Determine the status quo
Many companies find it difficult to assess how good their customer service is. Yet this is a particularly important component in the transmission: according to surveys, around 90% of customers decide for or against a company based on their experience with customer service. However, optimizing customer support processes not only means improving quality, but also optimizing costs, because the time and effort involved can be significantly reduced. More tickets are processed in less time.
If you want to optimize your customer service, you should first get a picture of the current situation. To do this, you can integrate a request for feedback into existing tickets, for example through a telephone survey or, even better, an e-mail survey that is sent automatically from your CRM tool. When a customer's problem is solved, the best case scenario is that the customer provides feedback and tells you where he or she sees problem areas in the process, what stood out positively and what had a negative impact.
The customer's feedback should be evaluated. If similar points of criticism appear more frequently, you should optimize them first. The survey can also reduce the risk that dissatisfied customers will vent elsewhere - such as on social media - and thus generate negative publicity.
However, you shouldn't just focus on negative verdicts. Positive feedback can also be used to optimize processes: If your support team is already distinguished by particularly well-trained service employees, you can further strengthen this impression with the right allocation of employees.
Align customer service with your customers' needs
Surveys have shown that three areas are particularly important to customers when it comes to working with customer support: the speed with which their problem is responded to and resolved, the transparency of the process, and the agreement on and adherence to deadlines for resolving the problem.
If you want to optimize your customer service, you should try to meet these needs of your customers as far as possible. Since all three areas are closely interlinked, optimization on one side often brings about positive changes on the other. With just a few changes, you can optimize your customer service on several levels.
When it comes to speed, the primary goal is to solve the customer's problem. But long before that happens, your customer will judge whether your employees - and therefore your company - have acted quickly enough.
You'll create the best impression here if you shorten the response time. If you respond to the receipt of a new ticket with an automated message - ideally via the channel on which the request was received - you give your customer the feeling that the problem is being dealt with immediately.
In general, digitization and automation of processes in customer service are the key to success: the right software bundles incoming tickets, regardless of whether they are received by email, phone, app or social media. The ticket is then immediately available to the contact person with the appropriate area of expertise. This means that tickets can be processed quickly by the right person.
If, as with ADTANCE Ticketing, all steps are logged in the software and can be viewed by all customer service employees, unnecessary forwarding is a thing of the past and confusing double processing of the same ticket can be prevented.
If a customer needs help again, the previous process can be easily retraced. Regardless of who is currently handling the matter, the customer always has a competent contact person at hand who knows what the issue is.
The creation of a knowledge database, which can later be viewed by the service technician or provided directly to the customer, also ensures faster processing times and greater transparency in later parts of the process.
Good software has another advantage when it comes to optimizing your customer service: It supports the feedback process. If your employees can store response and resolution times or analyze workflows, as with ADTANCE Workflow, the evaluation of this data provides clues for your problem management. In similar cases, you can refer back to these values.
Transparency and scheduling
Transparency in customer service depends above all on when which information is made available to whom. When dealing with customers, this means above all that all information concerning them should be accessible and always kept up to date.
As with optimizing speed, the right software can also help when it comes to transparency. Customer service starts even before a problem occurs: ADTANCE PVM, for example, provides an expert view and a customer view. You can customize the customer view to provide only the diagrams you want. This allows you to provide the customer with operating data, cycle times, or manufacturing parameters, for example. This data gives your customer the feeling of having a better overview of the product.
If problems occur with the product, the subsequent process should be transparent for the customer from the start. This includes ways to find out about possible sources of errors in advance, such as help or FAQ pages. Afterwards, there should be ways to get answers to simple questions. Chatbots, for example, are a good solution here.
This approach not only creates transparency with regard to potential problem areas, it also ensures that the customer is helped quickly. Under certain circumstances, the solution to the problem can already be found here. If this is the case, it relieves the burden on customer service employees, who will now not receive a ticket.
If it is a more complex problem that needs to be brought directly to customer service, the customer should be automatically informed of any changes to the status of the ticket. This is especially true with regard to scheduling appointments.
If a technician is needed to solve the customer's problem, arranging and keeping appointments is one of the pitfalls of customer service. Often, the customer's needs are not sufficiently addressed here. Time specifications are too imprecise or are not adhered to, and changes are not communicated in good time. Here, too, automation should be implemented using the appropriate software. This way, the process remains transparent for the customer.
The process is only as good as your team
Digitizing and automating processes in customer service is often the simplest and most effective way to optimize them. But beyond that, the human factor should not be neglected.
Smooth operations are crucial, but your customers' problems - especially if they are complex in nature - can only be solved by members of your team. That's why you should invest in well-trained service staff.
In addition to technical expertise and familiarity with your customer service processes, it's the soft skills in particular that make a valuable employee. Empathy and patience for the customer must be applied in every situation, solutions found flexibly and communicated clearly. For many customers, it is precisely the personal conversation when solving problems that remains a symbol of the quality of your support. Optimizing customer service also means optimizing the qualities of your employees.