Support is a tricky science (some say even art) that requires careful planning and timely execution. There is no universal formula that will solve all support issues but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good practices to follow. In fact, there are so many of them that we’d decided to boil them down to just 6 positions.
Why six? Cause listing more will most likely confuse and who will use all of them anyway? That’s right, none. In any case here are our best help desk support practices that we think will prove to be vital in 2020 and beyond. Let’s get started!
#1 Pick the Right Tool
You will be surprised how many companies decide to cheap out on a help desk and think that it will get the job done. Picking the right tool at the right budget is a tough challenge that many opt to decide later. However, it is actually your number one priority as it will determine your productivity in the long run. Having a robust solution that is feature complete will allow your team to configure, automate, and accelerate their work twice as much.
Regardless of the size of your company, the number one priority for you is to find the right tool as it will determine your productivity in the long run.
Whether you are a small group or an enormous enterprise, your number one priority is to select the right system. The best way to do it is to outline your necessities and your “nice to have” things. Once done, stack them against the tool you think will solve and see the result. Also, word of advice, don’t go with the very first match, instead, try to research your options as it might save you a penny. Who knows, maybe a CRM will do just fine for you or maybe you need a service desk system. Don’t rush this process and carefully evaluate your selections.
#2 Check Automation Rules
If you’ve settled on a service desk (or help desk for that matter), chances are you’ve done it due to the fact that it can automate stuff. If so, you need to pay close attention to your automation rules as if set incorrectly, they’ll do more damage than benefits. So, if you plan on routing your tickets through automation, make sure that you encompass all possible scenarios.
“What scenarios did you say?” - a lot of them. For instance, if you have a customer that already contacted you through a ticket, make sure that you route the new request to the person that already dealt with the trouble. It will not only eliminate unnecessary questions but will result in more personalized service, which in today’s era, a must-have thing. So the TLDR of it all is to meticulously plan each new automation decision, carefully set up the rule, and make sure no corner left untouched.
An example of settings for an automation rule in Zoho Desk. In this case, all tickets concerning product returns or refunds will be assigned to the corresponding support department. Source: Zoho
#3 Create Canned Responses
If you don’t know what a canned response is then the gist of it is that it is a pre-written answer to a common question. The sole purpose of this feature is to make your agents work less repetitive, faster, and free of extra explanations. To create good canned responses, we suggest that you get your historical data, scan your entire knowledge base, evaluate all your self-service portals, and most importantly, check the internet for additional solutions.
Once you have all the answers you might need, compile them and incorporate them into your canned response module. Once there, your staff will love the effort you’ve put into the system, as well as you will notice that the majority of requests are closed or solved in a much more efficient manner. Before we go to the next practice, we’d like to note that it is best that you update your responses from time-to-time to avoid sounding like a broken record.
An example of canned response usage in HappyFox. Just choose an appropriate option from the ready-to-use templates to save support agents' time. Source: HappyFox
#4 Avoid Overload
If there’s one thing that you need to keep an eye on, it is overload. If you already have a massive list of open tickets, make sure that your new solution can prioritize them and sort it for you based on set characteristics. Nobody wants to put their customer on hold and neither do you. If you did the right thing and picked the right tool, you should be able to spread wings and make things at least a little easier on your team.
Offload as much work as you can on the tool and make sure that none of your employees feel pressured or forced to work faster through automations. Set Service Level Agreements (SLA) to keep customer expectations in check, and lastly, declare Business Hours to avoid unhappy customers. If everything is configured, your staff should be okay as the last thing you want to deal with is burnout.
For example, in Freshdesk you can create multiple SLAs to match up with the needs of any type of your potential or current customers. Source: Freshdesk
#5 Always Ask For Feedback
Perhaps the most important practice is to ask for both internal and external feedback. That’s right, don’t just sample external suggestions, make sure your team is comfortable with the tool, know each and every corner of it, and is ready to master new functionality. After you have that info, try to stack it against the results you’ve got from the external survey.
Typically, most help desk systems have a survey system. What you want to do is to send out small online surveys (preferably anonymous ones) to determine what is your main bottleneck. Knowing what is hurting your business from both the inside and outside will make sure that you are on the right path to successful corrections.
An example of CSAT (customer satisfaction ratings) usage in Zendesk. Always provide simple ways for customers to leave feedback. Source: Zendesk
#6 Provide Multiple Communication Channels
The last one of our help desk support practices is communication. Many service desk and help desk solutions offer a function called “Omnichannel”. What it means is that you can set up a ton of communication channels for your customers to use. This is a benefit of its own already but the key advantage stems from the fact that no matter where the request comes from, it will end up in your manually specified inbox.
This is the key to your productivity. Why allocate specialists to monitor multiple social media channels or emails when your help desk can do it for you. This feature will not only make your team happy but your customers too. They no longer have to use emails or fill out long forms to reach you, a simple message on Facebook or Twitter or whatnot is all that will be required. And while we are on the subject of convenience, ensure that your system has a live chat system that will allow your consumers to talk to you directly from your website.
And that’s about it for best help desk support practices today. We know that this list is but a fraction of what could have been included. Yet, we feel that these are the most important ones, especially in the short run. The sooner you start implementing them, the faster you’ll be able to yield the benefits. And now for the CTA, the call to action. If you know what you want and ready to start using these tips but need your data to be there, we can help you move it. Just drop us a line and we’ll send our best men/women to help you out.
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