Blog

Helpdesk Automation: What It Is, Why You Need It, and the Best Tools

11.0
min
-
Christelle Agustin
-
Nov 29, 2023

Table of contents

Blog

Helpdesk Automation: What It Is, Why You Need It, and the Best Tools

min
-
Christelle Agustin
-
Nov 29, 2023

TL;DR:

  • Helpdesk automation uses both AI and automation to handle recurring tasks and reduce manual work done by agents
  • Using an automated helpdesk results in better customer satisfaction, decreased ticket volume, and higher revenue
  • Ensure your automated helpdesk has features like chat, one-click answers, an order management portal, and article recommendations
  • The top helpdesk automation solution is Gorgias, an automated helpdesk made for ecommerce merchants at all levels

Customer service helpdesks are essential for managing customer conversations, but support teams are looking to increase efficiency beyond being organized. Answering customer questions is the easy part for agents — the main challenge lies in making manual tasks like typing up responses faster. This is where helpdesk automation comes in.

The top helpdesks have automation features that solve issues without agents needing to sift through complex documents or advanced settings. Helpdesks shouldn’t only streamline the customer experience, they should also simplify the process of delivering that service.

This guide will explore the benefits of helpdesk automation, pinpoint the must-have features of a helpdesk, and highlight the leading automated helpdesks. By the end, you’ll be ready to put helpdesk automation into action and trim out the extra tasks from your workflow.

{{lead-magnet-1}}

What is an automated helpdesk?

An automated helpdesk is a customer service tool that uses automation and AI to synthesize customer messages from various channels. The goal of automated helpdesks is to handle repetitive tasks, like categorizing and routing support tickets, so agents have fewer manual tasks to do.

The Gorgias Helpdesk is an example of an automated helpdesk made especially for ecommerce merchants. Notable features include:

  • Rules. Processes, such as ticket tagging or rerouting, are automatically activated when certain conditions are met.
  • Macros. Pre-written response templates that can be reused for recurring customer interactions like WISMO requests.
  • Inbox. Omnichannel communication is prioritized with email, SMS, voice, and social media messages in one inbox.
  • Quick Responses. Automated one-click Q&A interactions on Chat. 
  • Flows. Interactive Chat conversations powered by automation. 

Why more companies are adopting helpdesk automation

Helpdesks are brilliant tools by themselves but truly shine once combined with customer service automation. The time saved from automation leads to a significant drop in resolution times, and a boost in CSAT scores and revenue. Let’s take a closer look.

Resolve customer issues instantly

If you run an online store, you’re familiar with replying to the same messages about your shipping policy, returns, and products day in and day out. The beauty of helpdesk automation is how it handles frequently asked questions with self-service resources, like a knowledge base, that are available 24/7 and allow customers to get instant answers outside of business hours.

Give your agents bandwidth to focus on trickier tickets

When you remove copy-pasting answers from your customer service responsibility list, support agents get time back to engage with high-value shoppers who are either loyal customers or at risk of churning. With more time to focus on complex tickets, response times will be faster, and customers happier.

Drive more revenue by turning questions into sales

Automation is a proven way to drive more revenue, not just a quick fix to smooth out the wrinkles in your support workflow. Working with 30 brands, Gorgias found that brands that automated 30% of their customer support tended to generate around 8.7% of their companies' revenue.

6 key automation features your helpdesk needs

Automation is common in many helpdesk software, but the key is to focus on how the automation features can speed up support tasks. 

Below are six essential automation features a helpdesk should have. 

1) Chat

RipSkirt uses Quick Responses in Chat

         

What is it? A website chat window for customers to get automated or real-time answers. The chat window’s visibility can differ on each webpage.

The manual task it replaces: Exiting the brand website and using a different channel (like email or social media) just to contact a brand’s support.

Why is it important? If the process of getting help is too complicated, customers are forced to switch to competitors with simpler solutions. But when you provide a clear way to receive support, customers get faster responses, are better informed, and more inclined to make a purchase.

The best part about Chat is it gives shoppers the option to either receive a quick, automated answer or chat with an agent if they prefer real-time assistance. 

Success story with Gorgias: RevAir implemented Chat and increased response times by 93% and revenue to $76k per quarter.

2) Quick Responses

RipSkirt

         

What is it? One-click question-and-answer scenarios that occur in Chat. Quick Responses are not powered by a chatbot and use pre-set answers to reply to users.

