What is a customer service desk: key functions, roles, and setup guide


Are you considering setting up a customer service desk? You’ve browsed some guidance online, but you don’t have answers to all your queries? And you’re wondering whether you even need one at your company?

The answer is a resounding yes. Customer service help desks are an essential part of any business, providing a direct line of communication between customers and the company.

In fact, the effectiveness of a customer support desk can significantly impact a company’s reputation and customer retention rates. A well-managed and efficient help desk can not only solve problems, but also create loyal customers who feel valued and appreciated.

So in this guide, we’ll explore the importance of customer service desks, their role in improving customer satisfaction, and how businesses can ensure their customer service desks are providing exceptional service.

What is a customer service desk?

In simple terms, a customer service desk is a place for customers to seek help. It responds to customers’ questions and fixes any issues with the products or services they have obtained from your business.

It goes by different names in different companies, as shown below by an HDI study. But the general purpose remains the same.

How support centers are named in companies

Whenever customers need help with issues such as fixing a printer, installing security patches on their devices, or getting access to a new network, a customer service desk is where they turn to.

The point is: no matter what kind of assistance is required, the objective of a customer service desk is to provide excellent support to buyers promptly.

What does a customer service desk do?

The role of a customer service desk is to gather all the customer support cases (also known as tickets) and communications on various email accounts and channels. It then arranges them in one central place.

This empowers your customer service agents with the ability to manage customer tickets promptly and efficiently.

What does a customer service desk do
Image Source: SlideEgg

Here are the key features of a customer service desk:

Serves as a single point of contact

It gives customers a single portal to submit and track their issues and complaints. They can view the status and any updates to their tickets from the dashboard and follow up accordingly.

Resolves questions

A customer service help desk lets customers seek assistance from customer care representatives when they require guidance or instructions not available on a company’s knowledge base or FAQs.

Saves time

As per the HubSpot Annual State of Service report, an impressive 91% of customer service professionals globally confirmed that a help desk enhances efficiency.

A well-managed and optimized customer support desk unifies product information and offers instructions about company workflows. This speeds up and simplifies issue resolution for customers.

Helps assess customer satisfaction

For an effective support process, customers must be able to provide timely feedback about a company’s knowledge base, support process, and overall experience.

A customer service desk doesn’t just let you collect feedback from customers, but also offers data analytics capabilities to gauge the performance of your support team.

Customer service desk roles

Here are the key designations to consider for your customer service desk team.

Customer service desk manager

A customer service desk manager directs the everyday activities of support ticketing from a higher level. These include:

  • Recruiting and educating representatives for quality service
  • Designing customer service workflows
  • Monitoring metrics like representative’s efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Besides that, this person is usually in charge of the management of funds allocated for support. And he keeps the senior management informed about insights on workforce productivity.

Customer service desk agent

A customer service desk representative addresses queries coming to the support desk. This encompasses issues such as those related to equipment and forgotten passwords.

He handles all incoming support requests that come via telephone, email messaging, or a support desk platform.

On top of that, service desk representatives are typically in charge of writing and revising the help documentation. They also find new strategies to mentor their peers and share their specialized knowledge.

Based on how large the business is, it may have multiple levels of representatives, categorized as per their expertise and years of service.

Customer service desk team lead

The customer support desk team lead assists the manager by mentoring novice representatives. He also makes sure that all agents give top-notch customer service and achieve Service Level Agreement (SLA) objectives.

On top of that, the team lead tracks workforce productivity. He studies the insights and gives recommendations to the service desk manager for enhancing support desk workflows.

How to set up a customer service desk?

To set up a customer service desk, examine your support needs, get approval from senior management, create an execution strategy, select the correct software, set up how you’ll receive incoming tickets, and have a system to categorize and assign tickets to the right teams.

Your customer service desk is the first point of contact for assistance, a reflection of your business, and essential to empowering employees.

Among opening additional workplaces, training recent workers, and growing at a fast pace, there are many lessons you can learn as your business expands.

So using the right service desk optimization strategies can allow you to handle operational expenses and provide top-notch customer satisfaction. Let’s take a look at them.

Assess needs and get management buy-in

Identify the goals and requirements of your service desk. Next, pitch your plans to management and get clearance.

Determine the objectives and requirements of your service desk. Dig into the main advantages and key expectations you may have from it. Once that is done, provide a roadmap to the leadership and ask for their sign-off.

For instance, one of your goals could be to improve the resolution time, since buyers seek solutions to their issues immediately. In fact, a 2018 study by Statista states that 60% of customers are worried about the long wait and hold times.

Build an implementation strategy

Decide the roles and abilities, build a workflow, and determine the metrics you will monitor for your service desk.

When planning your service desk operations, consider the job designations and skills you require in your team. Then, develop a system that will guide your support protocols, followed by determining the KPIs that you’ll utilize to measure performance.

For instance, which characteristics work best for providing assistance? Begin by listing qualities such as emotional intelligence, clear communication, and empathy. Then include the elements unique to your workplace.

Next, think about the abilities of your service desk representatives. This includes particular technological capabilities, certificates, and information about your product.

Choose the right customer service desk software

Select service desk software that removes interruptions, simplifies customer support management, is affordable, and provides a single location for all your inboxes.

