How to Set Up a Help Desk Software Properly With Custom Fields

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Properly managing your help desk software is just as important as what solution you choose. Even if you have the best technology, if it’s not properly configured the software can create problems and hostility with its users. One of the best ways to optimize how employees utilize your help desk system is through implementing custom fields. Not only do they save time, but they also improve the communication of your team with customers and even between departments. Here are a few ways on how to set up a help desk software properly with custom fields to save time and money…

Always give fields an appropriate name – Too often, when companies are implementing software, they rush through the setup phase. One of the areas that is commonly impacted by this expedited process is custom fields. Instead of hurrying through your fields to complete them and move on to the next thing, be very clear with your labels. For example, don’t just put “Location” as a field name or else you’ll get an array of answers like “Chicago”, “Canada”, or “North America”. “State” or “Country” are both much better and more defined field names that will do a good job at capturing the information you need. Not properly naming fields can be a headache because once you realize information isn’t being input correctly, you will likely have to go back and manually fix it in your help desk database.

Make sure to appropriately mark form fields as “required” – When requesting information from prospects or customers, don’t ask for irrelevant fields like “Middle Name” to be required because they lack value and take up time. On the flip side, something like “Salutation” may appear trivial but it can be beneficial to require this field so agents know how to properly address a customer should they have a name that is common for more than one gender (i.e. Jamie, Casey). Customization is important in help desk software and the more relevant information you have the better. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself “does this field improve the help desk experience for my customers?”. If it doesn’t, the field probably isn’t important enough to make it required.

Use child fields to clean up the information entry process – One of the best ways to avoid showing custom fields that aren’t applicable is to use parent/child relationships. For example, in help desk software it’s easy to configure fields so that when “Software” is chosen as the industry, a child field can appear that says “What Type of Software?”. From here, information such as “Accounting” or “Healthcare” can be selected in the child field to provide additional and relevant information. This helps to get more details about customers in an elegant way and avoids form fatigue, improving the customer experience. The additional information also lets agents make more informed decisions when working on their issues.

In short, properly configuring custom fields is a subtle but effective way to streamline communication, to obtain additional relevant information, and to create a better relationship with prospects and customers. Make sure to correctly label fields so the information you acquire is relevant. In addition, be selective when requiring form fields from customers and prospects. Lastly, always try to streamline the form structure by using parent/child relationships with form fields. Leveraging the capabilities of custom fields may seem like a small change, but when done at scale it can add notable value to your business.


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Author: Matthew Brown

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