Five Improvements to Help Your Help Desk: Installing customer support software will not necessarily improve your company’s performance. To improve your help desk, make sure you have the right help desk software, train your agents on how to best use the software and on good interpersonal skills, track the customer agent interaction to understand what the big picture is, set up clearly defined procedures for solving issues, and build the morale and confidence of your agents with team building activities.
1. Get the Right Help Desk Software
First you need to know how your help desk operates and what your greatest needs are. Then, assess the various help desk software options based on what types of features you need. Narrow your choices to 3-4. Many customer support software companies let you test their applications so you can request free trials. You could assign a different software to each of your best help desk reps to test to evaluate them for 2-4 weeks. This can help your team find a software that is a good fit for your business.
2. Train Help Desk Reps
Spend the time and effort to fully train each help desk agent and supervisor so that they fully understand how to use the help desk software.
Make sure to train them on those features they will use the most. Training them in increments helps them to learn the program more fully and thoroughly. Be sure to ask them for feedback and questions several times in the first year. This will enable them to feel comfortable with a wide array of features and to feel supported. Your help desk software company should be able to provide you with training which may include live support, videos, walk-throughs, instruction manuals, and ongoing e-mails to agents. A related training necessity is how agents can best interact with customers to build customer confidence.
3. Track Every Issue Clearly
Track every issue from first report to full resolution through your software. This will help you identify problems and discover solutions for them. Put into place a method for assessing the “real issue” such as user problems, design of the product problems, unclear information in the instructions, etc. If, for example, trouble understanding the instructions seems to keep popping up, consider having the instructions for your product rewritten. This is more cost effective than having agents re-explain the instructions several times a day. The best place to track issues is usually in the database that comes with your help desk software. Tracking issues is important to analyze what is happening and to give the customers a sense that their concerns are important to you.
4. Define Procedures
Allowing your customers to log their own calls (through web-based customer support software) and to see the progress of their issue(s) can reduce the number of phone calls placed to your support team by as much as 75%. Decide what your procedures will be for various scenarios. Keep them simple so that any user can understand them. Display them clearly so they can be referred to frequently and make sure your agents are very familiar with them. Stick to the procedures to maintain consistency. One way to ensure that your customers are not left waiting for days to get an answer is to have an issue escalator included in your help desk software. If an issue isn’t resolved in a timely manner, a designated supervisor or manager will receive a notice in his or her email. You can then make sure that actions are taken to fix the problem.
5. Support the Team
The customer support industry has one of the highest staff turnovers. Agents feel burdened by complaints, an often confined work environment and little management support. Agents hear so much complaining and negativity throughout their shifts that they perceive their jobs as being unpleasant. You can really change that perception by providing pleasant surroundings, soothing music, a fun group activity to look forward to every couple of weeks, and a place or person where they can safely vent without fear of repercussions. Take their complaints and suggestions seriously. Another concern that contributes to help desk agent turnover is that they feel unsupported and ill-trained. When they feel the company values them, supports them, trains them, and listens to them, their job satisfaction increases, turning them into loyal employees.
To fully leverage the value of your help desk software, it is important to utilize the right tools and the right training and support. Help Desk Software often includes training and support. Web based help desk software is one of your best options to enhance your business and nearly always includes on-going customer support software services. By taking advantage of the best web based help desk software and incorporating other good business practices your company provides ways for customers to help themselves, for agents to have a process for quickly solving issues, and to have some of the best-trained, most-satisfied, and most competent reps in the industry.