In order to leap forward, modern businesses need the right blend of technology and people.
When we talk about customer service, lately, there has been a laser-sharp focus on help desk software. However, despite its state of the art benefits, customer service managers are struggling to keep pace.
Flawless help desk management should not be rocket science.
There are two undeniable aspects to help desk management- in addition to managing the tool, you also need to manage the people who will spend a huge fraction of their time using it.
By fine tuning your help desk, you can offer the right platform for team collaboration and encourage your agents to surpass customer expectations.
But where do you begin? Here are some impeccable help desk management tips to get you started today.
22 Expert Help Desk Management Tips
Right from offering proactive customer service with a knowledge base to keeping your agents well-trained, there is a lot you can do to delight customers. To make your job of managing a help desk easier, we have curated a list of 22 help desk management tips. Let’s check them out.
1. Document Your SLAs
A service level agreement is a well-defined and documented agreement between a service provider and its customers. This formal agreement helps your business define the quality of services to be rendered and manage customer expectations.
Monitoring SLAs in real-time helps you track your team's performance and convey to your customers that your team is adhering to SLAs at all costs.
With the right helpdesk management software, you can set SLAs defining the amount of time your agents must take to resolve an issue or request. For instance, your agents can receive automated alerts and notifications that remind them to quickly respond to support tickets or close them within the set time frame.
2. Choose Your Service Provider Wisely
Choosing the right helpdesk management system is one of the key decisions you will ever make for your customer service team. But with a new entrant in the market almost every month, making this decision is easier said than done.
Turns out, you CAN buy happiness!
Here are some tips to choose your ideal help desk-
Budget: Modern help desks come with pay-per agent subscription plans to help you avoid paying a fixed amount at the start. If you are strapped for cash, help desks such as ProProfs Help Desk come with a forever free plan.
Scalability: No business operates to remain the same. Go for a help desk tool that is able to match your growing needs. With cloud-based help desks, you can add hundreds of users, upgrade or downgrade your subscription plans, or simply cancel anytime as per your requirements.
Reporting Capabilities: Once your customer service team starts operating, you will need to monitor both- individual as well as team performance. Go for a tool that helps you monitor your progress and exhibits data in the form of easy-to-understand graphs and bars.
3. Use Your Help Desk As a SPOC
One of the current and trending help desk topics has been the "SPOC". But what does it really mean? SPOC stands for Single Point of Contact which refers to unifying all your customer service channels in a single place to avoid complications.
For superior help desk management, use your help desk as a SPOC to keep all your support tickets in one place, well-organized.
Now, irrespective of the communication channel (email, chat, help center, etc.), ensure all your support requests land up in your help desk. Your agents will no longer have to switch between multiple tools and tracking every customer issue will become a breeze.
4. Focus on the ‘Customer Experience’
Every business is out there is on a rampage to become the most customer-focused business of all. However, to make this idea a reality, you need to offer delightful support experiences.
Overall, 84% of customers say that being treated like a person, not a ticket, is very important to winning their business.
Your help desk workflow should be designed around your customers- catering to their needs and desires. Regularly ask your customers about the aspects they like and don't like. Understand the challenges they face when they contact your business for support and what a great support experience means to them.
5. Offer 24x7 Assistance With a Knowledge Base
Self-service is on the rise and you just cannot ignore its role in offering 24x7 assistance to customers. According to Microsoft, 77% of consumers said that they have used a self-service support portal.
Empower customers by allowing them to take ownership of their basic problems.
Offering 24x7 support is only a distant dream for most businesses- there are challenges associated with hiring and retaining more staff members and outsourcing your operations might not be a viable option for many. However, by creating a dedicated knowledge base, you can help your customers find the right answers throughout the clock.
6. Keep Your Support Content Well-Updated
Just creating and storing support content on your help center or knowledge base is not enough. Content, if not updated regularly, can cease to offer the necessary help it was designed for in the first place.
As you roll out new products in the market or improve existing ones, create fresh support content in the form of self-help articles, FAQs, guides, and videos.
Remember, repeating similar information in different articles is not a good idea. Instead, you can hyperlink to relevant articles. This way, when the need arises you will have to update just a single article and not all of them. Moreover, whenever your agents encounter a new customer problem, ask them to add the troubleshooting steps to your knowledge base.
7. Prioritize Cases that Demand Urgent Resolution
Businesses are known to receive more problems than their customer service teams can handle. Don’t be surprised if you are one of them. As a consequence, urgent support issues get neglected, leading to poor customer experience, overworked agents, and unhappy customers.
