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Connecting Insights in the Help Desk

Gone are the days of static KPIs for customer service that only measured a customer journey from the first reactive touchpoint. Here are the days where the entire customer experience – the signals, the personalization, the data connectivity – are part of a larger proactive service experience. In this session, learn why it’s important to look beyond the help desk and into your commerce, brand and marketing workflows to create a connected experience that starts with your agent and ends with a delighted customer that keeps coming back for more.

Intended Audience

If you are interested in connecting the entire customer journey at every touchpoint for a delightful customer experience, this session is for you.

Attendee Takeaway

Learn how to connect the entire customer experience from signals, personalization and data connectivity to keep the delighted customer returning for more.


Jenny Gomez, Product Marketing Director, Lucidworks

[Jenny Gomez]

Hi, my name is Jenny Gomez and I’m the director of Product Marketing here at Lucidworks. And I wanna talk a little bit about connecting insights in the help desk, specifically for customer service organizations, of course. Let’s get started. 

So we all know that great customer service and customer experiences are the foundation of any great business. We know that brand loyalty virtually disappears when our customers have a bad service experience. In fact, 59% of customers in the us leave our company or leave our products or leave our website after having several bad service experiences. So how can we ensure that our customers get the speed, convenience, friendliness and consistency that keeps them coming back? 

Let’s take a quick quiz, level-set for a second. 

What is a Help Desk? Is it A, a brick and mortar location staffed by support experts that are helping customers with their issues? They’ve got their headsets on. They’re sort of all sitting in a bullpen. 

Is it B, a virtual space dedicated to solving customer support issues? A place where customers can type in their problems or chat about their problems. 

Or C, is it either or both depending on the business need? 

Of course the answer is C and we tend to find these days that it’s definitely both. 

So it all starts with the Help Desk. It’s the single source of truth for every customer issue that needs to be raised to an agent. It’s your organizational tool to track every conversation and solution. It supports your invaluable agents and make sure that they have all the tools that they need at the speed that they need it so that they have the room for empathy that our customers crave. 

In order to be effective, the Help Desk software needs to talk to virtually everything else in the customer service tech stack and that’s not as easy as it sounds. So before we go any further, let’s clear the air for a second. 

A Help Desk in some circles is the desk that you use to file an IT ticket. You know, you’re working at your company, maybe you spill coffee on your laptop and you let IT know about it. 

In some organizations, your Help Desk is your service desk. It’s the tool that your agents need, that helps them manage all of the service cases. This is without a doubt confusing, but it needs to be a little part of the dialogue here. 

For our purposes, let’s just assume we’re talking about the agent desk or the service desk. There are times when that agent is dealing with IT issues and using the desk as a proper Help Desk. And there are times when our agent is customer facing and liaising with the more traditionally known service desk. The thing to remember here is whether it’s your internal Help Desk at your company, that would cite employees as customers, or larger, likely more complex service desk that supports those customer facing agents, the importance of connecting insights still holds the same weight. 

Your internal Help Desk is still gonna need to connect to things like the Employee Wiki and internal productivity tools like SharePoint or Slack, whereas your service desk might need to connect to things like voice of the customer solutions or your call center as a service. You get the idea. 

It’s probably also important that your Help Desk is talking to your service desk. 

For our cases here, let’s assume it’s all one big desk. The quality of customer service totally depends on the competency of support agents. If your service representative is struggling to give timely resolutions or they’re not confident enough because they don’t have the information that they need while they’re providing assistance, this is a direct negative impact visible on all of your CX metrics. 

This happens because customers always have really high expectations in regards to support service and they feel let down when brand representatives fail to meet their needs. That’s why foundationally, the Help Desk is your most important investment. It supports your agents who, usually after a purchase or close to conversion, become the face of your company. Without a powerful Help Desk, supporting your customer service agents, retention loyalty is impossible. 

So when you go to make an online purchase and you’re not satisfied with the product, what do you usually do? 

Well, you go to a customer support channel and initiate a service interaction, right? You may be acquainted with the fact that there are times when an agent just isn’t available to address your problem, which, as a repercussion, turns your service request into a ticket. This is the moment where your Help Desk steps in to create that ticket. It starts to track response time and ensure connectivity to the customer so that they have the seamless experience that they’re expecting. A proactive Help Desk that’s connected to a CRM or a CDP might access the profile of the customer in real time and shoot that customer maybe an automated email with a response time estimate. 

That one level of connectivity creates a proactive service experience by letting the customer know when an agent will respond to them to solve their issue and increases your customer experience right there. 

