Help Desk Multi-channel support: Social Media Strategies

Internal and external customers now expect to reach your Help Desk for customer service and support from any device, at any time, and from anywhere. In today’s Millennial-driven economy, the Help Desk’s response to requests must be immediate and delivered in the customer’s preferred medium. In the past, Help Desk Management and staff only had to monitor traditional channels such as phone and email. A forward looking Help Desk must now have a social media strategy plan. You must employ new generation Help Desk social media strategies to actively monitor and respond to many different Help Desk Multi-channel support mediums to be successful.

Help Desk Multi-channel support mediums

  • Email Support
  • Phone Support
  • Self Service Portal
  • Chat Support
  • Help Desk Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ to name a few)
  • Help Desk Customer Surveys
  • Help Desk User Forums

Consolidated Help Desk Multi-channel support

In the past, a Help Desk would segment the staff into sub-groups focused primarily on email or phone calls. Creating sub-groups would overcome the technical work challenges with the Help Desk ticketing applications when trying to update phone and email tickets with support work notes, capturing communications with customers, and understand SLAs and volume. Today most Help Desk ticketing applications support multi-channel integration to bring all of your customer contact channels into one

Help Desk Multi-channel support for social media
Help Desk Multi-channel support for social media

platform for seamless handling. This means if a Help Desk chat support session with a customer is started, the chat text will be captured in the ticket work notes. If a customer uses Twitter to tweet a question or comment about your company, products, or services, the interaction stream can be captured inside a ticket. Freshdesk states “Facebook comments and Twitter mentions automatically get converted to helpdesk tickets that you can assign to your Agents just like any other regular ticket. Your Agents can even directly answer the customer on the same social media platform without leaving their helpdesk portal.” This is a great benefit to allow a single source of knowledge and complete visibility from one Help Desk Multi-channel support platform.

Benefits to Help Desk Multi-channel integration

  • Help Desk Ticket – The Help Desk industry standard is that every interaction with a customer must be recorded into a ticket as the official record. This is simplified when the support channel is integrated into the ticketing application.
  • Rules based ticket routing and assignment – You can identify your Agents by subject matter expertise or channel focus and they will receive the initial support requests based on the specific contact channels they have been trained for.
  • Real-time chat integration – Whether the customer initially engaged the Help Desk via chat or the Help Desk Agent opened up a chat conversation during the support session, the entire interaction is captured inside the ticket.
  • Social Media Integration – Facebook comments and Twitter mentions automatically get converted to helpdesk tickets through out of the box Application Program Interface (API), which allows the Social Media platform communicate bi-directionally with the ticket application.
  • Pulse on customer feedback – Relying solely on customer feedback surveys may leave your company without important customer support information. Social Media provides a raw and immediate pulse on how your company is doing. Desk,com website describes “Utilizing social channels as a canary in the mine to spot issues, correct course and clarify messaging”

Today’s Help Desk Social Media Strategies

Social media services are one of the fastest growing Help Desk Multi-channel support mediums between a Help Desk and their customers. Many customers expect and demand that a company respond to their requests, comments, and feedback with a social media response. Meredith Estepon states “While studies have found that around half of all customers turn to social media when they have issues with a company, 70% of companies do not respond to messages on Twitter and more than half did not respond to Facebook messages.”  Customers are using social media to ask technical questions, complain about products or services, and report outages or service interruptions. Not only do customers expect the response time to their contact be responsive and timely but for some states “With the rise of social media and the transformation to a sound-bite driven information society, instant gratification has become the norm. This also holds true in the world of customer service, as today’s consumers expect ubiquitous real-time customer service that is transparent, authentic, and most of all, fast.”

Help Desk Social Media Strategies for Twitter

Using Twitter at your Help Desk for customer support has some huge advantages. It is cost effective, fast, keeps staff engaged, and helps promote your brand. Ben Parr at Mashable states “Great customer service gets talked about, and this can lead to more sales and more attention. Twitter is one of the most viral platforms around, which can make one happy customer into an international story.” Create specific keyword search streams to track Twitter mentions and direct messages enabling your Help Desk ticketing platform to create a support ticket. This Twitter integration lets you engage in selected conversation across your current and potential customer base.

Help Desk Knowledge base: A single source of truth

Multi-channel support offers customers many avenues to make requests. The support your Help Desk Agents provides must be consistent, accurate, and repeatable across all channels. Using segmented knowledge for each of your support channels in most cases is not a recommended knowledge centric strategy. Implement a single repository of knowledge across your Help Desk Multi-channels and organization. Require all Help Desk Agents to provide customer support using and maturing the solutions directly from the knowledge base. While your Help Desk Agents are referencing the same knowledge repository during customer support, the message to the customer will have a different format based on the Help Desk support channel used. For example email you may respond with a paragraph of information with a link to your public facing self-service portal for detailed information. With Twitter you are limited to 140 characters. Your tweet response will be a specific and to the point message and should also including a link to your public facing self-service portal.

Help Desk Solutions: Solve it first contact

Empower your front line Help Desk Agents with an efficient process to flag poor knowledge base solutions while the customer support sessions are in-progress. Follow up comments during downtime are also helpful explaining what did not work and what solution, if any, did the Help Desk Agent employ to solve the issue. In addition, many ticketing applications can relate the specific knowledge article used to the support ticket. By running a report on First Contact Resolution (FCR) rates compared to your ticket categories and customer support channel you can identify trends. Analyze your higher volume ticket categories that are trending with low FCR rates and flag them. Engage your Subject Matter Experts (SME) to develop consistent, accurate, and repeatable knowledge solutions for the high volume issues flagged for low FCR. It is critical to deliver right answers to customers the very first time.

Help Desk Multi-channel support

Advances in Help Desk Multi-channel support platforms have enable customer support centers to immediately respond to not only requests for service but comments and feedback on social medium forums. Unifying support from one platform, allows Help Desk Agents to cover multiple channels decreasing the per contact cost. Companies have benefited with their brand, sales, and support.

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