Is your business considering consolidating its help desk operations, but worrying that it will cause major problems? Software with multi-brand support can bring everything under a consistent set of operations, simplifying software management and training. Employees need to learn only one application, and they can move from one department to another without retraining.
Let’s look at some possible objections to using a single set of help desk software, and see if they’re really obstacles.
Every brand’s requirements are different!
Certainly. They have different markets, types of customers, images, and issues. Multi-brand software lets each brand and each product within the brand have its own support portal and knowledge base, providing ready access to known problems, solutions to common complaints, and information on planned changes. Support people can access the distinctive information for each brand, while their skills are transferable to wherever they’re most needed.
We need to keep our brands differentiated!
Each brand has its own support portal, which can reside on its own website and have its own look. Each one works with its own knowledge base, so there’s no information leakage from one brand to another. With distinct logos, titles, and CSS, there’s no need for them to look like clones. One portal can look dignified and businesslike, while another projects fun and spontaneity. Both perform the same kind of problem solving at the root.
Our brands cross national and linguistic boundaries!
If you have brands aimed at different cultures, multilingual support is the key. If different national brands share the same products, having a knowledge base translated into multiple languages is more efficient than maintaining separate information in each language. Even if the difference is as simple as differentiating US and UK spellings, having a common set of underlying information offers more consistency than developing answers in one dialect and manually copying them with the needed changes into the other. The client portal can offer users information in their choice of languages. Auto-responder emails can likewise reply in the appropriate language.
We service different brands from different offices!
With cloud-based software, this isn’t a problem. Support staff worldwide can log into the same service, see an interface in their own language, and have access only to the brands or products which they support. They can apply their brand’s style in personalized responses and provide local telephone support. If they later move to a different office, they’ll already have the skills to use another brand’s knowledge base and tools. Handling tickets will be the same wherever they are.
Each brand requires specialized knowledge and support features!
Multiple knowledge bases keep the information about each brand separate from the others. This aids support people in developing expertise on the brands and products they support. Software that follows ITIL-recommended ITSM practices provides terminology and a process that offices can adapt to their own special requirements. Smaller offices can use a more streamlined model, while larger ones use a fully structured process and both follow the same underlying practices. The basic concepts related to a support ticket are the same in all cases.
We need data privacy between branches!
Branches of a company often have a loose relationship, and employees shouldn’t have access to proprietary information they don’t need. With a separate knowledge base for each brand, along with a separate public portal, employees have access only to the information on the brands that they service. Other information is as private as if they weren’t working for the company. Information can be kept separate down to the departmental level.
Our staff knows our products from top to bottom and can answer any question!
Help desk software doesn’t replace the human element; it augments it. Experts can’t be available 24 hours a day, and even the best of them have to look up an answer now and then. They can still give customers the personalized, encyclopedic service they always have, while the software lets them track the progress of each issue and check on what other staff members have already done. The knowledge base even lets them stealthily look up information they can’t remember.
We don’t want the same email address for everything!
Multi-brand software lets each support department have its own email address and its own auto-response.
It’s too complicated!
Which is really more complicated: Having different help desk software and practices for each brand, or having a single software base across all a company’s brands? Unifying the software means following consistent company-wide practices, simplifying training. There’s only one set of software to learn about and maintain, and using a cloud-based service takes away most maintenance concerns.
Customers and users all have different concerns, but all of them want reliable service that will give them answers to their problems, or at least give them trustworthy information on when a solution is coming. A unified but customizable approach accomplishes this much better than a piecemeal approach.
The real problem may be that brand managers are comfortable with the way they’ve always done things and are afraid that change will disrupt a process that works well enough. They may have expert staff who think they don’t need new technology to deal with issues. These are people problems rather than technology problems, and persuading them that change will help them is a matter of persuasion and tact.
However, once they’ve seen good quality software demonstrated, they’ll hopefully come to realize that it will let them maintain their high standards rather than getting in their way. People always like their jobs to become easier, and good help desk software can do that without getting in their way.