The concept of collaboration is easily dismissed as a soft goal. Something that’s “nice to have” in team dynamics, but rarely considered critical to the bottom line. When we launched the new Kayako in July, we aimed to reverse that type of thinking. That’s why we introduced collaborators as a user role in Kayako—to help our customers work better together and break down silos between their teams.
We believe customer service is an all-hands sport and a great customer experience can’t happen if collaboration is a pain point. It’s easy for customer support teams to talk about the importance of working well together, both within their teams and across their companies. But to take real, actionable steps towards creating collaborative culture requires much more than talk. In reality, support teams are struggling to see the bigger picture, and are ill-equipped to provide the best customer service experiences possible.
Collaboration today exists as a “business as usual” goal—an abstract ideal that we often dismiss or gloss over. That is wrong, and the expectations of customer experiences in 2016 demand that we do better. To succeed, we must work better together. We’ve built the new Kayako to help your teams and customers work better together without any extra effort on your part. But we couldn’t do this before getting to grips with the most common challenges businesses face with traditional helpdesk tools.
What are the top challenges businesses face using traditional customer service tools?
As we spoke with customer service leaders, we saw a pattern emerge around the problems faced around collaboration:
A fear of billing leads to lost context and compromised communication
Let’s use an example. Say your sales team holds secondary roles in your customer service or CRM app. There might be apprehension around shelling out cash to include them as additional paid agents. After all, they’re just dipping in and out, right? They’re not heavy users, so the cost simply isn’t justified.
With little to no context, conversations and knowledge about customer problems and questions get lost.
For example, it’s common to consult a product or business manager in order to provide the best answer to a customer. Support reps often copy the customer conversation from the app (either by text or screenshot) to email or Slack, discuss there, and then the agent would get back to the customer.
As a result, anyone revisiting that customer history in the app wouldn’t be able to leverage any of the context of that ‘offline’ discussion.
This ultimately led to customer information being siloed away from other customer-facing teams.
Because those conversations happened outside of the app, and because other customer-facing teams couldn’t log in to the app to search and review information themselves, the whole organization was collectively hindered from collaborating on customer service.
But the pain goes beyond the inner-workings of your team (although, we think that should be motivation enough to make a change). You can feel the negative effects of broken collaboration process all the way through to business health metrics—reduced customer loyalty, higher turnover, lost knowledge of product or process that was siloed into one or two key employees. Over time, these pains rise to the top and continue to get worse and worse until something boils over.
We set out to solve these problems in the new Kayako
One of the ways we do that is by providing free collaborators on each plan (3 collaborators on standard, 10 on growth and 20 on enterprise).
So, what is a collaborator and what can they do?
A collaborator is like a full agent, but has specific permissions for what they can do within Kayako.
They have all the access they need to communicate internally with other agents and access customer information, but can’t communicate externally with customers.
Our goals for collaborators were two-pronged. We wanted to empower business teams to access customer information in a way that supports their own work better, and we wanted to create better conversations in Kayako with collaborative private notes on cases and profiles.
It’s a simple addition that can make a huge impact on not only the productivity of your support team, but your business as a whole
So, how do collaborators work?
Collaborators are able to navigate Kayako in the same way a full agent would – so they can contribute and help create better, clearer conversations which, in return, more positive relationships with your customers. Collaborators can add their input as private notes to cases, and leave notes against users and organization profiles.
Collaborators can also contribute to improving your customer’s self-service experience by creating and editing Help Center articles – then, a full agent steps in to review and publish content. They can also access the same business insights and analytics, be added to specific teams for notifications, and use private notes to create new cases. This helps establish a baseline understanding of the health and performance of your team and business, while allowing everyone to contribute their knowledge and expertise freely.
At the end of the day, the answer to how to build closer customer relationships and go beyond delight to provide effortless experiences will come when your teams are able to work better together.
Are collaborators the secret ingredient to a better business?
If collaborators sound like the missing link for your business, then you’re in luck. You can create a free trial of the new Kayako and start experiencing just how well your team can work together today.
Prefer to see it in action? Join us for a live demo at the time that best suits your schedule.