Let’s say you’re doing a great job as a startup founder: customers choose your product over competitors, they purchase and use it for some time.
Sooner or later, you realize it’s not enough to focus only on converting visitors into users. You have to retain them as long as possible. You have to delight your customers.
Delighted customers generate word of mouth and can be an effective channel to attract new users, depending on the nature and life-cycle stage of your startup.
How do you delight your customers? – You provide them with exceptional customer service. As a startup founder, you need a centralized cost-effective tool to serve your existing customers.
First of all, we have to be clear about what we need from our help desk:
- Collect customer requests over different channels (email, live-chat, forms, etc.)
- Answer repetitive questions quickly.
- Create tickets, prioritize and solve open issues.
- Schedule customer calls.
- Send surveys to get customer feedback.
- Provide a knowledge base about known problems.
Let’s talk about each point and how we can implement it. Since I’m a huge fan of free Google services, I’ll tell you how to build a Google help desk around your free account.
Before you start, activate the conversation view feature in your Gmail account settings to have a view of the entire conversation with a customer. This will help you to quickly recall what the last chat was about.
One place to rule them all
You need a central place to handle all customer requests – some kind of universal conversation inbox to store and view all conversations no matter what channel is. Here, you can use free services to channel customer requests into your Gmail inbox. It can be a contact form, live-chat, chatbot conversation, etc.
Gmail has templates to help you optimize your work. Canned responses are reusable text fragments for frequently used messages. They can save you plenty of work every time you need to write a “first touch” email or a follow-up email.
One ticket please
How do you create tickets in Gmail? – Just use stars! Go to settings and select the preset you want to use. Then, decide on what each star stands for (for example: open, pending, resolved, closed). Finally, use certain stars to indicate the status of the customer request.
If you have more than one service line (e.g. 1st and 2nd line support), use labels to associate emails with a specific line. After that, you can search for 1st line tickets just by typing a label name in the search box.
Apparently, if you have more than one member in the support team, you need a “shared” Gmail account. Just grant access for your colleagues in the account settings.
Here’s my number
Schedule your customer calls in Google Calendar. Gmail can recognize meeting requests in your conversations. Plus, you can access your calendar from any mobile device.
Tip: create a free account with one of the online scheduling services to provide a “public” version of your meeting calendar. The public version shows your availability only and prevents any conflicts automatically.
Once you’ve configured it, share the link with your clients to let them find a free spot in your calendar and arrange a meeting. All booked meetings will automatically appear in your Google Calendar. Cool, isn’t it?
Close the loop
Collect your customer feedback using Google Forms. First, each Google Form has a unique link and not accessible without this link. Secondly, all responses are stored in a private Excel file, where you can filter, search and analyze them to get valuable insights about your customers.
More than just a drive
Did you know that you can use Google Drive as a knowledge base? Once you add tags into the description of your documents, you can directly search for keywords and get all relevant documents. Above all, Google scans all pieces of content uploaded to your cloud and makes them searchable as well. Just give it a try.
Want to know more about how to build your own Google help desk? – Let’s talk!