As companies expand, it’s common for them to add more product offerings. Sometimes, these offerings are natural offshoots of their original product, but this isn’t always the case. There are many cases where a company ends up producing a wide variety of disparate offerings. When this happens, each of the offerings has its own set of features, benefits, and support issues.
Handling these different products is – at first – often done through the same interface as the original one. Even at this point, this is a somewhat clunky solution. Customers have to fish through knowledge base articles or topic-selection drop downs that pertain to the original item, and this makes it hard to find relevant information. When the number of offerings grows further, these issues become significant enough to make it obvious that a better support solution is needed. This is when it’s a good idea to upgrade to a proper multi-product help desk.
If each product is sold under its own brand, the switch to a better help desk should happen immediately. When customers try to contact a particular brand, they expect to go to that brand’s site and submit queries through a system that carries the associated branding. Ending up on what appears to be a different site, with a different brand, is confusing to customers and will cause many of them to give up on trying to get online support. A good multi-product help desk will include the ability to brand several different customer-facing portals appropriately, so this problem is eliminated.
Here are some specific ways you can use a multi-product help desk to organize support response and provision of information for multiple offerings:
Organize Knowledge Base Topics
A good knowledge base allows customers to instantly get answers to their questions. It’s typically more in-depth than a FAQ, so those who are technologically or mechanically inclined can often figure out how to fix problems themselves. This makes it a great tool for them and for your support department, which won’t have to handle as many tickets.
One of the keys to the success of a knowledge base is organization. People need to be able to find answers that are relevant to the product they’re having trouble with. A multi-product help desk organizes things by product, so there’s no need for customers to have to dig through answers that relate to your other offerings. Instead, they’re sent right to the portal that handles the product they need answers for, and they can find the needed information within moments.
Improve Ticket Routing and Reduce Confusion
When a company only has one customer-facing support portal, all of the help tickets come to you in a big undifferentiated stream. Even with brand and category drop downs for customers to use, you’ll find that many of them don’t include enough information about which product the customers are talking about. If you’re getting all of your tickets in through the same portal, you’ll have no choice but to ask for more information when tickets of this nature come in. This will slow your response and make customers more impatient.
A multi-product help desk will immediately make things easier by letting you know which portal was used to submit a ticket. This will let you know which product is involved, and in many cases, this – when combined with the customer’s question or problem description – is enough to figure out what your response should be. Of course, it’s even more convenient if the customer chooses the right routing category from a drop down, but you can still figure out who should answer it if the wrong one is mistakenly selected.
Customers will also find a multi-product help desk less confusing when it’s time to submit tickets. They’ll see by the branding that they’re on the right site, and this will increase their confidence that their tickets will get to the proper people. Customers can also be more sure that the site is legitimate. Many people worry about fraud if they see a different name on a site than the one they expect.
Manage Your End Through a Single, Unified Interface
While it’s great to show customers product-specific sites, it’s easier to take care of administrative tasks through a single interface. Good multi-product help desks provide this functionality so that you don’t have to log into multiple systems in order to handle support tasks. Instead, you only need to log in once to handle all of the issues that have come through your various product-specific portals. When your responses go out, the system will automatically route them to the right places. Customers can then log in and get their responses from the portal associated with their particular product.
An Overview of Other Benefits
Modern help desk software offers many benefits other than better organization, such as the ability to consolidate customer interactions that originate over multiple channels. This makes it so that if someone calls and later submits a ticket, you and your staff can see that it is not two separate incidents, but instead, that one is continuing on from the other.
Another benefit is the ability to log in from anywhere you can get an internet connection. This allows you to use remote staff, avoid going to an office during odd hours, and more.
To learn more about our multi-product help desk and all that it can do for you, your company, and your many products, just contact us. We’ll be glad to explain everything, let you give the software a free trial, or sign you up for a fully-functional licensed copy.