How a Customer Service Desk Can Help You Improve the Customer Experience

What Is Customer Service Desk

When you wish to take your business to the next level, every aspect screams for attention- development, sales, design, marketing, etc. Amidst all this chaos, why should you focus on customer service? 

The answer is simple – the decade’s worth of hard work and reputation can be demolished overnight by a single customer review. Yes, that’s how fast it spreads. 

So instead of sweeping such horror stories under the carpet, how do you face them head-on?

A customer service desk holds the answer. It is a must-have business tool that can help your team collaborate effortlessly, automate repetitive tasks, and monitor the quality of services delivered to customers across the globe. 

This blog explores the various benefits of a customer service desk and highlights some impeccable strategies to improve its performance. Here we go. 

What is a Customer Service Desk? 

A customer service desk is a customer-oriented business software that allows customer service teams to manage service requests and offer instant support.

A service desk acts as a single point of contact (SPOC) between a business and its external customers and internal employees. With the help of this business tool, your business can create and implement robust workflows for your customer-facing support team. Your team will be aware of every step it needs to take to manage incidents, resolve customer issues, and ensure such problems can be prevented in the future.

Now, when we talk about IT services, most service desks are Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) compliant. ITIL lists best practices for businesses to manage the quality and delivery of their IT support services. However, there is also an evident shift. 

Modern customer service desks are not limited to IT anymore. They are designed to manage both IT as well as non-IT services effectively. 

A service desk improves customer experience by:

  • Resolving issues and requests in the lowest turnaround time
  • Making it easier for customers to approach a business
  • Empowering customers to address common problems on their own

Why Do You Need a Customer Service Desk? 

Whether you are a small startup or a well-established firm, a service desk can help you win your customers back. Let’s look at some of the top benefits of a customer service desk: 

1. Improve Process Efficiency

Every business wants its departments to work in complete sync like a well-oiled machine. However, resolving customer problems is not the sole responsibility of the customer service department. 

Every business department or team solves critical business problems.  A service desk serves as a centralized location for all your customer communications and includes problems that can be solved with inputs from relevant departments. For instance, if a customer complains about repetitive software downtime, your IT team can step in and resolve the issue quickly. 

2. Offer Proactive Customer Support

When most businesses think about customer service, they usually think of someone who contacted their support team for a problem and got the issue resolved. While this approach is the most common, reactive support might not lead to rigid solutions. 

Instead of waiting for customers to bombard you with support tickets, a customer service desk helps you proactively support your customers. You can anticipate customer problems in advance and notify them before they start complaining. For instance, if a product delivery has been delayed due to bad weather conditions, the same can be informed to customers as soon as you get notified about it, instead of waiting for customers to complain. 

Read More:  Proactive VS Reactive Customer Service: Which One Should You Choose?

3. Measure Performance With Insightful Reports

Measure Performance With Insightful Reports

Measuring performance helps your business track growth and monitor progress against intended goals. Keeping a bird-eye view of your customer service process helps you avoid customer churn due to poor service desk experiences. 

With its insightful reports and analytics, a service desk can prove to be a game-changer for your business. You can track individual, as well as team performance, measure performance against SLAs, and closely monitor customer-focussed KPIs like CSAT, NPS, etc. Moreover, you can identify your top performers and offer them relative incentives to encourage their positive results. 

Read More:  15 Help Desk Metrics to Improve Customer Support

4. Create a Vast Library of Information

Create a Vast Library of Information

Every business is generating an enormous amount of data that has the potential to reduce efforts, save time, as well as costs. But are businesses able to tap into this valuable information? 

Across industries, around 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a human representative.

With the help of customer service software tools, information pertaining to various customer problems can be stored in the knowledge database. Your staff can access them anytime and have all the knowledge they need about a problem, right before their eyes. On the other hand, all this crucial information can be used to create self-help articles, FAQs, interactive videos, and more for customers to resolve their problems on their own. 

What Are Service Desk Features? 

