It’s easier and more profitable to sell to returning customers than to new ones. In an era of empowered consumers, companies are looking for ways to reduce customer churn with positive customer experiences. As technology empowers consumers, it also enables businesses; operational needs are being met with digital, primarily Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), solutions that can improve performance, efficiency, and results.
All departments play an essential role when the goal is customer engagement, and long-suffering customer service departments are finally getting their day in the sun. Easily deployed, scalable SaaS help desk solutions are empowering agents to handle more cases, reduce wait times, and improve outcomes while maintaining consistency and reducing customer service fatigue.
Customer service agents are the front line for repairing the customer experience when it’s at a low point. The right SaaS help desk solution helps them stay at the top of their game. Here are 9 ways help desk software can boost agent efficiency - and performance - in any business.
- Customizable, personal dashboards display agents’ prioritized workload.
A good customer service help desk will organize individual agents’ workloads on a customizable dashboard. This will display and organize assigned and available tickets, upcoming tasks, personal and team metrics, and so on. Giving agents access to essential, real-time information lets them stay on top of their workload throughout the day.
- Admins can manage incoming tickets with routing rules and workflows.
Creating routing rules allows help desk admins to ensure tickets go to the agents best equipped to handle them or an even distribution of tickets. This keeps agents from being overworked, shortens ticket resolution time, and increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.
- Agents receive automatic, custom notifications on new tickets or case activity.
Help desk software allows users to select notifications on certain kinds of activity, such as incoming tickets, new correspondence, case updates, or deadlines. This gives agents the opportunity to take their eyes away from the computer, knowing they can return at a moment’s notice and hit the ground running.
- Provide agents access to contextual information ensuring better, faster service.
Customer service software usually shares data through an integration with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or other B2B software. It also provides a timeline of correspondence between customers and the company, including other agents. This holistic view provides invaluable context which shortens agent response time and spares the customer the task of explaining their situation all over again.
- Deflect incoming tickets with customer self-service tools.
Customer service agents invariably receive a lot of common questions. This is draining and reduces an agent’s ability to focus, remain positive, and respond quickly. Creating an online, organized, searchable library with beginner’s guides, how-to articles, instructional videos, and troubleshooting tips can spare agents repetitive questions. Deflecting these tickets reduces an agent’s workload and frees up their mental bandwidth, allowing them to sustain high-level activity for longer. It’s also a great tool to have when you see an increase in customer support tickets and need to get responses out quickly.
- Shorten clicks per case with canned responses and workflows.
Any kind of software, but particularly business productivity software, can be measured in the number of clicks required to perform a task. The more clicks required, the longer it takes to complete a task. If needed, help desk support software lets agents or admins create canned responses - pre-written, pre-formatted responses to reply to common requests with a single click. In addition, a series of common actions, like assigning values to fields or routing tickets, can be automated in workflows that execute on configured criteria. This spares agents the routine task of managing these actions and lets them focus on handling cases.
- Manage service-level agreements (SLAs) without missing a beat.
If your company provides tiers of guaranteed service in a Service Level Agreement, you can configure them within the help desk solution so they’ll be routed appropriately with notifications when a service deadline is approaching. SLAs can be defined according to customers, products, or both, and include SLA management tools like trigger assignment, custom ticket properties, and routing rules. These features let agents prioritize cases appropriately so your customers stay happy.
- Manage your team and allocate resources more effectively with custom reports.
Custom reports give you concrete data on the ROI of your help desk. They also provide managerial insight allowing you to train or reward team members, allocate resources effectively, and route tickets to agents based on proven effectiveness. These reports give insight on your customers as well. By identifying which operating systems and/or browsers customers use and what times or days complaints arise, you can make high-level reforms as needed.
Want to get a better understanding of the ROI a help desk solution can bring to your business? Click here to download our infographic on the ROI of Customer Support.
- Empower agents to collaborate on challenging tickets and share tips.
A good help desk solution will provide many features and collaboration tools. These include group chats, multi-agent ticketing, and an internal knowledge base with common product fixes. Agents that consult one another to resolve complaints improve outcomes, CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores, and reduce response times for future tickets of a similar nature.
It’s not a stretch to say your help desk software can become the single most important piece of software influencing the quality of your customer service in your business. If you don’t have one, get one. You, and your customers, will be glad you did.
Chris Wen is a Senior writer and CRM analyst at GetCRM – a trusted CRM comparison resource that helps companies understand and choose a customer management solution for their specific needs.