In today’s competitive ecommerce landscape, you need every advantage you can get.
96% of consumers say that customer service is key in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
If you can offer excellent customer service, you’ll gain a competitive advantage over the competition and keep your customers coming back to purchase from you.
In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about creating an ecommerce customer service helpdesk that turns your support function into a profit center for your brand.
Let’s jump in.
Most ecommerce brands have a similar setup: a traditional helpdesk that includes a basic set of FAQs, and a support email and phone number.
If your FAQs or automatic live chat response can’t deflect a customer question in the frequently asked questions section, the customer will create a ticket and your support agents will look into the issue.
This setup is feasible, but it’s not an efficient way for modern ecommerce brands to run their support.
What’s the main problem with this?
Well, for one, your helpdesk doesn’t truly help your customers. If the static FAQ can’t help them, they’ll need to contact a support agent.
This experience isn’t good for the customer, or your support team.
Your customers need to wait for support agents to resolve their problems, which could be several hours if there’s a high ticket volume.
Your agents are under constant pressure to resolve tickets and move onto the next one, which risks them rushing tickets, and struggling to prioritize important requests.
Fast-growing DTC and ecommerce brands need to be better than this. You need to compete on customer service to build trust, loyalty, and gain repeat customers.
When we’re talking about helpdesks, we referring to a platform that helps your brand with things like:
There’s no one-size-fits-all helpdesk, and the right one for your ecommerce business will depend on the features you need and the platform you use, whether it’s Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, or a completely custom platform.
There are hundreds of Shopify apps, Magento extensions, or WooCommerce plugins out there to help you add functionality to your ecommerce store.
If you’re considering implementing a helpdesk on your store, you’re spoilt for choice. On the Adobe Commerce extension marketplace, there are 28 results for ‘Magento helpdesk’ alone.
On the Shopify app store, there are over 400+ results for ‘Shopify live chat’.
But, in the modern ecommerce landscape, shopping around for standalone tools, each managing a single part of your support experience, leads to a confusing experience for both your customers and your team.
It’s vital that your agents have a single place to manage all incoming tickets, whether it’s a customer reaching out via WhatsApp or using your website’s live chat.
Today, there’s no debate over whether there’s a single ‘best’ option. You need a live chat, helpdesk, and self-service platform all in one place.
They’re all features you should look for in your support solution.
Most traditional helpdesks used by ecommerce brands are focused on helping your customers get in touch with your customer service teams.
No matter what the question is, the best way for a customer to resolve their issue is to start a live chat or email conversation with your team.
In the past, brands could get away with that approach.
Today, you need to focus on finding ways to help your customers resolve their tickets and questions on their own with a self-service system. Then, use agent interactions to solve complex problems and enhance the overall experience.
To win at customer service today, you need to create a helpdesk that’s focused on resolution.
You need to build workflows to let customers resolve their common issues, such as starting a product return, or checking in on their order status. You also still need a way to route priority or complex tickets to your support team, who are ready and waiting to help.
Your helpdesk also needs to be closely integrated with your ecommerce stack.
Whether you need live chat on your Shopify, a Magento helpdesk, or a close integration with your Klaviyo account to improve your marketing, it’s vital that your helpdesk talks to all of your tools and feels like part of your store, rather than just sitting on top of it.
A useful helpdesk will boost your customer satisfaction whenever someone needs help.
It’s common to delegate support to your social media team, or to a live chat. But, 73% of customers say they prefer to have their problem resolved directly from a company’s website, and avoid the back-and-forth conversations often required to solve a problem with social media, live chat, or on the phone.
A smart helpdesk can bring in all of your customer data, and offer features such as returns processing, live chat, and an integrated FAQ that’s completely personalized to your customer and their situation.
A value-add helpdesk experience like this will make a far higher number of customers choose to stay loyal to your company, reducing the chances they’ll go elsewhere in the future.
In the competitive ecommerce landscape, finding new ways to offer value in your support experience can be the difference between losing a customer, or retaining them for life.
The next major benefit to using a helpdesk is that it’ll free up your agents to focus on high-priority tickets, or spend time on other important projects.
In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2025, the best customer service organizations will become profit centers rather than cost centers as they drive engagement, reduce the effort it takes for customers to solve their problems, and improve satisfaction.
A good helpdesk can support this by offering tools like:
Pawz.com found that once they implemented Richpanel, they reduced the number of agent-handled interactions by 50%. That means 50% fewer tickets for agents to respond to, without reducing the number of customers being served – bringing down the cost per interaction at their organization by a significant sum.
An effective helpdesk will work to reduce your team’s workload, without reducing the number of customer tickets being resolved each day.
The more data your support team has at their disposal, the more effectively they can help your customers.
A helpdesk that’s implemented directly into your ecommerce store, whether it’s hosted on Shopify, Magento, or another platform, will help you automatically collect, store, and surface customer data at the right time.