The manual task it replaces: Responding to frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Why is it important? Quick Responses is your solution to 24/7 support when agents aren’t available. Giving customers a low-stakes method of asking questions lets them experience a more pleasant and low-pressure shopping journey. 

Success story with Gorgias: ALOHAS nearly tripled growth by automating 83% of support with Chat and Quick Responses.

3) Order Management

Loop Earplugs Order Management

         

What is it? An in-chat order portal that lets customers track, cancel, and return their orders without contacting a support rep.

The manual tasks it replaces: Resolving where is my order? tickets, order return and cancellation requests

Why is it important? Customers who ask order-related questions typically have one of two goals: to track the status or change the status of their order. Basically, order management tickets aren’t unique and can be easily handled by automation. When you provide answers to your customers’ top priority (their purchase), you deflect a ticket from entering your inbox while improving customer satisfaction.

Success story with Gorgias: Topicals implemented Chat to reduce returns and ended up deflecting 69% of tickets from manual agent intervention.

📚 Read more: 12 best shipping software tools for ecommerce stores

4) Chat Campaigns

Glamnetic promotes a 15% discount code in a Chat Campaign

         

What is it? Promotional messages in Chat that activate when visitors interact with your website.

The manual tasks it replaces: Spending money and time finding new customers, promoting storewide discounts and sales, upselling and cross-selling

Why is it important? Finding new customers is more expensive than retaining the ones you already have. Chat Campaigns acts as a virtual salesperson, making sure sales, promotions, and products are getting the attention they need. Even when agents are offline, Chat Campaigns work overtime to capture every visitor, effectively reducing cart abandonment, website bounce rate, and lost sales.

Success story with Gorgias: Glamnetic’s exit intent Chat Campaigns increased sales by 49%.

5) Autoresponders

What is it? AI processes that declutter your email inbox of spam and easily answered inquiries 

The manual tasks it replaces: Deleting spam emails, answering WISMO tickets, sending tracking links, and processing refund requests

Why is it important? Autoresponders handle routine inquiries such as order status or refund requests. This improves customer service response times and frees you up to focus on more complex issues that require a human touch. You can also gain insights into the effectiveness of your automation strategies with Autoresponders, allowing you to monitor what customers need more or less of.

Success story with Gorgias: Stoov leveraged insights from ticket information and increased CSAT to 4.9 with 10% cost savings.

6) Article Recommendations

Article Recommendations in Chat

         

What is it? An AI-powered recommendation tool that resolves questions with relevant Help Center articles

The manual task it replaces: Responding to product-specific inquiries

Why is it important? Answering product questions can get long, especially if agents are manually typing the same explanations and instructions over and over again. By offloading this repetitive and laborious task to AI, customers receive consistent and detailed answers, while agents focus on resolving one-of-a-kind tickets.

Article Recommendations combines the knowledge power of AI and your own Help Center to give customers accurate and personalized solutions. This allows curious shoppers to receive complete information about your brand and products since articles can include images, videos, and links.

Success story with Gorgias: TUSHY gained 25% in revenue from leveraging pre-sales education including the use of Article Recommendations.

{{lead-magnet-2}}

The top 6 automated helpdesk options

Within the diverse range of available options, there are five standout helpdesk platforms renowned for their remarkable features: Gorgias, Zendesk, Kustomer, Freshdesk, Help Scout, and Shopify Inbox. Let’s take a closer look at what each helpdesk offers.

1) Gorgias

Price: Starts at $50/month; billed per ticket

Best features: The only ecommerce-focused helpdesk, powerful and easy-to-use automation features

As more businesses rely on ecommerce platforms to offer their products, Gorgias stands out as the best helpdesk for merchants at all levels.  Gorgias offers seamless integration with major ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Magento and centralizes customer data and conversations within the platform. 

Combining it with the AI-powered Gorgias Automate makes it a top contender for customer support teams seeking to streamline the customer experience and maximize the power of automated workflows. Gorgias Automate checks off all the boxes with foundational features like Quick Responses, Order Management, Chat Campaigns, Autoresponders, and Article Recommendations.

2) Zendesk

Price: Starts at $49/month; billed per user

Best features: Designed for enterprise companies, advanced reporting capabilities

Zendesk is favored by enterprise-level businesses for its excellent multi-channel support and strong reporting features like real-time data views and customizable dashboards.

