Written by Rene Mallari
Cloud-based help desk software is a type of technology that lets your technical support team deliver assistance to users whenever and wherever they need it. Many businesses consider this solution a better and more affordable way to handle customer service processes.
You can set up a help desk solution in-house or hire a third-party vendor that offers information technology (IT) support outsourcing services.
This article explains the advantages of using help desk tools that rely on cloud computing.
Continue reading to learn more.
15 Advantages of Cloud-based Help Desk Software
More organizations are moving toward cloud-based help desk software. This software is becoming more popular as companies look for efficient and economical ways to handle customer service.
Cloud-based help desk software helps your organization streamline processes so that your teams can work efficiently. It offers your business round-the-clock access, data security, automatic backups, flexible pricing, and scalability. All these factors lead to quality service and high end-user satisfaction.
Below is a closer look at the benefits of cloud-based help desk software.
1. Fluid Ticket Management Process
Handling user or customer issues can get complicated when separate tools are used to manage different touch points. For instance, an agent might lose sight of chats when keeping an eye on the flow of emails.
A virtual help desk solution unifies all channels and displays support tickets on a single dashboard for easy monitoring. Agents can readily track the progress of each ticket and take action correspondingly.
A smooth support ticket system:
- Helps agents to be more organized. Agents can filter tickets with the help of menus, separate inboxes, priorities, and labels. More organized workflow leads to shorter ticket handling time.
- Assists in setting priority levels. A help desk tool can identify urgent and non-urgent tickets. Agents can prioritize urgent tasks before moving on to less urgent ones.
- Tracks ticket time closely. Help desk software includes a timer that starts when a ticket opens. It also shows how long the ticket is open. Team leaders see which agents close tickets and the speed of their resolution, thus measuring productivity.
2. Faster and Higher Return on Investment (ROI)
A cloud-based help desk solution has lower infrastructure costs because you pay only for the tools and storage you use.
It also has reduced maintenance costs because the service provider deals with repairs, fixes, patches, upgrades, and security. These costs are part of the service package. All you have to do is to log in to operate the ticketing systems from any location.
In contrast, on-premises service desk platforms require more funds, time, and effort to build and run. You spend more resources on deployment, app customization, cybersecurity installation, software licenses, storage capabilities, and computing capacity.
With a better ROI, your business can:
- Survive and thrive in the long run;
- Quickly see the results of your capital spending or lack thereof;
- Monitor and review projects in a shorter time;
- Experience higher profit margins due to lower costs; and
- Manage finances better.
3. Affordable Pricing
A business process outsourcing (BPO) company offers service rates on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) or pay-per-use (PPU) basis. The payment scheme is similar to power or energy bills. You pay only for the tools you use per period. So the lower your usage, the lower the charge.
The following are the advantages of PAYG or PPU:
- Decreased expenses. You are not locked into fixed-price periodic payments. So you save on upfront costs. In addition, cloud software reduces operating costs and boosts efficiency.
- Lower or zero upkeep costs. The service provider maintains data security and automated backups and addresses risk ownership and technical issues.
- Convenient and on-demand services. PAYG is ideal if you need support only on occasion or during urgent periods such as peak months. Cloud-based solutions are also plug-and-play and can be used immediately.
4. Accessible Anytime, Anywhere
Unlike an on-site system, a cloud-based help desk platform is always accessible to technical support agents regardless of location. They need only a digital device such as a tablet, laptop, or smartphone. So customers or end users can contact your company for support 24/7.
Greater accessibility is most helpful when your employees live in different areas, either in different cities or countries. When team members are far away, running help desk operations with an on-premises IT infrastructure is difficult.
On-premises servers are in a physical location such as your headquarters. Agents can access systems and data only when they are nearby. Cloud-based help desk tools, in contrast, know no boundaries. With a smart device and an internet connection, accessibility and geographical limitations are no longer a problem.
The following is true in a cloud computing network:
- Data consolidation is smoother, allowing support teams to deliver better end-user service.
- Interfaces are the same for all devices, making compatibility issues nonexistent.
5. Unified Omnichannel Communication
With a cloud-based help desk, complete and unified communication is at your fingertips. You no longer need to buy multiple applications from different vendors to access all channels.
On top of that, customers and end users can contact you using their preferred devices and communication modes. An omnichannel approach also lets you focus on specific demographics for better interaction and service.
Communication channels include the following:
- Phone calls. A fixed-line telephone is the grandfather of modern telecommunications. It is reliable, durable, and convenient. Baby boomers still use telephones frequently.
- Email. This channel easily tracks and documents written communications and allows private data sharing. Generation X and baby boomers use it.
- Live chat. This easy-to-use channel helps technical support agents answer end users’ questions quickly. Generation Z heavily favors live chat.
- Social media. Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter are examples of social media platforms. Gen Z and millennials use them to receive support, post feedback, and respond to comments about your business, products, and services.