The key benefit here is that it empowers individual agents to solve problems, and considering 82% of customers want their complex problems solved by talking to one support agent, rather than having to be put through to multiple agents. If you can deliver on that expectation, it’s a big step to improving support satisfaction.
Richpanel brings in customer data and history, including:
A Deloitte and Wall Street Journal study found that the best support operations happen when humans and software work together to improve the customer experience, and getting started with a helpdesk that empowers agents and customers to resolve tickets is an excellent first step.
Deflecting customer issues with a static FAQ isn’t true customer support. It’s a good first step, but the real benefits of a support center come when you start empowering customers to resolve their own tickets without support agents being involved.
88% of customers expect brands to have self-service support. Your customers want to resolve problems on their own, with the help of your brand.
Helpdesks like Richpanel have built-in self-service functionality, to help your customers resolve the majority of their problems without needing any agent assistance.
Actions like letting customers process their own returns can have a huge positive impact on your brand. You empower your customers to resolve their tickets as well as having instant access to a fully-functioning helpdesk, rather than simply having their tickets deflected — which is a gamechanger for your team as it reduces the total number of tickets coming in.
Helpdesks are vital for data-driven teams as they gather information such as:
You’ll have all of the information you need to analyze your performance, find areas to improve in your support experience, and plan for upcoming quarters.
For example, in the report below we can see that the brand can attribute over $20,000 in sales to their self-service offering, and compare that to total revenue.
You’ll be able to see how big of an impact your support is having on your revenue, and determine whether it’s a profit center or not.
You can also collect data from your customers: what do they think about your customer service?
At the end of an interaction, you can ask them to rate their experience:
Over time, you’ll have enough feedback to determine if your support experience is delivering what your customers expect, and if not, find ways to make improvements.
Your helpdesk needs to be treated as a primary lever for growth, similar to how you’d treat an important marketing channel.
American Express research found that customers are eager to share positive experiences and refer an average of 11 people after a positive service experience.
When you set up your helpdesk, ensure your team is fully onboarded and configure it to work for your customer type and brand.
Make it the home for everything support-related, and your team’s ability to provide a cohesive experience to customers and solve their problems will vastly improve.
It sounds simple, but having a set of goals and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to help your support team perform their role effectively is essential.
When you need to hire new agents, they’ll be able to follow your SOPs and be quickly onboarded into your helpdesk system.
When a customer ticket comes in, they can follow the best practices, or the templates you’ve set up in the ticketing system to respond and help customers in a style that matches your brand and customer expectations.
With ecommerce helpdesk software like Richpanel, you can track performance on individual or team dashboards to see if agents are performing at their best and hitting their targets.
If they’re not, you can work with them to optimize processes and find better ways to ensure all of your customers are always receiving the support they need.
Using the data you collect from your support conversations and self-service analytics, you can learn which types of queries are most often being asked.
Then, you can look for ways to accommodate for and automate the work required for those repetitive queries in your helpdesk.
For example, let’s say your support team is regularly receiving tickets asking to process a return.
If it’s a high proportion of your total tickets, it can be automated.
Most ecommerce brands have a similar returns process: ask which items are being returned, generate a label, and provide instructions for the customer to send back their items.
You can fully automate this process inside Richpanel, and make it accessible to customers inside your help widget.
Customers can choose the products they want to return, and start the process themselves.
Your agents won’t have to repeat the process regularly, and your customers will be happy to quickly complete the returns process without needing to talk to anyone.
If a customer has a problem, your agents will have the availability to jump in and provide a personalized support experience.
Richpanel is the ideal ecommerce helpdesk for Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce stores.
Richpanel works alongside your support agents to resolve customer problems and improve the overall customer service experience.
High-quality customer service can be a profit center and differentiator for brands today. With Richpanel, you can track and attribute revenue to different aspects of your service, such as how much revenue your agents are creating, and how much your self-service workflows are generating.
You’ll be able to monitor your service performance and find ways to make it better than ever, giving your customers the confidence to shop from you again and again.
Richpanel integrates natively with the major ecommerce platforms, so whether you need a Shopify helpdesk or a Magento live chat solution, Richpanel will have you covered.
It integrates seamlessly with your entire ecommerce stack, support channels, and different apps you need your support team to have access to.
Once your helpdesk is ready, your customers can start resolving up to 60% of their queries using the self-service workflows, and your agents will have all the information they need to handle the rest and offer an exceptional support experience.
Creating an ecommerce customer service helpdesk is an essential step to making life easy for your customers when they interact with your brand.
An effective ecommerce helpdesk can:
Your support team will be more productive, and agents have fewer tickets to deal with as your self-service features can help your customers resolve their problems without even talking to support.
Your customer service software will be a powerful lever for growth and improving customer satisfaction, so it needs to be treated as a key part of your business and brand. You can get set up with Richpanel in under 30 minutes and have a fully functioning helpdesk that works with Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and more. Start your free trial here.