Evolving From a Shared Email Inbox to a Social Help Desk

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  1. 1. The Ultimate Guide: Evolving From aShared Email Inbox to a Social HelpDeskIs it time for you to switch from your current shared email inbox to a social help desk?We want to make the search simple for you. This guide breaks the research down andmakes it easy to find the right customer solution thats right for your business.Kevin Baldacci is a Content Marketer at Desk.comFollow him on Twitter at @kevinbaldacciTo get the most from this guide, take notes. Think about how you can use the ideas, conceptsand strategies shared in these pages. We know youll find a lot to think about as you read. The full economic value of customerservice Three examples of the chaos theory The simple, yet powerful functionalitiesand features of a social help desk How to migrate an emailinbox to a social help deskTable of Contents:1. The problems with a shared customersupport email inbox2. Chaos theory: three examples of howdisorder breeds dissatisfaction3. The right tools: what you need from acloud-based helpdesk solution4. Conclusion and your next steps5. Appendix: Is it time to switch from anemail inbox to a helpdesk application?After reading it, your businessshould understand:
  2. 2. The problems with GmailThe problems with a shared customer support email inboxEmail is an essential communications tool in todays business world andhas become one of the leading forms of communication for customersupport. In fact, email is just second to the phone when it comes toconsumer preferences about how to contact customer service. 1So, its only natural for young companies to set up an email inbox,such as Gmail, to manage customer service requests. In the beginning,sharing this email inbox among your customer support team canbe effective. But as you grow, acquiring more customers and moreemployees, you can have serious problems on your hands.The truth is, its impossible to develop an effective process for handlingcustomer support situations and tracking all conversations using anemail inbox. The result is that support tickets fall through the cracksand questions go unanswered. And this can lead to poor customersatisfaction and ultimately may impact your bottom line.This guide from Desk.com will help you determine if it is timefor your company to evolve from using a shared email inbox,such as Gmail, for customer service to a more effective solution.Well also discuss why this switch is so essential to the continuedgrowth of your business. Lastly, well show how a solution likeDesk.com can help you solve issues common to companiescurrently using a shared email inbox for customer service.87%As it currently stands,of all companycommunications arevia email.1Genesys. The Cost of Poor Customer Service: The Economic Impact of the Customer Experience. 2009Forrester Research. The State ofWorkforce Technology Adoption:US Benchmark 2009-2015.
  3. 3. Save me from my email inbox!Desk.com recently surveyed growing companies to learn about their most challenging customer supportissues. Not surprisingly, the challenges of using email to manage customer support consistently topped thelist, for many reasons:One of us would start[addressing requests] at the topof the email list, and the otherwould start at the bottom andmeet somewhere in the middle.We didnt have any ideahow to track the thingsthat were affectingcustomers most.We lack the ability to manage,track and properly documentinbound/outbound customeremail.We noticed an uptickin unhappy customerswhose issues had fallenthrough the cracks. I found myself staringevery morning at a fieldof sticky notes around theedge of my monitor.Email threads andproject management-related communicationare a problem.Do any of these responses sound familiar to you? These complaints demonstrate the kind of frustration thatgrowing companies experience using a shared email inbox to manage support.But if you think the employees of these companies are frustrated, think about their customers. Droppedemails, unknowledgeable service agents, or repetitive responses due to a lack of internal coordinationcan lead to an unsatisfactory customer experience and that can be detrimental to your business.