The customer service desk acts as a single point of contact between internal employees, customers, and your business. To help you enhance the support experience, the service desk comes with multiple features. Right from shared inbox to effortless internal collaboration, there is a lot you can do. Here are some of the top service desk features you should know: 

  • Shared Inbox
Shared inbox software

A service desk offers the shared inbox feature so that agents can have a clear view of all incoming tickets. With a shared inbox, multiple agents can access and reply to customer service emails. Many modern service desk tools come with a universal inbox that helps you capture requests from other channels such as live chat, web forms, phone, social media, and more. This is a great feature to keep everyone on the same page. 

Read More: 10 Shared Inbox Best Practices for Lightning Fast Email Support
  • Team Collaboration 
Team Collaboration

To avoid customer service horror stories, your agents must be able to collaborate in real-time. They should know who is working on what and avoid sharing multiple replies to a single incident or request. Service desk software allows support reps to leave private comments or notes for other team members. This way they can discuss complex tickets, leave important ticket updates, or simply make notes for future reference. You can even break complex support tickets into multiple child tickets and assign them to different people. 

  • Knowledge Base

As one of the most important features, customer help desks allow you to create a user-centric knowledge base. Here, you can upload self-help content and organize it into meaningful FAQs, tutorials, guides, articles, and more. Moreover, you can reduce your support volume by a significant amount with a knowledge base that’s designed for employee and customer self-service.

Read More: How to Create an Internal Knowledge Base

Read More:  How to Create an Internal Knowledge Base
  • Automation Capabilities

Manually managing your IT support service desk can lead to low productivity and high response/resolution times. However, by embracing automation technology, you can create efficient workflows. You can automatically route tickets to agents, share automated updates or notifications with employees and customers, and auto-suggest help articles. Moreover, some service desk tools allow you to share automated feedback surveys with customers right after their problem has been resolved. 

  • Real-Time Reporting 

Customer service teams, irrespective of their sizes, need the right amount of data at their disposal. With the real-time reporting feature of a service desk, managers can track individual performance, customer satisfaction, and team productivity. You can easily view data on important metrics such as ticket response time, ticket resolution time, ticket backlog, CSAT, etc., and improve the customer experience.  

  • Integrations

Customer service teams no longer work in isolation. They need to constantly communicate with other internal departments to offer the best advice or assistance to customers. Your customer support system should easily integrate with sales, IT, and other business tools. The right integration options will help your teams collaborate effortlessly, establish a transparent process, and get work done faster. 

Difference Between Help Desk and Service Desk

Anyone who has looked to improve customer service operations or wished to settle for the right customer service tool, must have stumbled upon an important question- what is the difference between help desk and service desk?

Although the two terms service desk and help desk are often used interchangeably, there are certain aspects that set them apart. The table below sheds light on these differences. 

Difference Between Help Desk and Service Desk

Help desks operate on the break-fix model. This means that as soon as an issue occurs (something breaks), the end-user can reach out to the support department to get it resolved (fixed). On the other hand, service desks work beyond just incident management and help you form the right service desk strategy to avoid future issues. 

The major focus of help desk teams is on the end-user. They focus on each and every individual case and look to offer the right solution to customers or employees. For service desks, the major area of focus is the “business”. Service desk teams are always looking for ways to improve the entire support process and not just resolve individual tickets. 

Now, it must be noted that these differences often get blurred out. While the service desk helps you see the larger picture and improve your business, that does not mean a help desk cannot help you achieve the same. For instance, you can use modern help desk tools such as ProProfs Help Desk to generate insightful reports and make data-driven decisions to improve your process. 

