Early on as a business, customer support isn't all that complicated. As your business grows, things become more complicated. A backlog builds and your SLAs suffer. These are the warning signs that you need a help desk.
There’s no better feeling than making your first sale as an ecommerce professional.
To have that validation your idea, product, and marketing are everything they should be.
It’s a great feeling, right? And honestly, there’s only one thing better than making that first sale.
The feeling that comes when you turn one sale into 10, 10 into 100, 100 into 1000.
It’s what we’re all aiming for, right? So of course, it’s what all the online advice focuses on.
However, what’s rarely covered is the difficulties in supporting your consumer base as it grows.
With more sales come more questions, more refund request, more people who need your guidance.
And if you’re not prepared, you’ll end up struggling to answer your customer’s questions which is the kryptonite to your growth.
We see it every day with even the biggest brands in the world. Fail to provide great customer service, and you’ll attract negative press which destroys customer trust in your brand.
So what’s the easiest way to better manage your customer support requests?
A comprehensive help desk solution.
What Exactly is a Help Desk?
A help desk is a centralized customer support service. It allows multiple customer success agents to track each and every request and offer direct support to the customer when they most need it.
The best help desk solutions are both multi-channel and offer a tracking solution so you never have two different agents offering the same advice.
In today’s consumer-focused world a great help desk solution isn’t something that might help your business. It’s a necessity.
Modern consumers are impatient. And when seconds can be the difference between a happy customer who keys in their card details or an angry lead who leaves a terrible review, you have to do whatever you can to accommodate their needs.
But not every ecommerce store is ready for a help desk solution. So what are the signs your brand could benefit from a help desk solution?
Unhappy Customer Success Agents
Before you start polling your customers and looking at conversion rates, ticket response rates or anything of the sort, you should first go to the people who would most benefit from a comprehensive help desk solution.
Your agents know the customer support area of our business better than anyone else.
They are in the trenches day-to-day and will have the best understanding of what would increase the effectiveness of their department.
So make use of their knowledge.
Sit down with each and every member and ask them if they think a help desk would work.
If your agents aren’t happy they’re not going to provide a good customer experience. So first make sure that this is something they want.
If you find that they’re unhappy with your current customer success approach, it’s time to try something new.
Unwieldy (or Non-Existent) Tracking
When first starting out it’s completely normal to track your customer support in a spreadsheet.
You’ll only get a handful of questions a month and having a spreadsheet and single support@ inbox is the most efficient and cost-effective method of organizing everything.
But this is unsustainable.
As your brand grows you’re going to find it increasingly difficult to keep track of everything. As soon as you throw a second agent into the mix your spreadsheet becomes more of a liability than an asset.
It is more than anything, inefficient.
When workload gets heavy your agents are going to have to sort through numerous responses to find the one that they’re trying to help with.
They’re going to scan through your growing sheet and ignore any that aren’t explicitly allocated to them.
The result is slow response times, queries falling through the gaps, and an increasingly poor customer experience.
Spreadsheets and a single support inbox is a great way to get started. But as your brand grows, you need something built specifically for brands with high volume customer service requests.
HUGE Backlogs and Delayed Response Times
Your customers are impatient. They’re busy and don’t want to delay the rest of their day because your customer service team couldn’t respond within a few minutes.
If you take a look at any study into improvements on customer service you’ll find speed of response is often listed as one of the key differentiators.
Slow responses kill sales and lose customers.
You need a tool that offers a couple of features that are key to a faster, more personal customer experience. In short, you want to be looking for the below;
- A single customer view so whoever picks up the ticker knows the customer’s history and how best to help
- Live chat because it is simply the most engaging channel with he quickest resolution
- Smart routing to assign tickets to the most suited agent
Whilst not a complete list, these three items should be top of the list to ensure you’re clearing your query backlog as quick as possible.
You’ve No Idea How to Improve
You might know that your customer service is lacking.
But knowing something needs improvement and knowing how to improve it are two completely different things.
This is the problem most small business have when organizing their customer service through spreadsheets and a disconnected email inbox.
There’s no way for you to track the key metrics that lead to better service. And in the immortal words of Peter Drucker, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
Tracking your response times, close rates, and agent efficiency isn’t just about providing pretty graphs like the below.
Tracking is the only way you can quickly find where you’re losing money. It’s the only way you can identify the holes in your service which is the only way you can devise solutions to plug them.
If you’ve no idea how to make your customer service better, you need a solution that’ll help you figure out how.
You’re Positive You’re Losing Money Because of It
This is what it all comes down to.
How is your customer service affecting your sales?
If you’re hearing complaints, getting negative reviews, and generally get a feeling of dissatisfaction from your target audience there’s a good chance you’re losing money because you’re not properly engaging with them.
It’s no secret that bad customer service is one of the key reasons potential customers abandon your brand and go to your competitors.
- 95% of customers will tell at least one other person if they receive bad customer service
- 89% of customers will stop doing business with a brand due to bad customer service
- Bad customer service costs major countries over $338 billion every year
The problem is, how can you be sure that customer service is losing your brand money?
I mean, if you’re using spreadsheets to track everything, then it’s incredibly difficult to understand where, or even if, you’re missing out.
Fortunately, there are other indicators that can give you the information you’re looking for.
If you check third-party review sites like your Facebook and Google reviews you’ll see if people have an issue with your service.
If you’re seeing a very low level of repeat purchases and customer lifetime value is on the low end then there’s a good chance consumer’s weren’t happy with the service they received last time.
Basically, if you feel like you’re not earning as much as you should be then there is likely a problem which can be resolved by a decent help desk service.
Does Your Brand Need a Help Desk?
This is the $1,000,000 question. Is it worth investing in a help desk solution for your brand?
We might be biased, but we would say that unless your brand is so small that you only receive a handful of enquiries per week, then yes it is worth it.
You may not see an immediate return on that investment, but the higher level of customer service leads to more word of mouth referrals.
It leads to more repeat purchases and a reduction int he number of people who abandon their purchase because they can’t find what they need.
There’s no hard and fast rule here, but there’s also no downside to implementing a comprehensive help desk on your store.
eDesk is purpose-built for e-commerce. Save time and money by centralizing all of the communication across each of your marketplaces and channels in one single dashboard. Start your free trial today and see how eDesk can help your business resolve tickets faster.