Here are some options to look at:
We have already done a really thorough look at different helpdesk apps on the market. Every single one of them serves a slightly different market, and choosing the right one usually requires putting together a list of requirements, then putting the platforms that fit those requirements through some use cases to find the right fit.
What I am more curious about (and probably should have made more clear) is - does you company use such a system, and if so how. What have been your pain points? What are some tips and tricks you can provide that might ease the pain?
Really, this is an attempt to learn from the mistakes / knowledge of others, and to try and develop the best system for my organization as quickly as possible, with the fewest iterations as possible.
We are currently using Freshdesk for our support system. Right now it is very basic as we are using it to catch all support requests to make sure nothing gets missed. We are currenting looking at other options as one feature we we really want is asset tracking. When a ticket comes in we want to associate it with a customer's widget.
Simpro has a rather interesting solution we are also looking at.
So far the most challenging part is breaking the customers habits and getting the customer to use it. Some customers are just set in their ways and want to text or email a team member directly rather than using our support options.
I would be more then happy to speak with you offline in more detail
We wrote our own years ago using SQL and ASP. Like you we took a look at what was on the market (there were fewer choices then) and all had most of what we wanted, but needed tweeking. So, we just wrote our own. I can honestly say that we did not have a lot of problems implementing it or getting buy in, but that is because everyone had a voice. Customers were slow to like it, but now they all are very invested. I am just starting version 2.0 and most of the improvements will come from the people that use it.
My only pain point really is that we hosted on our own in-house server. That is being taken care of with this new roll-out. We will be hosted off site. More bandwidth, newer interface, etc, etc.
The most important thing we did was to open up all of a customer's data to that customer; when I say everything I mean everything, warts and all. We make everything available to them, not just what we want them to see. They know we are not hiding anything and never doubt our motives or our honesty. Every ticket, every service call, every picture. They know if a call should be under warranty. The customer and the staff all work off of the same web enabled database. They know what the status of an issue is 24 x 7.
The con's - not many except the size of the databases. Now that I am moving them to and off-site server some 8 years later the databases are comparatively huge. It will take a while to get this implemented.
Most of the hosted sites have data limits. Obviously that is not good for a long term solution. Hosted software is a far better option.
We've been using Autotask.com since 2004, and bought N-Central near the same time. 99% of all clients, IT or security are on some form of RMR plan, and most are all-in. Any failure detection from a probe, server, vms, or any other custom alert creates tickets 24x7 and alert our team based on the RMR response plan. These alerts, and our MT2F "Mean time to Fix" is our #1 method of presenting our value, and form the basis of system improvements and upgrades. I can't imagine otherwise.
"We are also trying to think through the process of getting customer to use the helpdesk. Most of our customers are also used to getting a hold of their favourite tech "personally". Having quite solved that one yet"
That's an ongoing challenge, but it can be done.... new greetings, auto-replies, and personal pleas from each tech, and consequences for taking and working on any client request that did not come via a non-emergency support request, or emergency that didn't come from the 24x7 hotline... The customer has to know that affects that engineers performance review. You can be the evil business owner...
Mojohelpdesk.com worked decently for our needs.
We have been using Fresh Desk for about a year now and have been happy with it. We are considering moving to Sales Force in the near future.