Most customer service and support solutions come with a number of features that are good to have along with a core set that is absolutely necessary. These features have defined help desk solutions since they first hit the market.
Help desk software has improved drastically over the past few decades and has come a long way from the simple email ticketing software that they once were.
The constant evolution in software saw help desks improve in functionality with a host of new features added on. But what are some of the “must-have” features that have emerged during the past couple of decades?
Here are 7 help desk features you absolutely need to have if you want to provide stellar customer service and support experiences.
#1 Email ticketing
All businesses today have support email addresses but with many customers and prospects getting in touch, organizing the volume of emails can be a problem. You’re going to want your incoming emails to automatically be assigned a ticket number so your support resources can respond and reference the case in question when providing a resolution.
Help desks these days allow you to set up your support email address so all incoming mail hits your shared inbox, generates a ticket, and is assigned an agent.
#2 Shared Inbox
With several support emails coming in and more than one support agent, there is absolutely no way to tell who’s working on a ticket. A shared inbox, however, addresses this issue. Anyone providing support can see at a glance when a ticket was opened, assigned, who’s working on it and the responses that have been sent.
Tickets can also be automatically assigned and conversation routed to the right people. That way enabling you to deliver the best support. With a shared inbox all your customer conversations can be categorized and tagged based on their nature, allowing for them to be organized and easily accessible by any support agent.
Agents can also add notes and next steps for each open ticket as well as collaborate on questions with private notes to each other.
It is only through SLAs that your teams are able to get back to customers within the agreed-upon timeframe. You are able to manage response and resolution times with a Service Level Agreement ensuring your customers aren't kept waiting.
With an SLA feature built into your app, you are able to monitor time within which your teams should be responding and resolving issues
Built-in SLA’s will allow building automation through which you can escalate conversations that breach their targets.
#4 Live Chat
52% of all consumers are more likely to repurchase from a company that offers live chat support. Kayako
With website live chat you’re able to communicate with customers in real-time which helps your team get more efficient at sales and support.
Customers are able to find answers to questions a lot quicker while sales reps can set up product demos and pitch new solutions to prospects.
Unlike telephone support, users no longer have to make their way through elaborate call trees or be put on hold for long periods of time. Agents are able to not just address a customer’s issue instantly but communicate with multiple customers at a time (if the need arises) and automatically send chat logs to customers for their record, leaving no ambiguity.
With the right live chat solution, you can add a live chat widget to your iOS and Android mobile apps as well as your web-applications and use it as an onboarding tool for new users trialing your apps. Integrate your app with an onboarding tool like Appcues and you can serve checklists and pop-ups to your users as they navigate your application for the first time, allowing them to reach their aha moment, gain value and succeed sooner with your product or service.
#5 Help Center
Gartner predicts that by 2020 a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. Gartner
Sometimes your customers want to find solutions on their own without having to get in touch.
Your help desk should allow you to provide your customers with a single destination for support that’s available 24/7 - even if your team isn’t.
To be able to provide your customers with answers to questions you would need a help center with a knowledge base and a FAQ section. The help desk you choose should provide you with the ability to build and customize both.
Be sure to choose a help desk that comes with a knowledge base that offers smart search. Smart search has the ability to understand real language and will know exactly what your customers are looking for and instantly make suggestions as they type.
#6 Social Support
In today’s day and age, a help desk with social customer support is a must-have.
With customers posting complaints on social channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, businesses need to have the necessary tools in order to be able to quickly respond.
77% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media over one they do not. Sprout Social
Studies show there is more trust in companies that are active on social and customers are more likely to do business with them. Customers are turning to social first as teams can solve up to 8x more customer queries per week through social than over the phone.
Being available across social allows your team to cast a wider net and cover more communication channels. You can also influence social sentiment about your product or service by being active and responding to queries and complaints posted by both customers and prospects.
#7 Capture the Customer Journey & Conversations
There aren’t many help desks that offer a journey and conversations feature, but those that do make it extremely easy for you to track how a customer interacts with your business. Each and every interaction starting from the first time they visited your website, to purchases they made and support emails that they received are captured as part of the customer’s journey with your business.
This feature lets you visualize your customer’s journey and unifies all your customer's interactions across email, live chat and social support channels. In addition to communication, every customer purchase and upgrade is also captured as part of this comprehensive timeline or journey.
These are the help desk features every business should work towards implementing. From SLA’s and Live Chat to the Customer Journey and Conversations, there is no denying that help desks equipped with these features can significantly improve the service you provide customers through better customer experiences.
If your help desk lacks these features consider migrating to one that does. You can use Help Desk Migration to easily move your current help desk to the one that will help your business get better at customer service and support.
P.S. This article was contributed by Hamzah Tariq, a Marketing Manager at Kayako. He writes on better ways to deliver customer service that lead to improved customer experiences.
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