How Helplines Are Shaping Customer Experiences

Zuzanna Bocian

Zuzanna Bocian

13 min read
Mar 28, 2024

Do you know that 86 percent of consumers (source) will leave a brand they were once loyal to after only two to three bad customer service experiences? Yes, it’s true!¬†

Today, business customers demand efficient and excellent customer service. Meeting these expectations is crucial to maintaining their loyalty. This is where helplines take center stage!

Helplines offer benefits like immediate assistance, personalized support, and accessibility. This makes them great software for businesses striving to deliver exceptional customer service.

Want to know more about helpline software and its role in customer service? Let’s dig in!

What is a helpline? 

A business helpline is a dedicated phone line or other communication channels like email, social media, and chat that customers can use to reach a business for inquiries and support. A responsive help center improves customer experience by providing timely assistance, resolving customer issues, and offering product information. 

It’s a direct line of communication between customers and businesses that builds trust and results in repeat sales.

Good customer service metrics

Source

What is the purpose of a helpline?

The primary goal of a helpline is to provide prompt assistance in resolving customer queries to ensure customer satisfaction.

Let’s see the core competencies of a helpline that helps you build customer loyalty and increase customer retention:

Accessibility

The helpline should be easily accessible so customers can reach out whenever they need assistance. Some things that help make it more accessible are:

Various communication channels

When it comes to helpline communication, customers have varying preferences. According to statistics, 93% of customers prefer to engage with companies via email, followed by 88% via phone (source).

So, to make the helpline accessible, you should offer multi-channel support through email, phone, chat, and social media. This highlights that the company values customer convenience and is always ready to answer their queries.

24/7 availability

Remember, customer issues and queries can happen at any time. The client service should be available 24/7 for timely customer assistance. This round-the-clock excellent customer service increases satisfaction and trust.

Want to be close to your customers all the time? Check HelpDesk to see how you can increase customer satisfaction! ūüöÄ

24/7 customer support

Multilingual support 

Most businesses now deal with international customers, so it’s essential to have a team that can communicate with them in their preferred language. It ensures that language barriers help provide excellent customer service.

Efficiency

The helplines should efficiently offer a seamless and great customer service experience.

Quick response times are essential to boost helpline efficiency. Taking days to respond to customer queries can negatively impact your business. You should adopt the first-contact resolution (FCR) approach when offering customer support.

FCR refers to resolving a customer query at the first call with the help of a good customer service team. Quick response times and FCR combined minimize customers’ frustration. It also saves the valuable time of the support staff and customers.

Explore strategies for first-contact resolution to boost customer satisfaction and support efficiency. Learn more about FCR in the latest HelpDesk blog article. ūüĒ•

First-contact resolution time in HelpDesk

Personalization

Every customer has different needs, queries, and preferences. Your support staff can tailor their responses to meet customer preferences by adopting a personalized approach.

It creates a more meaningful and engaging experience. For instance, if a customer faces issues with your products, the support agents should offer them a troubleshooting guide based on their expertise. Doing so indicates that you empathize with your customers and understand their concerns.  

Empowered staff 

Another core element to boost the helpline experience is training your staff with the right tools. Training ensures staff can handle versatile customer queries, troubleshoot matters, and provide accurate information. 

To boost the overall customer experience, give your customer service representatives access to CRM systems and company knowledge bases. Building their knowledge base with product knowledge is vital. This way, they can conveniently handle domestic and international customers per company guidelines.

What are the benefits of using a helpline in customer service?

Let’s discuss the benefits of using helpline software for customer service and how it impacts business growth.

Build loyalty 

Did you know that acquiring a new customer costs five times more than retaining an existing one? Yes, it’s true! But there’s nothing to worry about. With great after-sales service, you can offer immediate customer support, such as answering questions, resolving issues, or offering guidance.¬†

Customers feel heard and valued throughout the journey, which, complemented by personalized interaction, strengthens the relationship between your brand and customers. They will prefer to shop from your brand again instead of finding a new one, showing their loyalty to your business. 

Increase conversions 

A quick and highly responsive helpline to customer needs increases your profits. Bain & Company says businesses can grow revenues between 4% and 8% above their market by prioritizing better customer service experiences (source). 

Creating a superior customer experience than competitors sets your business apart and attracts potential customers, leading to higher profits.

Enhance customer satisfaction

When you offer timely assistance to customer inquiries through a helpline, you value their time. They feel satisfied and reassured that their concerns are promptly addressed, leaving a positive impression and reinforcing the customer’s trust in your brand.¬†

Also, when you support your customers, you can know their consent to receive marketing communications and bring them into your marketing loop. That way, you will improve their trust in your brand.

Gain valuable insights 

Helplines are a great way to gain valuable insights into customers’ behavior, preferences, and pain points. Your customer support department can quickly jot down the customers’ interests in your products and services and where they face issues.

This knowledge helps shape marketing efforts and product design to meet customer expectations, paving the way for informed decision-making to stay ahead of the competition.

Helpline challenges and solutions

Your customer support team faces various challenges when using helplines. I discussed some of them below, along with their potential solutions.

Challenge #1: High call volume and wait times

The first challenge a customer service professional may face when using a helpline is the high call volumes that lead to longer wait times. When many customers call at once, support agents may feel overwhelmed and fail to cater to all customers. It can lead to frustration among customers and an environment of distress in your support team.

Solutions

To solve this issue, you can try the following:

Challenge #2: Trouble maintaining quality

High traffic and increased queries on the help center can lead to issues in maintaining quality customer service. When a customer support personnel is dealing with a high volume of calls, they may need help to provide personalized assistance to each customer.