However, while its specialty is raising customer satisfaction, users report dissatisfaction with Zendesk’s very own customer service due to unresponsiveness and difficulties with subscription changes. Despite these drawbacks, Zendesk's configurability makes it a valuable tool for larger businesses aiming to optimize their customer service operations.

3) Kustomer

Price: Starts at $89/month; billed per agent

Best features: Interface is easy to navigate, ability to add internal notes to tickets

Kustomer shines in organizing data and managing customer interactions. Though it may not fully meet the needs of ecommerce-based businesses, its strengths in streamlining support processes stand out. Users have noted some drawbacks such as a complicated search engine and limited mobile functionality. However, if a straightforward ticketing system is what you need, Kustomer may be the right fit. 

4) Freshdesk

Price: Starts free for up to 10 agents; billed per agent

Best features: Includes a free plan, innovative collaboration features for convenient ticket assignment

If you're a SaaS business, Freshdesk is a great pick, excelling in basic ticket management. Its ability to integrate seamlessly with non-ecommerce applications like Salesforce and Jira makes it valuable for tech companies. Large ecommerce stores, on the other hand, might find Freshdesk's features somewhat limited. 

Freshdesk's solid ticket management system, coupled with its user-friendly interface, makes it a top choice for SaaS businesses.

5) Help Scout

Price: Starts at $20/month; billed per user

Best features: Intuitive user interface, extensive knowledge base and documentation features

Help Scout excels in managing inbound customer emails with its feature-rich toolset. Recent enhancements like help docs and video embedding have improved its functionality. However, workflow automation still needs improvement and can lead to unintended mass email responses. 

The limitation of features like real-time chat on higher-tier plans and subpar support experiences are its weaknesses, but its streamlined email support and knowledge management make Help Scout a strong option for teams that rely on email support.

6) Shopify Inbox

Price: Free for Shopify users

Best features: Native Shopify helpdesk solution for Shopify merchants, user-friendly interface

Shopify Inbox is favored by Shopify store owners for its excellent customer communication and user-friendly interface. Users appreciate its ability to centralize conversations and enhance customer engagement, which is great for brand-new merchants. 

However, some find the initial learning curve challenging, with concerns over limited reporting features and inconsistent message notifications. Nevertheless, its cost-effectiveness and efficient customer engagement tools make Shopify Inbox a great pick for customers who don’t want to leave the Shopify environment.

Gorgias is the ultimate automated helpdesk for ecommerce

Gorgias stands out as the only helpdesk designed explicitly for ecommerce businesses. Boasting an incredible 4.3/5 stars on Shopify, it offers unparalleled integration with major ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. Its suite of features is powered by advanced AI, streamlining ticket and order management, support workflows, and customer communication. 

For ecommerce businesses looking to elevate their customer support experience, look no further than Gorgias. To see how Gorgias can transform your customer service, book a demo today.

FAQ’s

How do you automate a helpdesk?

Automating a helpdesk involves implementing AI-driven chatbots, predefined response templates, integrating with ecommerce apps, and automated ticket triaging. Automation tools are a convenient way of instantly implementing customer feedback, reducing ticket volume, and reducing human errors.

What are some benefits of automating a helpdesk?

Service desk automation results in faster response times, increased productivity, and improved customer satisfaction. The streamlined processes also provide opportunities for revenue generation through upselling and enhanced data insights.

Is helpdesk automation expensive?

While there may be initial setup costs, helpdesk automation can lead to long-term savings due to its ability to improve efficiency, offload agent workload, and satisfy customers with reliable service. Affordable options like Gorgias Automate are available, starting at $25/month.

How can Gorgias help my company build an automated helpdesk?

Gorgias specializes in ecommerce automation, focusing on Shopify integration and offering smart automation for online retailers. Gorgias helps companies seamlessly build and manage an automated helpdesk with Gorgias Automate with features like Chat, Quick Responses, Order Management, and Autoresponders.

Editor
Alexa Hertel
Senior Editor at Gorgias
Author Profile
.
LinkedIn
Author
Christelle Agustin
Content Writer at Gorgias
Author Profile
.
LinkedIn
Editor
Alexa Hertel
Senior Editor at Gorgias
Author Profile
.
LinkedIn
Author
Christelle Agustin
Content Writer at Gorgias
Author Profile
.
LinkedIn
No items found.

Table of contents