The Freshdesk blog
Your daily dose of
peppermints, orange juice and oatmeal cookies...
Freshly squeezed droplets of customer support...
Your daily dose of
peppermints, orange juice and oatmeal cookies...
Freshly squeezed droplets of customer support...
One of the most repeated arguments that growing businesses had in the past was this – that customer support was too expensive, and this money was better used in ‘productive’ areas such as marketing and sales. Good customer service was (and remains) expensive, and businesses just did not see the point in doing something that did not contribute much to the bottom line.
In a time when communication was restricted to the telephone and when people talked to each other only when they actually met, this was the working approach. Service wasn’t that important because it didn’t affect sales. And that was, and still is, important in business. What doesn’t increase the bottom line is expenditure. What doesn’t garner returns is unimportant.
Customer support was seen as a cost center, something that ate up company funds and didn’t give any ROI on it. That was in fact, true, for many years.
Until the day it wasn’t anymore.
Today, customer support is a profit center. Good customer support is not only going to give you happy customers who will spend more on your products, it is going to give you new customers, more and more of them. It is going to give your brand unparalleled goodwill and publicity, your brand equity is going to get stronger.
Here are the three reasons why.
1. Support as an acquisition channel
The social web has done several things for customer support. Customers are now contacting brands and business on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, asking questions and expecting answers. And the whole network of friends and friend’s friends watching. The result? New customers. Great support today garners eyeballs, eyeballs that marketing spends a few hundred dollars to get. Strike One!
2. Support as a retention channel
People are now talking about this company’s great support on social networks. As the company keeps doing this and the image of superior customer experience becomes consistent with the brand, there arises a community around the brand. Now support doesn’t have to answer the questions at all. The community steps in, and in adverse situations even steps in to defend the brand. With the rise of self service portals and forums, support is becoming amazingly community driven, bringing down costs and reinforcing brand loyalty. And when customers are engaged, they do not even think of going anywhere else. Strike Two!
3. Support as your product manager
With such an engaged client following and community, customers even do the very very important job of managing the product. From suggesting new features and giving insights into what the market wants and doesn’t want, the community will provide valuable market research, without companies even having to ask for it. The product will be shaped by the customers themselves, and in this way will mirror their needs better and better. Competitive advantage, anyone? Strike Three.
Whichever way we look at it, great customer support now gets in more revenue than it will ever take out. If someone in your company is still talking about how investment in customer support is a drain and how that money could be better used in other activities, you should be telling him/her that times have now changed.
There will be no better time to invest in your customer support and experience. In financial terms – do it, now, and you will reap rich dividends later.
Because, all said and done, it is the bottom line that matters.
Let the Supervisor close tickets you’re done with and focus on what’s important
You are on a roll and tickets are flying from your dashboard lightning fast.
But then it strikes you that resolving an issue or a ticket doesn’t necessarily mean that it gets closed. The customer needs to close it as well. And more often than not, this is something they forget, and it’s your job to make things easier on them.
After a week of your working hard and customers not closing complaints, what you have is tickets that aren’t closed and a lot of stuff that appears to be unanswered.
Not something you want.
Let the Supervisor do the routine and the mundane
Here’s how you can get rid of this headache – all you’ve to do is use the Supervisor to relieve yourself of the boring task of ticket closing.
A simple rule like the one shown above will enable you to automatically close resolved tickets after a defined point of time.
Have support answers ready in your head? Save & retrieve them whenever you want to.
Most businesses, big and small, struggle to keep their knowledge base updated and new agents in-sync with all the latest information and goings-on. And yet most often when replying to a ticket, seasoned agents show such brilliant pieces of knowledge that can be super useful to the entire team. If only they knew of it, that is!
Of course, nobody has the time or patience to write a solution in your kbase, which means most of this genius never sees light outside of your support agents’ email boxes. In Freshdesk you can forward these emails to your help desk and have it automatically converted into a draft in your knowledge base. Now all you have to do is proof your draft, make edits if you have to and publish it and make life easier for your team and customers.
The gem in this secret is your Freshdesk help desk already comes with a default email address that will convert every incoming email into a knowledge base draft. Try shoot any email to email@example.com and watch the magic!
