“Customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” – Jerry Gregoire, CIO at Dell
Whether it’s an up-and-coming business venture or a well-established enterprise, one thing that all of them are fighting tooth and nail for is delivering seamless customer experiences.
Businesses do everything in their power to engage customers and provide a satisfactory experience. However, most of these organizations focus on scattered interactions rather than the overall experience, which puts their success in jeopardy.
An effortless customer experience can be the difference between customers turning into brand advocates or merely ending up as bad reviews!
But how do you improve customer experience?
One powerful tool in your arsenal that could come in handy for this is help desk software. Such a tool can help you consolidate support data and communications, thereby allowing you to deliver top-notch experiences.
However, you need to know how to leverage it effectively to see actual benefits.
This is where we can be of help!
This 10-step guide walks you through multiple ways to enhance customer experience using a help desk. Let’s get started right away!
What Is Customer Experience (CX)?
Customer experience encompasses the entire process and interactions delivered to customers throughout the buyer’s journey. It is the impression and impact of your product/ service and representatives on the customers, from sales prospecting to post-sale engagement. It includes everything from how effortless the purchase was to how effective your support strategy is.
According to Gartner, 80% of organizations expect to compete mainly on CX, which goes on to demonstrate its importance in the current marketplace.
Role of Customer Support in CX
Now, coming to a pertinent question- are customer experience and service the same?
A clear answer would be no.
While customer service is a part of the whole customer experience, it is not its sole purpose. However, it is a fundamental component that needs to be optimized in order to deliver delightful customer experiences.
But, how do you ensure that your customer support is not lacking in any area, jeopardizing the overall customer experience?
By implementing a powerful help desk system.
Help desk software can organize your client queries and communications in one place, making them easier to manage. It can enable you to deliver multi-channel support, automate repetitive tasks, and collaborate with team members. With a competent help desk solution, you can delight your customers with timely and accurate responses, no matter the hour of the day.
Factors Affecting Customer Service Experience
Before we delve deeper into the utility of a help desk system in optimizing the customer service experience, let’s take a moment to understand various factors that can impact it.
1. Agents’ Expertise
As evident from the graph above, over 40% of respondents cite a lack of knowledge of support representatives as the most significant cause of frustration during customer support experiences.
Support agents must be knowledgeable and responsive to meet customer expectations. This requires you to adequately train your staff using powerful training tools. You must also make sure that your agents are willing to listen and understand the needs of the customers at all times.
2. Resolution Time
Long hold times are an absolute no go for customer support experiences!
Proactive engagement carries high viability for support teams. Improving your first contact resolution rate and average resolution time can positively impact your customer experience.
Therefore, you must focus on being quick to respond to customers. This can assure them of your commitment, improving their overall impression of the business. Some ways to reduce resolution time include:
- Automating support workflows
- Assigning tickets based on agent availability
- Setting ticket priorities
- Establishing clear handover processes
- Identifying areas for improvement in support operations
Read More: 15 Help Desk Metrics to Improve Customer Support
One of the critical factors affecting customer satisfaction is the ease with which they can access relevant information. Not every customer would want to engage with a support executive right away. This is why you must empower them to search for the required information themselves.
A robust knowledge base can make help resources readily accessible to users, allowing them to resolve issues quickly. You can add FAQs, how-to guides, video tutorials, and other forms of self-service materials. This can contribute to 24/7 issue resolution and enhance the CX.
4. Data Management & Tracking
Having to reiterate information over and over again can be frustrating. To save your customers from this ordeal, you must ensure that all your client data is well-organized.
Agents should have access help desk dashboard that displays all previous interactions and customer preferences. This eliminates any irregularities from the customer experience and makes for more satisfactory outcomes. Alternatively, you can invest in a help desk system that offers seamless integration with CRM applications to make data management easier.
5. Application of Technology
The success of a business’s CX strategy highly depends on its tech stack. To be able to offer reliable and real-time support to your customers, you need to invest in the right tools and technologies.
A powerful example of this is Sephora. The company has incorporated technology into its CX strategy to create more delightful customer experiences. Implementing effective technology in your business processes will not make for a better customer experience but also empower your employees.
How to Improve Customer Experience Using Help Desk Software
Help desk software has an enormous role to play in delivering outstanding customer experiences. It acts as the primary touch point for businesses to support customers throughout their journey. Such a system enables businesses to respond promptly to queries and concerns, reducing customer attrition.
Not only do help desk systems help build a loyal customer base, but they also contribute to an improvement in your employee productivity and bottom line.
If customer experience enhancement is on the top of your priority list, here are 10 steps to improve customer experience with help desk.
1. Create Omnichannel Experiences
Customers have varying preferences for communication channels that they would ideally like to use, with 34% of respondents choosing the voice channel. This requires businesses to incorporate multiple channels such as live chat, email, knowledge base, social media, etc., in their CX strategy.
Since support requests come in through multiple channels, businesses need a way to collate them. A help desk system can make this possible by collecting support requests, whether they come via your website, live chat, email, or social media. Moreover, it can enable you to deliver support via the channel that customers most prefer. This makes for an improved customer experience and keeps your CSAT score high.
Read More: What Is An Omnichannel Customer Experience? Benefits + Examples
2. Reduce Response Time
No one likes having to wait around to hear back from a business.
In case your response time is high, it is highly likely that the customer will get frustrated and simply leave your business. This is why you must be quick and agile when dealing with customer complaints.
