When to Switch from Email to Helpdesk

When businesses are starting out, they prefer a shared mailbox for customer support. And it’s understandable because the volume of issues is quite low. But things change drastically when the business expands. When teams get bigger, there are inevitable trade-offs one of which is a cluttered and overflowing mailbox. This calls for a switch to a better process of handling customer issues or tickets. But how do you know when you are ready to switch from a shared mailbox to a helpdesk software?

Here are some of the problems businesses run into when using a shared mailbox. Be ready to switch to an email help desk software at the first sight of these issues.

1. Agent Collision

Email clients such as Gmail and Outlook have all the requisites for an efficient mailbox. You could build a workflow, use color-coded tags, or complex folder structures to manage your customer support issues. But you are also risking agents stepping on each other’s toes unknowingly. This doesn’t affect just your support agents’ productivity but also gives customers a perspective of how flawed your support process is. Things can get worse when the solutions provided by each of the support agents differ.

Agent collision is a necessary evil if you are using a shared inbox and trust me, it’s doing your brand or your business no good.

A helpdesk, on the other hand, can save the day by allowing you to convert customer queries into tickets that can be assigned to specific agents. In fact, the traditional helpdesk emerged to solve this pressing problem in customer support teams.

Most modern helpdesk software solves some of the collaboration issues of agent collision by converting support emails into helpdesk tickets and prioritizing and assigning the tickets to the right agents automatically. Agents can also see who is replying to the customer in real-time so that they don’t have to spend time-solving issues that is already being taken care of.

Agent collision

2. Collaborating with Cross-functional Teams

Speaking of collaboration, many a time, support agents have to reach out to cross-functional teams such as tech or sales to get help with a customer issue. But how do you know which team or person in that team you need to talk to? Is it Mark from the payments team or is it Rick from the sales team who approves refunds on a defective pair of shoes?

As mentioned earlier, helpdesk software is aimed to resolve agent collision and collaboration issues. Modern helpdesk solutions have features that let you huddle up with different teams to discuss the issue and arrive at a proper solution. Without delay, the support agent can quickly loop in the sales and finance teams to find out whether it’s Mark or Rick who approves refunds on defective pairs of shoes.

Agents can also work on a complex issue together by splitting the ticket into sub-tickets. This lets the respective teams work in parallel and take ownership of them at the same time. Watch how support teams use Freshdesk to collaborate with cross-functional teams.

tag a teammate

3. Automated workflows

Every support team gets enough number of emails regarding repetitive issues. Let’s not forget the time taken to sort the emails into specific folders based on the nature of problem. Though shared mailbox has filter options to help you sort through customer issues, you will risk important customer issues falling through the cracks. To whom tickets get routed remain a mystery with the shared inbox no matter how complex your workflow is. Caught in this tuft is your customer and your brand reputation.

Imagine a situation where hundreds of customers raise a ticket that the coupon code didn’t work and they want their money back. Failing to give a proper response and solution has the potential to break their trust on your brand.

A helpdesk can come to your rescue by automating workflows so that the support agents can actually spend time supporting customers. You can set customized rules to automatically route  tickets to specific agent or group based on expertise, skill or availability. The agents will have their own ticket list and the best part is they won’t miss out on them anymore. In addition, canned responses can be used to send predefined answers to multiple customers with just one click. With this feature, every customer facing the coupon code problem will receive a prompt reply addressed to his name.

Canned reponses

4. Omni channel support

Customer support has branched out to various channels. Be it email, phone, chat or social media, your team has to support customers reaching out through various channels. But, switching between multiple tools like shared inbox, phone, and social media channels lead to inefficient use of time and poor customer experience. Besides, the customer’s conversations get scattered across different tools making it difficult to follow them.

A helpdesk unifies all support channels under one roof. Support agents can reply to emails, tweet to or chat with customers and answer their calls right within the helpdesk using omni channel support. Every interaction done with any customer is converted into a ticket and stored in helpdesk for the agents to keep a track of.

Omnichannel support

5. Knowledge base

Every support team desires to reduce the number of customer queries and a knowledge base can be of great help. While shared mailbox has no scope for a knowledge base, the helpdesk lets you create a knowledge base of solution articles and FAQs. When you connect it with the ticket form present in support portal, the customers can see relevant articles as they are typing their issue. This lets them find solutions to simple issues instead of depending on the agent to reply. It is a win-win situation as the agents can focus more on technical issues. You can add the support tab of helpdesk anywhere in your web app and save a lot of time with the knowledge base feature.

Feedback Widget

6. Tracking the right metrics

Every brand has a lot of customer support data but only a handful know how to derive the right customer metrics. Data refining can be tricky without concrete analytics and shared inbox doesn’t have an inbuilt one. It requires integration with third party apps to derive insights like ticket volume trends, agent response rate, and customer satisfaction. But, there are chances for the integration to go awry which can be a pain in the neck.

A helpdesk is a pro when it comes to analyzing ticket data and creating credible reports from time to time. You can manage workload based on ticket trends, monitor how your agents are performing and check for any SLA violations. In case you prefer the external third party application to generate reports, you can integrate it with the helpdesk in a click. This lets your support team take data-driven decisions with reports to back them up.

Customer satisfaction

If you or your support team can relate to these issues, it is high time you make the shift from shared mailbox to a helpdesk software to sustain your customer loyalty. With customer experience (CX) taking shape as a whole new brand identity, a helpdesk is what every company needs at the moment.

Switch from email to helpdesk for free!