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Tips for IT Companies to Adhere Customer Service for the Future

Introduction:

All software companies want their software to be intuitive and user friendly, but that is easier said than done, hence the need for customer service. Even the best software companies need a solid backbone of customer service otherwise people would stop using their product.

Let’s find out the most important elements to customer support.

MULTICHANNEL SUPPORT

There are multiple forms of communication now, and everyone prefers something different, it just depends on your personality. Some prefer calling to speak with someone directly, while others prefer emailing or even reaching out with social media. A newer form of support that I am beginning to like is live chatting with a representative. To ensure there is no miscommunication of information, screensharing allows each party to know exactly what is going on. This allows companies to thoroughly address your issues in a timely manner. Whatever method you prefer, your provider should offer multiple channels to best support you.

FAST SUPPORT

Please, please get back to me in a timely manner! A fast customer service response to me is the easiest way to make a good impression. Time is money and with multiple software companies out there this is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition. I obviously reached out because I have a problem and I need an answer, I can’t wait all day for a response. It really doesn’t matter what I want or need, and you may not even have the answer right away, but by responding quickly you will have a better chance of diffusing the situation and delighting your customer. Whatever your question is, there should be someone on the other end to quickly address your concerns.

INTELLIGENT SUPPORT

You need to be knowledgeable about your software. That doesn’t mean you need to know every in and out (even though that would be nice), it just means that you need to have a good understanding and the right resources. And by having the right resources, I mean using a customer relationship management system to organize and keep track of my previous questions. Even without having all the answers, a great set of resources will greatly help your experience.

The Best Tips to Keep Customer’s Intact:

Engage the Employees as Customer-Success Managers:

All the customer support staff need to transcend beyond reactive customer support and ensure and maximize the customer’s success. This includes taking into consideration their goals and KPIs for success, their internal stakeholders and blockers for success, and other factors.

Focus the Group on Up-selling Services

Offense is the best defense and causes customer-success teams to focus less on how to mend problems and more on how to understand customer pains and unmet desires, as well as how those needs can be addressed. This will both reduce ambiguity and increase upsells.

Gather and Analyze Data

Measure how and when the product is used, and put in place alerts for when things go south. It is recommended to have an overarching “customer health” scorecard that would take into consideration data points such as amount and frequency of usage (both absolute numbers and rates of change/trend), number of support tickets by severity and how many are opened, frequency of interaction with the customer, known complaints and dissatisfaction, history of payments or non-payments, etc.

Closely Monitor Customer On-boarding

Most problems start at the beginning of on-boarding, when a deployment project ends and usage hasn’t yet started. Some customers get stuck there and fail to launch. It’s important to define internally that the deployment-project phase ends when people actually start using the system, not just when the system is installed. It is recommended to conduct a review with the customer at 30 days and 90 days after usage began to make sure things are on track.

Define Frequency of Engagements

It is important to define an internal rule as to how often customers of each size and importance level need to be touched on a personal level (outside of customer-wide email blasts). Even for the smallest customers, touching base should not only occur upon customer renewal, even if everything goes well. It’s paramount to gauge feedback and to provide customers visibility on a development roadmap.

Follow-up Mails are very important to know the feedback and if any issues customers are facing. As per the reply/feedback, respond to them and solve the issues at the scratch level.

Gather Customers into a Community

Customers learn most from each other, and letting them connect with each other increases stickiness and creates further emotional ties with you as a vendor. Share with all customers case studies and white papers that survey customer usage and needs. If possible, have physical customer summits, or at least do them virtually. Establish a formal customer-advisory board for important customers and share information with all customers.

Invest Heavily in Customer Care

When problems happen, they need to be resolved quickly. Put in place a strong ticketing system and monitor queues. Dedicate second-tier support people to address ongoing debugging and maintenance problems while others focus on a next version.

Keep an Eye on Competition

Continuously monitor competitors’ features, pricing, etc. Remember however not to run after them but to ask what customers are most interested in and how that fits into the company’s competitive advantages. Eventually the company doesn’t need to be better than its competitors on all accounts, but rather have a better “weighted average” score.

Increase Switching Costs

Don’t increase switching costs artificially by locking customers in without reason, rather do so with features and services that are better for the customer. Provide customizations (tailored suits are harder to replace). Wherever possible strive to have a “network effect” where customers gain value from other customers’ data or metadata (sharing content).

Calculate and Analyze Churn Continuously

To reduce churn, measure it. Identify if the problem is in the customer segment, the product or the people. Be sure to motivate and compensate against churn as a KPI among customer success and customer-care teams, senior sales execs (to make sure the right products are sold to the right customers) and professional services execs (to make sure on-boarding is successful).

Conclusion

Even though you have the most user-friendly software but with terrible service, and you will find that people will not use your product. It is important to offer multiple channels, quick responses, and intelligent support for your customers.

It proves that they key to customers’ hearts are positive emotions associated with awesome customer service. In other words, customer satisfaction is something that makes customers want to come back to you and make business with you.

The best customer service comes from having the clearest understanding of your customers, because you can understand them more easily, you have past context to work with and you know their preferences.

“Assess the requirements, Explore the opportunities and Implement the changes and Succeed – Sky is the limit”.

If, you are a newbie and have some questions- ask me in the comments…
If, you’re an expert- share your secrets with me in the comments…

THANK YOU !!!

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