Help desk automation, if done successfully, can improve the experience for all – customers, support agents, and business executives. But automation is no longer about the IVR menus we interacted with to know the status of our appointments.
A lot has changed. A lot!
Automated help desk software can help you automate a dozen tasks, AI solutions can use sentiment analysis to interpret customer feedback, and chatbots can actually answer questions without passing them off to humans.
To meet rising customer expectations, win their trust, and retain them for a long time, you need to offer top-notch support and empower customers to help themselves. But automation can be a tough nut to crack, especially if you are new to the game.
In this blog, we will dwell on what helpdesk automation is and its various benefits for your business. Later, we will explore the top 8 automation ideas that will help your customer service process run on autopilot.
What Is Helpdesk Automation?
Help desk automation can be defined as the process of automating your customer service process. Instead of relying on manual inputs and tasks, you can automate your workflows and achieve more in less time.
When you automate your help desk process, you can significantly reduce agent workload and allow them to focus more on tasks that demand a human touch. For example, agents can give their undivided attention to upset or angry customers and try to make up for a bad experience.
What Are the Benefits of Help Desk Automation?
Did you know that 47% of consumers switched to a different brand due to poor customer service? Embracing automation can help you assist customers 24×7 and deliver memorable experiences that make them stay.
Here are some of the top help desk automation benefits you should know:
1. Avoid Human Error
Irrespective of their experience and skills, even the best customer service employees make mistakes. They can forget to reply to a ticket or, worse, share an incorrect solution.
When you embrace service desk automation, you can rise above human errors. Automating key tasks and processes will ensure that important tickets are never ignored, they are always routed to the right agents, and SLA violations are minimized.
In addition, with an automated workflow, you can improve communication by sharing real-time alerts with customers and support reps.
2. Reduce Customer Wait Times
Customer wait time refers to the average time a customer waits in queue before getting connected to a call or chat representative. Longer wait times can frustrate customers and make them lose trust in your support process.
According to Statista, around 12% of customers cited lack of speed as one of the top reasons for customer service frustration.
Help desk automation technology can allow you to create chatbots that can handle multiple customers at the same time. Once the routine queries are taken care of by bots, human agents can focus on other complex tickets.
3. Reduce Support Costs
Gone are the days when a single agent could handle one customer at a time. With the advent of service desk automation software, agents can interact with multiple customers via live chat or social media.
Since your team can handle more customers at the same time, you do not need to spend extra on hiring and training new staff members. This can` help your customer service department save thousands of dollars every month.
4. Effortless Implementation
Many business owners feel automation technology means complicated workflows, increased expenditure, and months of employee training. However, that’s not the case.
You don’t have to be a coding genius to deploy help desk automation tools. You can get started with this tool in minutes and automate your repetitive and mundane tasks in just a few clicks.
In addition, many software vendors offer enough training material in the form of how-to guides, video tutorials, FAQs, etc., that agents can access 24×7 to make the most of automation.
8 Best Ideas to Automate Your Help Desk
There are multiple ways you can automate your help desk process to save time, enhance productivity, and delight customers. Let’s explore some of the top help desk automation ideas right away.
1. Drive Engagement With Live Chat
Unlike traditional communication channels like phone or email, live chat can be used to handle multiple customers simultaneously. In fact, customers love speed responses when it comes to getting their issues resolved or queries answered.
According to a Forrester report, more than 30% of customers expect live chat support on your website.
So how can live chat help you automate your process? Whenever a visitor shares a common query, the chat operator can simply share a link to a relevant help center article and encourage self-service. This is a great way to deflect a majority of low-priority tickets.
2. Invest in Automated Help Desk Software
If there is one tool that can help you automate multiple tasks, it’s help desk software.
Right from ticket assignments to notifications and alerts, help desk automation software can help you automate mundane tasks and enhance team productivity.
Let’s see how it works:
- Automated ticket assignments: When agents pick tickets to resolve manually, it can lead to unfair distribution and create confusion. To avoid such a situation, you can choose to route tickets automatically to agents using the round-robin method.
- Automated email notifications: How do you update agents when a new ticket arrives in your inbox? How do you inform customers that their ticket has been registered? Well, automated email notifications can do the trick. They are sent to agents or customers when a pre-defined condition is met.
- Canned responses: This simple automation feature can save your team thousands of hours every month. Canned responses are pre-designed email or chat response templates that agents can use to respond quickly to common customer queries.
3. Develop Powerful Chatbots
With chatbots, customers can get instant assistance, so they don’t have to wait in a call support queue or write lengthy complaints via email.
Whether you own an online store, develop mobile apps, or run a fashion boutique, chatbots are applicable in most industries. You can design their script in such a way that they mimic human-like interactions and do not sound robotic. You can even give a unique personality to your bot to enhance the customer service experience.
