Why you should choose open-source help desk software for your growing businessDecember 1, 2021 No Comments
Featured article by Deevra Norling
Help desk software can greatly improve your customer service. But, with so much choice in the market, it can be difficult to find the right help desk system for your business.
Should you choose a locally installed on-site system or one that’s cloud-based? What about closed versus open source software?
The answer largely depends on your business’s unique needs. If your business is expanding, ideally you want help desk software that can scale up as your customer base grows. In this case, we recommend choosing an open source help desk system.
What is open source software?
The developer of an open source software releases the source code under a license that grants users the rights to share, edit, or modify it. On the other hand, closed source, also called proprietary software, restricts this. The developer retains full control over the code and is the only one who can alter it.
Because an open source help desk ticketing system allows you to edit the code, you will be able to customize the system with features that suit your business environment, and you can continue to tweak it as your business expands.
What is help desk software and why does your business need it?
In today’s competitive business environment, customer service can make or break your business. Customers expect fast, efficient and intuitive service. If you fail to meet their needs, they won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere.
Outdated manual systems no longer cut it. If your help desk agents are taking too long to answer queries, searching for information, losing service tickets and struggling to resolve queries promptly, your customers are going to become frustrated and move on.
Enter automated help desk software that features:
- A centralized customer database that all agents have access to and can view ticket status in real time.
- A ticketing system that can automatically route, tag and track tickets, plus alerts agents when a follow up is needed.
- Metrics that show where you’re succeeding and where you can improve.
How could this impact your business?
- Faster query resolution.
- Increased productivity.
- A better customer experience that leads to happier customers.
And happier customers are likely to return time after time, and that keeps your bottom line healthy!
How to choose the best open source help desk system
Now that you understand how open source software works, you can see why it is the better choice for a help desk system. But there are many additional benefits you stand to gain. Here are 5 features to look for when choosing the best open source help desk system.
1. Fully customizable
This is, of course, the main benefit of an open source help desk ticketing system. If the software you’re considering doesn’t allow you to customize it, then it’s not open source. You should be able to add data fields, categories, plugins, automate functions, set user permissions, create internal communication channels and tweak the design.
2. An efficient ticketing system
The ticketing system is the heartbeat of a help desk system. You want your open source ticket system to function at optimum level, from intake of queries and ticket management to scheduling and reminders.
If you need any additional features, such as a knowledge base, make sure the open source ticketing system you choose will allow you to add one.
3. Omnichannel capability
Another must-have feature of an open source ticketing system is the ability to feed customer tickets from multiple channels into the centralized system.
Most customers want multiple contact points with your company. This typically includes phone, email, live chat, and social media. Some smart ticketing systems can even pull comments from your blog posts into the ticket queue.
Agents should also be able to respond via the same communication channel used by the customer from within the help desk system. No need to exit the system to respond from in a separate application, speeding up response times.
Customizing open source help desk software means you should also be able to integrate it with other business or third-party systems. These may include your phone system, invoicing or accounting system, IT system, website, or a third-party ecommerce system like Shopify.
More customers means more customer queries which results in more service tickets. Be aware of this when selecting an open source ticket system. Some basic or free ones may limit the amount of data you can store.
If you’re anticipating rapid growth, make sure your ticketing system can handle larger amounts of data to accommodate a growing customer base.
Is open source software free?
With closed source software, like Microsoft or Adobe, you pay an annual license fee to use the software.
With open source systems, the software itself isn’t for sale, so you typically don’t pay a licensing fee. However, some do charge a fee for hosting, setup, maintenance and access to tech support.
The fee is usually cheaper than a closed source system and several open source ticketing systems offer a free trial. That allows you to test different software to find the one that best fits your business.
DATA and ANALYTICS , DATA GOVERNANCE AND PRIVACY, SOCIAL BUSINESS