Ticket prioritization is considered as one of the important help desk management tips. But what exactly is that?
With a help desk tool, your agents can effortlessly prioritize urgent support tickets and resolve them first. Prioritized tickets appear at the top and are marked in red so that urgent cases always stay right before their eyes. For instance, if a customer complains that his account has been compromised, your agents can set the priority of this issue as ‘High’ and offer an immediate solution.
8. Enable a Live Chat Window on Important Web Pages
Why do customers, especially millennials, prefer live chat support? Well, live chat is super-fast, convenient, and a great tool to seek assistance even when you are watching your favorite Netflix series.
Businesses that use a live chat window on their e-commerce site or help page have witnessed massive benefits. By allowing your customers to seek assistance in real-time, you can answer their questions instantly and gain a competitive advantage. If customers have a question while making a purchase, your agents can guide them and explore upselling opportunities.
Moreover, unlike popular communication channels such as the phone, your agents can handle multiple chats simultaneously and assist more customers at one go.
9. Reduce Workload With the Help of Automation
Is your customer service team wasting valuable hours by manually performing the same tasks over and over again?
With the automation capabilities of a help desk, you can slash the workload on your support reps by half and make them more productive.
Configure your help desk to route tickets automatically to the right people. The tool will automatically count the number of tickets with your agents and allocate new tickets accordingly.
You can even set automated email notifications and alerts for both your team members as well as customers. This way your agents will be notified about a new ticket creation, whereas, customers will be made aware of the progress of their ticket.
10. Ask Customers for their Valuable Feedback
Many businesses make the grave mistake of assuming they know their customers inside-out. Don't be that business.
The truth is that customers’ opinions about your business are constantly changing. By capturing their feedback, you can attempt to understand how they perceive your brand.
Many help desk platforms such as ProProfs Help Desk allow you to share automated ticket rating emails with customers. Such emails are sent to customers after a ticket has been resolved and allow them to share their experience with you.
Besides this, you can even choose to capture the pulse of your audience anytime by creating CSAT, or NPS surveys.
11. Monitor Progress With Insightful Reports
The modern customer service arena has become a numbers game, and rightly so.
Being able to measure your customer service performance is key to establishing the credibility of your organization and its dedication to customer service. After all, you can't improve what you don't measure.
Here are some standard reports you can generate using the best help desk software-
- Summary Report: With the help of summary reports, you can get an overview of your help desk metrics such as new tickets, ticket volume, resolved tickets, and more.
- Rating Report: The rating reports help you find answers to questions such as- "Is our support rating improving over time?" or "Are visitors happy with our support team?"
- Agent Report: With a help desk, managers can access specific agent reports for analyzing individual performance.
12. Hire People Who Resonate With Your Vision
Discovering the ‘vision’ of your customer service team can be difficult. Hiring people who share the same vision can be even harder.
Your help desk employees must be inspired by your company's vision. Inspired employees will together help you strengthen the workplace culture that separates your business from the rest.
If the mission of your team is to share "delightful customer experiences", you need to hire help desk employees who see value in your vision. Bringing the right people into your team will help you create a strong ‘customer-first’ culture. The training and development of such people will also be relatively easier.
13. Establish Clear Roles & Responsibilities
If your help desk agents have no idea what they are supposed to do, and what the company expects from them, it might just be the beginning of an inefficient process.
Whether it is about simply updating the help-articles in the knowledge base or managing complex ticket escalations; your agents must have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
With an internal ticketing system, you can easily assign different roles to all your team members- Admin, Super Admin, Agent, or Manager. These roles grant a special level of accessibility to the tool and can be updated anytime.
14. Get to Know Your Team Members
Help desk managers need to understand the work styles of their team members. While some members might use an analytical approach to solve customer problems, others might have better interpersonal skills.
Know your team members and display a genuine appreciation for their personalities, needs, desires, and aspirations, to build a sense of mutual trust.
Remember that all the unique work styles can contribute to the success of your team. Your analytical agents can solve technical issues with ease. On the other hand, individuals high on emotional intelligence can turn a negative customer experience into a positive one.
To understand how your employees feel about being a part of your team, you can even share relevant surveys with them. Here is an example-
The responses to such questions will help you understand how your employees perceive the workplace or what motivates them to perform better.
15. Train Your Help Desk Agents to Fill Skill Gaps
The regular training of your service desk agents is considered one of the important help desk management tips. But why should training be made a consistent phenomenon?
Every year there are new customer service trends, technological advancements, new tools with the latest features, product updates, etc. that influence the market. Consistent training ensures your agents are well-prepared for all these inevitable challenges.