Key Features of Help Desk, Service Desk & ITSM 

  • Help Desk
  • Single point of contact (SPOC) for end-user issues 
  • Basic incident management and problem management
  • Automated ticket assignment and tracking
  • Create a self-service portal or knowledge base
  • Ticket escalation procedures
  • Service Desk
  • Acts as a single point of contact (SPOC) for IT issues and requests
  • Take control over IT assets with asset management
  • Create and share your service catalog
  • Incorporate IT service management practices
  • Scale and improve support operations
  • ITSM
  • Reduce IT costs for the business
  • Offer uninterrupted support and uptime to end-users
  • Knowledge management and knowledge sharing
  • Asset discovery and management
  • Identify scope for new IT services  

Strategies to Improve Customer Service Desk Performance

Improving the performance of your customer support desk is not rocket science. With the right plan in place and some necessary tweaks to your process, you can witness some positive changes. Here are 4 ways you can help boost your service desk performance: 

1. Focus on Improving Your First Contact Resolution (FCR)

FCR represents the number of customer issues solved by your support agents during their first interaction with your business. 

“A strong FCR is an indicator of exceptional service and also shows that your customers are receiving all the right answers in a hassle-free manner.”

Assign tickets to agents who have the right skill sets, training, and experience to handle them. Encourage them to act as a one-man army and escalate to second-level support only when required. 

Ensure that critical customer information such as past issues, contact history, etc., are available with your agents. This would prohibit the need to escalate or transfer a case due to the lack of sufficient information at hand. 

2. Enhance Your Self-Service Capabilities

Enhance Your Self-Service Capabilities

Source

When a customer encounters an issue with a company’s products or services, where do they search for an answer? The internet. 

Around 25% of customers search for the relevant answers for 10-15 minutes online before approaching a business. This means that your self-service portal or knowledge base has more potential than you might think. 

“While creating your knowledge base, the last thing you would want to do is ‘assume’. If the portal is meant for your customers, it’s best to ask them what works for them and what does not.“

You can start by asking your customers questions like- Is the language easy to understand? Are they able to easily navigate through the portal? Are they able to find relevant content based on their search query?

Consistent testing of your self-service portal and imbibing valuable customer feedback should be the way forward. 

3. Step Up Your Training Program

Even the most experienced employees require training when they become a part of your company. Consistent training can get your team up and running and manage customer service challenges with ease. 

“According to LinkedIn study, 94 percent of employees would stay with a company longer if the company had made an investment in learning.”

The true benefits of a service desk can’t be realized without a well-functioning team that receives ongoing training. 

You need to understand that although modern customer service tools are easy-to-use, they are still known for regular updates. Every year, new problems arise from data breaches and new security protocols that need to be followed. Therefore, it becomes critical to keep your team well-acquainted with all the latest updates and customer service trends

Just training your employees to use a business tool is not enough. You need to go beyond and train them on key customer service soft skills such as empathy, patience, persuasive skills, etc. 

4. Learn From Valuable Feedback

You might have a great customer service strategy on paper, but what if customers feel you need to improve? Your service desk agents need to learn from customers’ feedback about the constraints to focus on. 

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”- Ken Blanchard

To improve your service desk performance, ask customers for their feedback by sharing a survey soon after their issue has been registered or resolved. You can also share surveys to gauge the potential of your self-service portal. While positive feedback can inspire your staff, negative feedback can shed light on improvement areas. 

Capturing customer feedback is only the first step. You need to carefully analyze every feedback and understand what is making customers unhappy even after a stringent process. 

Instead of sweeping negative feedback under the rug, keep a close watch on trends that indicate common customer problems. Communicate with your customers that your business is working to ensure such issues can be avoided in the future. 

Make the Most of Your Customer Service Desk

It is no news that companies that focus on customer service outperform their rivals. Businesses that have mastered the art of delighting customers are available for their customers 24×7 and use sophisticated customer service tools. 

A customer service desk can help your business resolve incidents, encourage team collaboration, and manage the complete lifecycle of your customer service operations. Through effective communication, a good service desk allows you to create a customer-centric culture where customer happiness is the top priority. 
To enhance the performance of your support service desk, focus on improving metrics such as first contact resolution (FCR), encourage self-service, train your agents regularly, and implement valuable customer feedback or suggestions.

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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

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