The software tool I use frequently is Heat Plus Knowledge, by Front Range.
The software helpdesk side of the tool is simply HEAT. The Plus Knowledge component is a user friendly search database to find answers to their own questions. Knowledge databases are searchable databases in which users can search for the resolution to own problems. When dealing with user support systems, these are considered level 0. (Level 1, first level helpdesk tech, level 2, troubleshooting expert, level 3, a programmer, level 4, the software vendor).
1. Users can search for do-it-yourself help to fix their own problems
2. If the user cannot resolve their own problem, the solution tied to the error they are receiving can direct them to the correct helpdesk group to fix the problem
3. Users can search the knowledge database for how to instructions for new functions not covered in their training
4. The helpdesk staff can refer to the solution database to determine the correct second level solution to use to assist the user
5. The helpdesk staffs frequently search the entire database of solutions to determine what the root cause of a user’s problem is; this can lead to users being handed off to the correct support organization immediately, rather than being sent on a goose chase.
If a user can solve their own problem, they do not need to submit a ticket via the HEAT system to one of the helpdesk. Solutions that are Level 1 or higher are also in this database, directing users to the correct diagnosis and helpdesk. The solutions documents are created and maintained as filtered HTML documents. One benefit of this is that we can create the solutions, including screen shots, in Microsoft Word. Do a file save as to filtered HTML, and you have the solution document created. Move to the correct folder, and you’re done. Easy to use for support staff, straightforward for general users, and easy to maintain. That makes it ideal as a knowledge database and ticketing system. We already have enough problems to take care of without having to fix a buggy support tool, too.