If you’ve ever launched a product or service then you know how time-consuming customer support can be. This is especially true during the launch itself.
In this blog post, we’re going to take a closer look at one of the best ways to crunch down the time involved in running the support desk side of your business. By the end of this post, you’ll know how to breeze through support tickets no matter how busy and complex your business gets.
- One of the most time-consuming tasks a help desk agent is bound to run into
- Common problems you’re going to encounter eventually no matter what type of product or software you offer
- Nine ways to turn several minutes into a few seconds
- The best way to ensure your customer support communication is consistent in voice and quality
- How to free up time among your staff for other tasks, like content creation and streamlining your business
- And more!
As you likely know, a business has many moving parts to keep track of. It can be stressful spending a ton of time and resources managing the problems your customers are bound to encounter. These problems come up before, during, and after each sale.
Fortunately, there is a neat tool you can use to crunch down hours of work per week into minutes. This isn’t a cheap shortcut, either. Your help desk will look like they took the time to write out a professional and considerate response without requiring them to do so every time a new ticket comes in.
This tool is called… Macros!
And if you use ZenDesk or a similar help desk software, you already have access to it in your admin control panel.
Do you just use email to manage customer inquiries?
Some email applications or platforms have this feature built in as well. If not, you can record all your macros in a single text document for quick and easy reference.
What Are Macros?
It’s quite simple. A macro is a prewritten message to send out when a matching help desk ticket comes in from a customer.
The goal with creating macros is to use them to handle those help desk tickets you’re likely to get many times.
Have you grown enough to have a team handle your help desk?
Perfect. There is still plenty of room to save time when responding to the inevitable questions and problems your customers will encounter.
Be sure to hand this blog post off to whoever handles support tickets in your business.
What Can Macros Do For Your Business?
Simply put, macros will save you time!
It doesn’t matter if you use ZenDesk, email, or some other platform to manage your help desk. Setting up a few macros can save you from having to retype the same reply every time someone reaches out to you.
Besides saving you hours per week, responses from the help desk will become more consistent. If you have a prewritten response which contains key details, you won’t need to think and type it again.
What follows are nine macros you and your team can use to save hours or more per week. Let’s dive in!
1. Processing Refunds
Refund requests are bound to show up. This is true no matter how awesome your products or services are. Whether you offer refunds within a certain period of time or not, those customers still deserve a response.
The work involved in processing a refund can only be automated so much. You still have to find the customer, locate their transactions, determine whether it’s within your refund period or not, process the refund, and then communicate with them about doing so.
That last part can be done with a macro so you don’t have to type it all out each time. Each refund response needs a few key details to ensure your customer is as informed as they need to be.
Here are a few things to mention in your refund macro:
- Whether you’ve processed the refund
- If not, why?
- A reminder that refunds take 3 – 5 business days to process, depending on their bank
- If it’s a subscription, let them know they may need to cancel it on their side as well depending on the platform is used to set it up.
- Ask them to get in touch if they don’t see their refund within 3 – 5 days.
- Ask what could have been done differently to make their purchase a better experience.
And that’s it! Covering those details will ensure there’s no confusion about what your customer can expect. More importantly, having this macro on hand will help ensure you cover these details each time.
2. Canceling Memberships And Subscriptions
When your customer doesn’t need a refund but wants to end their subscription with you, there’s a macro for that.
This one is more simple than the refund macro we just discussed. All you need to do is let them know you canceled their subscription to <<ProductName>>, and that it may need cancellation on their side as well.
Be sure to end your macro by asking them if there’s anything you could have done to make their subscription a better experience. Customers will often take the time to let you know what they didn’t like about your service.
You may not always earn their business back, but this information will help point out problems worth fixing.
3. Acknowledge Without Answering
Sometimes you’ll get a question or request you don’t have an immediate answer for. You may need input from another team member, more information, or simply a bit of time to put together a thorough response. Telling your customers their request has been heard goes a long way towards making them feel well taken care of.
This macro is simple and quick to set up. Greet them, thank them for reaching out, let them know you’re checking into their request to make sure they get the best answer possible.
4. Upcoming Events
Every point of contact is an opportunity to let your customers know about the next big thing you’re working on.
Do you have an online or in-person event coming up? Are you appearing on someone else’s network or participating in something?
Anything big coming up is worth mentioning. Letting your audience know through customer support tickets is a great way to draw attention to it.
This macro is easy to set up and use. All you need is the greeting, the outro, and a P.S. which mentions your upcoming event.
If you’re using ZenDesk, you can even nest another macro inside of this one. First, load this macro to let them know about the event, then load the other related macro between the greeting and the outro.
5. Upcoming Sales
Every business should have something big right around the corner. Whether you’re launching a new product, relaunching an old one, or just pushing something out from beta to public, you can let your audience know via support tickets.
This is as easy as letting them know about upcoming events. All you need to do is add a postscript at the end of each message telling them about your upcoming sale.
