productive

4 Ways to Stay Productive for the 4th of July

Written by on June 30, 2017

As families all over America look forward to kick back and enjoy a long weekend, popular brands are already gearing up to maximize sales this Independence Day. For businesses, this means that kicking back is the last thing they can hope to do – because with any increase in sales comes an increase in support queries. And as an agent, if you’re not equipped to keep up with the increased volume in your helpdesk, the weekend might start taking a toll on you.

You might have seen our handy guide on optimizing the support process for holiday season, but the Fourth of July is around the corner and we’re here with 4 new tips to help you stay on your toes, poised to take on the (free) world.

 

Find the quickest way to do things

Irrespective of increasing ticket volumes, some things just don’t need to be manually repeated over and over again. For example, there are some requests that never change – that same question that you’re tired of answering but can’t seem to stop getting. In such cases, most helpdesks have response templates (in Freshdesk, these are called canned responses) that you can send out automatically without having to type the answer out yet again.

Some questions require more complex answers and a simple email just won’t cut it. For these, you can always check if there’s a solution article that answers the question for you before launching into some troubleshooting. But with Freshdesk’s suggested solutions, relevant articles are automatically pulled up for you and you can just insert either the link or the content of the article into your reply.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to get from A to B that much quicker. The ones in Freshdesk help with a wide range of operations from navigating between pages to performing quick little actions on tickets. Scenario automations are another thing that let you do more in less time. You can create automations where a bunch of actions are performed with a single click.

So make sure you work smart, use all the hacks available to you and maximize your time. This way, you don’t get bogged down by your workload no matter what happens.

Don’t switch between tasks

Most psychologists today believe that multitasking is a myth. Most of us (myself included; especially myself) still go around claiming to be multi-taskers, but that just isn’t true⁽¹⁾. What we’re doing is actually quickly switching tasks. Extensive research⁽²⁾ in the field just goes to show that fragmented work is really the most detrimental factor in the way of making actual progress, causing as much as a 40% decline in productivity.

When you’re in the zone and resolving tickets left and right, and you get the urge to check your mail or your phone… when that happens, do yourself a favour – don’t. Each time you shift your focus, your productivity takes a hit. The Harvard Business Review explains it best, pointing out how inefficient it would be to undertake every single task the very moment it comes up.

The 4th of July can be loud and distracting. But if you are to clear your by now exploding ticket inbox, you need to be able to clear out chunks of requests in one go. When you’re done with one chunk, there will be the next chunk. When things get hectic, here’s how you can stay on task:

  • Block time for your main task. If you’re going to be answering email tickets, forget everything else.
  • Minimize distractions. Silence your phone, mute your email, wall yourself off in isolation – whatever works.
  • Take breaks. Stick to your guns in the periods of time you block off, and make sure to take frequent breaks in between so you don’t wear yourself out.

Freshdesk recently came out with notifications in-helpdesk so agents can keep up with all activity that concerns them without having to switch to email for updates.

Use all the knowledge at your disposal

When there’s going to be an increase in the number of tickets coming your way, something that is sure to help is having context. Context around how one customer has interacted with your business before, or context around how a particular issue has been dealt with in the past. All this knowledge is already there in your helpdesk; it’s just a matter of finding it.

For any problem, if you or someone else has already handled a similar issue, knowing what worked and what didn’t in the past would help drastically reduce the time spent on that issue again. This almost completely eliminates any back-and-forth in customer interactions, saving you that much more time on each ticket.

So make sure you aren’t spending time looking for solutions that someone else has already found. Use the collective knowledge that you can access to not only work considerably faster, but also make customers equally happier.

In Freshdesk, you can save custom views that will show exactly the tickets that you want to see. With filtered search, you can find precisely what you’re looking for in your helpdesk by filtering your search results.

Work together, resolve faster

Not much needs to be said about the advantages of working together; the case practically makes itself. Resolution times improve by as much as 32% in collaborative support models. This can be game-changing, especially when you’re going to see a decided increase in the volume of tickets coming in.

If a ticket comes in where you need the help of someone else (and it will), loop them in immediately. If after breaking down a complex issue, it requires multiple actions, delegate them to people who can work on them simultaneously. When your team is a well-oiled machine and everyone has everyone else’s back, it’s hard to fail or let your customers down.

With Freshdesk you can do all this and more without breaking a sweat. Team huddle puts the expertise of your entire team at your disposal at all times. Parent-child ticketing manages the breaking down of complex issues into smaller tasks.

 

If you don’t use a helpdesk system and you support your customers over email, here are a few tips for you to manage the increased holiday load better. If you liked what we had to say about productivity, make sure to sign up for our webinar on the topic. And tell us what makes you productive – we’d love to hear from you!

 

Have a great Independence Day!

To all our readers in the USA, we wish you an amazing Independence Day, full of joy, pride and fireworks.

 

Citations:

1. The Myth of Multitasking

2. The Nature of Fragmented Work

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