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Google Workspace Best Practice
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8000+ teams use Hiver to delight their customers!

7 Best Practices for Using Google Workspace for Customer Service

Feb 05, 2024
9 min read
Hiver HQ
Farheen Gani

Table of contents

If you’ve been using Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) for a while, you know it’s a lot more than free email. It is a collection of Google apps and tools that make team collaboration simple and effective. You can share spreadsheets and other documents, hold video conferences, chat, and plan meetings easily with your team using the calendar feature. 

Applied to customer service, Google Workspace helps you effectively communicate with customers, store customer service data, and manage customer service requests. 

In this piece, we’ll dive into seven ways you can use Google Workspace tools to deliver better customer service. 

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Table of Contents

7 Tips to Use Google Workspace for Customer Service

There are several Google products including popular apps like Gmail, Google Keep, Google Meet, Google Docs and Google Sheets that support teams can use to deliver better service to their customers. 

Let’s take a look at the ways you can use some of these apps:

1. Set up a shared inbox in Gmail for customer support

If you need a shared mailbox for your customer service team, you can create a common team inbox using Google Groups and use it to manage customer queries. 

Set up a group with the address [email protected] and assign your agents as members. Incoming emails from customers are sent to the Gmail account of the members added to the group’s inbox. 

google groups for customer service team
You can use Google Groups to create a shared inbox for your customer service team

You can also convert your Google Group into a Collaborative Inbox, to make the process of email assignment, adding shared labels to customer emails, and searching for important customer requests, much more streamlined than it is in a Google Group.

To do this, Google Workspace administrators, group managers or owners need to provide the necessary permissions to designated team members from the admin console.

google groups collaborative inbox permissions
Permissions required to convert a Google Group into a Collaborative Inbox

Take a look at how Buffalo Tours uses Gmail to manage customer emails. Thanks to Gmail’s mobile app and its easy-to-use interface and mobility, employees can access customer emails on the go on their tablets or mobile devices. 

Despite their ease of use, there are still some aspects where Google Groups and Collaborative Inbox fall short when it comes to managing customer emails. Let’s look at a few instances: 

  • If another team member needs to pick up a conversation, they don’t have enough context, as there’s no way to leave private notes next to customer emails. 
  • It’s difficult to know which team member is in charge of which customer emails. 
  • Metrics and reports help track support performance. Since Google Groups and Collaborative Inbox don’t provide reports, it’s difficult to pinpoint the aspects where your support team needs help or improvements. 

Hiver addresses the above drawbacks and helps you turn Gmail into a helpdesk for your customer service team. 

Gmail based helpdesk for customer service
Hiver helps you turn Gmail into a powerful helpdesk for your customer service team

2. Organize incoming emails into categories and labels

Turn on shared labels in Google Groups, so members can label conversations with keywords and update a conversation’s label at any time. Labels make it easier to sort and search for customer conversations.

Group managers and owners can switch on the ‘Shared labels’ feature for their groups. 

shared labels for customer service emails
Shared Labels help you better organize your customer service emails

You can add labels to your business emails depending on email type (support, technical, marketing, or billing),customer type (free, paid),or status of an email (approved, pending). 

Labels help agents pick up the right conversations to respond to. For instance, senior agents might only handle emails labeled “paid customer”, or only specific agents may resolve queries marked “technical” or “marketing”. 

3. Use Google Keep to make customer service to-do lists and store feedback

google keep for customer service
Use Google Keep to note down important customer feedback, support FAQs, and more

Google Keep is a note-taking service by Google. Support teams can use it to keep a record of customer service feedback, make to-do lists to keep crucial tasks in the forefront, and keep FAQs handy for instant reference.

Use Keep to note down regular feedback you receive from customers about your services and products. Whether it’s about fixing an error, developing new product features, or building a fresh product design, Keep can help you store all customer feedback in one place. You can then share these notes with the required departments to enhance the customer experience.

Keep is also a great place to record FAQs you get from customers, so the support team can access them easily. You can also refer to these FAQs while designing your knowledge base and add relevant Help articles to minimize customer queries.

Agents can also use Keep to make their private to-do lists to manage their daily work. For instance, the team at Schnucks uses Google Keep to create tasks and reminders and also take meeting notes. 

4. Use Google Calendar to set up meetings with customers

google calendar for customer service
Use Google Calender to schedule and plan meetings with customers

Support agents may need to meet with customers to either troubleshoot product issues or assist them in setting up a new tool. Google Calendar is a free tool that you can use for scheduling and planning these meetings.

