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Customer satisfaction always has been important. Customers satisfied with the product and support services for the product will continue to purchase from same provider. It is still a rule that it is cheaper to maintain a satisfied customer then to find a new one.

The Phone Help desk was first established to funnel customer complaints and customer requests for assistance to the technical department. In stead of having valuable technical experts picking up the call and often wasting time listening to complaints, having to handle with articulated problem descriptions and often answering simple (silly) questions, an entry front was created. This front was trained in answering frustrated customers, ability to better understand the customer need and answer the most common queries. Of course that created the need for “call” administration. Calls needed to be logged, problems described and problems forwarded to the specialist to be
answered or serviced.

The Help desk software was created to cope with these call tickets administration. The introduction of the computer in the work place created the need for expanding the need of the Help Desk. Needed support and service for PC’s and as well as questions related to applications used within the company, created the need for an internal Help Desk. As most computers are on a network, “calls” can now be placed by e-mail, allowing the internal IT staff to focus on problem solving in stead of answering phone calls. With now having a majority of customers able to send e-mail, Help desks are now getting integrated with e-mail and web tracking possibilities. The IT Help Desk also integrates asset management, license control, software updates and information control. Remote control, remote installation and even remote service are becoming the standard.

The Help Desk aim to log, track and resolve (close) calls (tickets) changed over the years to a Help Desk products which handles Company support, Company service, Customer support and Customer service in one package. Internal company support was added to assist with human resource questions (benefits, payroll etc), training, community forum and company procedures. Internal services relates to the IT department doing computer support and maintains pc inventory and office materials, support users assistance for the central phone and
messaging system and other services needed for other office equipments.

New technologies and new ways of communications revolutionized the design further. Phone, mobile phone, pagers, e-mail, websites, intranet, internet videoconferencing, natural language implementations, FAQ, advanced SQL, etc changed the interaction of the Help Desk.

The latest buzz word is CRM (Customer Relationship Management). CRM shifted the focus of the Help Desk from customer/company complaints and help centers to centers with pre-sale and post sale support. Telemarketing (by phone) is changing to marketing through e-mail and websites. E-commerce added additional needs for customer retention and customer intelligence to make personalized
products offerings.

The larger companies will continue the CRM product, becoming more and more complex (and more expensive to implement). It is our believe that some functionality will focus on specific area’s of application and can therefore become affordable for the smaller companies and professionals. What have not changed is the need for customer satisfaction and the need to retain your customers! One application for just computer support is eminent. The internet opens additional avenues for this application.