Customer service is the biggest concern of many businesses. Keeping your customers happy and satisfied is more important than almost anything else you can think of when it comes to running a company, and it’s not easy to do. 90% of customers use customer service as a deciding factor when considering whether to do business with a company. Implementing a help desk is a big part of delivering outstanding customer service.
A help desk is a tool that companies use to help customers more efficiently and gain insight into the customer experience. It tracks tickets that come into the business and helps agents organize and respond to them.
There are all sorts of written resources involved when it comes to running a help desk. A help desk is no good without some handy templates to supercharge your support team. The worst thing that can happen is that your agents are forced to type out the same responses over and over again, when this can be prevented with some well-chosen templates.
Templates can include canned responses for common support requests or outlines for internal documents like procedures. It can refer to any written document in association with the help desk that helps agents do their jobs more effectively. Scroll ahead if you want to see some help desk response template examples.
The benefits of using a help desk template
Get back to customers more quickly
Modern customers today expect a near-instant response to their queries your support team is under pressure to blaze through the queue. A help desk template can help your support reps to get back to customers more quickly by helping them to compose an email, chat or text message. When you get back to them with a speedy response, customers feel like their time is valued and are more likely to do business with you again.
Save your agents’ time
While it’s important to show consideration for your customers’ time, it’s equally important to emphasize your agents’ time and attention. Help desk templates enable your agents to respond more quickly to common customer issues such as feature requests and shipping enquiries. Agents therefore have more time to focus on the more complex cases rather than constantly dealing with the same small enquiries.
The template is simple to personalize
Templates are ready-made to help agents in their dealings with customers but they benefit from a certain amount of personalization. It’s a big mistake to simply copy and paste a template without editing it or the customer will feel that you don’t care about them. For example, always include the customer’s name and a description of the problem they’re facing.
Minimize the chance of mistakes
If your agents are typing out the same responses over and over this leaves a lot of room for human error. Mistakes creep in such as typos or bad grammar and the customers will notice this as a lack of professionalism. This is especially likely if agents are under pressure to get back to customers more quickly. Templates, on the other hand, should already have extensively been proofread and sense-checked, and all the agent has to do is change a few small details.
Communication is more standardized
When templates are in use, this provides more consistency in your communications and ensures that the same information is being shared every time. No matter which of your agents is responding to a customer query, the customer gets a standardized response which results in a more coherent brand experience. When templates are used internally, this also results in an objective standard that makes communication more effective.
The pitfalls of using templates
While templates have many positive use cases, there are some pitfalls you should avoid when using templates in order to keep your customers happy.
Templates that feel scripted
The first and most important one is to prevent your templates from feeling scripted and impersonal. You should write them in a natural way so customers feel they are communicating with a human rather than a robot – they want to feel like a real person is on the other end. Use relatively informal language and try to strike a friendly tone. Don’t make your customers feel like just a number and make sure you include relevant details relating to the specific issue the customer is facing.
Templates are out-of-date
Businesses change rapidly and templates may no longer reflect reality. Templates can become out-of-date rather quickly so it’s important to keep an eye on them and update them to reflect current business practices. Make it a habit to review your templates regularly to check that they’re still relevant. It’s crucial to avoid giving customers inaccurate information, which is poor customer service and reflects negatively on your brand.
Templates contain mistakes
The biggest mistake you can make with your templates is using ones that contain errors. Customers will notice these and wonder why you can’t be bothered to proofread your responses, and whether you are just rushing through the tickets. If you make mistakes in your emails customers will wonder what other mistakes your company is making. Every customer is special and deserves a thoughtful and well-written response that is free of errors.
Templates that contain placeholders
Whenever you’re using templates, make sure to double check that you have replaced all placeholders with text of your own. There’s nothing more mortifying than a customer receiving a response that includes “Hi [NAME]”, since that clearly reveals you are using a template and could make the customer feel that you don’t value them. Templates should be invisible to the customer and every response should feel personalized.
How to make a template
Now we’ve got a few tips on how you can go about making your own templates.
- Get clear about what you want your template to achieve and the type of document it will be. Is it to communicate a policy and procedures document or is it an auto-responder for customers who contact the help desk?
- Think about the target audience for your template. Will it be internal colleagues or external customers?
- Decide on the tone you want to strike for your template and therefore the type of language you will use. Do you want to be formal and professional, or informal and friendly?
- Open up your favorite word processor and make a rough list of all the important points that you want to include in your template. This will help you with the writing process and you can use it as a jumping-off point.
- Write the template in one session as a rough draft, then take a step back from your template so you can come back to it with fresh eyes and have an objective view of your content.
- Include placeholders in your template for all the content that will need to be replaced when the template is in use.
- Revise your template until you feel like it’s the best it can be. Don’t be afraid to take things out and move things around so they make more sense.
- Have someone else on your customer service team rigorously edit the template for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and things that don’t make sense.
- And you’re done! Get ready to start using your template.
5 handy help desk templates
To save you time, we’ve come up with these five handy help desk templates that you can use in your own business.
