Help Desk Software Evaluation Checklist

A vibrant, competent help desk is vital to any organization that serves its customer base through personal interactions, and this is especially true when technology is involved.  Choosing the right help desk software can make the difference between a satisfied customer and one who is frustrated and confused. This help desk software evaluation checklist will help you hone in on the software characteristics that are most important to your company and customers.

Customer Base

  •  Are they mostly internal or external to your organization?
  • Evaluate the overall technical aptitude of your customers.
  • Decide which modes work best.
  • Do they seek answers on their own first?
  • How many customers do you have?

Current Help Desk Operations

  • Do staff work on-site, off-site, or both?
  • Evaluate the overall technical aptitude of your employees.
  • Are there changes you can make to improve efficiency?
  • Do you maintain a repository of helpful articles?
  •  How many help tickets do you process in an month?
  • Who needs access to your activity reports?
  • What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Software Selection and Implementation Project

  • How much can you spend?
  •  When do you need to finish?
  • How much staff time per week can you dedicate to upgrading your help desk software?
  • Who will evaluate potential help desk software systems?
  • Can your business tolerate an interruption in help desk operations during the upgrade?

Potential Help Desk Software Solutions

  • How much will the software and licenses cost?
  •  How much does it cost and how is it delivered?
  • Can you add users without incurring additional costs?
  • Is the software hosted, or does your company need servers and IT staff?
  • Does the license include all available updates?
  • Does the software provide the reporting you need?
  • Can the software work with other applications?
  • Will you need to change the way you do business to fit the software?
  • Will the vendors give you access to trial versions of their software?
  • Does the software support the development of an article repository?
  • Can you import existing help desk data into the new software?
  • How granular can you make incident tracking?
  • How long is the contract, and can you opt out at some point?

Help Desk Software Evaluation Tips

  • Choose a system that meets your needs today and is flexible enough to handle any projected growth, but don't overpay for features that your organization will never use.
  • Consult with peers at institutions similar to yours who have recently implemented new Help Desk software systems.
  • Use the software selection process as a chance to gain insight into industry standards and be willing to change your workflows accordingly.
  • Look for systems that can benefit other areas of your business. Many help desk software packages can be purchased as part of a suite that also addresses facilities management and inventory tracking functionality.