Being a support agent is no mean feat. Jeff Vincent, the Director of Customer Happiness at Wistia once told us, “Burnout is a very real thing in support, and it’s on my mind constantly.” For example, your day might not always start during the day. Your customers are spread across the globe, across time-zones and the problems they encounter won’t always be considerate enough to happen during your waking hours. New issues don’t wait for you to solve the old ones before cropping up either.
There are millions of things that could go wrong at any time, and it’s very easy for agents to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things coming at them every second. It can feel like you’ll never break through the insane amount of work you’re buried under each day. But what if I told you that there are some things you could do – even before you start responding to your tickets – that will help you scale the mountain of problems and break out of the rut?
Here’s a ritual you can stick to that’ll prime you to stay on top of your game all day, every day.
Know your notifications
If the helpdesk you use has a mobile app, you should make the most of it. You can quickly catch up on anything that might have happened – customer responses, private notes from internal teams – with simple, helpful notifications. If you use Freshdesk for your support, the app will show you instant push notifications for new tickets, tickets assigned to you and responses from customers. You can even personalise these notifications just the way you like them for the exact things you want so you don’t miss anything. Fire up the app on your way to work, and you give yourself a head start even before you start your shift.
Find out where the fires are
Once you catch up on any updates or status changes you might have missed, you should look up a list of tickets that are overdue or due today. These should take priority over any other issues. If you have a dashboard, it will give you an overview of your tickets that are overdue or unresolved. Prioritize and pick the ones with the most urgent due dates to work on first.
Review pending issues
It’s also a good idea to run through tickets that are pending (waiting on a response from a customer or an internal team) to discover if there’s anything you missed or if there’s anything you could do to speed things up. This helps you see if there’s an update you can take to a customer from an internal team or vice versa. By doing this, you save on lot of future follow-ups required of you. You can also eliminate a good chunk of back-and-forth, freeing up more of your time to focus on other things.
Keep an eye out
If you’re using Freshdesk, you can create and save views that filter tickets and show you specific types of issues or particular tickets that you want to see. And if you feel like your day is a little too sparse, you can simply go through your views and pick up interesting tickets to work on whenever you have the time. Or you can also add yourself as a Watcher to any ticket that you find compelling to get updates about it and see how it turns out – you can do all this using the mobile app too!
Capitalise on your time
Another thing you can do when you have some time on your hands is mark yourself available to take calls or live chats so that you can help customers in real time. Fielding these issues as they crop up reduces the number of complaints that come in as tickets. They also help you resolve problems on the very first touchpoint.
Level your way up to the top
If your helpdesk has a gamification system that displays scorecards and leaderboards with the agents’ performances, taking a look at it can spur you on like not much else can. A little friendly competition is sometimes all you need for you to bring your A-game. You’ll know exactly how many tickets you need to close, how many first-contact-resolutions to make, to shoot past your colleagues on the board. You get a clearer picture of how you’re contributing to your helpdesk’s performance. You also understand what you can do to keep improving on it.
These are things you can do every morning as a routine, even before you actually start getting into any of your tickets for the day. They will set you up to get the most you can out of every day, because you’d know exactly what you have on your plate and how you have to deal with it. You reap the rewards of a sophisticated strategy without having to sit down and draw up long and complicated action plans. Once you’ve gone through the routine, you can just go out there and start putting sizeable dents in your workload.
We’d love to hear what works for you!
Talking to strangers all day, trying to put out fires, trying to accommodate any request coming your way, trying to keep your customers’ worlds from ending…it’s not an easy job to be great at. That said, you shouldn’t be afraid of greatness – some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. However it happens, greatness is definitely on the cards – you are after all a superhero of the (real) business world!
We’d love to hear how you start your shift every day! Tell us what helps you stay on point all day. Leave us a comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!