How to Transform Support with Contextual Awareness in Zendesk (HINT: it’s a plugin)

Customer Support Experience with Zendesk

Written by: Kevin Cox, Head of Marketing

Transforming your customer support experience with contextual awareness can transform your business. Support tickets are a fairly impersonal experience. They’re based on an efficiency paradigm from the 1980’s. It’s the digital equivalent of saying “take a number and wait in line”. Today businesses are shifting to selling more services. And they’re thinking about the total customer experience. Because of this, customer support is the primary human touchpoint a company has with its customers. Ticketing systems do not deliver customer-centric experiences on their own. Many companies are using chatbots to solve the simplest support issues.  And quite often customers will solve their own issues using forums. Where does this leave the support agent?

Alt-Tab is Not a CX Solution

The remaining support issues that reach an agent’s desk are the hardest ones to solve.  Because of this, an agent can’t just write up your issue and send it off; they now have to solve it.  In a global survey of 5,000 customers, 51% said they will never do business with a company after one poor service experience. So it is unsurprising that a survey by Customer Contact Week Digital, named “First contact resolution” as the #1 performance metric for contact centers in 2021.

So how do agents solve these intractable problems?  They become super agents who Alt-Tab from one app to the next, collecting bits of data from each, then analyzing it to solve the issue. One survey of support agents revealed that they typically work across 6-7 apps. And even worse, some 15% of agents work across 12 or more apps. CX pundits joke about Alt-Tab as a failed “integration strategy”.

Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Worse- Even More Alt-Tab

Originally, support ticketing hoped to provide a central system for recording customer communications. However, not everyone likes using ticketing systems for internal communications. Matter of fact, different departments often use different communication and project management tools.  Each tool being best suited to the work of the department.  Product support and customer service will Slack back and forth; technical and engineering teams prefer Jira. All of which adds even more apps for the service agent to manually stitch together.  One survey of service agents estimates 512 million hours are lost annually by agents navigating through tools; this adds up to $8.3 billion lost in productivity every year.

Contextual Awareness Transforms Support from Cost Center to Profit Center

Zendesk has brought many benefits to the customer-business relationship when product revenue business models were the norm.  Now a sea change is happening as businesses shift to selling services. And in this world, support is central to the customer experience and growing your service revenue. Imagine the possibilities if you could consolidate the information from the many apps used by support teams into a single service ticket without losing the valuable features they provide?  No Alt-Tab’ing between applications. No more stitching together all of the data points to assess what has gone awry.  Now all support data, even product signals, would be analyzed together giving a contextual view of the customer’s issue  With expanded contextual awareness, support agents would be much more able to solve customer issues on the first contact.

Taming Churn, the Enemy of Every Service Business

One long running consumer survey identified that 67% of churn is preventable if an issue was “resolved at first contact. So naturally, front line support agents are where you should focus to tame churn. Front line customer support is where you can leverage Zendesk as a catalyst for changing your customer experience.  Zendesk realizes this and has invited an ecosystem to form within its marketplace where you can find Zendesk Workspace add-ons, like TheLoops, that does just this.

Upskill Your Front Line Support Agents with Contextualized Product Signals in a Single Zendesk Pane

TheLoops is a Zendesk plugin that can upskill your support agents so they can solve more difficult tickets and even sell new services.  It gives them contextual awareness of all aspects that the customer is experiencing.  It does this by analyzing the data from Zendesk, Slack, Amplitude, Jira, PagerDuty, Salesforce and many more applications and then presenting insights and recommendations to the guide agent.  All of this is presented as a single pane within your agents’ Zendesk Workspace. TheLoops also enables your agent to initiate collaborative process flows that run across different tools while maintaining the active state of issue resolution. With a complete picture, support agents can troubleshoot problems on-the-fly as well as identify unserved needs of their customer. As a result, customers will be happier and much more willing to spend more with you.  

Finally the Right Tool, for Modern Customer Support

TheLoops for Zendesk is an engine for collecting, analyzing and taking action on your support data from customer systems and direct product signals within Zendesk.  With contextual awareness first line agents and support managers are able to take the customer experience to the next level. Contextual awareness is how businesses can deliver modern support with Zendesk.  Agents transform from being reactive to proactively growth-oriented. A customer experience that converts tickets from support issues to opportunities for growing the lifetime value of your customers.

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