There will be situations where chatbots aren’t able to offer a solution or understand the problem. In such a case, the bot can give customers the option to connect with a live chat operator or create a help desk ticket.
4. Share Auto-Reply Emails
Do your customers keep waiting to get an email response from your help desk team?
Automated email replies can help you eliminate their frustration.
According to Statista, 62% of customers expect businesses to share an email response within 24 hours.
You can use auto-reply emails for different situations. For example, you can share them when customers drop a complaint when your team is offline. Here is a sample text:
“Hi, Thank you for reaching out to us. Our help desk team’s operation hours are from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. You can expect our agent to connect with you within the next 24 hours. Kindly fill this query/complaint form.”
This will help customers get an immediate response and allow them to set the right expectations.
5. Reduce Help Desk Tickets With Knowledge Base
Most customers don’t give a toss whether you have enough customer service staff available. If they encounter a small issue, they feel they should have the option to explore solutions themselves.
According to a Microsoft study, 90% of global customers expect brands and organizations to provide an online self-service portal.
Make sure your knowledge base offers advanced search capabilities and presents content in multiple formats – from small FAQs to in-depth troubleshooting guides. You can even include short how-to-videos for greater interactiveness.
If you already have a knowledge base and feel customers are always skipping self-service, it’s best to market it. You can share proactive emails with customers that include links to relevant help center articles. Phone support agents or live chat operators can do the same to encourage self-service among your audience.
6. Use Pre-Designed Response Templates
A majority of customer queries are repetitive: “Where is my order?” “How do I return my item?” “When will product X be back in stock?”
There is no point in reinventing the wheel. Instead of typing the same response again and again, you can create email and chat response templates for routine queries.
Customer service managers can bring out their experience and help craft brilliant responses to frequently asked questions. Support agents can then use these templates to save time and reduce effort.
The purpose of these templates is not to simply share a response in seconds. You must look to add a modest amount of personalization to make customers feel special and valued.
7. Leverage IVR Technology
IVR, or interactive voice response technology, has been the cornerstone of help desk automation for decades. But how exactly does it work?
IVR allows customers to interact with a pre-recorded voice using DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency) tones. An IVR system can allow you to share pre-recorded greetings and route callers to the right departments.
So, how does this technology help you facilitate automation in service desk? An IVR system can be designed to offer multiple self-service options to customers, such as order tracking, balance inquiry, appointment booking, etc., over the phone.
When your phone support operators are too busy to take further calls, IVR can be used to communicate the same to customers. The system can even arrange callbacks for customers based on their preferred time slots.
8. Share Automated Surveys
How do you know if your automation efforts are successful? Why not ask your customers directly about their customer service experience?
An automated help desk ticketing system allows you to share automated surveys with customers right after their support interaction – as soon as a ticket is closed.
These surveys can help you capture feedback on agent performance, ease of seeking assistance, or the overall support experience.
You can even choose to escalate issues based on how customers respond. For instance, if a customer gives a one-star rating or shares negative feedback, you can escalate the case to the manager and schedule a call.
How to Choose Help Desk Automation Solutions
The market is flooded with help desk tools that claim they offer the best-in-class automation features. But not everything that shines is gold. You need to be extra careful while choosing help desk automation solutions.
You must go for a tool that helps you:
- Automatically assign incoming help desk tickets to the right agents
- Keep agents and customers informed with automated notifications and alerts
- Create, edit, and store canned responses for common customer questions
- Develop chatbots to automate your customer service process
- Build a knowledge base to encourage self-service and reduce agent workload
- Prioritize and escalate tickets automatically that miss SLA deadlines
- Access your help desk platform anytime, anywhere
- Resolve tickets on the move with a dedicated mobile app
There are other factors such as a free trial, affordable pricing, flexible pay-per-user plans, etc. that deserve your attention. In addition, if you feel a tool does not meet all the above criteria, go for the one that offers maximum automation features without costing you an arm and a leg.
Embrace Help Desk Automation & Delight Customers
Modern customers no longer want to wait in a long queue to get connected to a human representative. They wish to feel empowered and take matters into their own hands.
Right when customer expectations are at an all-time high and competition is stiff, help desk automation has emerged as a silver bullet for most customer service teams. It can help you avoid human errors, reduce customer wait times, and save money in the long run.
To automate help desk process, you can implement chatbots on your website, create a self-service knowledge base, leverage IVR technology, and use pred-designed response templates. You can also look to invest in automated help desk software such as ProProfs Help Desk. This powerful tool can help you automate manual tasks such as ticket assignments, notifications, CSAT surveys, etc., and encourage self-service with chatbots and a knowledge base.
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