Poor help desk performance leads to missed calls, a long waiting time, a customer getting transferred from one department to another, or even unresolved tickets. All that inevitably results in angry customers. And one angry customer can bring you from 9 to 15 “anti-referrals” that will surely impact your sales.
You did not expect an outcome like this when you decided to set up a help desk, right? If your help desk brings you more trouble than growth, let’s see what you can do:
Best ways to improve help desk performance
1. Rethink your expectations from having a help desk
Many online businesses don’t have a physical address. Some don’t even have a phone number. But all of them feature at least one email address on the Contact Us page.
That’s because 92% of consumers use email and two-thirds of them prefer to be contacted by email as well.
Hence, the majority of your customer support tickets probably come through email. Next, they are transferred to a helpdesk system, where the issues are resolved and return to the original email format. The only excuse for using a helpdesk tool, in this case, is that it gives emails some sort of order.
Looking for Help Desk Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best help desk software solutions.
At the same time, if you’re one of the 1.8 billion Gmail users, you miss many awesome features of your email provider. There is an advanced search tool, custom filters, email threads with the full conversation history, and more. Provided your customer service is mainly performed through email, maybe you don’t need to waste time on help desk training after all?
If you are positive a helpdesk solution is paramount to provide excellent client support, you have to set clear goals for your team. Those ensure your help desk functions effectively. For instance, you may aim to adopt a specific approach to handling customer complaints, improve response time, cut the number of ticket transfers, etc.
Next, you should meet your team and discuss their challenges as they deal with customers and the roadblocks on the way to overcoming them. Only after that you can start looking for a convenient help desk tool or estimating the one you already have.
2. Create a self-service portal
Numerous surveys have shown that 75% of consumers feel self-service is the fastest way to resolve their support issues. That’s actually great news for your business as it means you can cut spending on support and actively involve your customers in the resolution process.
Self-service support allows both customers and employees to quickly find the information they need without waiting on hold or detailing their queries to several support agents.
In addition, a self-service resource like HelpCrunch’s knowledge base software can collect user search information, thus helping you understand customer needs and act towards increasing customer satisfaction.
3. Train your employees to work towards your goal
Your customer support reps are the face and foundation of your business. Therefore, you should nurture the following skills in them:
Your customer support agents should be able to explain how your product or service works, provide examples from a customer perspective, offer helpful tips — all in a warm and understandable manner.
Understanding the product/service
Ensure your customer service agents are aware of the latest updates and show enthusiasm speaking about them.
To provide excellent service, your support team members should connect with customers and show genuine concern for their problems. They should also communicate with people across the entire company to stay tuned. Moreover, a support agent’s communication style should match your brand voice.
To help your employees sharpen their skills, you may organize team-building sessions or planned discussions where participants can prepare notes to articulate their contributions. Make sure the context of the activities is light-hearted and everyone feels safe.
Regular skills assessment is a good way to keep close tabs on your employees’ performance. You may use the recommended customer service representative interview questions as surveys and ask your team to complete them every once in a while.
4. Heed internal feedback
You should definitely track customer metrics, but it’s also crucial to gather internal feedback on service desk performance. Asking your employees about challenges in the workplace and lacking resources may result in getting valuable insights in terms of help desk metrics improvement.
Design an anonymous employee satisfaction survey where they can rate service desk performance metrics. On negative experiences, run a meeting with your entire team and encourage discussion to understand the nature of issues and see how they can be resolved.
Dan Brown once said: “We all fear what we do not understand.” Similarly, your customers may feel agitated if they have to follow a sequence of steps or be forwarded several times until they can get their issue solved.
By communicating what’s going on behind customer query processing, you alleviate the tension. Knowing why certain actions are necessary makes a customer an acting figure in the process of seeking a solution. Thus, they will be more cooperative and helping resolve tickets faster.
Since modern customers are very active on social media channels, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great tools to inform and interact with your audience. Actually, about 65% of consumers seek resolution to their support requests on social media networks. To keep up with their expectations, you should monitor your company mentions, tags, comments, and shares, and react to them.
Having your help desk team equipped to handle requests on social media will benefit your reputation as an open and responsive company. In addition, customer satisfaction will rise as clients will get the same quality of service wherever they get in touch with your brand.
6. Use automation software
Modern automation tools allow help desk teams to do more with less. Along with self-service resources, automation software is another investment that will substantially decrease your ongoing expenses. The following ideas can boost your customer support productivity and improve its quality:
Automated response tools
Transactional and operational emails are necessary to keep customers engaged. On the other hand, they usually follow the same template that doesn’t change from a customer to a customer. Making your support reps send them out manually isn’t a good use of their time. Instead, consider getting autoresponder software that will allow your reps to stay focused on their work.
Automated customer surveys
You can measure your help desk performance by a number of metrics. But the sure-fire way to know what customers think of your service is to ask them. Manually creating and sending out regular customer surveys is time-consuming, so there are customer satisfaction tools like IVR to automate the process.
Behavior tracking tools
You may record your employee service calls and then have managers estimate their support quality. Or you can use a behavioral science tool like Cogito to provide real-time guidance as your team members are taking calls.
Help desks have become an integral part of a customer service toolkit. However, as its popularity grows, business owners often overlook the fact that a help desk is nothing more than just a tool. In some cases, it is not even vital to have. In other cases, though, it can be a rescue for a cluttered email box and missed calls.
Making help desk performance match your expectations requires skillful people, tested routines, and technology support. With all these factors in sync, your business will see its customer satisfaction levels uproar.