Additionally, due to the varying backgrounds and experiences of each person in the customer support team, there can be discrepancies in the level of customer service. This often results in dissatisfied customers and a disjointed customer experience.

Solutions

The solution for this challenge includes:

Challenge #3: Handling diverse issues 

Another issue that a contact center may face with helplines is handling diverse matters. The wide range of products, services, and customer inquiries result in the agents encountering various complex issues. They may need to address urgent and high-priority tickets which causes customer dissatisfaction.

Solution

Here’s how you can avoid this issue:¬†

Challenge #4: Data security and compliance 

With the business world going digital, there’s a higher risk of cyberattacks that may risk your customers’ data. Even 60% of small businesses (source) go out of business after being cyberattack victims. Unfortunately, it’s true!

So, another challenge that agents face when dealing with customers via helplines is the security and privacy of customers’ data.¬†

Solution 

I have some easy fixes that help you avoid data security challenges and ensure compliance with cybersecurity laws.

Challenge # 5: Cost 

Managing helpline operations can be expensive for several reasons. Firstly, the requirement for skilled personnel trained to handle a wide range of queries effectively and empathetically drives up staffing costs. 

Additionally, the infrastructure needed to support a helpline, including telecommunication systems, secure data storage, and office space, can be significant. 

Maintaining high service quality and availability around the clock adds to the operational expenses due to the need for shift workers and backup systems to ensure reliability.

Solution 

Let’s check two solutions for that:¬†

Brastel case study

As I mentioned above, you can try ticket systems like HelpDesk to reduce some helpline costs. 

If you need to learn how it works and how it can help you, I prepared some case studies. 

Let’s look at the positive impact of the overall business profits thanks to Brastel’s success story.

About Brastel

Brastel, a telecommunications company based in Tokyo with 25 years of industry experience, offers various services, including international calling, business phone, and remittance services. To ensure the highest quality of service, Brastel created separate brands, My 050 and Brastel Remit, to cater to specific customer needs. 

What challenges have they faced?

Initially relying on a traditional call center for customer support, Brastel faced challenges as customer preferences shifted towards internet-based asynchronous communication channels. They started using communication channels like Facebook, WhatsApp, Line, and other social media to be more accessible to their end customers. 

This is where the real issues arise. These versatile channels necessitate employees to juggle multiple browsers to respond to various customers.

How did HelpDesk help?

Recognizing the need for a more efficient support system, Brastel turned to HelpDesk to streamline its customer service operations. With HelpDesk, Brastel aimed to improve response times, enhance communication across channels, and ensure a smooth customer support experience. 

HelpDesk was customized to fit Brastel’s needs, with features such as custom domains, priority and status levels, and integration with existing ticket handling flows. The technical team utilized HelpDesk API documentation to develop custom webhooks, further optimizing the support process.¬†

They also customized the footers and email messages template to reflect the company goals.

Quote from Irina Bokareva, Marketing Project Manager at Brastel Co., Ltd.

Employees adopted the more showing and less typing approach, leveraging the HelpDesk live video chat option to offer live assistance. The best part? HelpDesk helped them automate sending follow-up messages, saving crucial time. 

Results

HelpDesk offers support for Brastel in reducing its turnaround times. Previously, it took the customer service team up to 33 minutes per ticket to resolve a single customer issue. With HelpDesk, Brastel saved up to 12 minutes handling each ticket for Telecom and 8 minutes handling each ticket for Brastel Remit. 

This represented a 39% and 35% decrease in ticket resolution times, respectively. What’s more, HelpDesk benefits, like its automation features, enabled Brastel to handle nearly 2,000 monthly tickets more efficiently.

Try HelpDesk for free, streamline your resolution time, and see how quickly you handle customer requests. Then, watch your satisfaction rise! ‚úÖ

HelpDesk ticketing system dashboard

Now that you know why customer service is important and the challenges your customer support team may face, it’s time to look at the future trends in helpline services:

Hype of AI and chatbots 

AI-powered chatbots will likely transform helpline services by providing immediate, personalized assistance across various channels, such as social media platforms, messaging apps, and websites.

Chatbots utilize natural language processing (NLP) to comprehend customer queries and respond to them in a human-like manner. They automate sending follow-up messages and can handle routine, repetitive tasks. This results in improved efficiency of the customer support team, and they can utilize their valuable time more effectively.

Try the AI-based HelpDesk features and ensure your customer service is on the highest level ever!  ✅

HelpDesk AI features

Self-service support will gain traction

Another future trend that you’ll see in customer service contact centers is the increased adoption of self-service solutions. As per the recent Microsoft research, 90% of the respondents say they expect businesses to offer an online portal for self-service (source).¬†

For instance, you can create a support community where customers can get answers from fellow community members without contacting your team. In addition, to make customers happy, you can provide them with a knowledge base and share detailed tutorials and guides on how to use your products. 

That’s not all. You can also incorporate an FAQ page that answers customers’ general queries. This ensures customers only reach out to support when they face a technical issue, reducing the workload from agents.¬†

Video support and mobile-first services 

In the future of helpline services, you can also expect the integration of video support and prioritization of mobile-first services. 

Video support allows agents to interact with customers via live chats (video) and offers a more immersive visual demonstration of product knowledge and usage. Moreover, the shift towards mobile-first services caters to customers who rely on mobile devices for communication, information, and transactions.

Summary

Whether chats, live video chats, phone calls, emails, or social media, customer service helplines are great for answering customer queries. It offers benefits like excellent customer service, increasing customer satisfaction, and loyalty toward your brand.

However, you may need help finding the best helpline software. These include high call volume and quality issues. You can use various strategies to solve these issues, such as providing necessary training to employees and implementing robust security measures to secure customers’ data.