. That’s where surveys come in, fillable out right away when a problem is solved or purchase completed. This is usually done by email. Reviews are essential to help analyze agent performance. They need to provide rich information that can be used to improve workflow. Aside from that, by understanding what your customers like and want to improve, you can easily make them more satisfied and loyal to your brand. Make sure you choose a helpdesk software that offers a customer rating feature.

Related: Helpdesk Software Guide


Picture 3. The good customer rating is vital to business success

4. Knowledge Base

It’s one of the essential features of helpdesk software, as it compiles customer questions and solutions to common problems. Repetitive questions can be answered right away with a knowledge base, freeing up your agents to focus on more urgent issues. It also allows your team to share their collective knowledge via an internal one.

This way, you can make a significant impact on resolution time and reduce the overall workload. Above all, a knowledge base is a must-have feature of any helpdesk software. When you’re looking for a helpdesk solution, make sure it enables you to gather all relevant data in one place.

5. Grouping Agents

This feature helps you to group your employees into locations and departments. You can group them based on their experience and knowledge, for example. This can help you to organize better and to improve your ticket management. It gives you the ability to assign contacts to the ideal agent based on the user profile, access channel, or issue. Make sure you consider that a good helpdesk software will help your teams communicate better if your chosen helpdesk solution has this feature.

6. Metrics and Insights

Helpdesk can also be a source of market insight and sales opportunities. You can’t progress if you don’t know where you stand at the moment. That’s why your solution needs to have built-in analytics. Metrics allow teams to analyze their performance and progress.

Related: Taking Advantage of Returning Customer Potential

Data from your metrics lets you see how your agents are performing and get the data you need to optimize your customer support. Charts and graphs help break up gathered customer data. By keeping track of graphics, statistics, and customer feedback, you can easily monitor how your customer support is performing.

7. Self-Service

If you’re looking for a new helpdesk solution, you should consider this feature, because self-service nowadays is essential. By self-service, a set of general requests is implied. These involve things like resetting passwords, which can help you to allocate resources on more critical aspects of your support system. Providing a self-service is a cost-effective way to offer 24/7 support to your customers.


Picture 2. Offering 24/7 support positively affects customer satisfaction

8. Efficient Ticket Management

The foundation of any helpdesk software must be efficient ticket management and ticket tracking. Helpdesk software must offer you the ability to effectively organize and monitor your ongoing work at any point of the day. This brings enormous benefits to the table and affects the efficiency of your entire organization.

Ticket management that allows easy reassignment, as the escalation process can help team members solve tickets faster and improve the workflow of your customer support. The quality ticket management system will help you gather all the relevant information you need from your customers through additional, conditional fields.

How to Choose the Right Helpdesk for Your Business?

To have an efficient helpdesk should be an indispensable part of any IT organization as much as to provide first contact resolution fast and efficient as possible.  If you are starting with helpdesk here are some questions you should answer:

  • Which channels will be active in your support? Email, Facebook, live chat, or mobile?
  • How many agents will be in your team?
  • Does your company need a simple or complex helpdesk solution?
  • Do you need ticket automation?
  • What is the budget for the helpdesk software?

A significant advantage of having a helpdesk software is the fact that you can help people in different ways, such as providing immediate help to customers.

Here are some benefits that will make your decision easier:

Improving Customer Satisfaction

An essential advantage of a help desk is to improve customer satisfaction. To provide fast and more detailed answers and try to do everything in your power, you can to deliver excellent support. By showing customers, you are willing to go the extra mile for them, you facilitate the growth of your business and increase the number of returning customers. According to Hubspot, 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.

Simplicity is Imperative

Means that with a web-based helpdesk, all information needed is right there. Such as email addresses or phone numbers. And all that without having to search on it on all different sites. Also, web-based help desk lets you set up a FAQ – for a list of frequently asked questions and answers on your website. By setting a FAQ, you can focus more on complicated problems and issues your business is dealing with.

Related: FAQ Page – The Perfect Way to Power-Up Your Business

Quality Improvement

Helpdesk gets all customer complaints, problems, and issues. What an excellent helpdesk should do besides trying to solve all these problems, is to keep track of all of them.  After information collected, they will get the summary problem they can pass them to the development team. They will then offer a solution on how to improve the quality of goods and services.

Improve Productivity

It is in the company’s best interest that their employees can do their work without constant problems. By implementing a help desk with its automated features, then everything will be done with ease.  Helpdesk offers you to prioritize the most critical tickets, and you and your team will no longer lose time on trying to understand which one should be done first.

Search for Accessibility

What you need to know is that it is not enough to have only desktop support because customers are not in the office or home all day. They will probably want to reach you over the mobile because they don’t want to wait all day to come home to contact you. So, with mobile and tablet support, you will get customers what they need.


67% of employees use personal devices at work. A managed service help desk is available to assist employees with network issues across all devices without limitation to time. The sooner your employees are connected, sooner they are working, and your customers are being served.

Flexible availability is one of the main reason businesses hire managed help desks. Just because your office closes at 5 PM, doesn’t mean your business does. You need to make sure that after-hours incidents can be resolved quickly.

Take Care of Your Costs

It takes a lot to run a helpdesk, human resources, software, etc.  And procedure and processes cost. But, if the result your company will have from implementing those procedures and processes, then it is worth it. Especially if it’s in the long term. Further, by providing real-time feedback on product or service issues and acting as a general resolution center, it saves the cost of both conducting post-release surveys and wastage of skilled members on lower productivity tasks.

Help Desk Mistakes

Dealing with customers can meet some problems if your team is not dealing with them properly. But, not always customers are guilty. Sometimes, it is about the strategy you implement. With a well-planned strategy, you ca void common helpdesk mistakes.

Hiring wrong people would be one of them. Since people are the main channel between the interest of a company and your customers, you need suitable and responsible people.


Picture 3. Paldesk omnichannel communication platform

Paldesk Help Desk Software Solution

Help Desk through his history has many changes. From Telephone, Call Centers, Ticket Management, Industry-specific Help desks, Mobile Devices Integration, Chatbots to Omnichannel solution. This concept in the last few years is in a growing trend.

Organizations with many contacts with customers should think over integration Omnichannel in their business. For the reason that it’s customer-friendly and increases the customer experience of consuming service. A satisfied customer is key to success in today’s demanding market.

Paldesk is an example of good Live Chat and Help Desk software based on Omnichannel concept. From my experience of using it, I can highly recommend it to everyone who’s handling many customer queries, even on different platforms. Most noteworthy is that Paldesk enables to provide customers support from many channels like social media, web, email, Viber, from a single dashboard.

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Helpdesk Guide for Beginners was last modified: April 20th, 2021 by Milica Vujasin
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