The digital transformation taking place within society and business is changing the expectation levels of consumers, as methods of consumption expand and become more personalized through digital technology.
Small businesses are trying to keep pace with their larger counterparts by starting e-commerce stores and adopting cloud solutions to fill in the digital gaps.
Much of these digital gaps come in the form of limitations with market reach, customer service, and operations, and are being addressed by online cloud platforms and services such as help desk and customer relationship management (CRM) software. These solutions come both separately and together in many variations depending on the service.
The specific needs of each small business will determine what variation of these solutions are needed, yet every business with an online presence will benefit from having, at least, a basic CRM and help desk solution. In an effort to explain why let’s examine 4 ways cloud help desk solutions benefit small businesses.
Small Business Definition
Gartner defines a small business as an organization with up to 100 employees and making up to $50 million in annual revenue.
Small businesses come in the form of brick and mortar retailers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, tech startups, restaurants, hospitality services, professional services, e-commerce stores, and more. The main distinction for this article is whether they have an online presence or not.
According to B2B research firm Clutch.co in a Blue Corona article:
- “Less than two-thirds (64%) of small businesses have a website”
And the majority of businesses that have a website are using the cloud: “…62% of small and midsize businesses are already using cloud computing, while 33% are either planning on implementing the technology or evaluating how it could best be used by their organization” (Gartner stats in a recent Capterra article).
Essentially, we are talking about small businesses that either sell products and services online or have an online presence where customers can find support resources.
1. Centralizes Customer Support:
Many small businesses are initially established to serve the needs of their local or regional markets, yet with the expansion of markets through online e-commerce platforms, they’ve integrated online channels into their marketing and sales operations.
While this expansion opens up opportunities, it also creates complexities with customer service, support, and management. Cloud help desk solutions work to simplify the complexities created from servicing multiple marketing and sales channels with limited resources and capabilities.
Even a one-person business would benefit from being able to access and manage all marketing and sales channels from one central location in the cloud. Help desk software consolidates all customer connecting points, including:
- social media
- review platforms
Centralizing access and management of all customer connecting points into a well-designed dashboard interface saves users time and increases their ability to effectively help customers/clients.
2. Streamline Workflows and Expand Capabilities with Automation Tools:
Small businesses are in a great position to leverage help desk automation, as it expands their ability to scale and manage growth without a huge investment. For instance, using automation with customer support gives businesses the ability to provide customers with enterprise-level quality service without paying for the enterprise-level cost.
Automation triggers can be set to:
- answer common questions on all channels
- follow-up on support tickets with feedback surveys
- direct customers to knowledge-base articles/resources
- preemptively ask website visitors if they need help with chatbots
- answer social posts
Essentially, small businesses can use automation to close digital customer connection gaps on all channels, reduce customer support workloads, streamline workflows for quicker service, and gain insight with analytics and reports for continual optimization.
Cloud help desk automation also gives small businesses greater organizational capabilities; auto attendants, voicemail to text, ticket routing and segmenting, and more automation capabilities help simplify customer support and make the process more manageable for small businesses in the office or remotely.
3. Improves Customer/Employee Satisfaction Levels:
An infographic on Finances Online shares the:
Top Reasons Customers Commit To A Company
76% friendly customer service
52% accessible information
45% personalized customer experience
30% brand reputation
The good news is, cloud help desk software improves all of these top reasons.
When customer support reps have the tools needed to manage and streamline workflows, they’ll be more inclined and able to effectively help customers with their issues and questions. Whether this comes in the form of not letting a support channel go unnoticed for too long or having the ability to deflect FAQs with triggered responses, small businesses will vastly improve customer support services with cloud help desk software.
Instead of support being a neglected solution set up as a last resort for consumers to seek help, businesses can turn their help desks into a responsive marketing tool. For instance, when a business responds quickly and positively to a negative response on Google, they’ll mitigate its impact and even resolve the complaint.
By removing the digital gaps and streamlining customer service workflows, both customer and employee satisfaction levels will improve. This creates and nurtures positive brand identity and helps improve inbound marketing results.
4. Allows Room for Growth:
Small businesses will benefit by building a solid foundation for future digital growth. Upgrading customer support capabilities is a great place to start, as cloud help desk software brings expansive operational improvements and allows room for future growth.
Essentially, the benefits of cloud help desk software can be leveraged at every level of operational need – from basic to enterprise-level solutions. Their agile capabilities give businesses many options when it comes to integration with existing enterprise systems and scalability.
Upgrading customer support with cloud help desk software allows small businesses to scale and expand without increasing labour costs and degrading service quality. Cloud solutions are more agile than on-premises solutions, giving small businesses more options for future system upgrades.
Small businesses shouldn’t underestimate the potential ROI from upgrading their customer support department with cloud help desk solutions. Whether they find a fitting solution within existing CRM software or adopt a stand-alone SaaS, they’ll benefit by upgrading this aspect of their business.
Cloud help desk software effectively centralizes all customer connection points and help desk channels, giving users more visibility and management capabilities with tickets and support channels; automation further streamlines workflows and reduces workloads, resulting in improved customer and employee satisfaction levels; and importantly, agile cloud solutions allow room for future system upgrades without costly investments and technology disruptions.