The customer of today is demanding, impatient and fickle. These seemingly harsh, but true words describe the average customer today who comes in expecting a great product or services, an excellent support service for the same and a competitive price for all of it. Hence, your business is forced to think of ways to optimize the processes involved to reduce effort and cost and maximize satisfaction.
The customer support process is one of the most important processes that demand optimization. A great customer service always gets the preference of the customer’s wallet. A subpar or bad service has a potential impact on your business reputation and the perceived quality of your products and services. We will examine the possibility of using a help desk software to improve the customer service process and will go on to see how live chat and ticketing can help you provide a better experience for your customers.
Traditional customer support
Emails and phone support have been around much longer than help desk software. They are still preferred by many SMEs for immediate support and sometimes, they are the entire spectrum of the customer support process. But as we will see, these two methods have quite a few limitations.
Email-based customer service support
Emails for customer service are generally sent to a dedicated email address where your customer service agent reads the email and goes on to communicate with the customer to resolve their problems. Email support is generally popular for queries with billing, shipment, product quality and service requests. An email can include a lot of information, such as file attachments, to describe the problem in detail but it has plenty of limitations.
- Emails are not trackable – Email threads can be viciously hard to track and update.
- Common mail addresses create confusion – With a single email address and multiple customer support reps, it is virtually impossible to track and remember who’s working on what.
- Emails are difficult to close – It is difficult to know when a customer’s request is done. If a request is marked as solved and the customer emails again with a follow-up, then it creates more confusion about the status.
- Emails rely on customer’s ability to articulate – Emails need the customer to spell out their exact grievance which can be frustrating. The last thing that a frustrated customer would want to do is write a huge email explaining their problem, only to have a customer support rep reply back asking for more clarifications!
Phone-based customer service support
Phone calls are employed by businesses to log immediate customer complaints and respond more quickly to customers. While some businesses allow for direct communication with the support personnel, that option is very expensive. The other option is to set up an IVRS. This is still pricey to set up and needs time for both customer and personnel familiarization. Here are some problems with phone-based customer support.
- Phone calls are not just difficult almost impossible to track – Phone calls are sometimes recorded for ‘quality and training purposes’. But even then, tracking them is very hard to do.
- Phone calls can be very inconvenient for the customer – Whether it is asking the customer for their card number or asking the customer to note some kind of reference number, it gets very cumbersome.
- Phone calls can take much longer to be responded to – Phone calls with IVRS can take generate a lot of waiting time and additional frustration for the customer.
- Phone calls are dependent on the phone network and other hardware – The customer needs to be in a decent network zone, with a decent battery to emerge successfully after a call with customer services. Those two things can be difficult to ensure.
Using a helpdesk for customer support
Helpdesk software is becoming increasingly popular with businesses beginning to understand its benefits over traditional options. Through a proper ticketing software and live chat support, you can ensure that your customers are served in the best manner possible. Here are the benefits of using help desk software.
- Enforces a tracking mechanism – Help desk software involves creating and updating ‘tickets’ to log the customer’s request. Not only does that help in tracking the customer’s request, but it also helps in preventing delays in processing any kind of customer service request.
- Sharpens your support personnel – The traditional methods have no way to track how well the personnel is performing. But a ticketing software can easily show the person resolving the highest number of tickets. This helps you to reward the right people and motivate them further.
- Assigns criticality to customer requests – A help desk software allows you to assign a criticality for each customer request (low, high, critical etc.) that helps you to prioritize the sequence of addressing the customer needs.
- Integrates with traditional tools – A help desk software doesn’t live independently but it relies on the traditional tools of phone and email as well. It helps because the customer can use the familiar tools and yet benefit from the high traceability and transparency of help desk software.
- Allows fast resolution times – A good help desk software should come equipped with a feature to support live chat with the customer. This helps the customer to reach out to the support personnel directly and instantly and also allows customer support reps to solve problems on the spot.
- Marks requests as closed – While phone and emails find hard to distinguish between closed and open requests, a helpdesk software will mark tickets as closed and create new tickets for follow-up requests.
- Automates communication – Traditional tools rely on the diligence of the support personnel in communicating to the customer about updates to their issue and the status. A help desk software sends automatic updates to the customer when the ticket status is changed and can also specify the next instructions in the automated emails.
- Is the most cost-effective – While it needs setup and some training, a helpdesk tool satisfies more customers quickly, efficiently and with a focus on actually solving queries – all factors that lead to higher customer satisfaction and ultimately larger revenue. It is also cheaper to buy a software license than setting up an IVRS or buy different hotline numbers. It is also easier to maintain and doesn’t need any storage or warehousing or payroll management to continue using it.
A good helpdesk software is a must to run a smooth customer service operation today. 86% of customers today are ready to go for an upgraded experience and they don’t mind paying the premium price for it (Source:digitalistmag.com). On the flip side, 66% of customers switch companies due to poor service. (Source: insightsquared.com)
Check out the features of a help desk solution and how it can help your business today. Learn more.