There are loads of great contact center and help desk products in the world. The truth of the matter is that most of them may not be for you. It’s a fact of life that different solutions will fit different businesses, and what worked for another company may not work for you. How, therefore, do you go about hunting for the perfect help desk solution for your organization? You need to start by completely assessing your organization’s needs (which is a lot harder than it sounds, since everyone will have a different opinion!).
After you’ve determined your needs by polling employees and customers and weeding out features you don’t need (no matter how cool they might be), you need to think about how the solution will integrate with your current processes, according to a recent blog post by help desk solutions provider TeamSupport.
“Businesses must be certain their support platforms are fully integrated into their software or services, because doing so is a means to providing cohesive and positive customer service,” wrote the TeamSupport blogger.
For starters, you need to be sure that the solution you choose will solve problems, not create them. If you’re using odd or old solutions or proprietary systems, ensure that the vendor you choose will be able to accommodate them. (If they’re really odd or old, consider replacing them.) Companies cannot create a positive customer experience if the customers are expected to wait or receive a callback because the support system is slow, non-responsive or simple inadequate to solve the customers’ problems.
“For instance, companies that rely heavily on email should leverage an online help desk that blends well with their email platform, and companies that conduct frequent surveys or utilize a customer relationship management (CRM) platform should be able to easily integrate these systems into their support software,” according to the TeamSupport blog, which recommends that companies consider choosing a customer service tool that integrates with developer tools such as Jira and Beanstalk.
Also consider how the support solution can be arranged in the case of different business groups, products or services or physical locations. Do you need one solution that will support multiple product lines or offices? Will the solution you’re looking at allow you to do that?
“Businesses need adaptable customer support software that will enable them to conduct their operations with ease,” wrote the TeamSupport blogger. “Businesses must focus on customer service tools that align with their operational processes. Better yet, a strong help desk solution will actually enhance those processes and make them run more smoothly.”
Finally, companies should be sure that they are choosing a support solution that is aligned to their type of businesses. Too many business-to-business companies wind up using a solution that was built for the B2C world, and the software must be jury-rigged to accommodate it. B2B companies are usually servicing larger organizations with more transactions and more primary contacts rather than the one-agent-to-one-customer model in B2C. B2B customer support often requires teams of people to solve problems, and an overly simplistic support solution will fail.
While the operations of the two functions are similar, help desks are not call centers, and call centers are not help desks. If you’re using one type of software for the other function, or forcing B2C solutions to fit a B2B model, you’re shortchanging both your employees and your customers, which can cost you money in the long run, and result in lost business.
Edited by Maurice Nagle