Is it possible to have an efficient help desk and still meet customer expectations? Have you called a customer support line and gotten: “Please press 1 for customer service. Please press 3 to enter your language. Please wait. We appreciate your call. All our lines are busy. We’ll be with you shortly.”
Help Desk Focus: Customers
Most people have had a bad experience with customer service. This is often linked to companies who are over focused on cutting costs. A popular way to save money is to outsource or offshore help desk functions. But what does that do for the customer? It can alienate the customer because the help desk agent may be difficult to understand and provide needed help. Then a once-loyal customer becomes an ex-customer. Instead, provide each customer with speedy, convenient and reliable customer support that truly resolves their concerns.
Do you know what customers expect? What do you expect when you need a help desk?
Put yourself in the place of your customers. Think about how convenient it is for them to get their questions answered and issues resolved. The buzz word today is ‘channels’ to refer to various platforms customers use to contact your business. The more channels has available the more likely he or she is to get a problem resolved or questions answered in a reasonable amount of time. Today, people don’t always expect to talk with someone, especially if they have a question or problem after business hours. However, they do expect your company to have a presence on the internet. Customers really appreciate having access to a knowledge base or list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ), a forum, or a live chat service – or a combination. Another convenience customers like is the ability to submit a ‘trouble ticket’ that details their problem and request assistance.
Reliability relates to how well those channels work to solve the customer’s problem. If he or a friend had found the information they needed on your FAQ at a previous time, they will feel that your FAQ is reliable and use that channel again. They will also feel that if they don’t find their particular problem in the FAQ that it is not a frequent problem, but that they can expect help in one of the other methods.
Help Desk Agents: Courteous as they Speedily Resolve the Issue Completely
Reliability also refers to the help desk agents who deal with the issue through chat, a forum, a telephone call, or a trouble ticket. Your customers should be able to rely on the help desk agents to be courteous to them. This means that their attitudes should not be condescending (no 20-something calling everyone “honey”), they should speak and understand English well, and they should be polite even if the caller is upset. Your customers should also be able to rely on your help desk agents to be able to resolve an issue completely and to do it as speedily as possible. Granted, not every help desk agent will know the answer to every question, but they should be able to find the answers to at least 80% of the questions quickly from a database and they should be able to refer the question to the person who can answer it. Customers should not get a ‘run-around’ or have to play ‘phone tag’ for days or weeks to resolve an issue.
Help Desk Database: An Aid to Customers and to Help Desk Agents
You may have noticed that the customer should be able to access a database of issues and their resolutions. If you do not have such a database in place, perhaps you need to upgrade your software to include such a database. Help Desk Agents should also be able to access a knowledge base in order to help customers. Evaluate your knowledge base to make sure it is quick to access and contains as many scenarios as possible. Update it often. Question your agents to make sure it is helpful and to see what needs to be added or changed to make it more responsive or more complete.