After even a short time using Zendesk, you see that they put a lot of thought into making the platform as densely packed with tools for support service as it could possibly be. Zendesk doesn’t just give you a way to efficiently interact with customers; it clearly makes it the first priority to let businesses interact with customers in such a way that they feel as if your support representatives are right there with them every step of the way.
We’re going to look at all the services and features you get with Zendesk, but the goal here is to illustrate how the platform gives you all the tools you need to interact with your customers just as closely as you would if they were in a physical store with you.
Email & Chat Support in One Package
The primary reason you’re going to be using Zendesk will most likely be for ticketing through email. As ticketing software, it has just about any tool you could possibly need to handle tickets, from sending and receiving responses through the user-friendly interface, to sorting through your full list of open, pending, and solved tickets, which are automatically organized by the software in real time.
Managing tickets is where the software really shines, though it offers a lot more functionality than just that, and when your agents are working with a high volume of customers at once, the Zendesk platform refreshingly keeps all of your tickets well-organized and manageable.
On top of that, you don’t even need to find some other provider to handle your online chat because Zendesk Chat has that covered, too. You can have a comprehensive chat service to offer customers with the same platform. We’ll go over everything included with the chat service below.
Integrate It with Your Website
As we have spoken about again and again in this blog, it does not take a ton of money, a special consultant, or anything else to create a professional-grade website. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about enabling every feature you need on your site, but we haven’t really touched on implementing your help and support section of the website.
Adding Zendesk to your toolbelt and integrating it with your site pretty much takes care of your whole support section because of how multi-faceted the software is. When you’re building your site (or even if it’s already live), you’re going to want to add a support page that customers can visit when they need a little help.
From the support page of your site, you can easily code the integration with Zendesk so that visitors can click a certain button that will trigger the software and automatically open a new ticket for them.
Of course, you can require some initial information from the customer in a short webform and then open a new ticket as soon as they submit it. While you can also just provide customers with an email address that is linked to Zendesk to open a ticket when they send an email, it’s nice to just have them click a button, and there’s their ticket.
In addition to your “open a ticket” button, you can add the live chat function, as well, which is shown to visitors as a button on the edge of all pages (if you prefer), asking them if they want to chat with a representative.
Create Tutorials for Your Site
Whether you have an ecommerce, storefront, or OSP business, tutorials can be extremely helpful for your customers. By and large, people would rather not talk to you directly to ask a question, if they don’t have to.
As long as the information is quick and easy to access, they generally will prefer to get the answer they need from your website. That’s the first place they’re going to look. For anything that requires a little explanation about your business, it’s great to have online tutorials available for customers to figure something out on their own.
This cuts down on time spent assisting them through direct support channels, and it’s especially good for resolving simple issues or quick questions. You can also build an FAQ section on your site, if you like.
There’s a reason why the best websites have an extensive FAQ page; a great percentage of web customers can find the answer they need online, without tying up your support channels. Through the Zendesk platform, you can write up all the tutorials and FAQs that you need and integrate them with your designated page on the site.
Multiple Channels for Customer Support
What they call, “omnichannel” support is how Zendesk lets you give customers multiple ways to get help, to get in touch with you when they need to.
So, how that shakes out is that customers can interface with you through the knowledge base (tutorials, FAQs), email, live chat, or by phone, and all of those channels are linked together through Zendesk so that you can help your customers from the same place while meeting them wherever they are.
There’s a seamless flow between all of these channels, too, to avoid friction as much as possible. For example, from the tutorial web page on your site, they can go straight into a chat for a more complicated question, or move from that chat to a call, or open a ticket directly from the chat, and so on, and so forth.
Move Faster Through Tickets
Many businesses, though not all, utilize ticketing through email to assist customers with support issues. That’s why Zendesk has put a lot of effort into streamlining the ticketing platform to give businesses the ability to find the right ticket immediately, send a response fast, and even make notes on each ticket as needed to make sure no information gets lost.
One of the most useful features that you’ll find in the ticketing software are what they call, “macros”. You’ll end up using macros constantly because they enable you to reply to tickets in a fraction of the time.
These macros are basically pre-made templates that you can create as responses to common customer questions or inquiries. The beauty of it is that, instead of writing a full response within a ticket, longhand, agents can simply click on a macro and select it to be instantly sent to the customer.
High-Functioning Chat Software
Chances are, you’re going to be using the live chat feature a lot because many customers prefer to use chat over email or other support channels. Zendesk has packed in some pretty excellent features you can use for your chat support channel, such as automatic keystroke shortcuts.
These are shortcuts you can create that are automatically suggested as soon as you type a specific word, phrase, or even a character that is in that shortcut. Once you get your chat customers’ common questions down pat, all you have to do is add all of the answers to your archive as shortcuts to be pulled up anytime during a live chat.
This can cut down on response time significantly. And once again, transitioning between support channels is really easy. If you’re in a chat with someone, and they need some more comprehensive support, just click the button to automatically open a new ticket for them that is preloaded with their contact information.
During the current chat, you can also see any previous chats they’ve had, as well as any open tickets they already have so you don’t duplicate your efforts.
Built-In Analytics for Tracking
Something that might be quite valuable to you is the data that is collected by the software for all of your agents’ interactions with customers, which you can get quick access to by navigating to the analytics section of the Zendesk dashboard.
You can view all kinds of analytical data in this section, including things like performance and stats of all your agents, average response time, and how many tickets were resolved in a single response. There’s also a great feature where you can set monthly goals for your team to aim for and automatically receive reports at the end of each month to see how you did.
As always, the best way to check out the software, see how well it works, and see if it’s a tool that will work well for your company, is to start a free trial and test it out for yourself.
Zendesk has been honing and updating their product for a while now, and the software is one the absolute best tools you can find for customer support. Using this tool, you’ll be able to cover just about all of your support bases, and do it with ease and efficiency.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.