According to a survey sponsored by American Express, 78% of customers will abandon a transaction if a company provides bad service. That’s huge! Even small businesses that don’t have the resources for long software deployments or expensive implementation projects, need to prioritize customer support. The good news is that there are helpdesk solutions on the market that can be quickly deployed and help you manage your customer support — without needing expert help or breaking the bank. As you evaluate potential solutions, rank these seven “must-have” features according to your team’s needs; then use that list to test-drive potential solutions:
  • Multi-channel support. According to J.D. Power, 67% of consumers have used a company's social media site for service — and that number is growing. Not only that, today’s customers often reach out on more than one channel. To offer truly awesome support, you need to know them wherever you meet them, and support them on every channel they use. When looking for helpdesk solution, make sure you get one that brings together web, email, phone, and social into one easy-to-use agent console.
  • Workflows and automation. It’s no secret that today’s customers want everything faster, faster, faster. Your helpdesk solution has productivity tools like workflows and automation that can help you move faster, faster, faster too. If you set them up correctly, they’ll help your agents speed through repetitive tasks and frequently asked questions so they can get back to customers faster and spend their time working on complex issues.
  • Knowledge base. A knowledge base lets you keep consistent, correct answers accessible at your agents’ and customers’ fingertips. If you are looking at a new helpdesk solution, make sure it lets you consolidate all of your support content in one place. It's best to have one that can be updated by simply cutting and pasting content, so your support team can update solutions on their own, without needing help from a web designer or developer. If it supports graphics and video, even better!
  • Self-service. Today’s customers really like to help themselves. In fact, analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2017, two-thirds of all customer service interactions will no longer require the support of a human intermediary. Not only is giving your customer self-service important, it’s also a cost-effective way for small businesses to offer 24/7 support. If you're evaluating a new helpdesk solution, make sure that it includes an easy way to share your knowledge base information with customers and employees so they can find their own solutions.
  • Reporting and performance monitoring. Data from your helpdesk can be a secret weapon for success. It lets you see how your agents are performing and get the data you need to optimize your support team. You can easily access C-SAT (customer satisfaction) scores and customer health indicators, or track the most requested customer features. When you look at a helpdesk solution, make sure it’s easy to get the insights you need to make faster, smarter decisions.
  • Integration with sales. When you bring sales and support together, everyone at your company can be more effective. Sales reps know whether customers have had any problems with your products. They can offer better cross-sell opportunities if they know more about customer needs and preferences. And support agents can make an impact on the bottom line by adapting the level of service offered to your most valuable customers or the ones with the biggest open opportunities.
  • Mobile capabilities. These days, it's not just about the product or service you sell — you're competing on the overall customer experience that you offer. To make it as easy as possible for customers, you need to integrate your support in with your product itself. (Think Amazon.com's SOS button.) If you're building an online product, you’ve got to include links to your support content on your web pages, as well as forms for opening tickets. And if you're offering a mobile app, you need to include support within it.
Want to find out if a helpdesk is right for you? Download “How to Know if You Need a Helpdesk” today.
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