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Benefits and Challenges of Integrating Social Media in to Help Desk

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Social media has the ability to alter company’s reputation and bottom line. This emphasizes the need for businesses to be proactive and build a social media program that benefits customers.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest etc have become emergent platforms for marketing and advertising. They are the important platforms through which consumers solicit and receive quality customer service.

One of the challenging tasks to provide help desk support over social media is determining where to focus entire resources and time. In addition, proliferation of smartphones and tablets has raised the customer expectations for timely response. Customers expect company to reach from anywhere, anytime and through any device. When traditional customer service was developed, the pressure of supporting across multiple channels didn’t exist. Moreover, the products were not designed to accommodate input from social media or run on different devices.

Read: What customers expect when they call your help desk?

Many companies using traditional help desk solutions realized that they cannot afford to spend 6-12 months to customize their current help desk solutions. As a result, companies started to make a move to cloud-based solutions. These have proven to be fast and cost-effective solutions that are designed especially for multi-channel customer support.

Are social media platforms the new Help Desk solutions?

These days, customers turn into social networking forums, blogs and friends in their network for technical assistance. Based on the data collected form a survey of IT professionals, more than half of the end users responded that they go outside IT department for technical support. About 30% of the end users approach the technology vendor or manufacturer, while 20% get assistance from co-worker. About 50% said that they looked help from social networking sites, message boards, blogs and public sites.

The participants of survey gave many reasons for not approaching their IT department regarding technical issues. The primary reason is lack of confidence in their IT department’s problem solving abilities. They felt more comfortable working with the people they knew on social networking sites. Whatever is the reason, companies should know that there are lots of options when it comes to getting help. More and more end users are tapping into social networks for support, as a result of which companies are seeing value in increasing their presence on internal and externa social networks.

How social media is integrating into Help Desk world?

With the power of social media, customers are changing the way businesses operate. Today, the essentials of business areto listen to what customers are saying and respond to their queries in a timely manner. Many companies are using social help desk to track and manage incoming and outgoing customer interactions on social networking channels.

A social media help desk can be said as all-in-one help desk that combines all your channels into one accessible location to deliver quality customer support with ease. A help desk solution provider like Vision Helpdesk supports traditional environments like – telephone, email, chat etc along with social environments such as – Facebook and twitter. You can take customer interaction to a new level by integrating social networking into help desk solutions. The help desk can easily monitor and track different kinds of issues with in-house social media.

Benefits of social media integration

There are many benefits of social media integration into help desk world, some of which are as below –

  1. Social media tools help organizations by alerting greater number of help desk support specialists to contribute to the solution and be educated for future use. The agents can look for posts by other agents who are dealing with similar problems. The agent can identify related issues and assign similar occurrences to the agent(s) who have worked on the problem earlier. This way companies can improve efficiency and generate productive results.
  2. Social media can be used as corporate tool to monitor how employees are using it to solve problems and how it impacts end user satisfaction. Companies can monitor average speed to resolve problems, reduce email volume related to problems and increase collaboration among help desk agents.
  3. Being a part of large help desk solution, social networking sites can increase first-call resolution andreduce the mean time to resolve an issue. Moreover, it increases lower unplanned downtime and increases call deflection.

Challenges of social media integration

Despite of numerous benefits, there are many companies that are not using social media for help desk solutions. Some of the challenges of social media integration into help desk include –

  1. In social media communications, it is impossible to track and monitor useful data. The reason is that the information is overloaded in social channels, and the useful information gets buried amidst of huge volumes of data. Along with other channels like – phone, email, live chat etc,it becomes just one more channel to track and monitor data.
  2. Resolving customer issues through multiple channels can generate the problem of misinformation. Sometimes, the ideas generated by one help desk agent may be misused by other agent. It can generate problems of phishing, scams, malware and many more.

To avoid this kind of problems, companies should develop right policies and procedures to make it more beneficial. Companies should look for ways to capture useful information circulated through social media, and use the data to improve services.

The bottom line is social media has great potential to lower the costs significantly and increase productivity. More importantly, it can improve end user satisfaction and generate great ROI. With right social help desk tool, you could leave your help desk agents juggling between multiple social media profiles and at the same time keep pace with traditional customer support queries.

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Gayatri AkellaBenefits and Challenges of Integrating Social Media in to Help Desk
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