Best practices for your customer help desk

Helpdesk is one of the critical customer facing side of your business and it is very important you get that right. In this post I will detail the best practices in a customer help desk setup.

Gather as much data as possible about the customer

You should use the right tool that enables you to collect as much data as possible about customer’s previous interactions with your business. Use this data to solve the current issue. For instance, if the customer has already called you related to a billing problem a few months ago, the next time when he/she calls on a similar issue, attempt to directly get from the point it was left in the earlier conversation. Provide the solutions your technicians have worked out in the earlier case, such as an workaround for an issue with the bank’s fund transfer policy.

An ideal helpdesk software should automatically pull up the customer’s record as soon as you receive the call, based on the dialed phone number stored in the database.

Understand the level of your customer

Tag the customers with their technical level and use the information to provide the support at the appropriate level. In my personal interactions with many customer help desks, I almost always see them provide a generic solution starting at the basics, instead of understanding my technical level. If your customer is a pro-Mac user and you are providing him instructions on how to find Safari in their computer, you are not just wasting your time, but also irritating the customer. On the other hand, if your customer is a beginner and you are talking about swap files you will confuse him entirely. Always respond based on the level of the caller.

Segment the customers by region/product/demographic and train specialists for each segment

Try to group your customers in various segments and build specialists for each level. Then have these specialists take the call in their segment, by automatically detecting the caller. This could significantly cut your call times and improve customer satisfaction. For instance, if your software product is used a lot by the seniors, you could have a service person (ideally a senior) specialized in issues related to this segment and handle the calls appropriately.

Update the customer on difficult issues that take a longer time

When you are not able to solve the customer’s issue immediately and it needs to be sent to the higher levels, inform the customer about the best-guess time frame to solve the issue and update him/her proactively about the solutions or further delays. Use this opportunity to wow the customer and let them know how you care.

Followup with the callers

After a couple of days since the customer made a call, follow up with the customer to see if the problem has been fixed. You could use this opportunity to build the rapport and brand image with the customer and let them know about your other offers. Don’t try to be too pushy though and keep the call casual. If the problem has not been fixed, try to get that fixed by prioritizing the support. This could win you more customers than most advertisement campaigns.

Balaji Viswanathan

Balaji Viswanathan

Balaji Viswanathan is the founder of Agni Innovation Labs that helps startups and small businesses with their marketing and management strategy. He has been blogging for the past 8 years on technology, finance and business related topics.

2 Responses

  1. I am very pleased to find this blog. I want to thank for your time for this wonderful read!!! Keep Sharing, I’ll surely be looking for more.

    • Avatar Balaji Viswanathan says:

      Thanks Andrew. I’m glad that you found the articles helpful. Feel free to check out other articles too.

      regards,
      Balaji

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