I Want it Right Now! Smart Customer Service with Self-Service

By Enabliser Howard
When Madonna sang “I want it right now,” could this be us as customers too? When we want information or assistance, so often we want it right now – whether it’s 10am or midnight, Wednesday or Sunday,  it’s easy using our laptop, or increasingly, mobile devices, iPhone, iPad, etc. Making a phone call or email in business hours, maybe waiting for a response, these are not our first choice for an increasing number of us.
Is it hard for an organisation to service this? Not at all. It is an opportunity, whether its B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). The traditional model is a call centre with people waiting to respond to the call. This is a cost with significant overheads, still with an important place, one element of a customer service strategy. In the wired, mobile world, wanting it right now presents an opportunity – both for improving service and lowering overheads - at the same time. These are benefits that would usually be incompatible. The solution is to use modern systems for self service when you don’t need direct personal engagement for the many less complex issues and enquiries, leaving your trained, valued employees for more complex, skilled interactions that still need the personal knowledge and personal touch. Supermarkets have been using self service for fifty years; it works. But they have service counters too.
What types of transactions are suitable for this automation of customer service? Logging support cases, supplying instruction manuals, simple problem solving, general product or technical information, FAQs (frequently asked questions). Customers can also register products, make enquiries, view newsletters, find information - using your website. The engine in the background doing the work is the CRM system. If you need to troubleshoot a problem, for example, with a printer or phone, at midnight, few companies can sustain a live Help Desk to support this. An easily navigated download gives your customers the instant information they need, when they need it – not 8 hours later, or days. Your customers solve a problem themselves rather than needing a phone call or email. It’s the classic win-win situation.
This technology is available right now, without needing large investments in systems if you have a CRM (customer relationship management) system. A good system will already include the resources, ready to set up. CRM is not just a fine tool for sales and marketing – although good for that too.
Our CRM customers like it. Their customers can log a support case at any hour, and then check on how it is progressing. They can find the answer to a routine problem with no waiting. Mobile devices allow customers to do it anytime, anywhere. It’s not rocket science but uses standard functionality.
To boost the effectiveness of your Customer Service and Help Desk, CRM based web self-service has a benefit far beyond the simplicity of setting up and reduction in overheads and payroll expenses.  Customers can satisfy their issues 24 hours each day, without needing to phone, email or wait for a return call.  This leaves your people with more time to deal with more difficult and complex issues and follow ups, and where personal, one-on-one contact is needed. It’s smart customer service by self-service, a reality not a dream, and it might even save money.
This is a short introduction to what is possible, not all possibilities. Web self service provides many possibilities, in many varied uses.  We will discuss this further in future blogs.  If you wish to find out more, please click here to contact Enabling.
Check this Sage video for a brief introduction relating to Customer Service,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHMolPtPES4&list=PL7E975FCCB18C5AA3&index=13

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