According to a 2020 study by VMR, the web-based support desk tools industry is estimated to touch $19.96 million by 2028.

Global help desk software market projection
Image Source: Verified Market Research

Selecting and setting up the correct service desk solution is an important step in developing your customer service desk.

If you’re confused about which software to choose, we strongly suggest pairing Heroic Inbox and WordPress. It is among the most suitable service desk software for a variety of businesses.

Ticket interface of a help desk support software

Heroic Inbox is a unified inbox and service desk system that eliminates interference and streamlines customer support operations for your agents.

Plus, it is more economical than alternative options, most of which employ a costly SaaS structure.

The main advantage of Heroic Inbox is that it allows you to manage every one of your marketing, customer support, partnerships, and other inboxes from a single platform.

Prepare for incoming support tickets

You have to map out the ways to get support cases. These could be through contact forms, linking your mailboxes, API connections, and your knowledge base.

Once you have selected a support ticketing platform, you need to find out a method for buyers to submit support requests.

You can create and deploy support forms in pre-determined places and throughout your site. Plus, circulate the form’s access URL on your choice of channels and social networking accounts.

You might also have dedicated email addresses for buyers to reach the marketing team, help desk, invoicing team, and more. But, if you haven’t already done this, you can register new email addresses from scratch.

After this is done, transfer information from these email accounts to your support ticketing platform.

With Heroic Inbox, for example, you can simply connect your support ticketing platform with Gmail mailboxes or GSuite.

After this integration, Heroic Inbox will start moving your email conversations to the WordPress control panel. So you can sort and respond to email messages received on various email accounts from one single platform.

Inbox view with open tickets in the helpdesk created with Heroic inbox

Your support desk agents don’t need to endlessly toggle between tabs or windows, as they can handle their inboxes right inside WordPress.

Divide your tickets and team by area of specialization

Divide your large team into smaller teams that focus on different but specific kinds of cases. This improves overall ticket resolution efficiency.

Different types of cases can many times present a more serious obstacle than the high number of incoming cases.

According to the level of intricacies in your company’s operations, your customer service staff might be juggling many tasks at the same time:

  • Administering end-users accounts
  • Equipment assistance
  • Workplace network
  • Software and hardware replacement
  • Operational tasks
  • System updates

Avoid the situation where only one large unit of support staff handles a wide range of tickets. Replace this large squad with different small groups that focus on solving specific issues.

This makes things easier, as the subgroups get more specialized tasks to complete.

Beyond that, such focused domains give each agent an opportunity to develop subject matter expertise in a specific subject. As a result, he can solve tickets and issues speedily, thanks to his specialized know-how and concentration.

Measure your progress and performance

Study the most important service desk KPIs and trends. This will help you get to the bottom and find out what customers need.

Monitor the main performance indicators with regard to your customer service ticketing. But instead of getting overwhelmed with a ton of metrics, keep a close watch on the indicators that are the most important.

For instance, the first response time is one of the KPIs you should consider. It’s the duration between a customer raising a ticket and the first step taken by support. The higher this duration, the more restless a customer will get.

Most customers need confirmation that a business has received their ticket in an acceptable timeframe. In fact, a report by Netomi reveals 61% of buyers want speedy solutions, 57% of buyers said they want a favorable outcome, and 47% of buyers said they want comfort in every correspondence with customer care.

Customer’s expectation from customer services
Images Source: FinancesOnline

You need to prioritize buyer happiness. Invest efforts in studying the patterns and metrics that will have the largest impact.

Study the highs and lows in the data, and then find which events result in happy or unhappy buyers. Check days with both a large number and a small number of support cases.

Prevention is better than cure. You need to pay attention to reducing the number of tickets and not only care about resolving issues. This is crucial for the productivity and satisfaction of your help desk staff.

Frequently asked questions about customer service desks

Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about a customer service help desk.

What is a customer service ticket?

A customer service ticket (also known as a customer support case) refers to a particular customer issue, complaint, or query. It is set up inside a customer service desk when a customer contacts support about a problem for the first time.

What is customer service desk software?

If your support representatives are having a hard time keeping up with customer questions and your mailboxes are flooded with unanswered messages, customer service desk software can help. It allows businesses to receive, monitor, and reply to support tickets systematically.

What are the main features of customer help desk software?

When evaluating customer service desk software, look for capabilities such as shared inbox, ticket management, automation, customization, team collaboration, reporting, and analytics.

How much does customer service desk software cost?

The cost of customer service desk software depends on the size of the business and the requirements of the customer service team. Typically, it’s based on the number of agents using the software to resolve issues. And it can vary from zero to a few thousand dollars per month.

Summing up: customer service desk

Customer service desks play a critical role in ensuring customer satisfaction and building a positive reputation for businesses.

An efficient and well-managed customer service desk can help resolve customer issues promptly and provide an excellent customer experience.

And as we discussed, a big part of managing your customer service desk is selecting the right solution.

With a combination of WordPress and Heroic Inbox, it’s easy for any team, whether sales, support, or IT, to configure a customer service desk according to their specific requirements.

By prioritizing customer service and continuously improving your customer support desk, you can increase customer loyalty, generate positive reviews, and attract new customers.

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