Importance of Small things in Customer Support Software – Learning from Rafa

Written by on October 14, 2011


Rafael Nadal is in a slump this year. He has lost three grand slams on the trot, quite a different story from last year, when he won almost everything on offer.
When asked about this, Rafa had this to say, – “Winning or losing depends on very, very, very small things, and probably these very, very small things I did a little bit better in 2010 than 2011.”
At Freshdesk we couldn’t agree more with Rafa, as we know from our experience in designing software for small businesses that it is these little that things that make a huge difference.

To give you an idea of some very small things that matter, take a look at the list of tasks below.

Rich text formatting of replies – It seems so obvious and it is almost a habit for seasoned customer service professionals to format their replies before hitting the Send button. Everyone knows that to get your point across clearly to the customer you need those bullets and highlight colors. But the web for all its advancements in technology still has it’s quirks when dealing with rich text and email clients.Many of the so-called leading cloud help desks take an easy route out and ask you send plain text replies to customers, but we hear your pain and we know that it is a small thing, but a “very big” small thing.

Why are most Knowledge Bases dumb? – You know that time when you don’t know the exact answer to the customer’s question? Yeah? Going to a knowledge base and searching for a solution is so 1990s. In the days of “Google Suggest” how difficult is it to automatically search the Knowledge Base and present the right solution to you right on the ticket screen? Sounds cool right? It’s a small thing but its a cool thing.

What? I can’t cc someone on a ticket? – Yeah we are surprised too! Maybe if you are in the Silicon valley building “Minimum Viable Toys” for the Facebook generation(who don’t use email) you don’t realize that it is quite common for agents to cc a lead or a manager on the ticket to bring it to their attention. It’s a small thing but an important thing.

BCC to a Dropbox – Today most of the web applications that you use like CRM, Basecamp, Highrise or Dropbox etc have a very useful functionality where you can just send an email and they create a lead in the CRM or add a task to a project. Of course you don’t want your customer to know this so you just use Bcc and get stuff done. We know its a small thing but in today’s connected systems it is a very useful thing.

That is just a sample of 4 tasks that every agent encounters probably 50 times a day as they work through customer tickets. We are surprised that many leading help desk providers make tall claims about their software but miss out on the obvious. If you are a customer support agent we can already see you nodding your head in agreement. At Freshdesk, we have been customer support agents in our life and we get “customer support.”

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  • caithriellesam

    I have to agree, these 4 tasks are usually neglected because they focus more on things that are not really that important.  Its really good to know, that you have spend time mentioning and doing something about this issues.  It only goes to show that the service of your software matters most.