3 help desk best practices

After establishing customer support as a channel offering for your business, inevitably you come to wonder what help desk best practices you should be following to guide your service desk team towards success.

Well first off, congratulations on setting up a support team for your business—that is already a big step in the right direction for building a customer-first business.

Now, whether you’ve already purchased and set up help desk software, or you’re on the hunt for the best all-in-one customer support tool for your unique business needs, here is an unbiased look at which best practices you should implement better serve your customers and increase customer satisfaction.

1. Outline your ideal customer support experience

The point of using help desk software is, well, to provide help and assistance to those that need it.

So whether it’s your internal IT team using the service desk to manage support tickets, or it’s an external facing mailbox where your customers can reach you when they have questions, it is critical to set customer service procedures that you and your team members will follow when using the tool.

To lay out your customer service processes, think of what next step you want taken after a new ticket has been opened. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will the support ticket be assigned to someone on your support team?
  • Should there be a priority setting or status given to certain kinds of open tickets?
  • Are there efficiencies you can take with answering questions, like using Saved Replies for faster ticket resolution times?

Now that you’ve got a sense of what your process might evolve into, use help desk workflows to bring this process to life. At DoneDone, we use a very simple workflow to facilitate our customer service process.

We have three statuses: Open, Pending, Solved. We also have four priority settings: Low, Medium, High and Critical. Tickets move between all three of each, depending on the inquiry.

Here’s an example:

  • A new ticket is given the status of Open when an inquiry is received and immediately given the priority setting of Medium.
  • Customers are sent an automatic response letting them know it is being looked at.
  • The ticket is then moved to the status of Pending when someone is reviewing the query and, when needed, the priority setting will move to Low or High depending on the ask.
  • A tag is assigned to the ticket depending on the general theme of the question (i.e. Bug report, pricing, feature request, etc.)
  • A Saved Reply is sent for common questions, like bug reports.
  • The ticket is marked as Solved when a reply is sent and the task is completed.

This simple-yet-sturdy works for us—but what’s great is that our customers can customize their own customer support workflow, to suit their needs. We suggest starting simple (like the one above) and iteratively improving your workflow over time as you adjust to the process and learn more about what your clients need.

Customer support guide

2. Live by your support team reports

Once you’ve established a solid customer support process and flow, your goal should be to improve efficiency over time to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. The only way to do this is by analyzing your customer support data. That includes data related to your support tickets and team performance.

Even if you’re not super data-savvy, your service desk solution should make understanding your customer service metrics as simple as possible. I mean, what’s the point of purchasing a help desk if it makes life more complicated, right?

Use your help desk to view and access key customer service metrics, like:

  • Average resolution time. This will show you how long it takes, on average, for your team to solve tickets. Once you know this, you can start to learn more about what is holding your team members back from providing more timely support. Perhaps it’s the level of complexity of conversations that makes the time to resolution longer. If this is the case, further training may be necessary. Or perhaps it’s just an inefficiency, like not using Saved Replies or canned responses to your fullest advantage.
  • Average first response time and average response time overall. This is a great metric for understanding how quickly your team is responding to customer inquiries. You’ll likely see a correlation between ticket volume and resolution times, i.e. the higher the volume of tickets, the more likely it will take your team to respond to get through each one. If you see a trend over time of ticket volume increasing, and first response time decreasing, that might mean it’s time to hire a new team member or to look for ways to improve time management.
  • Average number of conversations on a given day. This metric will show you more about your customers’ behavior so you can be better prepared to help them on higher volume days. For instance, if Mondays are your busy days, perhaps that’s the day you need to double down on having customer support agents on call and ready.

3. Combine your task tracking with your help desk team

It’s no secret that internal team collaboration is critical to business success. So why are so many businesses still using one tool to manage projects, and another to manage their support?

Often, customer feedback arrives via the service desk, which is likely very relevant to helping you improve business processes, products, and services. Yet, many businesses suffer from the clunkiness of trying to pass customer feedback over to the appropriate team or stakeholder so that it provides true value and informs how your business evolves.

If the tools don’t talk to each other natively, it’s likely that teams aren’t collaborating as optimally as they could be.

That’s why combining your help desk and project management solutions into one is vital. With a solution that offers both under one roof, customer service teams can tag, prioritize and link relevant customer support tickets to ongoing internal projects. That puts your customers (and their insights) at the heart of your business.

Next steps: follow help desk best practices with DoneDone

When you’re beginning to set up a help desk solution for your business, start with simplicity and then scale up from there. Help desk best practices can guide you along the way, and so can service desk software that makes serving your customers easy and intuitive.

DoneDone’s all-in-one collaboration platform makes life simple for customer support teams. See why hundreds of companies trust us for handling interactions with teams and customers. Give it a try today.

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