Can you imagine losing a valuable customer just because it took you ten minutes to get back to them? Unfortunately, this isn't an uncommon scenario in the business world. Every business has competition, and consumers will switch between brands in a blink. The effort you put into gaining a new customer through marketing or sales is wasted the very moment another customer starts feeling unappreciated.
Forrester states that it’s five times more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain one. This means keeping your existing customers happy should be the priority, even when you're busy trying to find new ones.
How do you do that? By making sure every customer—new or old—is attended to and given support as promptly as possible.
It sounds simple, but as your business grows, so does your trouble. It gets tricky to keep track of where your customers approach you from or who to assist first. Between forum boards, customer reviews, email feedback, and more, it's easy to end up with a pile of unanswered questions and large groups of customers left feeling forgotten. This is where help desk software can be a lifesaver for your growing business.
What is help desk software?
Back when customers had limited access to digital communication channels, they physically approached a business to get their concerns sorted. Today's customer service and support world looks very different. An online clothing brand may have a physical storefront, for example, but customers will often seek to contact them through other means before going to the store.
In fact, with the tsunami of tech developments in the last decade, people expect their problems to be solved right from their homes! That's why businesses need to invest in good back-office technology to meet their customers' rising expectations.
Help desk software is commonly hosted on the cloud, and it's designed to help your team manage and resolve all your customers' concerns from one platform. It can be used for anything from complaints and questions to suggestions and requests for additional information. All queries will be brought to your attention without you having to search for them manually. This means less work for you and faster answers for your customers.
Who uses help desk software?
Using a help desk isn't limited to any specific industry or business size. You could be a freelancer who conducts art classes for kids, a small-town restaurant owner, or even someone who runs a multinational enterprise. Anyone with a customer base can benefit from a cloud-based help desk system. As long as you're determined to give your customers a great experience, it will be a worthy investment.
Why small businesses need help desk software
All businesses have unhappy customers, and small businesses are no exception to this. Being already limited in size, retaining customers is even more important for smaller organisations. The longer you hold on to a customer, the stronger relationship you can build with them. This way, they'll be more likely to promote your business to friends and family or support your efforts on social media. Getting the good word out about your services or product is key to growth and success in the long run.
Unfortunately, this process takes time, and spotting one bad review is all it takes for some leads to pass on your business. That's why every customer should be taken care of and feel heard when they give feedback. If you can reassure them that their concerns are valued and that you can be easily reached for further concerns, customers develop the confidence to do further business with you.
Good customer service builds trust, and it may ultimately be the deciding factor for them to choose your organisation over others.
What are some signs of a great help desk system?
Customers can approach you from different channels: email, social media, phone, web forms, live chat, instant messaging, and your website. So it's crucial to choose a help desk that's equipped to consolidate questions and feedback from any channel of communication they choose.
A ticket is a unique number given to identify a query. The help desk's ticketing system should automatically allot ticket numbers to your customers. Any query found in the supported channels is converted into a ticket and assigned to a respective customer service agent. Your ticketing system should also put deadlines on each ticket and prioritise them based on the severity of the issue.
It's common to feel agitated when someone asks you to repeat something time and time again. Likewise, customers hate it when they're asked to repeat their questions. A help desk with contextual features will let your agents view the customer's details and their past conversations with the support team so they can pick up right where they left off.
Not all questions need human intervention. A good help desk system reduces your agent's workload by helping you create preset answers for repetitive questions about things like the status of the customer's order, working hours, holidays, business addresses, and more.
Reports and dashboards
Help desk software is a great management tool as well. It should allow you to monitor your agent's performance by giving you metrics such as the time they take to close a ticket, their average response time, and the ratings they receive for their service. It not only improves their accountability but also helps your agents monitor their own performance.
Many help desk applications are also available for mobile devices, which is a blessing for small businesses. This way, you can manage customers from anywhere you want without having to sit in front of a desk all day.
Every business is different. These features may not be useful to everyone, but they do target some of the most vital ways that having a digital help desk tool can improve your customer support process. For small businesses, building brand loyalty and trust is essential for growth, and exceptional support is a great way to retain customers and stay ahead of your competition.
In case you're wondering how to get started for free, take a look at Zoho Desk, our award-winning customer support management tool that's helped numerous businesses deliver smooth customer service. We have multiple plans, so you can choose the option that works best for your business.
Cheers to happy customers!