A few situations where Email to Knowledge base will help you
Spark of Genius
There are some help desk issues that keep coming up over and over again. When you come up with a brilliant solution to a customer’s issue, you can just bcc your kbase email address in your reply and have the solution draft ready in your knowledge base. That way, you get to capture every Moment of Genius.
Knowledge from the Past
If there is one place where those critical knowledge pieces are lying in your team, it is probably in your mailboxes. If you just spent a couple of hours going down those interesting emails from back in time, you are sure to uncover a huge mine of diamonds. And when you do, you can just forward them to your knowledge base so the next time you don’t have to go mining!
Once you get the dust off your repository of genius, you have a bunch of collected wisdom that will be a fountain of knowledge for your rookie agents. And they can now read, use and learn the solutions to recurring problems, right from the experts.
This post kicks off our new series ‘Freshdesk Secrets’, specially for the Freshdesk Legion, the worldwide community of support agents who use Freshdesk.
We are highlighting a few awesome hacks that they can use to get the maximum out of Freshdesk.
Agent Email Forwarding to Ticket
Got customers directly emailing your agents? Forward and ticket it right!
Sometimes, when customers become your good buddies, they start directly shooting support queries directly to you, bypassing your support email. While the “buddy” part sounds great, the conversation eventually gets lost your mailbox, without getting organized in your mailbox.
Email Piping in Freshdesk lets you directly forward customer emails to your helpdesk and have them converted into tickets automatically. Freshdesk identifies that the email came from an agent, adds the customer as the original requestor and creates a shiny new ticket, subject lines, content et al.
A few situations when Email Piping can save your life:
When you are on the road
Email Piping becomes mighty useful when you are stuck between the road, airports and packed lunches. If you know your team has your back, just forward the email to your help desk, get it ticketed and rest assured that your support team gets working on it.
When you know you are going to need the records
One of the greatest benefits of having a good help desk in place is that all your important support conversations are available for the rest of your team to learn from. But sometimes you want to add that personal flavor by talking to the customer from your direct email. Email piping lets you keep the personal touch, and still have a record of the entire conversation in your help desk by forwarding the email to your support portal.
Its been a week since we launched Freshdesk Arcade and we’ve been seeing so much love from support teams across the world that it truly feels awe-inspiring. The tweets and shares that have been pouring about a support agent leveling up in Freshdesk Arcade, winning a trophy, or completing a quest to unlock a badge shows that customer support has just been waiting to transform into something more fun.
But what makes support so well primed to be gamified? Here are the four biggest behind-the-scenes reasons for incorporating game mechanics into customer support with Freshdesk Arcade.
1. The Obvious: Turn boring into fun.
Support is a boring, menial job and at times can leave agents exasperated and tired. Exactly why it must be gamified. With products like Freshdesk’s Support Arcade, support can be turned into fun, a game with something at stake, a point to prove, another agent to beat. When your agents start competing and collaborating, it won’t be long before you start seeing results shooting up. And a little bit of fun is going to make a huge difference not just for your staff, but also customers who are trying to get help.
2. The Subliminal: Keep agents motivated
Everyday, agents come in, take phone calls, send out emails until they literally don’t want to do it anymore and sometimes even after that. You don’t need to be Einstein to realize that motivating them is a key factor to get your support standards up. By letting them score points and awarding them trophies, you can add a whole to dimension to their work life – something fun and engaging – which will turn even the most boring days into productive ones. And once they get into the game, they are just gonna want to get more and more of it.
3. Align the team to support objectives
Once you have figured out how make work fun for your agents, the next idea is to drive them towards business goals that will have an immediate impact on your customers. A KPI isn’t really a goal, is it? One of the ways to do this is to convert your support objectives into quests and award points to agents upon completion. The ability to create custom-tailored quests, available with tools like Freshdesk can make life easier for managers, especially when there are a bunch of deadlines coming up.
4. Identify and Incentivize
You are giving agents points, badges and trophies – great. But what does all these convert into in real life? You are gonna have to give them something that will make them jump out of bed every morning. Setting up a proper system to analyse and track agents’ progress means you can easily identify and incentivize bonuses for performers. That way, your agents get not just a pat on the back for doing a good job, but also something that is of value to them.
Is gamification the future of customer support? We sure think so.
