Tips for Designing a Self-Service Support Desk

Posted by Webmaster - August 25, 2013 - Blog - No Comments

Customers don’t like waiting hours for answers to their questions and often enjoy using self-service support if offered. In fact, customers who use self-service support desks often report being happier with overall customer service, and therefore self-service support desks are an important component of most online businesses today.

The elements of an effective self-service support desk are:

* Open 24/7 – Your customers want information when they want it. So by having a self-service help desk available 24/7, you’re giving them exactly what they want at a substantial cost savings over 24/7 live help.

* Knowledge base – An easily editable and searchable knowledge base is no harder to make than creating a blog post. Ease for both you and your customers is essential in making a knowledge base successful.

* Customizable branding – It should look like your business, not the provider’s.

* Cloud-access – You and customers should be able to access the help desk from any device.

* Community enabled options – People love helping others, even for free, so seek a platform that has an option to allow your community of users to help each other through forums. Along with moderation from you, many of your clients will find the best kind of help here.

* Easy escalation – A customer who cannot find their answers in your knowledge base should easily be able to use an online contact form to send a ticket to customer service any time of the day or night.

* Web chat – During office hours, and even after hours, you can offer web chat features to your visitors and customers who are using the knowledge base.

* Mobile optimized – Information should be just as easy to see on a PC, tablet or mobile device.

* Back-office analytics – You want to see the metrics with easy standard and customizable reporting and analytics.

* Security – You and your clients’ information should be safe on your helpdesk. By entrusting a third party system to create your help desk, you’ll be a lot more secure without having to understand anything about IT.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

There are a lot of self-service support desk cloud-based software packages that have already been created that do everything and probably more than you’ll ever need to help you create a self-service support desk fast. What’s more, they’re not all very expensive. Some options that are affordable and work well are:

* Zendesk.com
* Desk.com
* Freshdesk.com
* HelpScout.net
* Helpjuice.com
* Salesforce.com

These different pieces of software are all cloud based, with the exception of Helpjuice.com which is actually code you will install in your website. They all work seamlessly with your website and on your own domain. Most offer different levels of customer care, so that you can choose what is right for you in terms of cost and features.

Customers want to help themselves so by giving them access to a 24/7 helpdesk service through a knowledge base with easy escalation via a ticketing system, you’ll be providing exactly what your customers want and need to use your products and services. Plus, empowering customers to solve their own issues with a well-made support desk can also save you a lot of money.