You’ve probably heard the saying “information is power.” Having the right company, customer, or industry intelligence in place can help you make smarter, faster decisions and crush the competition. But when you’re a small business, you don’t always have the time or money to get the information you need. Fortunately, you can easily get timely, accurate data from the customer service solution you’re already using. Here are five key areas where customer support data can help optimize your business:

1. Efficiently staff your support team.

One of the most important aspects of a helpdesk solution is that it will help you measure and improve your support team’s performance. It’s easy to track time to first response or average handle times for individual agents or your entire team. Measuring which support channels are busiest or seasonal spikes can also help you staff support to keep customers happy no matter how busy you get.

2. Identify and help demanding customers.

Customer support software can also help you spot which customers have the most questions, so you can fast-track the ones that need a high touch approach and identify better ways to address their needs. Your support tool helps you predict how healthy your relationships are, which lets you proactively reach out to customers that need a little extra love.

3. Spot critical issues and opportunities.

Your support solution is like a canary in a coalmine. It can help you spot new and trending issues, so you can address them before they become big issues. You can also see which issues are the most time consuming; then you can figure out faster, more proactive ways to help. And by identifying commonly escalated issues, you can provide your agents with better tools to solve them.

4. Pinpoint most requested new features.

Many companies spend a lot of time and money building products that ultimately customers don’t want. Remember Pepsi A.M.? Heinz E-Z Squirt purple ketchup? Microsoft Zune? Your customer support team can be one of your best sources of feedback, as well as a key driver of product innovation. Use labels to track feature requests, and you’ll have valuable information to drive your product roadmap.

5. Build your brand and connect with customers.

Some people think of customer service as just putting out fires. But many successful companies see it as an opportunity to build their brands and create a connection with customers. Don’t be afraid to have fun, and make sure every communication uses your brand’s voice. Allowing your agents to be their authentic selves can also help build a connection with customers. This is especially important on social, where customers are used to communicating with real people.

Put your customer service data to work! With insights ranging from the most requested new features to who your most demanding customers are, your customer support tool can provide you with valuable information for optimizing your small businesses for growth. Learn more about key support metrics that can help you optimize your business.