5.4.17 Customer Service

Desk.com by Salesforce: A Scalable, All-In-One Customer Support Solution Retailers Can Deploy in a Matter of Days

By: Jon McDonald

The Crunch: Desk.com provides businesses of all sizes with rich customer support tools to help them enhance the digital shopping experience. Its cloud platform includes tools that drive agent productivity by building a knowledge base and expanding customer self-service functionality. Desk.com can be deployed by a small business in an average of two days and can scale alongside the business. And because Desk.com is backed by the power of Salesforce, retailers have built-in integration with the company’s intelligent Sales, Service and Commerce clouds as they grow.

No matter how exceptional a company’s products or services, keeping customers satisfied can be challenging for many reasons — including delivery problems, an underwhelming website experience, and slow response time to an inquiry. Staying ahead of those problems and keeping customers happy is critical for a business because repeat shoppers are far more valuable to retailers than new customers.

For Shoes of Prey, a custom footwear retailer based in Sydney, Australia, trying to satisfy its worldwide customer base became a job in and of itself. The company started off with an email-based customer support system, but the number of questions and service issues that needed attention quickly became overwhelming. Shoes of Prey needed a solution that minimized the time being spent on customer support while achieving more satisfactory outcomes for clients.

Desk.com, powered by Salesforce, provided that solution with its all-in-one customer support platform that enables a business to get a multi-channel help desk up and running in the cloud in a matter of days. For retailers, like Shoes of Prey, providing an excellent customer support experience, building trust in its brand, and engaging with consumers at a critical point in their journey have been key factors in the company’s rapid growth.

“Since using Desk.com, Shoes of Prey has grown 500%, and they have been able to scale to meet new needs,” said Dwight Moore, Retail Industry Product Marketing Lead at Salesforce, which in 2011 acquired Desk.com — then called Assistly. “They can manage 1,000 cases per week with just six customer service agents, and their average case resolution time is now six minutes or less.”

Because it runs in the cloud, Desk.com is designed to be scalable and flexible, expanding its service to any size or need. The platform can also foster that growth through its reporting tools that allow business owners to recognize and react quickly to trends. Desk.com has an extensive collection of informative articles on its blog, and its webinars keep users current on best practices, so that customer support never becomes a limiting factor for a retailer.

“Desk.com provides out-of-the-box infrastructure for managing cases across channels, automation for sending out personalized replies, and the ability to manage customer satisfaction and lower resolution time,” Dwight said. “And the average deployment time is two days, so it helps business owners take control of customer service issues quickly.”

Knowledge Base Drives Agent Productivity & Customer Self-Service

Every support case begins with a need for information. Customers may require more information on a product, service, or policy, and, when they make contact with a retailer — whether it be on a mobile device, social media, or a chat application — they expect an answer.

Building a knowledge base helps a retailer ensure that answers — whether they’re for a customer or an agent —  are readily available. Information can come in the form of product documentation, articles, and FAQs, among other assets. Desk.com helps retailers consolidate those materials so when a question comes up, an agent can consult it quickly to find a resolution. But a robust archive of information can serve a much more important purpose on the consumer side: encouraging self-service.

Desk.com helps businesses create a knowledge base through a content dashboard that makes it easy to add information.

“More than 35% of customer support inquiries are coming through digital channels, and for a small, fast-growing e-commerce retailer, it can be hard to keep up,” Dwight told us. “A searchable self-service portal with FAQs and articles can help consumers find their own answers. Retailers with a modest support staff can benefit from pushing as many people as possible to self-service.”

Desk.com provides branded self-service portals designed to help customers find what they need quickly from any device before they open a support case. This strategy saves a company’s resources for more pressing issues.

Self-service is just part of the overall plan for easing the burden on a company’s support staff. Desk.com offers automation tools to send personalized responses based on queries. For instance, an email containing the question, “What is your return policy?” would trigger an automated response outlining a retailer’s policy on returns.

Streamlining these processes lead to better customer support, more satisfaction, and enable businesses to grow a brand.

Built to Scale, Providing Flexibility During Peak Retail Seasons

Beyond just scaling with a business as it grows, Desk.com offers greater flexibility for retailers because of some distinct hurdles they face. One challenge for retailers is the influx of customer support requests at certain times of the year.

