If you have anything to do with customer service in eCommerce, you know how messy it can get. Dealing with an endless flow of requests may feel like catching sand with your bare hands.
Help desks are designed to make this job a piece of cake. But is such a solution indispensable for your customer service team?
Whether you are considering adopting an eCommerce help desk, or you’ve rushed into adopting one and now are having second thoughts, this article will help you figure out your next steps.
Now, let's start with the basics.
What Is an eCommerce Help Desk?
A help desk is a platform where your support team can address and manage your customer requests. It pulls data from channels like email, messengers, social media, and live chat into one browser window, keeping all the conversations and records in one neat system.
Help desks are equipped with tools that streamline customer support on many levels. It all naturally improves critical performance metrics of your support activities and directly benefits the business.
There are different types of help desks. Some are cut for specific industries, while others take a more one-size-fits-all approach. Ecommerce help desks represent the first type, delivering a set of industry-tied features on top of standard ones.
Let’s take a closer look at the features we are talking about.
6 Main Features to Look for in an eCommerce Help Desk
The expectations from the help desk may vary depending on the size of your business, the load on your customer support team, or an eCommerce platform your online shop is running on. For example, some solutions work well with BigCommerce, while others are better suited for WooCommerce.
Since each eCommerce customer service software comes with its unique twist, here are the must-have features that make an efficient solution.
It’s common for eCommerce businesses to use multiple channels like email, chat, messengers, and phone to communicate with their customers. Naturally, your help desk must integrate with all the communication channels you use, bringing all customer conversations under one roof. It will allow you to receive and handle all requests within one system.
Integration with Shopping Platforms and Marketplaces
Integrations with Shopify, Amazon, eBay, and other shopping platforms and marketplaces are the first thing that sets specialized eCommerce help desks apart from general ones.
Ideally, a help desk should provide you with 50+ native integrations options in categories like:
- Shopping platforms
- Tracking and shipment
- Social media
- Voice services
- Automation and management
If the integration you need is not on the list, you will have to use third-party apps or plugins to bring data together. These services come with a price tag, which spills into additional expenses.
Automation allows you to create workflows that take care of tedious yet necessary repetitive tasks, so they don’t eat up your team’s time. For example, with an automated solution in place, you can:
- Create ready-made response templates that answer popular questions
- Set up user follow-ups or notifications to the assigned agent if you don’t hear back from users for 6 hours or more
- Prioritize specific requests by tagging them as high-priority so the relevant agents or departments could see and address them
- Automatically assign responsible agents and departments to tickets that contain certain words like “refund” or “shipment,” depending on the inbound email address
Extensive Knowledge Base and FAQ Section
If you use marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, you don’t get the privilege to create your FAQ and knowledge base pages. It is a shame because they are critical elements of customer self-service and save support teams tremendous amounts of time.
So, make sure that your help desk is equipped with an extensive knowledge base and FAQ section that supports and allows you to quickly add text, images, video, and hyperlinks. The ability to group related articles into topics and make them easily searchable by keywords is also a must.
The section should be adapted for desktop, tablet, and mobile so the customer can get the answer instantly from any device.
Dashboard and Reporting
When you have a unified system with all the customer information, you should be able to analyze the data and use it to fuel better business decisions.
Dashboard and reporting are critical features for a help desk. They provide a bird’s-eye view of your processes and make sense of the otherwise scattered data. No need to bury yourself in spreadsheets.
Help desk reports break down the key efficiency metrics of your customer service. The metrics should include average response time, customer satisfaction level, busiest days, resolved and unresolved queries, and the number of email, chat or phone conversations.
Team Collaboration Opportunities
Excellent customer service is impossible without effective teamwork. Collaboration tools allow your support team members to help each other instead of standing in each other’s way.
Collaboration tools allow your team to feed into collective expertise and solve problems fast by working on complex tickets together. It includes sharing tickets with teammates and other departments, making notes within the ticket, splitting tickets into smaller tasks by working in parallel, sharing ownership, and more.
Now that we know what functionality to expect from the eCommerce customer service software, we can answer the question: does your business really need it? The following paragraph will help you decide.
5 Signs That Your Business Needs an eCommerce Help Desk
The short answer to whether you need it is, it depends. If you barely scratch a couple of requests a day, customer support software is not the best area to focus on.
The need for a help desk comes when you start seeing a growing pile of unanswered queries leading to eventual customer dropouts. If it is coupled with your support team complaining about a lack of hands and taking too long to solve a request, it might be time to start shopping for software.
If your customer service team experiences the following difficulties, an eCommerce help desk will be the right investment for you.
Your Multichannel Support System Is Chaotic
If your team handles all customer communication in multiple channels at once, you are running the risk of the following problems:
- Slow responses
- Inconsistent support
- No way to collect and analyze data
- Lack of request prioritization and more
If these issues are familiar to you, help desk software will solve them. It brings all your channels under one roof and provides you with all the tools to organize and prioritize request processing.
Processing all requests from a single screen will make your team forget they ever had a hassle with it.
Your Customers Complain About Slow Replies
How long does it take you to come back to the customer? Too long? If yes, it poorly affects user experience and sales.
The root of this problem almost always lies in the lack of automation.
If you don’t have a library with ready-made answers, can’t collaborate to resolve a problem faster, or need to send out dozens of follow-ups manually, your response speed inevitably suffers.
Help desks automate everything that can be automated, reducing the response time across all your channels.
You Don’t Know Who Handles What
When customer support agents work outside a clear system, it’s easy to lose track of who handled which requests. It affects agents’ accountability. On top of that, they cannot help each other handle requests they have experience resolving.
Help desks give you full transparency, so you can always see who helped which customer. Every agent has a separate account, and the system logs all the conversations, making them easy to review.
You Can’t Find Support Records When You Need Them
If your support records are scattered across different channels, and you can’t easily find whatever you need, it can become a bit of a pickle.
Without an organized database with all the support records, you may lose essential conversations or critical information that would help you solve the ticket. What’s more, you lose the big picture and valuable business insights due to the lack of statistics.
A good help desk will put your data together for you. It will keep your support docs neatly organized and easily searchable. Some help desks provide deep search options, too, allowing you to track shipment IDs and other specific order details.
You Can’t Analyze the Effectiveness of Your Customer Service
Without a unified database and reporting system, you’ll have a hard time trying to piece things together and analyze the state of affairs.
You may have the inbuilt analytics in your marketplace or shopping platform but struggle to assess how efficient your chat or email communication is. It leaves you wandering in the dark as to where you stand and what you should improve.
The help desk draws data from all the sources and applications you use for customer support. It lets you gather and analyze the information, wrapping it into cohesive and actionable insights.
At the end of the day, you’ll have a clear picture of what to work on to get better results fast.
Why Implement an eCommerce Help Desk?
A help desk is the best way for an eCommerce business to take its communication and customer relationships to another level. Whether it's a step you should take depends on how high of a priority customer service is for your business.
If customer service directly affects your sales, then a good help desk software is something you should definitely invest in.
If, after reading this article, you are considering switching from one help desk to another, make sure to use an automated Migration Wizard to transfer your data. This way, you can migrate all your customer records fast and keep them intact.