Excellent customer service has always been essential in business growth. To ensure that your customers will retain and speak good things about your services to other people, incorporating customer support technology should be considered such as having a service desk that will provide a single point of contact between your company and customers, employees, and business partners.
A service desk can handle incidents (disruption in service availability or quality), service requests (inquiries with a routine task), and other services like change management, release management, and configuration. It ensures that help is provided on time.
No matter how crucial customer support is, though, it seems that not all companies realise its importance, as terrible customer service reportedly cost $338 billion in revenue every year globally.
Additionally, a HelpScout survey shows that 86% of customers quit doing business because of bad customer service and that 78% of online buyers recommend a brand with quality customer service.
When you don’t offer high-quality customer service to customers, your business is likely to be affected in negative ways.
1. Lost sales, both online and offline
As proven by the report above, companies all over the world lose billions in revenue when they don’t attend to their customers’ needs. They are likely to make business elsewhere where they will be treated better. This is true for both physical and online stores.
2. You lose customers
Naturally, when few revenues are coming in, few customers are supporting your business. When you leave customer complaints and queries unanswered or completely ignored, they would want to spend their money somewhere else, and even tell other people about your inaction.
You need to consider that around half of the customer complaints and 1/4 for B2B customers are left unsaid. There are people nit-picking your business to everyone, but not to you. You’d likely find out about it the hard way when they start doing business elsewhere.
3. It makes customers more sensitive to prices
Researcher John Goodman found that the more complaints there are, the more sensitive customers are to price, price changes, and other fees, making it impossible for businesses to charge a premium or change their pricing.
If customers don’t see any difference in customer support or with the products and services, they understandably would not want to spend on a business.
4. Bad service ruins your reputation
If you want any more motivation to offer good customer service, keep in mind that bad customer service is talked about three times more than the good ones. That means you’re putting both existing customers and prospects at risk when people bad mouth your company to other people.
Fortunately, some technologies are here to help you provide better service desk for your customers. Here are some of those:
1. Cloud computing and support
Replace your legacy support systems, desktop, and corporate intranet with SaaS solutions that can help streamline your service desk and customer service operations. Other benefits you can gain from this include the following:
- Service desk can be accessed from any device
- Allows your customer support team to work on tickets from anywhere
- No additional software to install and configure
- Users have access to the service desk and can help themselves easily
- Convenient and affordable deployment
- Fewer maintenance costs
- Regular updates and better data security
Some companies have switched to the cloud, as they have preferred help desk outsourcing for data security, maintenance, and software upgrades.
2. Multi-channel support
Online chat, social media, phone, email, and many other communication channels can be utilised to make your service desk support better. You can start by establishing contact on one channel (say, through social media) and follow it up with another like online chat.
Keep in mind that these channels should be tracked for customer interactions. These technologies can help create a snapshot of customers’ history so that they don’t have to explain their issues repeatedly.
3. Self-service portals
Sometimes, customers would prefer to help themselves with their issues and not talk to a help desk agent. Having knowledge bases and FAQs on your online channels are excellent ways to provide answers to possible problems 24/7.
Community-managed forums should also be considered, as customer queries can be answered by other customers who might have experienced the same, as well.
These self-help portals can also be accessed through customer service portals, which are often available on the company website. Portals help educate customers to find the solution on their own and to help them be better equipped. Expanding their skill base means your clients are now more knowledgeable about your product, so they hopefully won’t need support in the future.
The customer portal is also beneficial to your service desk team, as it frees up their time and lets them focus on other tasks to stay efficient. In addition, fewer support requests mean fewer customer support expenses.
4. Wearable technology and speech recognition
Wearable technology for service desk agents can help address individual customer requirements, and even reward loyal ones them with incentives.
Speech recognition, meanwhile, has made customer service faster. Callers can just state their query or issue, and the associated data will then be provided. Sometimes, calls are filtered by the system and will be supplied with pre-decided prompts.
Speech recognition also allows automatic transfer of calls to the relevant operator; identification of the caller based on their voice using biometric protocols to avoid fraud; and classification and redirection based on speech to distribute calls during peak times.
5. Smart SLAs
Have a clear service level agreement (SLA) that’s easy to understand and track for your service desk analysts. Make it customisable so that managers can set relevant SLAs to their teams.
6. Ticket transparency
Allowing your customers to track the progress of their query or complaint makes it less frustrating for them, as they would see that an actual employee is working on the ticket and they’re not merely receiving an automated response.
Transparency also cuts down on the number of follow-up calls, allowing the analysts to focus on closing out tickets instead of answering calls.
It is essential for your business to invest time, money, and effort toward improving customer service if you want your company to thrive in the long run. Employing new technology will help you do that, and can even save you and your customers’ time and resources.
While it is important to develop technology and technical skills for customer support, your service desk analysts should also develop their interpersonal skills.