  4. 4. Costs of poor customer serviceof customers that received poorcustomer service from a companygot even by spreading the wordabout their bad experience.of consumers are influenced byother consumers comments.61%According to astudy by researchfirm Genesys,of customers whoend relationshipstook their businessto a competitor.In todays competitive marketplace, customer service can be acompanys secret sauce. What exactly does that look like? Customerswant a more personalized experience, faster response times, and theability to get support on virtually any channel they choose. Theseexpectations are putting a great deal of pressure on small and growingbusinesses.While many companies are keenly aware of the value of excellentcustomer service, they sometimes forget to measure how poor serviceimpacts them. Its a significant problem. According to a study byresearch firm Genesys, U.S. companies lose an estimated $83 billioneach year due to defections and abandoned purchases as a directresult of a poor experience.2Even worse, businesses not only lose thecustomers money but essentially push that customer into the arms ofcompetitor: 61% of customers who end relationships took theirbusiness to a competitor. 3Cost of losing current customersPoor customer service can cause companies to lose even the mostforgiving customers. Loyal customers do business with a companybecause they have developed a relationship and have established acertain level of trust. In manycases, it may have taken thousandsof marketing and sales dollars tobuild this trust. Maintaining thecustomer and brand relationshiptypically falls on the plate ofcustomer service. And just onebad experience can harm arelationship and cost a company.Why is maintaining existingcustomer relationships soimportant? In a nutshell, it ischeaper to provide qualitycustomer service and maintain asolid relationship with an existingcustomer than it is to acquire anew one.2Genesys. The Cost of Poor Customer Service: The Economic Impact of the Customer Experience. 20093Genesys. The Cost of Poor Customer Service: The Economic Impact of the Customer Experience. 2009SOURCE: ClickFoxSOURCE: ClickFox
  5. 5. The Bonobos Ninjas Gain a CompetitiveEdge with Customer ServiceDesk.com: Give us a quickbackground behind your customerservice team and methodologies?Bonobos Ninjas: The goal ofninja customer service is foreveryone we engage with to beso impressed that they share theirstory. We essentially give the ninjasthe power and freedom to solvecustomer issues any way they seefit - there are no rules, regulationsor hoops to jump through. Ninjasare allowed to just get it done.That means easy transactionalinteractions are lightning fast withwinks of personality, and in-depthinteractions reach a smart, generoussolution eloquently. Our goal is tohire individuals that are excellentwriters, can make decisions quicklyand on their own to provide the bestsolution-based customer service outthere while keeping the interactionpersonable, fun and unique.Desk.com: Were there anyspecific problems that youfaced prior to using a SocialHelp Desk such as Desk.com?Bonobos Ninjas: Our customerservice solution was very low techinitially - it was basically a sharedGoogle inbox. The team would printout the inbox in the morning, andthen manually cross out cases asninjas worked through them. It wasvery manual, very low tech. It workedinitially, but quickly led to a ton ofdropped balls as the company scaled.We then upgraded to an actualcustomer support program that wasessentially a slightly more evolvedshared inbox that allowed for somelimited metrics reporting. However,it was super hard to manage. Weneeded developers to install it, and ifanything went wrong or we wantedto change something we neededdeveloper support. It felt like it wasbuilt in the 90s - not easy to use.Desk.com: Do you believe Bonobosreputation for providing excellentcustomer service has given thecompany a competitive edge?Bonobos Ninjas: Absolutely. Thosewho know about our service alreadycome to us with a certain level oftrust that they dont have with othercompanies. We heard a lot of storiesof friends/coworkers/family telling afirst-timer about our great productand that our excellent service makesshopping online a breeze. Whenthey arent aware of our servicereputation, they are surprised andoften let us know about their positiveexperience (proven by our high NetPromoter Score). Customers havetold us how being able to trustthat well take care of them hasturned them into a loyal customer.Bonobos, an online mens clothing company, has gained a competitive edge due to their exceptionalcustomer service provided by their support team: the Ninjas. Desk.com recently sat down with acouple of ninjas and asked them about the sucess they have seen due to a social help desk.Desk.com: How do you thinkthe Bonobos Ninjas overallperformance has benefitedfrom having the tools andresources provided by a SocialHelp Desk, such as Desk.com?Do you think they could performat a similar level without it?Bonobos Ninjas: Given Bonoboscustomer centricity, we train allemployees in customer serviceduring their first 2 weeks on thejob. After creating a login for eachemployee, it becomes really simplefor anyone to plug into our customerticket queue and start answeringcases as they come in. Using a socialhelp desk has allowed us to prioritizecases based on how we see fit. Notonly does this help us task-forceprioritized cases accordingly butalso keep track of how were doingbased off Desk.coms reportingfunction. Its easy to set up filtersand organize cases by priority andalso makes it relatively simple for aninja to take personal responsibilityon a specific case with the assigntool. The time rule function is alsoan excellent way for us to keep trackof cases that are slipping behindour