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...
With your support team on Freshdesk, you can be sure to give your customers an experience to fall in love with the moment they hit “send” on their email. Or tell you their problems on your support portal. Or even when they talk about you on social media. But when your customers call the support phone line, most businesses are still stuck with moldy PBX boxes. So how do you give your customers that refreshing support experience even when they dial in your support hotline?
Cloud telephone solutions score a big win over your traditional PBX systems. Since the phones you can route to are no longer limited by cables, you get to route your callers to just about anywhere. Your agents could be working from home, on the drive, or even vacationing by the beach, and still take your support calls.
Cloud telephone services like Grasshopper in the US allow businesses there to manage their support hotlines on-the-go, without worrying about switchboards and PBX boxes. But what about countries like India, where mobile phones are more popular than even email IDs?
That’s where Knowlarity, the Indian cloud telephony service, comes in. With Knowlarity, businesses in India can automatically play a welcome message to each caller, record calls for you, and even route calls to the right department within the team. Sounds perfect? But wait, it gets even better…
The awesome folks at Knowlarity have built a pretty cool integration with Freshdesk that takes the support hotline experience to a whole new level of “Fresh”. First off, Freshdesk customers can get a special helpline number from Knowlarity, integrated with their Freshdesk account. When customers call in, support teams can welcome them with a customized message inviting them to submit a support ticket. If customers call in during business hours, they can even be directed to a live support agent automatically. Once the call is completed, Knowlarity automatically creates a support ticket on behalf of the customer, with a link to the call records, and the caller gets an SMS with the ticket ID for their reference. Now THAT is a breath of fresh air in phone support!
Head over to their site and check out more details about Knowlarity for Freshdesk.
In customer support, winning that one moment of satisfaction justifies all the work that you put in. But lets face it. Answering phone calls, replying to emails, and waking up to irate customers day after day is still, in many ways, boring.
What do you do when you get bored? Some of us toss crumpled paper across the floor. And some of us prefer shooting angry birds at pigs. So how can we bring some fun into your customer support?
Welcome to the Support Arcade. Drop 3 coins to continue…
Since you don’t get to play as much as you’d like to, we thought we’d bring the game right to you. So lets gamify your support desk with the Freshdesk Arcade!
Now every support ticket that flows in is chance for agents to score. What’s even cooler – you get to award bonus points to your support team based on what is most important to you. Like shooting out answers super fast, getting the solution right the first time, and winning awesome satisfaction ratings from customers.
Step on the pedal with your own Quests. Agents can even go on specific Quests you set them on, and earn badges of honor right off the dashboard.
Follow your support teams’ progress with the leaderboard. And award special trophies to the top scorers for being the Speed Racer, Sharp Shooter, Customer Wow Champ, and best of all, your Most Valuable Player of the month.
That way, when the month rolls to an end and it is time to celebrate your support team’s rockstars, you already know the best players are in the team.
And it’s all in with the new Estate Plan
The Freshdesk Gamification will be available on the all-new Estate plan which will come at $49 per agent per month. And you get to set and award special bonus points to your team. And your team can keep a check on their progress and earn trophies by earning a spot on your leaderboards. But the best part is, you get to create and set your team on your own quests and missions too!
And Freshdesk customers get an even more exciting deal!
Our customers are our rock stars, and we are sure you would love to gamify your support already! Guess what – if you are already on the Freshdesk Garden plan, you and your team can start playing already. We decided to have an early round of Christmas presents for all existing Freshdesk customers by bringing the Arcade right inside your Garden plan.
For all the current Freshdesk customers on the Sprout or Blossom plan, if you would like to gamify your team with the Freshdesk Arcade as well, just upgrade to the Garden plan (instead of the Estate) before October 15, and we will extend the Arcade offer to you as well.
That’s definitely way better than Nerf guns!
Here’s a tour of our new Freshdesk Gamification -
The fabulous folks over at Kookoo, the Indian cloud telephony service provider, have integrated their infrastructure as a service with Freshdesk, thus completing the loop for companies who want to add voice to their support repertoire.
Here’s their complete how-to-integrate-with-Freshdesk article, which breaks it down so you can do it fast and easy.
What you can do with the Freshdesk and Kookoo integration is this – after welcoming the customer by name and requesting his ticket ID, you can play out his ticket status and assign the ticket directly to the person responsible.
Here’s the Kookoo website if you want to sign up for the service.
Freshdesk will be in San Francisco for the next two weeks at TechCrunch Disrupt (8-12 September) and at Dreamforce (18-21 September).
If you are around, make sure you come see us. We’ll be at the Sponsor’s alley at TechCrunch Disrupt and at Booth no. 1548 at Dreamforce – the dudes in black shirts with oranges on them, so you know, we’ll stick out!
We’d love to meet you and hear what you have to say. We’ll teach you some handy tricks and pssst.. – we might even let you take a sneak peek into what’s on our roadmap!