Provide your support agents with an environment where they are not afraid of their skill or knowledge limitations and are willing to work on any evident gaps.
Offer them the opportunity to pursue training programs that can advance their career. For instance, they can get ITIL or ITSM certifications and learn to better handle help desk challenges.
16. Provide Regular Feedback
Do you offer feedback to your help desk staff once in a blue moon? Do you wait for the annual appraisals meeting to share with your team how they are performing?
With the help of regular feedback, your help desk staff will know if they are meeting expectations and they can be made aware of aspects that need to change or improve.
Create a culture where feedback, whether it is positive or negative, is appreciated.
Remember that feedback is a two-way street. While you offer feedback to your customer service reps, be willing to register their feedback as well.
Encourage team members to offer unbiased feedback related to performance, skills, work environment, and other areas.
17. Encourage Team Collaboration
Gone are the days when a lone genius would sit in a corner and use all his skills to generate big ideas and resolve complex issues. For modern customer service teams, the focus is on team effort.
Unlike email, a help desk isn’t designed for individuals- it’s built for team collaboration.
One of the best ways to nail help desk management and encourage team collaboration is by using the parent-child ticket feature.
Using this help desk feature, you can break complex parent tickets into smaller child tickets. Depending on the nature of the issue, child tickets can be assigned to other agents or to other relevant departments.
18. Take Inputs from Your Team Members
Sometimes to make strong, full-proof decisions, you don't need the inputs from big investors or business experts. You can look inwards and find the right answers hidden with your agents.
Nobody knows your customers better than the people who constantly interact with them- your customer support representatives.
Allow your team members to share inputs during team meetings. Capture their thoughts about what they think is going right and what can be changed to attain the end goal of customer happiness. For instance, if your agents highlight that customers aren’t really happy with a product feature or update, you can share the same concerns with your product team.
19. Train Agents on Soft Skills
No one is born with flawless interpersonal or ‘soft’ skills. But when you realize that customers are normal people who wish to be loved and cared for, training your employees to master these skills makes all the more sense.
When you are dealing with countless agitated and complaining customers, the lack of soft skills can make any negative situation worse.
Arrange training sessions for your team to learn skills such as empathy, leadership, kindness, patience, and gratitude. Customers can sense when an agent is not completely invested in their issue. On the contrary, customers will feel more understood and comfortable interacting with an empathetic agent who values their emotions.
20. Conduct Team-Building Sessions
To swiftly manage an influx of customer requests, you need more than just a member- you need a team. Now, your team might be diverse- some agents handle chat sessions, while others assist customers over the phone.
Team building will allow your agents to focus on the importance of teamwork and achieve more together.
Learning the art of working together as one big unified team will help them realize how they can complement each other's strengths and weaknesses.
Be willing to think outside of the box for your team. On special occasions, make your team to work from somewhere outside of an office setting. This will expose them to new experiences and will encourage them to think creatively outside of their daily routine. New experiences can lead to fresh ideas that they can use to find unique solutions to customer problems.
21. Identify & Reward Your Top Performers
For decades, rewards and recognitions have been two powerful tools used to encourage employees to deliver exceptional results.
To encourage your help desk agents to keep performing at their optimum level, there must be more incentives other than a regular paycheck.
If you think identifying your top-performing help desk agents is difficult, you might want to think again. Under the reporting section of the best help desk management system, you can easily see how your agents have been performing over a given period of time.
Reward employees who have consistently delivered results and highlight their strengths. When agents receive a perfect rating from a customer, make sure it is noted and gets appreciated by the whole team.
22. Be Kind & Show Your Support
In the customer service industry, professionals are known to have more bad days than good ones. The reason? You never know when you might encounter a difficult customer who never seems to be happy with the offered solution.
72% of employees who have high well-being, also reported that they had higher organizational support.
Be easy on your agents and appreciate all the hard work and sacrifices they make- day in and day out to keep customers happy. Before you judge your employees, be willing to see the complete picture. Sometimes, customers might give a negative rating to an agent when their unrealistic demands are not met.
Remember, happy agents, lead to happy customers. Be kind to them and show them your support; you never know who is having a bad day.
Say Yes to Flawless Help Desk Management!
Successfully managing your help desk creates a strong connection between your internal processes and your customer service agents. Ensure your help desk acts as a single point of contact for all customer requests and prioritize tickets that demand urgent attention.
Remember, your customer service process is only as good as your agents.
Train them on both technical as well as interpersonal skills, reward their positive behavior, and never hesitate to show your unconditional support. A flawless help desk process will go a long way in keeping your customers forever delighted.
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