The ultimate Zoho Help Desk to manage your support cases
It’s often said that winning over a customer is the easy part; keeping that customer is the real challenge. And, keeping customers usually depends on making your customers happy not just one time – but, again and again. Zoho Desk is the solution you’re looking for.
When your customers have support issues, how do you deal with them?
Are you slow to respond, or do you jump to attention quickly?
Do your response times – and what they mean for your business – keep you up at night?
You should never have to worry about support cases draining your business. Especially if you already use Zoho software like Zoho CRM! Zoho Desk was designed just for you: you can manage tickets, keep tabs on your agents, and gauge customer success levels. You can even identify and fix bottlenecks in your process – all from one powerful app.
First, some common terms:
- Support agent: A regular Zoho Desk user
- Support administrator: Any admin-level support user, including the superadmin
- Ticket: The equivalent of a Case record in Zoho CRM
- Solution: The answer to a client’s support question
How Zoho Desk works
For the uninitiated, Zoho Desk works like many other help desk apps. When a customer has an issue they’d like you to help solve, they might give a call to your general phone number, or send an email to your regular inbox. This may seem intuitive, but it can actually hurt you if your volume of support requests is too high.
Alternatively, it can route support requests directly to a given department, to the proper support agent.
Your clients can email a dedicated support mailbox, or even call a dedicated support phone number. This separation of powers, so to speak, gives your support administrator the ability to route and oversee tickets as they arrive. (In some cases, Zoho Desk can also parse the contents of tickets and assign them by itself.)
Once agents are assigned tickets, they can see exactly what they need to do by following a ticket blueprint that you can set up. Agents can communicate internally – privately – regarding tickets so all correspondence is properly linked. And, administrators can send solutions to a knowledge base, which clients can access by logging into a special support portal.
Finally, support administrators can view all sorts of metrics related to your support system. This includes department-wide or agent-specific response times, customer satisfaction ratings, product-specific issues, and more. In short, the Zoho service desk lets you solve current support issues, and anticipates future issues.
Who can use Zoho Desk?
Many industries benefit greatly from having a help desk, and from having Zoho Desk at the center. Here are just a few:
- Manufacturing or distribution companies sometimes have issues with returns due to defective products, errant shipments, and the like. Zoho Desk helps those clients by giving them an easy way to submit requests. Furthermore, Desk can plug into Zoho Finance apps, or even Zoho ERP software, giving you an even more custom fit solution.
- Clients of technology or SaaS companies usually have at least some IT issues that need solving. The application gives those clients a fine way to submit issues, and gives them a knowledge base to serve as an FAQ. This can eliminate the need for tickets related to very common problems.
Features of Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk is packed full of features, from support agent controls to admin controls – and even customer controls. Note that this is not a comprehensive list! If you’d like something more thorough before implementing Zoho Desk, let us know and we’ll organize a demo for you.
Multi-Channel Ticketing System
In a given day, you might receive tickets from a number of different sources. Email, social media, phone, and live chat are just a few of these. What if you have even more? No matter what, Zoho Help Desk allows for automatic sorting of tickets by channel and by department, so you can route them appropriately, prioritize them, and report on them.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Capability
Sometimes, the simple act of identifying a customer’s issue and categorizing it before tending to it can eat up mounds of valuable time. Zoho includes their artificial intelligence engine, Zia, inside Zoho Desk to do not only that, but even answer customers’ questions for you automatically, via text or voice chat.
Customer Portal with a Knowledge Base
Zoho Desk puts more power into the hands of your customers with a self-service portal. Once customers log into the portal, they can submit their own tickets to you, or browse your knowledge base, which you can use as an FAQ center, for solutions to common questions. You can populate your knowledge base directly with documented solutions from tickets, or by typing text articles – the choice is yours.
Special Views, Text Snippets, and Private Comments
Both agents and administrators in your Zoho service desk can check open tickets by priority and by other views, which can be customized.
Desk support members can expedite their response times by using a snippets feature, which auto-inserts a piece of pre-written text like a merge field, for solutions that require telling many clients the same or similar information. (You can even use this snippets feature to copy+paste entire solutions into ticket replies, as long as you’ve already recorded those solutions in your knowledge base.)
