When it comes to customer service, it’s hard that you haven’t heard of the term help desk at least once in the past – either as a customer or as an entrepreneur who owns your own business.
However, it is not always very clear exactly what a help desk is, what its functions are, and even what are the differences between a help desk and a service desk, for example.
To consolidate information and help you understand once and for all everything you need to know about the help desk, including how important it is to your business, we have prepared this comprehensive guide.
Here, we will cover everything from the definition of the term help desk to its implementation in the company and take the opportunity to pass on tips on how to serve with excellence. Come on?
What is help desk?
Starting with its definition, help desk is a term that can be translated directly to help desk or counter in English. Essentially, the word is used to define systems or sectors in companies responsible for providing customer service and support to their consumers.
Some people are still mistaken when assuming that help desk is always related to technical support for the information technology (IT) area of companies. It is true that help desk tools are also used in infrastructure and IT sectors, but that does not imply that they are exclusive to this functionality.
So, in summary, help desk is the sector responsible for providing assistance on products, services, technologies, performing pre or post sales or essentially any other type of service – usually done through a help desk system, such as Websites Are Us, for example.
Difference between help desk and service desk
As we mentioned at the beginning of the content, there is a lot of confusion about the differences between a help desk and a service desk. Essentially, a service desk is perceived as an evolution of the service desk, that is, a service desk handles many more types of calls and requests from different sectors within the company or even from the consumers themselves.
Essentially, the help desk is seen as the sector responsible for dealing with first-level services, that is, not extremely complex and that do not necessarily require specialists on specific subjects.
Meanwhile, the service desk would be responsible for second-level services, where more complex problems call for the attention of specialized operators in certain areas.
It is important to mention that there is not always the need to divide your departments between help desk and service desk. This depends exclusively on the size of your company and area of operation.
How a help desk works
The main objective of a help desk is to solve problems and provide services to consumers and, for this, systems that are able to centralize and categorize requests and calls opened by customers are usually used.
In this way, the team of operators – also called support analysts – responsible for providing support will have access to all this information and will be able to take the necessary actions to contact the consumer and solve problems.
Again, it is worth remembering that the help desk does not exclusively address issues related to IT. Consider the examples below:
Help desk at an internet provider
When you contact your internet provider in need of assistance because your connection is not working, your service will normally be directed to the help desk, where the operator will register you and then you can follow a script to try to solve the problem (such as classic step by step to reset the modem).
If the problem is not resolved, it is likely that you will be transferred to a specialist at the service desk or simply that your call will be forwarded to a technical team who can visit you to diagnose and resolve the problem.
Help desk in an ecommerce
In a B2B ecommerce (Business to Business) or a SaaS company (Software as a Service) that offers services to other companies, for example, the consumer would contact you through one of the available channels and also have your call registered so that a specialized operator can return as soon as possible to help you solve any problem.
In this case, it is common that B2B ecommerce does not offer a technical team that can go to the customer’s establishment or company and, therefore, support is often performed virtually, either via remote access.
Thus, the operator can view and take the necessary steps by remotely accessing the customer’s device. Alternatively, virtual support can be provided through real-time monitoring, videos or tutorials.
So, essentially, it is possible to classify the services provided by a help desk as place or virtual depending on the situations presented.
Multichannel service and omnichannel service
A few years ago it was still very common for telephone and email to be the main service channels offered at a help desk. However, today this is no longer the case and, in addition, there are already more sophisticated service models than the multichannel. Understand:
The multichannel model or multichannel it consists of providing more than a single service channel that can be accessed and used by consumers to contact the company.
A company that serves by phone, physical store, email and online store is a multichannel company, for example. However, it is important to mention that these channels are not integrated or even share information with each other.
In this scenario, it is common for an attendant in the physical store to not have access or to not be able to continue a service initiated by the telephone – unless he contacts the call center itself to check it.
It is also possible that there is competition between sales channels, as the physical store and online store offer different prices, offers and conditions. You can certainly already see how this model is already outdated considering the expectations of the modern consumer.
Omnichannel service is essentially an evolution of the cross channel: where channels already cross information and the consumer can move between them. However, the focus of omnichannel service is not only on the idea of sharing information and allowing customers to continue their service regardless of the chosen channel.