If you have anything specific you want to talk about to us before we see you there, just send us a mail at email@example.com. See you in San Francisco!
Not long ago, there was a time when terms like “premium support” and value added platinum packages made sense. Those were days when a business could muscle consumers to pay for what was already rightfully theirs. Business could hide behind Caveat Emptor, and the support team was just an auxiliary. And this worked, for a really really long time.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t work anymore. Today, consumers expect businesses to respond to issues and fix them in real time. And that is a big problem for the traditional support philosophy. Your help desk can no longer wait until the alarm bells ring to start supporting customers.
The good news is, customer support today is the critical link between the business and the consumer.
Keeping your support team mobile and ready to resolve issues round the clock is the difference between a happy customer and a social media flame that can burn you up badly. So here is a quick recipe to take your support everywhere you go:
1. Keep a tab on that “social thing”, and resolve issues in real-time
“55 percent of people stopped doing business with companies because they didn’t resolve issues in a timely manner. ” – Bolt Insurance.
When a customer mentions you on Twitter or on comments on your Facebook page, it’s your job to ensure that their interaction gets enough attention. If you take too long to reply, your customer is probably gonna grow tired of waiting, and either think you’re just lame, or assume you aren’t proactive enough to do business with.
An intelligent ticketing solution that lets you track and respond to queries, praise and complaints on social media should do the trick. But even if you aren’t going all gung-ho with customer support on social media, you should at least have an eye on what the world is talking about your brand, even if you are on vacation. If you aren’t too particular about getting your whole team to contribute though, a social media app that lets you search, follow and respond from your mobile should do the trick.
2. Take your support on-the-go
On average, for every hour you spend working on your desk, you spend two on your mobile device leafing through email, catapulting birds at pigs, checking into the neighborhood coffee shop, and swatting fruits with your ninja sword. That means your help desk could be more than twice as efficient, if you could squeeze it into your phones and iPads.
“On average, we spend 2.5 hours everyday on our mobile phones. That’s over twice the amount of time we spend eating and one third the time we sleep.” – Microsoft Tag.
Make sure you are “connected” to your help desk round the clock. Of course, if you want to save on data charges (and battery life), get your help desk to send you push notifications every time something needs your attention, instead of burning 3G data all the time.
3. Keep your devices in-sync with your help desk
Once you have found yourself a mobile app, the next step is to get all your devices ready for it. This means that you need customer support apps up and running on all your devices. Once you do, you need not worry about leaving your iPad back at home, since you will be able to use it from your Android phone.
With native apps forcing the way, experience across tablets, phones and desktops can be very different. Make sure you get adjusted across all the different devices. Or even better – look for an app that gives you a seamless experience across them all.
So do you plan leaving your helpdesk unmanned every time you are away from your desk? Or are you gonna gear up your support team to go mobile?
You’ve probably figured it out already – customer support is the next game changer in your business. Which means you either already have a help desk solution (that you love or hate), or are looking for one right now. And that opens up another Pandora’s box of questions: should you download, install and maintain your on-premise help desk software on your own turf, or should you trust a solution hosted on the cloud?
We’ve spoken quite a bit about why a hosted help desk software makes a lot of sense for most businesses. But to be fair, there are some arguments to go with an on-premise solution too, so we thought we’d cover the 5 biggest reasons to not choose a hosted help desk software:
1. You have a humungous team sitting in one mammoth office
The biggest advantage you get with a hosted solution is the ability to access your help desk from virtually anywhere. That means a hosted help desk is great for teams on the move, and support agents spread across geographies. So if your help desk consists of a huge bunch (and we are talking thousands here) of agents working from a single floor, the “anywhere access” part gets bit miffed. Then again, if you have policies and mandates that help desk agents are strictly to answer support calls and emails only from office, and during business hours, you might be better off with a dinosaur of an on-premise software.
Instead, if you think customer support is more than just a day job, and ideas like “bring your own device”, and agent productivity ring a bell, a hosted help desk solution might not be such a bad idea afterall.
2. Conformance is what you care about, not performance
For most businesses, their customers have evolved from traditional channels into more sophisticated ones, like Twitter, and the company’s Facebook brand pages. That means for a majority of support teams, their help desk software must be able to evolve and stay updated as rapidly as their consumers. Patching their software, updating versions and waiting for months to get the “complete feature set” just doesn’t cut it anymore. The choice for these businesses is clearly to move to a hosted help desk software that stays on the clouds and is always up to date.
Of course, there is still the other camp of blue suited businesses that enforce conformance to their “set-in-stone” support policies even to customers. These are businesses that would rather direct irate customers on Twitter to open up a support ticket, than solve the problem right there. If your business thinks conformance to the support policies set by the director’s grand dad eighty years ago is more important than making customers ooze with love, you probably should download that 300MB on-premise software right away.
