Help Desk Tips is a weekly series featuring best practices and tips from support professionals on optimizing your help desk and support department.

As our team and customer base grows, having one central place to view all our customer conversations — as well as any debugging or feature suggestions — is essential.

We use a help desk as the hub for managing all customer communication. Prior to this setup, each team managed their conversations individually, which meant information was spread across systems, causing context to be lost and work to be duplicated.

How we organize customer conversations

We now manage conversations based on a status or group, and move conversations to those different “buckets” based on what needs to be done. We even transitioned our technical and product teams to using our help desk, making this process even more efficient.

Managing Bug Reports

When customers write in with a bug, we troubleshoot then follow this process:

  • Add details and information gathered from troubleshooting in a note on the conversation.
  • Change the conversation type to Bug/System Issue and the status to Waiting on Dev.
  • The technical team will work on the bug, roll out a fix, and leave a note with details for the customer.
  • Lastly the technical team will change the status to Waiting on Support, which is where the conversation will live until we write back to the customer with the solution, or any additional questions.

Managing Feature Requests

When a customer sends us a feature request, we explore the idea, gather all of the details, then put the information into a note in the conversation. Next we change the conversation type to Feature Request and the status to Waiting on Product. Our product team then reviews the requests, and makes a decision regarding if the feature fits into our system.

Slackbot Status Alerts

Each time a conversation is moved in to one of these statuses (Waiting on Dev, Waiting on Support, Waiting on Product, etc.), a Slackbot alerts that team of the new conversation. Each group can also use the conversation status within the help desk system to manage their work list each day.

Circling back to the customer

As the team debugs or rolls out enhancements, they drop a note in the conversation, tag the support team, and put it back in a status or group (Waiting on Support), for a response to the customer.

With this setup we’re able to quickly find what is happening with customer conversations. We also reduce waste from duplication of work and loss of information, as everyone can access all of the necessary context.

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Chelsea Stroh

About the author: Chelsea Stroh is the Customer Happiness Manager at Recruiterbox, an online recruitment software & applicant tracking system for small businesses.