In an era of changing customer expectations, distributed support channels, and available alternatives for clients to switch to, it’s critical for service desks to deliver fast, accurate answers to provide an optimal customer experience.
Great customer service is not always easy to achieve, but it is a critical success factor. If issues and pain points aren’t handled correctly and proactively, there’s a risk of losing clients. Customers expect 24/7 service that allows them to update their profiles securely, obtain product support materials and videos, and not only open a support ticket that will get resolved quickly, but also track the progress online. This has created a new wave of customer support demands to meet and new challenges to overcome, forcing companies to reevaluate their support functions and improve them to ultimately provide world-class service.
Here’s the real challenge—product companies often focus on products rather than customer service, with an eye towards growth and innovation. Companies with highly rated customer service practices tend to attract more customers. The question becomes what is the best way for product companies to provide excellent customer service and retain and attract new clients, without overexerting their budget? Some try to handle the entire customer support operation from within, while others seek assistance from an external partner. These companies utilize a collaborative approach with a partner who can support their specialized customer support needs, while maintaining the company’s brand values and culture.
Are your customers getting the product support that they need, and the customer experience that they expect? If your answer is no to one or both questions, read on!
Applying service desk best practices to product support
There is a solution—applying IT service desk processes and methodologies to immediately improve customer/product support desks. Here are some examples of IT service desk best practices that can be applied to improve customer/product support while lowering your total cost of customer service:
- Apply a shift-left methodology, moving incident and service request resolution to self-service or artificial intelligence (AI), while placing higher-skilled resources closer to the customer.
- Deliver customer service locally to enhance relatability, engagement, language, and client connection. This greatly improves the overall client experience and addresses the “watermelon effect” where service levels are met but the experience is poor.
- Deliver automated tools and processes to complete calls faster, resolve issues more accurately, and enable customer self-service.
- Create your own feedback channels to feed intelligence back to the business and product development teams.
- Focus on problem elimination through root cause analysis, improved customer service processes, enhanced customer representative training, and better product knowledge management and documentation.
Companies who choose to apply service desk principles to improve product support will see a positive impact in a short amount of time. With this model, clients can resolve their issues faster—and companies realize the benefits of increased client loyalty and a more profitable business. When clients do speak with a localized customer service representative, a ticket is opened, tracked, resolved, and analyzed for continuous service improvement.
Real world customer experience goals: reduction in mean time to resolve (MTTR)
A tax/accounting software company worked with CAI to achieve a goal of dropping the case MTTR by 75%. While initially that seemed like a lofty goal, CAI was able to accomplish this during the first month of providing live support by applying sound service desk principles, moving higher-skilled resources directly to the customers, and vastly improving the knowledge base.
With just one month of data, the results are dramatic. The client achieved higher customer satisfaction scores, a 75% decrease in resolution speed, and a lower cost of providing services.
There are proven advantages in utilizing the principles and methodologies of a localized IT Service Desk for your product customer service support. From ticket tracking and shift-left techniques to automation tools and streamlined customer service processes, your product support organization can be a key differentiator in the growth of your company.
If you would like to discuss how Service Desk methodology can improve your product support, let’s meet for a chat on how to get started.