Guest post by Apoorv Bhatnagar
Choosing the best help desk software to aid in customer support processes is a tricky job, especially when the budget is a constraint. While most software service providers do offer a trial period or a free version, it is not guaranteed that switching from a free version to a paid one will improve and increase the list of features that it has to offer. When budget is a constraint most customer support initiatives go for free versions that allow a multitude of agents to be logged in at any one time, but when branding and customization is a priority, owing to the sensitive nature of data that the customer support process deals with, security and safety becomes a priority over riding costs.
One of the best ways to determine “the best” customer support software most suitable and beneficial to your working environment and process is to clearly define your business’ understanding of quality customer support service. Outline the parameters and limitations subject to the customer service support that you offer and clearly sketch a working premise for your customer support solutions. Once the customer support service is clearly contained within a perimeter with limitations and standards applicable, it becomes easier to decide and finalise on your help desk software based on the features it is offering and if they are suited in your best interests.
With a view to all the problems and constraints faced at a workplace dealing with customer support and service and striving to deliver quality without compromising on standards of operation, below is a list of recommendations for zeroing on the best help desk software for smooth operations in customer service support.
1) What is the nature of Customer Support you have set expectations for with your clientele?
Answer this question to yourself and try and understand if the commitments made by Customer Support matches the delivery and entails of your operations with reference to customer support. Then analyse if the expectations match. For example, customer support is essentially interpreted by the consumer as help service, where company representatives will either provide solutions on the call or walk them through a solution over the call itself. However if you intend to arrive at solutions by phasing them with customer inputs like requesting them to fill a form or walk themselves through to a solution, it is a classic example of expectations not corresponding. So an internal introspection will provide you with answers in relation to what sort of tools you need to deliver customer service as defined by you.
2) How do you define the ideal customer support experience for your consumer?
In order to answer this question helpfully, you need to first outline the mediums or platforms that you use to deliver the support service. Is it telephonically, or via email, or do the customers need to access a website and provide remote support to help desk agent in order to arrive at a speedy resolution? Or is your support process pivoted through all of the above mentioned channels? Under such circumstances can customers choose their medium of contact? Do you have provisions to help customers walk themselves to a resolution simply by following self help instructions? Clearly and accurately defining your working atmosphere helps you correctly identify the ideal customer support experience and in turn create support system to assist the ideal customer support experience in every interaction.
3) How do you define the ideal customer support representative experience in your scheme of things?
While you can’t hold the same yardstick for every individual, however as a business proprietor it is important for you to assure the team members, especially support representatives, are motivated at work. As it is their job is not the easiest, procuring help desk software which makes their job more complicated instead of making it easy will not help your employees achieve the prescribed standards or be motivated at work. Hence a help desk software that aids them in their operations and makes their job easier is key to a ripple effect with the eventual outcome of ideal customer experiences habitually.
4) What are the changes that can bring about a movement towards the positive direction in the present working environment?
Analyzing the customer representative relationship, it can be concluded as a thumb rule, a motivated atmosphere is conducive for quality deliverables which in turn contributes to great customer experiences habitually. Hence while choosing help desk software, the convenience and ease of customer support representatives need to be given utmost priority so that the software helps them multi task with ease without compromising on the sensitive nature of data they are dealing with because the key to eventual success and great customer experiences lies with motivated employees who love doing what they do.
For example, it goes unsaid that economics and operations should balance each other, but not at the cost of inconveniencing the most critical pillars of the organisation, process and customer satisfaction. Yes, we are referring to the support executives. Budget constraints requiring change of software should not make things difficult such that support execs actually find it a challenge to do their job. If the previous software back up material has not been created as a provision and synchronized with the new software and the support mailboxes connected to the software accounts, you are only paving the way for disaster.
So summarising, once you have a clearly defined picture in front of you with clearly outlined objectives, it becomes easier to measure and gauge potential help desk software for its features being offered against your desired objectives.
5) Creating help desk aid atmosphere
Creating help desk aid atmosphere is about having a well defined framework outlined of the working system based on dire essential features it should possess to support the framework of your customer support experience that you have envisioned. When the bare essentials are satisfied, then we can look for the icing on the cake and venture into the region of added features which makes the working environment fun and at the same time being functionally utility. This way you ensure all work and no fun is not a motto you are imposing on the workforce. Very simply said, the skeletal system of a favourable help desk software is designed first taking into consideration its ability to address and satisfy requirements of dire essentials. Once we have a visual reference for the skeletal framework of the ideal help desk aid software, we can then flesh out the framework at length with choicest recreational features and customization provisions to retain the fun appeal of the work process. Now that you have a reference in place, making a choice is merely checking for compatibility.
So in conclusion, choosing the most appropriate ticketing system should be governed by giving utmost priority to the convenience of the support executives by the chosen software, thereby making their job easier so that they can push themselves to greater challenges and uplift themselves to outdo previous benchmarks and rise above their performance levels. This way not only is the working atmosphere closer to recreating ideal customer experiences on a habitual basis but at the same time as a resultant outcome, business also takes a boost almost by inflection as if with incremental sales and revenue generated.