There’s no need to mention it anywhere else. You want this to be the last thing they read so it’s fresh in their mind when the interaction ends.
6. Account Registration
Sometimes your customers miss an important email about their purchase. Email servers can even block certain messages at the server level which means your customers can’t even search to track down important messages.
This often leads to simple requests for help setting up their account, getting log in information, resetting their password, or just finding where they are supposed to log in.
Rather than typing out the directions each time, creating a macro will help make these requests quick and easy to handle.
There are two approaches for the Account Registration macro depending on how extensive your library of products and services are. One option is to create a new macro for each product or service with the links already inside. The other option is a more generic approach with no links.
7. Known Bugs
Software is doomed to cause problems with someone’s computer eventually. It’s a simple but painful truth of creating software.
Sometimes they can’t be helped and the only fix is to offer a workaround of some sort. For example, a PayPal button will not work with certain types of code for security reasons. If you have conflicting code on the same page as a buy or subscribe button, it may stop working.
In most software conflicting scenarios, the workaround or fix is the same for each instance. If that’s the case, it’s time to make a macro.
Preparing these messages ahead of time will help you easily stay on top of what’s going on. Customer help desk tickets can fill up fast, which can drag down your response time.
Let your customers know you’re aware of the bug. Tell them if there’s a workaround or fix for it, or explain that the developers are working on a solution. In a perfect world you also give them an ETA on deploying that fix but only do so if you can meet your own deadline.
8. Unfixable Problems
You’ll often find issues which cannot be solved. Sometimes applications will just disagree with each other or certain features may not be possible. Knowing where your product’s limits are will help solve these situations as quickly as they come up.
Here’s an example: Timerlay has the option of overlaying on top of another web page. Most of the time this works just fine, but sometimes the overlay code doesn’t work with PayPal buttons or other payment processors for security reasons.
Since we can’t get a business like PayPal to change the way they operate, our only option is to let customers know they can either embed Timerlay or add a certain snippet of code to their PayPal button to make it work.
This problem comes up a lot for us which is why we created a macro to walk people through solving it. As soon as you notice a problem you can’t fix, get a macro going so you’re always prepared to help a customer out when they encounter it.
9. Frequently Asked Questions
Besides the above eight scenarios, you may come across questions which keep popping up. Your customers may want to know if your product or software works with another tool they use, or if your material can be applied to their industry.
It won’t take long to recognize when you’re going to get a question frequently. If the answer is usually the same, it’s worth making a macro to get these questions answered fast.
The macro itself isn’t extensive. Just make sure it has a good, specific title so you can always find it quickly. It won’t take long to get a few dozen macros going in any business. Using clear and concise titles will help veteran and newbie employees find them fast.
Macros Save Time
And less time spent answering help desk tickets means more time spent on other tasks, like content creation and streamlining your business.
Managing a help desk involves a lot of repetitive typing. That’s why macros will save you so much time. Don’t waste time writing, rewriting, and rewriting again. You can write out your responses once and paste them in whenever a matching ticket comes in.
Macros will save you time, energy, resources, and a ton of stress. There’s no reason to do something as simple as creating the same message over and over again. When you use macros in your business you’ll find less time is being spent on responding to customers which gives you more time to create and deliver products and services.
If your products and services are finely polished, chances are you won’t have that many support tickets come in every day. Macros can still help on days like this, but they rise to hero status when something big happens that affects dozens or hundreds of people.
Instead of having to create responses for everyone, you can mass respond with a simple macro and give everyone the information they need within a few minutes.
In The End…
You don’t want your help desk to spend too much time creating and sending out the same responses over and over again. Just imagine how much time is wasted writing and rewriting the same text to dozens of not hundreds of people month after month.
Macros will make your help desk more effective while streamlining everyone’s workflow. With a bit of planning along with a few notes from above, you can have just about every macro you’ll ever need.
Don’t forget to look through your help desk material to see if there are certain codes or features you can use to create dynamic macros. A few possible codes are:
- The support ticket status
- The support ticket type
- The support ticket priority
- The support ticket’s assignee
- The product name that ticket is attached to
- The customer’s name
- And more
With these codes and the examples above your help desk will handle support tickets more quickly and more accurately than ever before.
It may not seem like much since most help desk responses only take a minute or two to create. Multiplied by a dozen or two per day means you’ll need to respond to customers for at least an hour or more every day. Wouldn’t it be great if that could all happen inside of a few minutes?
Macros are there to help, and they’re part of every great support desk platform. Even if you don’t have that feature available in whatever platform you’re using, a simple text document with prewritten responses can do wonders to saving you time, energy, and effort.
It can be a bit draining to think up a response each time you get a ticket. Now you can bypass most of that effort to quickly and easily deliver a fully thought out response to any customer inquiry which comes your way.
Do you have any macros you use in your help desk which weren’t mentioned above? Share them in the comments below!