Help desk systems can significantly impact your customer response and resolution time. You can use custom fields for tickets and set priorities to resolve high-stake issues at the right time. Moreover, the tool can bring all essential data to one place, so it is readily accessible to your support reps and delivering fast responses isn’t a hassle.
3. Empower Support Executives
You can look towards your internal team when optimizing your customer experiences.
Are your agents satisfied and well-trained?
Do they feel equipped to deal with incoming requests?
Are there some hurdles that could affect the performance of support executives?
These questions need to be answered before you start working on your CX strategy.
Help desk platforms can significantly improve agent productivity and satisfaction by providing the context required to drive reliable support interactions. Agents can plan and streamline their work efficiently using the help desk. It can enable them to manage ticket escalations and promptly solve issues.
A help desk system that does the heavy lifting for support executives can help them maximize their daily productivity, so they can focus on delivering satisfactory experiences rather than worrying about data entry or ticket assignment.
4. Enable Self-Service
According to Statista, around 88% of customers expect a business to offer self-service portals. Self-service can reduce ticket volume and optimize resource utilization. It can bring down operational costs, free up agents, and enable customers to resolve issues at their convenience.
A help desk platform with a built-in knowledge base can empower your customers to find out answers to common questions without needing to contact a support executive. You can add a variety of self-service material to your help section, including tooltips, guides, tutorials, etc. Furthermore, the anytime, anywhere access provided by a knowledge base can produce highly satisfactory service outcomes.
5. Improve Internal Collaboration
A team that is well-synchronized and connected is better equipped to support its customers. Seamless internal collaboration across business departments eliminates any inconsistencies or delays in customer service. Any disconnect between your support executives will be reflected in your customer experience, putting its overall effectiveness at risk.
With a powerful help desk system, your team can work together to deliver a good customer service experience. They can access shared inboxes and keep track of all the previous interactions with the clients from a single place. Moreover, it can bring all the relevant departments to one place, so customers receive the most appropriate help.
6. Track & Optimize Performance
You can only elevate your support experiences when you have access to relevant business data.
A help desk system can help you track metrics such as:
- Customer satisfaction
- Average resolution time
- Agent satisfaction
- Ticket volume & backlog
- Call abandonment rate
- Agent occupancy
These and other such metrics can enable you to keep track of your customer experience, make data-driven strategic decisions, and identify ways to improve future performance.
Here is how Acer utilized ProProfs Help Desk for analyzing and optimizing its support performance.
Read More: 10 Best Practices for Help Desk Reporting
7. Visualize Customer Journeys
Customer journey mapping can have a favorable impact on your support experiences. The easiest way to improve customer experience is to be aware of every nook and cranny of the customer journey. You must keep in mind every step that the customer has to take while engaging with your business before you start optimizing your support experience.
By combining the capabilities of your customer journey maps and help desk system, you can deliver the most optimal support at every touchpoint. It can help you gather actionable insights and pivot your support operations in the right direction. You can track the needs, engagement levels, pain points, and other such details to improve customer experience using help desk.
Following is an example of a customer journey map that you can use.
8. Personalize Interactions
Customer expectations are higher than ever.
The competition is fierce, with countless options available at the click of a button. In this case, leveraging personalization is one of the most effective ways to stand out. This can be substantiated by the fact that over 77% of customers are willing to exchange their personal data for an improved experience.
A help desk system can support your personalization efforts. It can help keep client information well-organized and enable you to deliver support experiences that align with their preferences and needs. You can use it to deliver personalized thank you emails, follow-ups, and relevant offers, leading to an improvement in your satisfaction scores.
Read More: Personalized Customer Experience: What, How, and Why
9. Automate Processes
With a powerful help desk, you can overcome the need to track support issues manually. This can help support agents work more effectively and reduce operational costs for your business. Automated ticket management can contribute to enhanced overall productivity and make for a more delightful support experience.
With actions such as round-robin scheduling, canned responses, and intelligent routing, you can increase the overall effectiveness of your support operations. A help desk system can also let you automate email notifications to customers and support staff, thereby simplifying ticket tracking. It can improve agent utilization and help you make the most of your support resources.
10. Capture Feedback
Microsoft’s Global State of Customer Service report shows that over 89% of customers believe that businesses should offer them an opportunity to provide feedback.
By incorporating feedback collection in your help desk strategy, you can be on the way to identifying gaps in your customer service and gathering actionable insights for improving customer experiences. You can use it to identify customers’ pain points, needs, and expectations. This can improve your customer experience and help you to get more repeat purchases.
You can implement a help desk system that offers integration with survey tools, so it is easier for you to capture and utilize customer feedback.
Read More: Help Desk Checklist for Seamless Customer Experience
Now that we have listed the 10 best ways to utilize a help desk for customer experience management, you can take this quick quiz on customer experience to see how strong your organization’s current CX strategy is.
Revamping Customer Experiences With the Best Help Desk Software
Having established the significance of help desk software in delivering a positive customer experience, you must also remember that it is critical to invest in the right tool.
With an abundance of options available, it can be daunting to find the most suitable solution. An easy way out in this case is to go for an adaptable and intuitive tool. Such a customizable application can help you create customer experiences that suit your target audience. It can reduce the cost to contact and improve your customer satisfaction levels.
For instance, a reliable tool such as ProProfs Help Desk can help ensure that you deliver customer-centric experiences that delight and convert. You can also seek a free trial of the software to identify if it aligns with your business needs. Investing in the most effective help desk system to improve customer experience will put you on the path to exponential business growth and make you a leading name in the industry!
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