A help desk with an omnichannel communication feature offers self-service options through various resources and methods. Blog posts, video tutorials, frequently asked questions (FAQs) pages, short message service (SMS), and voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) telephony are a few examples.
6. Effortless Integration With Different Cloud-based Applications
Cloud-based help desk solutions can easily connect to popular third-party tools such as marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Accounting, file sharing, data storage, and email are often done using virtual software.
This cost-effective feature makes it unnecessary to spend resources to develop, operate, and maintain additional tools.
Here are some popular third-party tools that typically integrate with help desk software:
- HubSpot. This CRM system monitors agent-consumer interactions instantly via different communication channels. It also provides marketing and lead-generation email templates to simplify sales pipelines and contacts.
- Zoho CRM. This web-based online office suite offers sales and marketing automation tools with customer support and analytics features. Its unique function is Zia, an AI-based virtual assistant that supports agents with basic customer services.
- Salesforce. Similar to HubSpot, this CRM platform oversees interactions through different communication channels. It helps the help desk team enhance support, sales, and market processes for better customer relationships.
- Slack. This collaboration software streamlines employee communication. It provides various channels to cater to all types of interaction through public, private, and direct channels.
7. Quick and Cost-effective Deployment
On-site help desk solutions give you more control over your technical support team. But it might be hard and costly for organizations such as small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) to build and use such platforms.
Imagine having to contact multiple software and hardware companies for your server, networking devices, applications, and office suites. You also need to hire technical experts to oversee and run the processes of IT deployment. Think of the time, effort, and money you will spend on such a major project.
Conversely, a cloud-based help desk solution is easy to deploy. Simply specify the number of licenses you need. The implementation also involves little to no server downtime, which increases productivity and output.
You can typically keep your current computer systems when you use a cloud-based platform or outsource IT solutions. You no longer need to worry about investing in extra hardware, storage space, software licenses, and office space. This means saving money and having more budget for other projects.
8. Next-generation Technologies Within Reach
Help desk software is changing to keep pace with the dynamic market and outsourced IT trends. A cutting-edge, user-friendly solution helps the IT support team meet consumer needs and streamline processes. An advanced help desk application tracks and documents agent output. It also has self-service features that reduce work mistakes and handle call flows.
Next-generation platforms manage customer support tickets. It answers common customer queries with knowledge-based functions. Agents can quickly and accurately resolve issues with this customer-centric software.
Cloud-based technologies also prioritize customer satisfaction. They integrate CRM software and other tools for smooth customer-agent communication.
A cloud-driven help desk solution is compatible with the following innovative technologies:
- Robotic process automation (RPA) is a smart technology that can take on common tasks.
- The internet of things (IoT) is the interconnection of digital devices and appliances that make information exchange quicker and more accessible.
- Cybersecurity is an online security technology that protects your IT systems from data intrusions.
9. Available Outsourced Skilled Remote Workers
Cloud-based help desk solutions let you hire skilled work-from-home (WFH) technical support agents. The outsourced IT provider manages remote workers by setting simple but strict standards for workflow and security.
A third-party WFH team can be as effective and proficient as an in-house team because of the following features:
- Solid collaboration tools. The team uses dependable communication apps, including Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams. These platforms provide live, flawless, and simultaneous conversations.
- Clear WFH guidelines. Third-party team members adhere to strict policies set by the service provider to ensure consistent collaboration and work performance.
- High-level data security. The team uses robust virtual private networks (VPNs) and antivirus software to protect consumer and company data. Personal and group passwords are applied and changed regularly.
- Frequent online meetings. The team often organizes video or audio huddles or conferences to check work progress and agent well-being.
You can save on costs when you outsource tech solutions to a WFH team that uses cloud-based help desk software. Agent productivity and performance are also likely to exceed your expectations. Remote agents are motivated since they work at their preferred place and time.
10. Scalable Processes for Effective Spending
Cloud-based help desk solutions can scale depending on your needs. It lets you add or remove agents or applications without downtime, so you can budget better and work more seamlessly.
Choosing service desk software that matches your needs and supports your back-office outsourcing services is ideal. Below are some benefits of such a platform:
- Cost-effectiveness. Get the right team size and software features to cut costs. Cloud platforms can optimize output by identifying operation sizes. In addition, a back-office outsourcing company can handle your help desk tasks, helping you save money.
- Flexibility. Respond quickly to changing business and consumer needs. Scalability lets you adapt and outperform competitors.
- Hybrid capability. Divide IT tasks between your in-house and third-party teams. While the in-house department handles complex and high-value issues, remote external support agents handle routine consumer issues.
- Self-service. Respond adequately and automatically to a spike in transactions or call volumes during peak season such as major online shopping events or promotions.
Scalability plays a vital role in your business’ success. It allows you to address unexpected situations without adversely affecting user experience.