This service model works with a focus on the consumer experience, that is, it aims to offer convenience and leverage the use of technology and modern solutions to allow consumers to avoid having to repeat their problems while moving between channels.
Here, all communication points are integrated so that the team of operators can immediately access the service history of each customer registered at the base, recognize it and continue it smoothly, without the consumer having to re-explain their entire situations. time you find a new representative or support analyst on your journey.
Taking this modernization of customer service into account, today, the best help desk systems already offer this level of integration between services and channels. To learn all about omnichannel service, access our dedicated content.
Supporting is no longer enough
Considering the constant changes in consumer behavior and also the evolution of technology, such as the constant increase in the use of mobile devices (smartphones or tablets) to browse online and perform tasks, it is important to identify that customer service has also been adapting as a whole.
Today, simply answering questions and solving problems is no longer enough to guarantee customer satisfaction. The modern consumer wants to have his time valued and also hopes to find other service channels on his help desk besides the phone or email, as is the case with online chat – the channel with the highest satisfaction rate in the digital market according to multiple Statistics.
Therefore, if your goal is to leverage customer service to generate more business opportunities, gain and retain customers, you will need to invest in modern help desk systems, with integrated channels and solutions focused on consumer success, or customer success.
After all, satisfied consumers are more likely to return to your business and even to disseminate it in their own circle of contacts, while, on the other hand, consumers frustrated with customer service mistakes may end up denigrating your company’s image.
Features that your help desk cannot miss
To let you know exactly what the main features of a good help desk system are, we brought you a list that you need to consider when choosing your own customer service solution, check it out.
To start, it is crucial that your help desk is able to store service history, containing relevant information about the problem while, what solutions were presented, which operators were involved.
This should be possible both for calls recorded by phone and for calls by email or directly via online chat on your business page.
Customer information forms
A good help desk system also allows you to obtain relevant information about customers through forms, such as email, telephone, data that confirm your identity, among others.
Modern systems also offer the possibility to monitor customers accessing the page of your business in real time and present demographic data, as well as what type of device and the customer is using to access it.
Always be available
Your help desk should always be available – but beware, that doesn’t mean you need to invest in 24/7 customer service. If you offer an online chat on your page, for example, even if your team of operators is not available, allow consumers to open service calls, sending a ticket or email so that the team can return the contact as soon as possible.
Enable service evaluation
Soliciting feedback from your customers is extremely important to your business. This is a resource that should definitely be available at the help desk and should be offered to customers so that they can assess the quality of service.
Help desk metrics that you should track
There is no point in receiving feedback from customers if you are not able to follow the metrics and service reports in a practical way through detailed and transparent reports.
Only then can you identify problems in processes or find service errors and correct them before they can negatively affect the experience of multiple consumers. Therefore, know the main metrics of help desk and customer service that you must follow:
Service volume and category
The number of open calls and calls has great significance for your help desk. It serves to help you identify if there are common problems with products or services that are affecting multiple consumers.
In addition, categorizing the type of service request allows you to identify which are the weaknesses that need to be reworked in your offers.
In ecommerce, for example, customers may have a lot of questions about shipping, payment methods, delivery times, product descriptions and all this indicates that you need to optimize your product page for conversions.
Time for first response
The time for the first response is one of the most critical factors when it comes to offering high quality care. It is measured from the moment a new call or contact is initiated until the first return sent by one of its operators.
Even the fast response time is the main reason that highlights the online chat of other service channels in the digital environment. On the other hand, it is also the reason that customers feel less satisfied with telephone service because they have to wait on the line until an operator is available.
So if you notice that customers are dissatisfied with phone service or that their time for the first response is too slow, it’s time to invest in online chat and a callback solution for your business.
The resolution time essentially indicates how long it took from the first contact initiated by the consumer until their call, ticket or request is classified as resolved by the responsible operator.
As you know, customers do not like to wait to have questions answered or problems solved, so it is important to always be aware of both the resolution time and the number of times the same consumer had to contact to have their problem completely and satisfactorily resolved.