“We offer flexible pricing because, in retail especially, there is a need to grow support service during peak selling seasons,” Dwight said. “Being a cloud-based service, that comes naturally for Desk.com, and our customers can add in resources during peak seasons then scale back down to their regular plan.”

Fast cloud adaptability is also why Desk.com can grow with a business so quickly. The platform comes with built-in support for a wide variety of channels so retailers can connect with consumers wherever they feel most comfortable. The Desk.com dashboard pulls in cases from Facebook and Twitter, displaying them alongside cases from other sources, including email, web forms, and from integrated apps for chat and phone. And by using the Desk.com mobile app, a small business owner can resolve all of those cases from anywhere.

From the Desk.com dashboard, an agent can see a customer’s entire service profile and easily respond to his or her needs.

When a customer support agent can access all of a company’s unresolved cases from a single, intuitive interface, productivity increases. And all of the requests can be queued, so they are dealt with in the order they were received or by level of importance. Desk.com helps businesses build team workflow and assign cases more efficiently as an organization grows, allowing companies like Shoes of Prey and global online marketplace One King’s Lane to use the same platform.

“One King’s Lane has 10 million members, 70 customer service agents, and resolves 70% of its cases within 24 hours,” said Dwight, “Now they see 80% of their customers return, and that is the impact Desk.com can have on any business, no matter the size.”

Reporting Unearths Insights into Trends & Consumer Satisfaction

Analytics tools help retailers easily find and react to trends in their customer support processes. Desk.com provides out-of-the-box reporting tools and dashboards that give management a better perspective on three main areas of support: agent performance, customer trends, and customer satisfaction.

From the agent performance standpoint, Dwight explained how data helps business owners create a better workflow or identify areas in which a particular agent excels.

“A retailer can see how many cases an agent is closing, what issues they are addressing, and what types of cases an agent is skilled at,” he told us. “If an agent is best at quickly resolving a particular kind of case, routing rules can be created so those cases get sent to them.”

But some of the biggest insights can be seen on the customer side, where getting ahead of trends and assessing satisfaction levels can pay big dividends. Desk.com’s reporting tools include easily implementable customer surveys to gauge experiences and highlight areas for improvement.

Identifying customer support trends is vital, as well, because retailers want to react quickly if issues are constantly popping up about an individual process, policy, or product. Desk.com reports on these trends so that a retailer can resolve them, or, in some cases, capitalize on them.

“Not only can a retailer see what issues customers are reporting — from packaging to product sizing — but it can also help identify feature requests and pinpoint areas of opportunity,” Dwight said.

And because Desk.com is backed by the power of Salesforce, retailers have access to even more paths to grow a customer base, e-commerce footprint, and, by extension, their bottom line.

Retailers Grow Alongside an All-in-One Customer Support Solution

Desk.com helped Shoes of Prey grow from a small Australian business into a global online retailer by helping the company respond to the growing needs of its customers. And being in the business of making customized shoes for clients by hand, Shoes of Prey relies heavily on the platform for help to resolve the many questions its products generate.

“Desk.com provides robust case management support that any user can configure, and can be implemented in a matter of days,” Dwight said. “To a small business manager, that deployment time can be worth its weight in gold. They need to be innovating and managing other elements of the business, not figuring out how to get a help desk solution up and running.”

Dwight Moore, Retail Industry Product Marketing Lead at Salesforce, spoke with us about Desk.com’s powerful platform.

Being backed by Salesforce also means that Desk.com data is easily integrated with Salesforce, and its Sales and Service clouds, through its syncing tool called Desk Connect.

“As a retailer’s needs evolve, they can migrate to the Salesforce Sales and Service clouds to help them on the path to getting a 360-degree view of a customer,” Dwight said. The Sales and Service clouds enhance the use of Desk.com data by employing Einstein AI for predictive customer support recommendations thus providing even more personalized paths for consumers.

Desk.com’s powerful adaptability and cross-channel case compilation make it an all-in-one platform, indeed. When a small business needs a help desk for now — and for the future — Desk.com can be a lasting customer support solution.

About The Author

Jon McDonald is a contributing editor for DealCrunch with over 15 years of experience editing, writing, and designing at numerous publications. His passions include digging into emerging trends and seeking out the companies making an impact on the retail industry.

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