How a Modern Help Desk Can Make It Easy for Customers to Help Themselves

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According to research firm Forrester, 72 percent of customers prefer to sort out their problems of their own accord, rather than have to write an email or phone a company when they have an issue with a product or service. Consumers prefer to be proactive when it comes to finding solutions, and don’t want to wait for a customer service representative to find the answer for them if they don’t have to. Indeed, when it comes to social media users, 55 percent of them want an answer to their questions in less than four hours, something that just isn’t feasible if you don’t have the right tools in place.

Based on this, you can see how it’s more important than ever for you to set up a modern help desk that doesn’t only aid customers individually, each time an issue arises, but that can actually make it simple for consumers to find out the information they need themselves.

Studies show that the implementation of self-service techniques is heartily embraced by consumers. For example, results from a Detecon Consulting survey that covered five different industries showed that a full 78 percent of customers are open to the deployment of self-services, and view them as a positive development. This not only makes for better customer service and more loyal, satisfied clients over the long term, but can also dramatically reduce costs for the businesses which put such helpful IT service desk solutions in place.

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If you’re keen to think about ways you and your IT partners can make use of a help desk to cater more to your customers, read on for some strategies you can implement over the coming months.

Extensive and Dynamic FAQs

One of the first things many people do before they submit a ticket to a help desk is see if the company has a comprehensive FAQ page. This is often where their question may already be answered, or where they can pick up some handy tips about using the product or service they purchased.

Every business is generally able to identify a list of questions that the customer-service team (and others within the organization) see popping up time and again. To satisfy busy customers who want an answer ASAP, and to cut back on the amount of individual responses that service representatives need to supply, you should make sure that all the common questions are answered on a self-service FAQ page. This will make it easy for people to search for, and find, what they’re after on the spot.

If possible, try to implement dynamic FAQs. These use Natural Language Search technology to analyze user’s questions as they type and to present them straight away with the most relevant, helpful and informative answers. Dynamic FAQs make support sites much more responsive and tend to be more appealing to customers.

Instant Answers

Like dynamic FAQs, Instant Answers also offer self-service by directing users to the information they need without the requirement of a customer service agent being on hand. The technology (which uses semantic search to analyze typed text) suggests relevant content for customers to read as soon as they start to create a support ticket through a helpdesk. This works to stop unnecessary tickets from having to be dealt with, and lets users get answers more quickly as well.

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Present Many Visuals

Keep in mind when designing your customer-support services that, while many people find written instructions confusing to follow, they are often able to understand visual and auditory content more easily. This means that you should try to add in various types of graphics and videos when creating tutorials and other instructions for your company’s products or services.

Use photographs, diagrams, infographics, screenshots, flow charts and short videos anytime you want to demonstrate hard-to-grasp concepts or put forward detailed step-by-step instructions. This will help customers to understand information straight away, rather than have to get in touch for more assistance.

Encourage Community

In this day and age, because of the internet more and more consumers are turning to their peers for on-the-spot advice when it comes to buying and using products and services. Current clients are often the best (and seen as the most honest) advocates for a business, and can understand a consumer’s need from a user’s perspective.

As a result, it is a good idea to encourage forums and other avenues of community for your company’s customers to use to interact and help each other. Look for ways that you can have clients participate in conversations or answer common questions about products and services.

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