Great help desk software should connect all of your insights across every channel. Data is the secret sauce that powers those solutions and insights, but it’s not always easy to parse. The idea of collecting real-time data across end points in the customer service tech stack might’ve seemed like a pipe dream to Help Desk teams years a few years ago, but it’s possible now and it creates new opportunities for Help Desks and the agents they support. 

So in order to use data to provide a solution, we need to start with identifying the problem. Inside any service desk lies untapped information, hidden in a sea of incidents that’s sufficient enough to provide hints on where to start a problem isolation process. Agents and analysts can replace their guesswork and hunches with a data oriented approach. 

This is where using search as a tactic can be the key to success. Search methodologies can identify processes and information that are causing drain on productivity. Things like large amounts of unstructured data in the knowledge base or case information that’s not organized into one informational endpoint. Classifying and cleaning up pools of data can decrease resolution time and surface information more quickly in a way that’s easy for an agent and a customer to understand. 

Let’s talk a little bit about some important data points that we need to collect in order to unify information and increase that customer satisfaction. 

Where are customers searching for answers? Absolutely they’re searching the knowledge base. They’re also asking chatbots for help. They’re entering information directly into a ticketing system and they’re surfacing questions to agents over the phone using their voice. They might also be sending direct messages to social media accounts, Twitter, Instagram, et cetera. Oh, right, and then there’s email and texts and mobile, of course. That’s a large amount of multi-channel queries to bring together but that’s the gold standard we should be working towards. The promise of a true omni-channel experience. 

In order to know our customers, we should know every place they’ve asked for help and we should be aggregating all of those queries and attaching them to a single profile in our CDPs and CRMs. Easy, right?

The hardest part about breaking down data silos in a service organization is not necessarily about building the right technology stack. It actually starts with building the right internal human relationships so that the same technology can be adopted throughout. 

We know that service orgs can be split depending on the channel, like email, social, phone, et cetera. And the humans in charge of each of those channels might not actually want to unify their data because let’s say one channel might be performing better for the customer than others for a myriad of reasons. For example, the social team might have really amazing C-SAT scores because customers prefer to answer short surveys over social media. But the email team might have shorter time to resolution because customers are asking simpler questions over the email channel over and over and over so they’re super easy to answer. 

The phone team, however, might see a lot of revenue growth because they’re able to spend time with customers and upsell products or even sell more expensive products to customers. So now, not only is the data siloed, but success is siloed too. If the teams were able to unify their KPIs, the organization would see their whole team elevated regardless of the channel. Omni-channel starts from within. 

Let’s say we work on those relationships. We showcase how aggregating the KPIs across channels allows us to present that streamline success. The people are in place and everyone’s committed to creating a 360 degree view of a customer life cycle in the service organization. The execs are all bought in. There’s an understanding of why it needs to be done and everyone agrees. How wonderful. 

Now, now, how does the technology support this harmonious new world? I brought up search earlier and how we need to connect insights in the help desk, right? That’s what the presentation is about.

Search technology is about bringing together large amounts of structured and unstructured data, crawling it, indexing it and pushing the results back out. If we have a Help Desk that connects to the other service and help desks that support the disparate channels, we can create one unifying dashboard that uses search to parse customer information no matter the data type. Connectors, APIs can all be brought in and the data could be visualized into one intelligent omni-channel Help Desk, the Help Desk to rule them all, if you will. 

This centralized Help Desk now becomes the nucleus for the entire service organization. It’s able to connect customer profiles to channels which are most often used, it’ll bring in product information to make suggestions on upselling over the phone, you can layer on AI to offer up natural language responses to chat bots that will learn across the whole service organization’s data and you can optimize knowledge portals based on customer questions at scale so self-service becomes increasingly more effective over time. 

Personalization which requires large amounts of data to be successful now it becomes a much easier to execute reality. Agents have access to case information and questions across channels and they can search from the nucleus to surface way more answers at scale, speeding up the time to resolution, which, as we know, increases C-SAT across the board. 

While this may seem like a utopian scenario, we’re at an inflection point in being able to make this scenario real. The technology exists. The data is there. It’s sitting in our data centers and in the Cloud. The AI has been trained and it’s ready to keep learning. Now we just need to connect to the right people in our organizations to make it happen. 

At Lucidworks we care about customer service and ensuring that the whole tech stack is connected and sharing insights throughout the customer journey. While we pride ourselves in building tools that create better agent experiences and optimize search in the knowledge portal, connecting the Help Desk to every piece of the journey is a huge part of that workflow. Let us know how we can help. 

Again, my name is Jenny Gomez and I’m the director of Product Marketing here at Lucidworks. Thank you so much for listening and I really hope you’re enjoying Activate today. Thanks so much.

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