How to build a Helpdesk that has your customers best interests at heart
Written by Michael Smith on the 1st of September, 2014
Give your team the tools to make your customers love them!
How many customers believe that calling a customer helpline will be of assistance in an ‘hour of need’? More importantly, do businesses actually set-up inbound call centres with the objective of helping customers at all? Or is it just a means of managing call-flow during peak periods without increasing headcount?If I was cynical or was selling legacy ‘Inbound Contact Centre’ solutions, I would say it was definitely the latter. Having worked in the B2B telephony sector, only inbound-call specialists are making healthy margins by leaving customers hanging on the end of costly non-geographic numbers run across expensive-to-maintain desktop hardware in a call-centre.So here’s the problem: contact or call centres are not primarily Helpdesks. In order to help a customer you have to be in a position to properly engage customers. First of all, making contact has to be quick, easy and preferably free or low cost for the customer. Secondly, there has to be a knowledge-base in operation to give an up-to-date status on any customer engagement. Finally, you have to have given the customer resolution and a positive experience. Increasingly, you also have to provide the more tech-savvy customer with the option to self-manage.With the right set of cloud technologies, this can be delivered quickly and at low cost.
Zendesk is a cloud technology that has been specifically developed to streamline support and boost response and resolution. It is a ticketing system at its most simple but also a platform into which you can integrate other business applications to develop an up-to-date knowledge-base, triggers and automations that can improve the way in which customers are managed and reduce the time required to resolve their issues.
We have worked with Zendesk to integrate Babelforce, a hosted voice application to provide contact centre functionality (e.g. hunt groups, call transfer, call recording etc). on a monthly subscription basis without a requirement for expensive desktop hardware. Now agents can click to call from within Zendesk and customer data is attached to inbound calls to allow instant customer-recognition. However, this should eradicate queuing time and lead to speedier resolution thus making for a happier customer.
In summary, customer support, engagement and self-service are at the heart of Zendesk - not call-flow management, albeit it can massively improve this by managing it as part of these 3 pillars. It can improve response times by 35% and immediately increase efficiency. It has a set of data-driven reporting tools that can help you not only benchmark performance internally but even externally against the competition. As you would expect from a cloud-based technology, it can be set up and onboarded within a week and is subscription-based. It is a far more cost-effective and efficient way of managing ‘Tactical’ or ‘Seasonal’ capacity. Most importantly, your customers will be comfortable conversing with you in the knowledge that you will resolve their issues and will actively listen to their opinions.
Image courtesy of Babelforce
Co-Founder of Technology Service Provider, Appamondo.