1. Help desk ticket template
When you’re running a help desk, a common occurrence is the creation of customer tickets that log every single instance of a customer contacting your business. When a customer creates a ticket, it’s common courtesy to assure them that you have acknowledged their request and that you will be getting back to them as soon as possible. Take the opportunity to assure the customer that their problem is being worked on.
Hi [CUSTOMER NAME], Thank you for contacting the help desk. A support ticket has been created containing your details with this ID number: [ID NUMBER]. Use your ID number to reference your ticket in all future correspondence. We assure you that we are working on your issue and will get back in touch as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience with [COMPANY NAME]. Thanks, [YOUR NAME]
2. Help desk email template
When you receive a customer ticket, it’s not always the person who picks up the request that is able to resolve the problem adequately. In many instances, customer service reps must collaborate with their colleagues to adequately deal with a customer service request and all this must be done behind the scenes without the customer noticing. Customers don’t want to be passed off from one agent to another. The most important quality here is the speed of response to customers, who must not perceive any time lag when it comes to resolving their issue.
Hi [COLLEAGUE], We have received a ticket from a customer regarding [EXPLAIN ISSUE]. I would appreciate your help in dealing with this customer request. At this time I don’t have the correct information to help them solve this issue. As soon as you get back to me I will respond to the customer regarding their request. I would value your help as soon as possible. Thank you for your kind assistance in helping to resolve this problem. Thanks, [YOUR NAME]
3. Help desk policy and procedures template
When setting up a help desk it’s common practice to produce a policy and procedures document that outlines how you are going to deal with customers. The truth is that many companies have overlap in their policy and procedures document and can benefit from a template that shows them how to produce one of their own. When producing your template, be thorough in your descriptions of your policies so agents will be clear on how you want them to treat customers.
[COMPANY NAME] aims for high quality and capable standards in delivering customer service to the best of our ability and within the constraints of the resources available to us. To meet these standards, we agree to abide by these principles: - Being sensitive to the needs of our customers and predicting when they will need us - Welcoming our customers in a friendly manner - Practicing active listening towards our customers to be sure we understand their concerns - Maintaining transparency, politeness and competence at all times - Following up with our customers in a timely and effective manner It is the policy of [COMPANY NAME] to faithfully support our customers in using our products and services. We are proactive in soliciting feedback from our customers which helps us measure whether our efforts are hitting the mark, and gives us an idea of where we need to improve. Help desk agents should ask customers for their feedback after the resolution of every ticket and be open to constructive criticism. The aim of this policy is to create consistent standards and procedures for receiving and responding to customer feedback, ensuring that responses are time-efficient and that every instance of feedback is acknowledged. The policy sees every interaction with a customer as an opportunity to produce someone who is satisfied with our service, or at the very least feels they were listened to and had their concerns taken seriously. Response standards Wherever possible the customer request should be resolved on t he same day that it arrives in the business. Nevertheless, in many cases the incident needs to be referred and followed up to completely grasp and resolve the problem so in which case the following standards should be adhered to. Acknowledgement - All customer requests for service should be recognized within [NUMBER OF BUSINESS DAYS] - The recognition should include the person that the issue has been referred to and let the customer know when they can expect a reply - If the customer feedback is given by phone then the recognition should be made verbally - If the customer feedback is given by email then the response should be made through email as well Resolution - The customer’s issue should be resolved within [NUMBER OF BUSINESS DAYS] - If the customer’s request cannot be resolved, then the response should include clear reasons why not - If the resolution cannot be provided within [NUMBER OF BUSINESS DAYS], then the customer should be given a proposed estimate of when they will receive it
4. Help desk auto response template
When a customer contacts your help desk, it’s common practice to send them an auto response that acknowledges the receipt of their email. This assures the customer that their problem is being worked on and they will feel like they are a priority to the business. If the customer’s email is not acknowledged, they might be confused about whether the business has received it and potentially send another email just in case, which might result in duplicate tickets being created.
Hi [CUSTOMER NAME], Thank you for your inquiry to [COMPANY NAME]. This email is just to let you know that your request has been received. We assure you that our team is already working on your issue and you should be sent an update shortly. If your request has already been resolved, feel free to let us know by replying to this email or calling [CONTACT NUMBER]. Thank you for your patience. We are always here to help! Thanks, [YOUR NAME]
5. Help desk workflow template
When working with your help desk, it’s typical for companies to create help desk workflows that contain all the steps necessary to help them resolve customer issues. Workflows enable them to organize their operations and keep all their agents on the same page. Here we have included a sample help desk workflow template that you can use to supercharge your help desk.
We’ve included all these templates for you to use in your help desk operations. They will help you craft superb written documents that are the backbone of your customer service team. Templates can be used as a jumping-off point for delivering excellent customer service since they speed up your activities and create consistency in your communications with customers.
You can also use templates to create high quality internal documents for your business. You can document your workflows with diagrams or create a policy and procedures document for dealing with customers.
Templates are living, breathing documents. You’ll want to develop them as your business grows and add more templates to your repertoire, and sometimes remove old templates. Train your agents on how to use templates to provide better customer service and get the most out of your help desk.