Here is the last element in our brief series on taking your customer service to greatness. The first two, people and a quality product, are equal legs on this stool and so it having the right technology so your customer service agents can spend their time with customers, not tabbing between applications, looking up answers in several different databases, or taking second and third calls from customers whose problem wasn’t fixed with the first call. Nor do they want to spend time with calls that could have been avoided if the customer had access to information or processes that don’t need another human involved.
First, the easy stuff. Make it possible for your customers to find their own answers if they prefer. Give them access through a customer portal for self service where they can access a knowledgebase, connect with other users, and submit problems or get right in contact with an agent if they can’t fix it themselves.
Give your customers the ability to engage with you on the channel they prefer. If they would rather interact through chat, set up a chat channel. If they start on that channel and it would be better to switch to another, like the phone, make that possible. Many still prefer the phone. Don’t load them down with an endless phone menu, get them to a person as quickly as possible if that is what they need.
And fix it so they don’t have to repeat information. To anybody. They should be able to enter or provide it once and be done. Nothing is more annoying than telling your problem over and over. (Note to customers: do give the agents time to read through lengthy content if your ticket is complex).
When agents must get involved, make sure they only have to deal with one system for customer information, ticketing, documentation, and knowledge management. Every time a new application must be opened or switched takes time that would be better spent engaging the customer and solving their problem. This single system helps the rest of the organization too. No dropped tickets between applications or departments, alerts for everything, and time tracking to keep up with staffing. A way to see aging and open tickets and schedule time to take care of them. Get fast answers from knowledge infused support processes and technology.
In short, make it as easy as possible for both customers and customer service agents to fix problems without putting technological obstacles under their feet. Will it cost up front? Sure. But in the long run, that new system will pay for itself, possibly inside of six months.
There are systems out there that do all of this. Of course, we think PhaseWare is the best and most affordable. But, really, there is no excuse these days to still be tracking a spreadsheet or using multiple software applications to do what one customer service and support solution can do.
So there you have it. The three elements of great customer support:
Read all three posts:
The First Element of Great Customer Service: Your People
The Second Element of Great Customer Service: Quality of Information
The Third Element of Great Customer Service: The Right Technology