To set up a new meeting in Google Calendar, click on the “+” icon to add an event. Add a title, description, and time for your meeting. Under the “Invitee” option, add customer emails to invite them to the meeting. 

You can integrate Google Calendar with your Gmail, so you can reply to event invitations right from your email. When you get an invite, you can automatically add it to your calendar. The details of the event will automatically be copied into the respective fields.

See how C21 Canada, a real estate company, uses Google Calendar to coordinate with customers regarding house inspections, open houses, and more. 

Recommended Read
Productivity Handbook for Google Workspace Users

5. Use Google Meet for webinars and support training

Google Meet is a video conferencing app provided to users with a Google Workspace account. It supports 250 meeting participants and 100,000 live stream viewers.

Whenever you make a new Google Calendar appointment with customers, you’ll also get a Hangouts link in the invite using which you can start a call with customers. 

You can book a meeting on Google Meet using Google Calendar. Similar to other video conferencing software, it allows you to share your screen with other participants. 

Customer support agents can use Google Meet to conduct educational webinars for customers or to train new users. Alternatively, businesses can also use Meet to train customer service agents remotely, like customer management outsourcing company Comdata does. 

6. Use Google Drive to save customer service docs and materials

Google Drive lets you access, share, and store files in one safe place. Keep customer service materials like product manuals, notes, customer information, PDFs, presentations, and Help videos in Google Drive. 

Store customer service materials like these in a shared drive, so all your team members can easily access them.

One of the best features of Google Drive is the search functionality. This feature can be handy when agents need to quickly access information and respond to customer requests. 

Telecommunications company eir uses Google Drive to store important company and customer-related files. Using Google Cloud allows them to have more control over their data. Cloud storage also helps them keep their data more secure as important files can easily get lost or misplaced when stored on the company’s systems.

7. Use complementary tools to enhance customer service processes

If you’re using Google Workspace for customer service, you can also use add-on apps and tools for project management, internal communication, and social media monitoring to streamline your workflows and customer service processes. 

Here are some apps that may help enhance your customer service: 

  • Trello: Use Trello boards to organize customer requests into different boards and to keep track of customer feedback directed to different departments. For instance, you could create boards titled “Marketing”, “Engineering”, “Billing”, and “Product” and file relevant customer feedback under them. 

The Trello Playbook for Support Teams provides five crucial boards that you can customize to track everything, from feature requests to bug reports and each support ticket in between.

Here’s a snapshot of the Support Planning Board: 

trello for customer service google workspace
You can use Trello boards to keep track your customer service team’s tasks and goals

As you can see, this board helps you promote an open team culture and transparency by sharing a high-level view of customer service projects, support goals, and tasks for the week within the team and the company as a whole.

  • Slack: This internal chat tool helps you quickly connect with other support agents. You can ask other agents for help on customer service requests and share customer feedback with the right teams. 

Forrester Consulting’s research found that service teams that used Slack reduced average ticket handle time by 10.7%, escalations by 17.4%, and cost per ticket by 15.1%. 

Bonus: How Investing in a Gmail-based Help Desk Helps Google Workspace Users

Gmail shared inboxes are popularly used by Google Workspace users to manage customer queries. But for a growing business, Gmail can quickly become a bottleneck to quick customer service, as it doesn’t offer the necessary features to track customer requests and collaborate with other customer service reps. 

That’s why you should invest in a helpdesk. A helpdesk is the best way to deliver seamless, quick, and memorable customer service. Helpdesk software lets you prioritize, track, and resolve any problems customers have, as efficiently as possible.

A Gmail-based helpdesk adds the following superpowers to your inbox, so you can provide faster, better customer service: 

Armed with these features, your Gmail shared inbox can be a reliable way to provide great customer service. Learn more about how a Gmail-based helpdesk like Hiver helps Google Workspace users

Wrapping up

According to a study by American Express, customers tell an average of 15 people about poor experiences with a brand. The same survey shows that customers are willing to spend 17% more on a brand, on average, because of their excellent customer service.

For startups, small businesses, and even nonprofits, Google Workspace offers a handy set of tools to manage customer service requests and information. 

However, as your business grows, you might need to invest in dedicated tools like a helpdesk for customer support, live chat apps, and a knowledge base tool. 

If you’re looking for a Gmail-based helpdesk your team can easily use, check out Hiver, a simple yet robust customer service solution that helps you offer excellent customer service via email and live chat – right from inside Gmail. 

Farheen Gani is a content marketer and writer for SaaS companies. She helps businesses grow with customer-focused content. She loves geeking out about content marketing on Twitter.

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