Help Desk Software
Once you set up an official contact email for your company, customers will start sending you messages. You will love it at first, but soon you might be floating in the flood of incoming emails. How not to drown in them?
Email management tool
If you feel your mailbox is overloaded, while people complain about questions they asked that you never answered, it’s time you need a dedicated tool that will allow you to clean the mess in the mailbox and reply to all those questions and people.
You might google for help desk software or ticketing system, find modern solutions like Desk, Tender Support, Zendesk or Parature and start comparing them in details like features, design, prices, etc. All these pieces of software are like a discussion board between customer service and the customers and all of them eventually must take care of the same thing – help you organize and manage the email communication between your business and its customers.
The story behind ticketing software starts with issue tracking systems – they were used mostly by software companies to track bugs and errors reported by users. The technicians would later check those errors and try to fix them, while the issue tracking system was used as a communication platform that kept all requests and tickets organized with appropriate statuses – reply required, awaiting comment from the user, solved, etc.
Although it may seem technical, using such software in its simplified version is very convenient and does not require technical knowledge from support operators nor customers. Ease of use actually helps in adoption of this kind of tool in non-technical scenarios: from the end-user perspective, submitting a ticket is as easy as filling a form, leaving a comment using social media platform or simply sending an email.
Slow… but efficient?
Ticketing systems are the polar opposite to the phone support – messages carry much less emotions and can be understood differently by involved parties. When it comes to problem solving, help desks are quite slow – Zendesk reports that an average first response time through help desk is over 32(!) hours. Its seems like forever, especially when compared to chat or phone support, doesn’t it?
Despite it’s slowness, help desk software is a very popular communication tool due to huge advantage – it allows to easily manage the communication flow between the organization and the customer. The challenge of using it is to find the compromise between prompt responses and actual solutions to the problems. Another true advantage of ticketing systems comes with their mobility. Powerful tablets and smartphones and developers of the cloud-based applications did not leave any customer support team waiting. Questions can be answered anytime you want and everywhere you want – without people even knowing you are not in the office! Help desk no longer means desk-attached.
Help desk no longer means desk-attached.
It’s easy to start, but high quality requires hard work
Process of adding a help desk to the website is quick and painless – similarly to most of the SaaS products, there’s nothing technical to worry about. Signup process takes seconds and a moment later your shiny help desk software is almost ready to use.
Almost, because setup and customization are probably the most important steps before going live. Make sure the entire support team is involved and that new piece of software matches your website visually. Adding a company logo is a good start, but later you might want to adjust the template of the emails and design of the help desk itself – ask your IT guy to play a little with the CSS settings, that should do the trick.
Finally – go live with your help desk and forward there your general company emails.
6 tips to make your help desk work
- Don’t wait – work on prompt responses. Even when it will take longer to resolve an issue, keep the requester informed about the progress. It’s the best way for them to realize you are actually working on the fix.
- Train your staff – introducing every new tool requires training. Some applications will have useful tutorials or will be easy to work with, but short training with Q&A session will definitely facilitate the start.
- Put your help desk on the cloud – the agents might be already equipped with mobile devices, so try to use them for support. You might not solve all the tickets while out of office, but the response time will decrease dramatically.
- Encourage self-service – place resources (like knowledge base, FAQ, forum, tutorials) close to end-users and in doubt-generating places. Often-repeating questions will show you which parts of your website remain unclear and require additional attention and improvements.
- Measure and monitor results – thank you Captain Obvious, huh? It is often forgotten that support efficiency can be measured. Imagine you are a customer and check what is the time of the first reply to your question, how quickly and in how many contacts are the tickets solved. Are you happy with these numbers?
- Improve constantly – what is measured, can be improved. Customer Happiness Index, satisfaction ratio, Customer Support Happiness Report – call it whatever you want, but the ultimate goal should always be 100% customer satisfaction.
Full inbox and outbox
From the support rep perspective a ticketing system is a convenient and centralized place of receiving and sending messages to the customers. However, agents need to remember that there are many starting points for the conversation.
Customer Power grows stronger over time (infographic via desk.com)
A tweet, a Facebook comment, an email or an old-fashioned online form can turn into an issue report in a second – that’s what help desk software is capable of doing. It might sound like a threat but you need to make sure customer’s voice is heard in your company. Otherwise it will definitely be heard outside of it – by other customers and your competitors.