Customer relationships define your success in business. At Gradient Consulting, we pride ourselves in providing an honest, open and ethical approach, developing a real understanding of a business and its people.

In our ongoing drive to better help our customers, as well as supporting them throughout their ERP solution specification, selection and implementation, we recognised a need to further assist in the transition or transformation to their new ‘business as usual’.

The answer? A Help Desk.

After speaking with both existing customers and ERP vendors, we quickly realised that there was a gap in the market. This was a real opportunity for us, as not many Help Desks are available to Infor Syteline users. With our expertise in Syteline and the knowledge of our customers’ business we felt we could really make a difference. Our customers already rely on Infor for regular software maintenance updates and resolution of broader software issues whereas our Help Desk would focus more on their day-to-day operational challenges and queries. Having a Help Desk would also create a single, first point of contact for all support requests backed by a formal Service Level Agreement to give peace of mind and allow customers to focus more fully on what matters to them – utilising their new ERP system to grow their business.

Our next challenge was to choose the right tool for our Help Desk. As this was a new service, we were looking for an easy-to-use system, that could grow with us in the future as more customers take up our support.

We approached different software providers, giving them a list of requirements, ensuring we had a ‘like for like’ comparison to help us with the choice. After several demonstrations and discussions, we chose Zoho Desk (“Zoho”). Configuration and implementation were completed quickly and the Gradient Help Desk launched in December 2020.

So, how does it work?

Tickets can be created in three different ways:

  • Through a customer portal. The user can login 24 x 7 from their chosen device to their Help Desk portal and from there create new tickets, review any open ones, respond to an existing ticket or close them if a suitable resolution has been provided.
  • By sending an email describing their issue to our Help Desk email. This will automatically create a ticket in Zoho.
  • By phone, calling our dedicated Help Desk number. One of our consultants will then create the ticket in the system on the user’s behalf.

Whenever a new ticket is created or an existing one updated, Zoho will automatically alert our Help Desk team to thus ensure we make an appropriate response within the agreed target time, dependent on the severity of the issue, as determined by our customer.

Once the system was set up and tested, we were faced with a question: how do we get customers on board?

Our first thought was to look at the projects that were in progress at the time. Luckily, one of them was at the right phase of the ERP implementation and, when the customer was approached, they were very interested in our proposal. They agreed to be our first user, initially helping to test the ticketing processes and providing feedback for improvement, before adopting the full service.

After using the Help Desk for over seven months, our first customer’s response has been very positive. Typically for a small to medium sized business, they do not have a large internal support team and so actively use the Help Desk to capture all ongoing queries and training requirements which in turn helps them focus on their own customers, grow their ERP knowledge and make the best use of their new system.

Another attraction of Zoho for Gradient is the extensive reporting capability that is available out of the box.

 

Image of help desk statistics

Image supplied by Zoho.

 

We have the capability to easily track multiple metrics, including number and type of tickets raised, average response and resolution times and much more. By regular review of these metrics, through a series of dashboards and customised reports, we can monitor our performance, more accurately allocate the right skills at the right time and become more proactive in helping ensure the same issues do not recur in the future.

But the work of providing excellent customer service is never complete.

We are now aiming to expand our offering as the demand from new customers grows as indeed does the need to not have to worry about day-to-day ERP support. We have also begun to create a comprehensive library of knowledge base articles, to help customers ‘help themselves’ as much as possible and raise tickets only if their questions cannot be answered. The knowledge base will also be used internally, as it can act as a learning tool for our new staff, speeding up their onboarding.

If you’re interested to learn more, then please get in touch.