There comes a time in every small-to-medium business’s lifetime that HR needs to be considered for the company’s well-being. Many businesses these days are looking to external firms to handle their HR for them. For these companies that offer consultative HR services for multiple customers, it becomes crucial that work is tracked accurately with an eye towards confidentiality. As these HR firms take on more and more customers, not only do they need to have a tool that meets all of their own needs, but they also need to ensure their customers’ needs are met as well. One such client came to us seeking a solution for managing their customers and their requests.

Our client is an HR firm that is consulted by small businesses right around the 50 employee mark. These businesses are large enough to need human resources management, but don’t feel that it makes sense to have full-time, in-house HR. Our client’s current process for working with their customers involves managing files to know what work is done. However, our client noted that ideally they would have a paper trail for tracking their work and communications with each customer. If this log of activity could be visible to both parties, it would clear up any confusion about when and whether communications and responses had occurred.

Out of the box, OneDesk has a solution for our client’s requirement for tracking work. Our helpdesk application provides management for incoming and in-progress work by way of tickets. Each ticket captures a work item and has its own record of communications and actions taken on it, including status updates, timesheets, and comments. OneDesk also offers a customer portal that gives customers direct access to these tickets so they can log requests, monitor our client’s responses, and track the status. Our client was concerned that items logged via the customer portal would be visible to everyone with access to it, but OneDesk allows permissions to be fine-tuned so only customers from the same organization can view their coworkers’ requests, or refined even further down to the specific individual user level. Comments and discussions on tickets can also be posted as either public or private, depending on whether our client would like their message to be viewable to their customers on the portal or not. This empowers the customer while still ensuring our client has ultimate control over visibility.

Aside from the customer portal, OneDesk offers the ability to create tickets via e-mail. This is a great alternative for customers who don’t want to use the portal as tickets created this way capture the entire e-mail’s contents and even automatically set up an entry for the user in the OneDesk system based on the e-mail address. Our client is not new to the idea of support and fielding incoming requests from clients and already have a support e-mail account where all incoming requests arrive. By default, OneDesk automatically offers a new e-mail address for every ticket type in our client’s account. This helps keep ticket creation organized into the correct types, however our client noted that switching their customers over to using the OneDesk e-mail for incoming requests would be problematic. We assured the client that they could keep their current support e-mail accounts; as long as e-mails to these accounts are auto-forwarding to the OneDesk e-mails, tickets will still be created and users will still be entered into the system. This solution offers them the best of both worlds.

One of OneDesk’s less obvious strengths is its scalability. There is no limit to the number of projects or tickets our client can track, and the same applies to the number of customers who can access the portal. Being an established and successful business, our client came to us voicing their concerns about their existing customers. Would they be able to easily enter these customers into the OneDesk system? The answer is yes—OneDesk has the ability to import CSVs of existing customer data, which makes transition into the system a breeze.

On the flip side, it’s also easy exporting data out of OneDesk. Our client mentioned that timesheets were a feature they were interested in as it made it clear where and how much time was spent on particular tickets. But how would they be able to get that data grouped and filtered into valuable information? For example, could they see which customers had requested the most work? And how could they get that data out of OneDesk? Our answer lies in the customizable views and reporting offered as part of OneDesk’s core functionality. Timesheets in OneDesk can be found under one unified section, and from there, our client can set up views around particular fields such as the ticket requester. In each view, time recorded in the timesheet is totaled and our client can filter and group the data into a dashboard that brings the most valuable information to the forefront. OneDesk also offers this data as a downloadable CSV which our client can then use in external tools and presentations.

For firms that are contracted and consulted for HR work, it can be tricky keeping track of every piece of work coming in. With this work so focused on people, it can seem onerous launching a ticketing system to distill and capture the actual work. By upgrading their tooling to OneDesk, our client found that we take care of the tricky details for them. OneDesk offers painless imports of existing data, automatic creation of customer accounts from requests, and a robust reporting feature, all of which lets our client focus more on their work and less on managing it.

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