11. Compatibility With Smart Programs
A cloud-based help desk can integrate with artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML). These smart technologies increase productivity and efficiency.
Consider the following advantages of an AI-, ML-, or NLP-based help desk solution:
- Enhanced key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs measure customer service performance and output. They are numbers you track to see whether you are meeting goals such as improving the average call abandonment rate and average answer speed.
- Better consumer behavior analysis. The programs collect, review, and transmit consumer data to aid agents. They detect customer dissatisfaction through voice commands or interactions. The calls are then routed to qualified customer service representatives.
- Decreased operating costs. Technology-driven help desk platforms operate 24/7. Intelligent tools run 24/7, relieving human agents’ stress and reducing the need for extra staff during late-night, weekend, or holiday shifts.
AI, ML, and NPL improve cloud-based solutions with ticket tagging, personalizations, digital assistants, speech recognition, and chatbots.
12. Business as Usual Amid Upgrades or System Changes
Cloud-based help desk solutions reduce interruptions during software upgrades, deployments, and changes.
Application or hardware incompatibilities during and after system implementation can cause interruptions. Also, a lack of collaboration, transparency, user awareness, and communication slows workflow.
Long-term business disruptions are expensive. They also hurt business segments, making you miss opportunities. A cloud-based service lets you run technical support around the clock, regardless of software changes.
Here are some likely causes of workflow stoppages:
- Training and upskilling. Any software upgrade means training employees to learn its features and capabilities. Additional time is also needed for people to get used to the system.
- Staff resistance. Most employees are hesitant about technological changes. Major alterations in the IT system likely affects employee productivity and customer support for a while.
- Data loss or compromise. Software upgrades might lead to data breaches in which sensitive information is corrupted, lost, or compromised.
- Software bugs. Bugs and glitches might arise when switching platforms. Sudden crashes, lock-ups, and software errors are costly. Customer service and employee performance suffer from these incidents.
13. High Uptime, Low Downtime
Cloud-based software is reliable and provides 24/7 help desk support. This stable workflow improves team performance, customer experience, and revenue.
Uptime refers to the period when the system or platform is operational. Downtime occurs when the service fails. In percentiles, uptime must be 99.99% and downtime 1% or less.
Zero downtime is possible with a reliable virtual help desk. In this case, downtime happens only during natural disasters and power outages.
With consistent 100% uptime, you can:
- Provide round-the-clock support. Your agents are available 24/7, including holidays, weekends, and late nights. Customers can also easily buy products and services from your website.
- Avoid revenue loss. Downtime slows operations and frustrates customers. They might not contact technical support again or switch to competitors. Maintaining 0% downtime prevents customers from leaving. Happy, loyal customers are ideal because they are your income source.
14. Better Collaboration, Thanks to a Shared Inbox
Choose a cloud-based help desk solution with a shared inbox so that team members can see all support ticket communications. A shared mailbox saves time and improves communication.
The shared inbox has real-time collaboration, parent-child ticketing, agent collision detection, and internal notes.
From this central mailbox, the team can write responses, keep track of comments on requests, and give out tickets. It simplifies and organizes processes for smooth workflow.
The benefits of better collaboration include the following:
- Raises the company’s capacity to adapt to changes
- Expedites problem-solving processes as everyone contributes and shares their experiences and backgrounds
- Enables coworkers to build solid relationships as they get to know each other more
- Lets agents learn from each other and improve their skills
- Allows remote workers to be more efficient and connected despite their distant locations
- Increase the chances of higher productivity as employees help each other
- Boosts team morale and confidence as agents’ opinions and contributions are appreciated and considered
15. Customized Tools To Suit Your Specific Needs
Customization gives cloud-based help desk software an edge. It builds solutions based on your needs. Off-the-shelf tools are useful for immediate use, but a customizable app encourages efficient teamwork.
Customization lets you change your dashboard’s size, color, icon, text, ticketing workflow, and report filters. You can maximize the platform’s many features to outperform your competitors.
Self-service interfaces can also improve portal users’ satisfaction. A cloud platform’s customization allows for adding, deleting, or sorting links on the private network launch pad.
Nowadays, customizing your system is no longer a resource-intensive and tedious activity. Before, this task had a steep learning curve and was mostly done by experienced developers or technicians. The market now provides tools to help design and test your tailor-made interfaces.
The Bottom Line
A cloud-based help desk solution is the future of technical support. Businesses of all sizes and types use this technology to better assist and serve end users. Cloud software is cost-effective, efficient, and innovative.
With any other product or service, risks and pitfalls are unavoidable. But the numerous and varied advantages discussed in this article outweigh the drawbacks of cloud-based help desk solutions.
If you want to learn more, talk to a BPO provider like Unity Communications. This award-winning provider offers outsourced data entry services and more to help your company grow.