3. Availability isn’t an issue: Your lights turn off at six!
When customers are loosing sleep with some issue in your product or service, progressive and customer-centric businesses want their support teams to be there. The support rep of today has something that goes far beyond just a 9 to 6 job. They need to be able to pick up calls on the drive to work, and answer support queries even when they are watching the opera. And that means they must be able to access your help desk from virtually anywhere, at any time, inside, outside or flying above your firewall – something that hosted software are primarily built for. But that doesn’t mean too much for 9-to-6, desk only support team. Another reasons to consider on-premise solutions.
Then there are a few businesses that can afford hours, or even days of downtime, with their entire support system shut off – an excellent excuse to stick on to that on-premise solution. For everyone else though, help desk solutions hosted on state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure and uptimes exceeding 99% come in handy.
4. You think banks and safety lockers are for sissies
With cloud-based help desks, all your data is stored in servers in high security data centers protecting them from misuse or theft both online and offline. That means your data is more secure with a hosted service provider than in your own servers. After all, which do you think is safer – the wads of cash sticking out of your trousers, or your money in the bank?
The security of your data is the lifeline of cloud businesses. But if biometric locks, redundant backups, multi-level encryptions and secure data transfer aren’t all that critical to your support team, you might want to keep that on-premise option still open.
5. You want to jump in, change the code, and build your own support software
Hashing out code and building your software is a lot of fun (trust me, we know!). But if you are the kind of person that wants to jump down to the grassroots, drop, edit and change the table schema, and tinker around your software, you’d probably miss that freedom on a hosted solution. Most hosted help desk software worth their salt are built to provide the right mix of intuitive usability with extensive customizability. That means you won’t get to muck around with stray bits of code. Of course, you can still give your help desk a twist by building on APIs that most providers offer, but that’s about it. No drop tables, and please, no compiling the build!
Now that you have figured out why you shouldn’t get a hosted help desk, you can go shopping for a support system that will match the requirements of your organization. And if you are still confused, the Complete Guide to Choosing an Online Help Desk should help you collect your thoughts on this one.
Every once so often, you need to type out that longer-than-usual reply. Or you need to consult with your boss before hitting “send”, or just feel like getting a hot cup of coffee. And Mr.Murphy (of the Murphy’s Law fame) decides to prove a point and your browser crashes, taking your nice long essay with it.
It happens all the time. You know it when you hear a loud groan from the support guy sitting across the floor. Wouldn’t it be awesome to reopen the ticket and find that long reply saved as a draft?
If you are using Freshdesk to support your customers, you won’t be hearing those groans anymore, thanks to the autosave capability. Now when you sit down to compose that reply to a ticket, you can rest assured that all the poetry you type gets saved every few seconds.
You can even navigate out to other pages, check on a few more tickets and break that hunch with a nice walk around the office. The reply you typed is saved and ready whenever you choose to come back to it, until you hit “send”. And yes, even the tickets you choose to forward, or notes you add get autosaved. So no more slapping heads, frustrated rewrites, or groans of agony.
Freshdesk stores the drafts for each agent and ticket. That means if your agents are working on multiple tickets simultaneously, the replies they type on each ticket gets saved. And if more than one agent is working on a particular ticket, their drafts don’t clash either.
So go ahead and take your time to type out that really big response. Your support agent – 1, Murphy – 0.
Today is a pretty good day for some refreshing thoughts. After all, this was the day some 65 years ago that India won her independence. Mahatma Gandhi is probably the most well-known Indian world over, so what better way to toast the day than with one of his equally famous quotes?
Throughout the quote, Gandhi, the frail rockstar who championed for the independence of today’s largest democracy, shows the importance of a customer-first philosophy for success in spirituality and business. In fact, Gandhi goes way beyond just importance when he says we, as any business or individual providing a service, are dependent on our customers every single day.
Here’s a quick “what if” scenario you could try playing in your mind. What if one fine morning you have the King of the state walk into your petite little shop selling knick-knacks? How would that change the way you tune, modify and package your service? From the old janitor who keeps the shop floor tidy, to the guy in the front desk, the enthusiastic seller who shows customers around your shop, and you, the owner of the store – every player in the team would make sure they bend over backwards, forget rules and policies, and do everything you can to give your best shot at winning the love of this customer.
What if we could all see ourselves serving every single customer like how we did the King? That would make a huge number of speechless, super happy customers asking for more wouldn’t it? The moment we realize that every single customer walking into our store, browsing our website, or calling our support hotline is a king to us from that moment, the idea of customer service stops being “just another business function” and becomes an ingrained part of every last person involved.
So here’s recognizing that our independence as individuals, happiness as consumers and success as businesses keep growing higher and higher when we as a global society realize the simple wisdom that we are dependent on our customers. Happy Independence Day India.
PS. You should head over to Shep Hyken’s post for a more detailed breakdown of Gandhi’s quote. He’s so accurately titled it: “This Ultimate Customer Service Quote leads to amazing customer service“