Because sometimes, we try our hand at poetry too.
had a farm
and every day
he had a qualm
animals and fish
and even the kelp
he had them all
but no one to help
so the phone kept ringing,
“is that a goat?”
and emails about sheep,
loading tech support
so in he went
with a big cheque
to get a shiny
web-based help desk
now our man McDonald
he was no fool
he did his research
for the perfect tool
One help desk for the tickets
One help desk for the calls
One for facebook, twitter and farm-groups
One help desk, that’s all!
“the help desk software”
he’d say out loud
“must cover my lil farm-land
like the cloud”
“I’d need a help desk
that never goes down…
even if my power-horses
rode out of town”
So he asked the three piglets
(the wisest swine)
With a sneer they answered
Keep your help desk online!
You don’t even need
that big a cheque
You have rich choices
Of online help desks
Is that so?
Said ol’ McDonald
Imma get it now
And off he hobbled
That’s how Ole’ McDonald
Pushed his support to cloud
With a moo moo here
And his customers wowed
He went back to thank
the three wise swine
So he got them each
A bottle of wine
His help desk is ready
every time he needs
His farm is now brimming
so take his heed:
Put a moo moo here
Your support is fine
And a moo moo there
Just keep it online!
If you grew up watching Dexter (the boy genius with a lab in his basement – not the confused compulsive killer-hero) cranking up world-changing inventions at his lab, you are going to love this. After all, when it comes to all things ‘technology’, who better to follow than the prodigy himself.
With the kind of research and inventions that the boy genius comes up with in his lab, of course he needs a good help desk solution.
First, he needs to be connected to the world outside so he has all the right variables accounted for.
Second, he cannot rely on just his memory and a bunch of notes to keep track of all the human conversations, time travel, and home chores.
Third, he needs his shut-down-and-recover procedure in place before DeeDee gets into the lab again.
For someone who could build an entire laboratory from scratch, build machines that could destroy (and save) the world, and irradiate the O,N,K,E and Y out of monkeys, and turn them into mutated superheroes, you could rashly be driven to believe Dexter would chose to build and maintain his own help desk software on his turf (or basement).
So here’s our argument why he would rather use a hosted help desk solution that is safely nestled on the cloud -
1. DeeDee doesn’t have to press that button.
Remember the time Dexter creates this giant of an invention, and needs DeeDee to press that button to get it started?
Well, now he doesn’t need DeeDee’s help to get this support desk installed, running, or upgraded. In fact, there is no button in the first place! With his help desk software hosted on the cloud, Dexter can get his tech support fired from just about anywhere, from any device with an internet connection and a web browser!
2. The Data is Mandark-proof.
Dexter does not have to worry, not even a teeny weeny bit, about Mandark coming and getting his top secret data from the helpdesk. With his hosted helpdesk, Dexter’s secret formulae, plans, blueprint and resolutions are super secure. Top class data encryption and an uber safe data center mean the security of his information is a given.
3. Dexter gets to focus on just his inventions
Dexter gets to focus his time on efforts on the things he enjoys and does best, like creating alternate energy sources from annoying Facebook pictures. First, since there is nothing to install or upgrade, he doesn’t have to babysit his hosted help desk software. And second, he now gets to use the best-in-class features and capabilities from his hosted help desk before he can say “Computer, Lights On!”
4. It’s faster than a genius-made-superhero.
The hosted helpdesk can even put Monkey to shame. The primate superhero that Dexter created would also be flummoxed by the speed at which the hosted helpdesk works, how fast the data moves in the cloud and how quickly and easily and almost imperceptibly the updates happen. (Yeah, faster than Monkey’s straight-up flights into space to face Rasslor). After all, you don’t really expect a radioactive primate super hero to beat a super fast hosted help desk environment, do you?
5. The laboratory’s help desk doesn’t have to be hidden behind the bookcase.
The helpdesk will be completely rebranded and painted in his favorite colours, so Dexter doesn’t have to hide it behind his bookcase. The helpdesk will be completely Dexter’s own, and that takes away one of his biggest worries to choose a hosted helpdesk – no hiding anymore!
All of Dexter’s contemporary labs are already on the cloud. The smart money is on Dexter choosing an online helpdesk as well.
Well, if you are still wondering if you should move to a hosted help desk solution as well, here is a free green paper that can help you make a choice.