Probably never gave it a thought did you? Maybe you are a start-up who has other priorities? Or an entrepreneur just launching your first product to the world? Why would you need a help desk?

Customer service sells!

Because every precious customer you get is the most important asset you have. This post came about from a client conversation recently, in which they needed help setting up an email address of support@yourcompany.com. Now they are not a large enterprise (yet) and were thinking that they could handle any customer inquiries or problems by setting up a separate email address and just keeping an eye on it. I think that is short-sighted and ill-advised for long-term success.

Customer experience has become a crucial battleground for businesses — and the losers are losing big. NewVoiceMedia reveals that US companies providing poor service are letting $62 billion slip into the pockets of their competitors every year.

Here are some of the reasons why installing a helpdesk is a smart decision for any business endeavor, large or small:

  • Every customer problem or question is a learning opportunity. By having these come to light via a help desk tool, you are able to see trends, provide feedback to product development, and improve the customer experience.
  • Visibility to customer questions is accessible to more people, more easily. You probably already receive too many emails in your inbox and now you have another email address to check in on and respond to? You know how that is going to go. With a help desk, you can provide access to anyone you choose, accessible from any internet-connected device.
  • Ability to build a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions list) from your customer inquiries to improve new customer experience. Gather the questions that your customers frequently ask, organize them and then publishing the answers to these questions in a FAQ area of your website. This is not only helpful to potential customers on your site, but can save considerable time for someone who finds the solution to their problem right away.
  • Establishes an additional level of comfort and trust, opening the opportunity for future business. Offering a help desk indicates that you take your customer needs seriously, and are committed to serving their needs.
  • Communication history with a customer. The ability to have the entire history of customer communication relating to their questions, problems and solutions, when they occurred and who responded are all valuable data points as your business grows.
  • Automate the responses so that the customer knows you have seen their request and are working on a solution almost instantly. This is also an excellent way to let them know when to expect a response if they send in a request during hours or days that you are closed.

There are several very solid help desk tools available, some with a free option that works very well and simple to set up. Here are my favorites:

Freshdesk – this is a cloud-based, clean layout, easy for your customers to navigate and they offer a free version that works very well. Here is an example I use in several of my business ventures using this free version – Fill the Funnel Help Desk 1

Sonic Reply – if you have a WordPress website and want to integrate it into your existing domain, this plugin works very well. Here is an example of Sonic Reply I use for 4 of my products: Fill the Funnel Help Desk 2

Zendesk – a solid, well-built cloud-based help desk with lots of options and capabilities to choose from.

I wrote a post a while back on Sales Leads – An Effective New Source in which I gave specific examples of a few ways that help desk software is able to be used as a lead generation engine that you might find interesting.

When it comes to serving the customers you have worked so hard to obtain, you owe it to them and to yourself to give them all the benefits that a help desk can provide. Check the examples out for yourself.