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Good Customer Service: No Waiting!

Level 10

Do you often get complaints from customers about the amount of time it takes to reach a support technician? What steps have you tried to overcome this issue?

  • Round-the-clock customer service
  • More technicians
  • Automation of customer service operations using a help desk or a ticketing tool.

You can improve the turnaround time of customer support calls by providing self-help options. You don’t always need to involve your technicians in every support call or issue that comes through your door. Customer service can also involve providing information to customers so they can resolve some issues themselves.

Your support department likely receives a number of repeated requests for common issues. You can handle these requests like all the others you receive, or you can set up self-help channels that end-users can explore to resolve issues on their own. Self-help channels can be in the form of a knowledge base or even an online forum/community.

  • Knowledge Base (KB): You can compile the common and repetitive issues that end-users experience and document the issues’ descriptions and resolution steps. You configure your help desk software to recognize these issues and direct end-users to your knowledge base as an initial support option. A knowledge base is also a valuable resource for training and educating new help desk technicians.

  • Online Forum/Community: An online forum is where IT pros can share their experiences, queries, issues, and feedback. Technicians can use the forum to interact with customers and invite members to offer their own tips and suggestions for resolving issues.

The knowledge base and online community are useful tools for assisting end-users with common issues that don’t require extensive troubleshooting and technician assistance. Other self-help channels include:

  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR): An automated telephony system that interacts with callers to gather information and route calls to the appropriate recipients. IVRs are designed to accommodate certain types of caller interactions, but they can speed up support calls by routing the caller to the right staff members/technicians faster.

  • Web Portal: A self-managed account where customers can log in and retrieve information from various sources like commerce functionalities, support ticket updates, new products, discounts etc.

  • Proactive Engagement: A method of giving customers information they need before they contact customer service (bill notifications/details, balance updates, insurance updates and expiration dates, etc.) Organizations can use this method to both communicate important information to customers as well as encourage customers to use their products.

Excellent customer service fosters customer loyalty, strengthens your reputation in your industry, and leads to continual business success. Incorporating self-help channels enables you to elevate the level of your customer satisfaction by moving your customers from issue to resolution faster.

6 Comments
Level 15

These principles make a good post.  Thanks!

Level 12

about costumer support. it is not necessary costumer will satisfy

Level 10

Yes, you should satisfy the customer (which should be there by default). These points in the post will help you for a better customer service and help avoid waiting of customers in the queue.

Level 12

What a well rounded explanation of how each area improves Customer Self-service. It is a pretty good example of how Solarwinds supports their customers. I think the biggest area impact and goldmine fun of great IT information is the Thwack forum. While I know Solarwinds main objective is to sell their products and keep everyone wanting to renew their maintenance by improving the customer experience. It feel's like Solarwinds knows how to connect to their customers.

The only sad part to all of this, and I know this depends purely on the organization. Some Customers may feel they don't have the time of expertise anymore, and give up not even knowing about the great resources that are available to them as part of the product.

I would add a few more items that may also improve both customer service and loyalty (can be applied to any company):

  • Hosting or Sponsoring User Groups/Conferences - Target keynotes, and possibly add some hands on product/ training
  • As part of the customer on-boarding process, be sure to introduce customers to the great support system you provide and how it works
  • When a customer sends in a request, quickly identify the issue or ask more questions. If you can respond in minutes and not hours. Even if you are not able to actually fix the problem now, or your response is just to guide them to a support document in your KB, it will change the customers perception of your services.
Level 10

Thank you for these additional inputs.

Using Orion products to show Management that my department was understaffed was key in getting faster resolution to Service Desk issues.  Not to mention it moved from from being one Network person supporting 14,000 computers to two Network people managing 40,000 devices, to six of us managing even more. 

An outside vendor was hired to analyze our needs and responses; their conclusion was we should have somewhere between sixteen and forty analysts to match similarly-sized competitive organizations in our industry.  I see a huge improvement with six where there was one.

But great design, predictive planning, adequate staffing, and excellent tools like NPM and NTA allow us to run our own internal private race with users and the Help Desk for discovering issues and resolving them before users can complain long enough to get a ticket built.