Private ticket comments, along with agent tagging, make sure that all related correspondence is tracked, and that other agents know when they’re being called upon to contribute to a discussion. It’s all done in the name of speeding up your support interactions, and reducing confusion.
Blueprint eliminates confusion about your support process
Have you ever wished there were a way to document your whole support process in a hierarchy tree so no one would ever get confused about what to do next? Zoho has anticipated that need and given us Blueprint. Blueprint in Zoho Desk allows administrators to map any support process in the form of clickable buttons and associated actions. These buttons appear inside tickets as choices that support agents can click to advance a ticket to another stage in your process; when selected, tickets are advanced, and Zoho Desk can perform other actions (such as emailing a client) automatically.
Zoho Service Desk uses custom functions and supports Marketplace extensions
Just like in Zoho CRM and Zoho Books, Zoho Desk gives administrators (or Zoho consultants) the ability to write custom functions. (Custom functions are strings of programmed code that trigger placement of data across systems.) You could think of custom functions as cross-platform workflow automations. For an example of a use case, in Zoho Desk, custom functions could be used to create a shipment inside your Zoho Inventory app when a support agent looking to replace a damaged product selects a Blueprint choice called “Ship New Item.”
And, as with many other Zoho apps, Zoho Desk support third-party extensions to help enhance the functionality of Desk. Some of these extensions are premium, but many are available for free.
Zoho Desk’s Real-time Analytics
Zoho loves equipping their apps with lots of valuable reporting capability, and Zoho Help Desk is certainly no exception to this. From just a few screens, you can:
- Track all tickets and their statuses
- Sort tickets by custom view or department
- View resource utilization, service ratings, and SLA violations
- See how many tickets your team answers per day
Using these reports in tandem allows for identifying areas where your processes can improve. You can even share reports (Zoho Desk analytics) with employees outside Zoho Desk by using the Advanced Analytics integration.
Zoho Desk Review – all factors weighed, including pricing
In order to properly assess the value of Zoho Desk, even with all its features, you have to consider its cost, whether you choose to use it by itself (likely in tandem with Zoho CRM at the very least) or as part of a suite like CRM Plus or Zoho One.
The application comes in three editions, not including the free version. Those are:
- Standard edition: $18/agent/month
- Professional edition: $30/agent/month
- Enterprise edition: $45/agent/month
Even the Standard edition includes many useful features, such as ticket emailing, customer happiness ratings, the ability to merge/split tickets, and the ability to add Light Agents (Zoho Desk agents with limited abilities) for just $5/agent/month.
However, Professional includes more advanced features like approvals, agent collision detection, telephony integration, and use of the Blueprint.
Enterprise gives you the most features: Everything in Professional, plus live chat capability (think SalesIQ for Zoho Desk), custom functions in workflow automation and Blueprint, ticket layout rules, and even a multi-branded client portal.
In many instances, choosing one edition over another comes down to the inclusion of a single feature you’ll need – and that’s normal.
However, if you’d like to use Zoho One, you won’t even need to think about which version you’d rather use. This is because Zoho One includes the Enterprise edition!
Zoho One (Enterprise edition by default):
- For all your employees: $35/user/month
- For any number of employees if not all of them: $90/user/month
If all your employees would have a Zoho One license anyway, you’ll just get Zoho Desk for free, essentially. However, Zoho One might still make sense for you – even if not all your employees would use the system. (For Zoho licensing concerns or questions, please contact us.)
Get started on Zoho Desk
Desk is clearly a very robust app, capable of helping your support department greatly. But, with so many moving parts and steps, it can be hard to know exactly how to get it all to work for you. That’s where we come in.
Let us know how you’d like to use Desk, and we’ll give you just what you need. That could include:
- Consulting – “What’s the best way I could be using Zoho Desk, given my business practices and procedures?”
- Full implementation, from start to finish
- Support, for training issues, bug fixes, and other help after you’ve implemented Desk
- Knowledge base and customer portal setup
- Zoho Desk and Zoho CRM integration help
…or, anything else you can think of. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you.