Personalize your customer support with an invisible helpdesk

Written by on June 27, 2014

A couple of days back, a colleague waylaid me on the way to the coffee machine and launched into a story about a conversation she’d had with a certain Carolyn. It took me about five minutes to work out, as she went on and on about how friendly and helpful Carolyn was, brandishing screenshots, that she wasn’t a friend of hers; Carolyn was Buffer’s Chief Happiness Officer.

As I stood there, my eyes glazing over, I couldn’t help but compare how different our support interactions had been; I had just wound up a conversation with an Amazon support rep and while I was quite satisfied with the solution they presented, I was nowhere close to as happy as she was. It hadn’t become a story that I would tell my friends; it was just a moment of happiness.

Part of this can be attributed to Buffer’s eternally cheerful reps (almost scarily so) but I think at least some of the credit should go to how simplistic the whole exchange was. While my brain told me they had to be using some software to handle the volume of support requests, they betrayed no signs of it. The whole interaction was like a simple email exchange; there was no mention of tickets or numbers or statuses or priority. There was no hint of automation; it was as if a friend wrote to her.

So, how do you make your customer service this personalized? How do you de-clutter your support? How do you render your helpdesk…invisible?

Less, more and a bunch of other things

First off, I’d recommend that you check to see if your helpdesk provides for this use case: by letting you remove the ticket ID from your emails, customizing your email notifications and a few other tweaks. Some customer support softwares tend to advertise these features, others don’t. So, make sure you dig deep before deciding to do something drastic, like changing your provider.

Over here at Freshdesk, going invisible is pretty easy. Here’s a list of all the things you have to do:

1) Remove ticket ID from your emails

The first step to weaving a web of magic so intricate that your customers have no idea that you’re using a helpdesk is removing your ticket ID from your emails. Not just from within your emails but your subject lines as well. Most customer support software have a toggle that you can turn OFF to hide the Ticket ID from the subject line automatically or make provision for you to hide it manually. Here’s how you can do it in Freshdesk.

2) Turn off your email notifications

I don’t know about you but I’ve never gotten an email notifying me that my exchange with a friend has been resolved, no matter how personal the language. You don’t have to turn off your agent notifications (your agents still need them to keep on top of tickets) but turning off requester notifications is a must, for maintaining the ruse. If removing all of your requester notifications is unavoidable, make sure you customize them within an inch of their life.

3) Take the helpdesk out of your URL

Because nothing is a bigger giveaway than a URL like applepie.helpdesk.com. A custom support URL, something to the tune of help.applepie.com, can be pointed to your support portal to make things easier for your customers. Here’s how you do it in Freshdesk.

4) Give your support portal a makeover

Given that we still haven’t made it to a time when it’s super easy to lighten the refractive index of things, you’re going to have to reconcile yourself with just rebranding the support portal so that it looks like a part of your website. Changing the color palettes or just slapping on your logo won’t do; you gotta make it so indistinguishable that your customers won’t be able to pick it out of a line-up. Basically, it’s hiding in plain sight with full portal customization.

5) The Little Things

Sometimes, in your intricate web weaving, you might forget the little details like making sure that the sender name’s is the agent’s name instead of a robotic “Support Team” or customizing your signature so that it’s a simple “Have a great day!”. Make sure you don’t.

Of course, an invisible helpdesk doesn’t necessarily mean automatic induction into the Customer Service Hall of Fame. By going invisible, you’re just paving the way for your agents to build deep, meaningful connections with your customers. Connections that’ll live forever in your customers’ memories. After all, support isn’t just business. It’s personal.

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