Consumer satisfaction level
You certainly need to be aware of the level of consumer satisfaction. After all, the main objective of the help desk is to solve your problems and ensure that customers have a good experience when contacting your company’s support team.
If customers are dissatisfied, this is the biggest sign that there are flaws and aspects of your help desk that need attention right away.
Net Promoter Score – NPS
NPS is a metric and methodology designed and developed by Fred Reichheld – a renowned author and business strategist in the United States. It essentially exists to measure customer loyalty and give you insight into their chances and loyalty rates.
The NPS is calculated using the following formula to obtain a percentage result:
Net Promoter Score =% promoting customers -% detrimental customers
In order to identify what promoters and detractors customers are, a scale evaluation using a direct question such as “on a scale of 0 to 10, how likely would you recommend our company to an acquaintance, friend or family member?”
- Notes from 0 to 06 = detrimental customers: these are customers frustrated with the experience offered by their business who openly criticize their brand and company in their circle of contacts.
- Notes from 07 and 08 = neutral customers: these are consumers who had a shopping experience at your company but were not engaged in a way that they could be loyal, just as they had no marked negative points. They do not enter the formula but still provide valuable information that your company is not investing enough in the experience, but at least it is not failing to satisfy customers.
- Notes from 09 to 10 = promoter clients: are consumers who believe that the experience was truly remarkable enough for them to be interested in sharing it in their circle of contacts, promoting their brand and acting as a word of mouth marketing agent.
Obviously, a high NPS means that your company is being able to retain customers and that the service offered through the help desk is satisfactory.
Help desk tools
As we do not want you to leave this content without reference to professional help desk tools to use in your business, check out some indications and features of the best platforms that can serve your business.
Desk360 is a tool that helps you to centralize calls and boost your customer satisfaction index, as it allows your team to follow everything through dynamic reports and to manage the performance of your operators.
You can use the tool to communicate between your sectors and create forms with custom fields so that you can capture information from your customers. The best part is that one of the Desk360 plans is entirely free, but of course, if you need robust resources, you can count on professional plans.
Also, check out how easy it is to integrate it with Websites Are Us by accessing our guide.
2. Desk Manager
Another excellent option is the Desk Manager, which also allows you to track calls, manage your team’s tasks, evaluate reports and even track all expenses generated from each service.
With it, you have access to a professional tool, which offers SLA (Service Level Agreement) so you can follow open call deadlines through an intuitive panel and a friendly interface. The tool offers three plans, you will certainly find an option that meets the needs of your business.
You can also easily integrate it with Websites Are Us, check out how to do that in our guide.
As a competitive alternative, Freshdesk is a company that offers several solutions for digital businesses – your Help Desk being one of them. With it, it is easy to centralize your calls even to convert incoming emails into tickets.
Freshdesk has 5 plans, the most basic being free – but limited in comparison to the other options, which even offer automation for your help desk tool.
4. Zendesk Support
Zendesk Support will help you solve problems quickly and log all calls on a robust and very practical platform, as well as being scalable as needed.
They have 5 plans, none of which are free – but they offer all the features you expect to find in a professional solution.
5. Zoho Desk
Finally, our last tool suggestion is Zoho Desk. It also offers professional resources and allows you to track tickets and centralize customer calls and requests on a single platform already integrated with other solutions offered by Zoho.
The Desk presents three plans and charges monthly according to the number of operators. It is worth mentioning that the first plan already has essential resources for your help desk.
Work with a professional help desk and integrate with Websites Are Us!
Now that you know everything about what the help desk is, how it works, what are the main features that your system should offer and the main metrics that you need to monitor, it is important to remember that only a professional system allows you to achieve excellence in service.
Therefore, unlike what many companies do when offering customer service via WhatsApp, consider investing in a solution that conveys professionalism and helps to win the trust of customers.
A good help desk system is not necessarily expensive, in fact, the best solutions are designed so that you can save money while still guaranteeing a high level of consumer satisfaction.
If you are in need of a help desk for your business, be sure to check out Websites Are Us solutions, with online chat, VoIP telephony, callback and integrations with social networks and other service platforms, as well as integrations with help desk tools such as itself Desk360 and Desk Manager – so you can generate tickets from calls generated in the chat!