I recently had dinner with a friend who’s a software developer for a major aeronautics company. In the course of catching each other up on the latest news in our personal and professional lives, he told me about a major IT initiative his team has been working on.
“It sounds exciting,” I said to him.
“Actually, it’s a nightmare,” he said, putting his head in his hands. “We have all these people touching the software, the customer is finding bugs, the help desk is unprepared, and nobody knows who’s doing what, or if the customer has ever gotten the right help, or if the bugs are even being fixed.”
He paused and said: “The person who’s supposed to be tracking these things in an Excel document has completely fallen behind.”
If you’ve spent any time in the business world lately, you know that his plight is not unusual. What once seemed like a reasonable strategy is no longer working.
Does this sound like your company? Here are five signs you’ve outgrown your manual methods and would greatly benefit from software.
1. Tracking is time consuming.
Like my friend’s company, are you relying on an old-fashioned and manually intense spreadsheet to track customer issues and resolutions? When the sales manager asks for a report of the most commonly reported issues facing customers, does it take you days of counting and crunching the numbers to come up with the data? Or, when you want to justify hiring more support agents, are you flying on intuition rather than on the quality data that will prove your point?
If you answered yes, then your company is ready to take it to the next level with support software—one that helps your support team service customers better than ever while also helping identify the trends, giving sales and marketing good data, and allowing your management team to make better—and more proactive—decisions.
2. The volume of email is overwhelming! Customer requests are falling through the cracks.
You’ve heard the expression that your greatest strength is your greatest weakness? Clearly this applies to e-mail. Electronic mail has opened up new worlds of easy, effortless, real-time business communication. But the sheer volume of it flooding into our inboxes on a daily basis is a disaster waiting to happen. Try explaining to a frustrated customer that his e-mail “got lost” or that her urgent request “got buried.” It simply won’t fly.
If your help desk agents are struggling to manage the volume of email coming in and out, if customer requests for help are getting dropped, or if you’re relying on your email inbox as a “to do” list, then it’s time for a software solution that can help you integrate email into your ticketing system. Think of how much more efficient your team can be with a streamlined communication system. What a great feeling to know you’ll never lose another customer email again!
3. Your current support system only allows customers to contact you by phone or email, even though they’d rather text, chat or Facebook you for help.
The help desk of today is a social one. The days of calling in exclusively by phone, and then patiently waiting in long queues to speak with a customer support agent, are long gone. Customers today not only expect multi-channel support—they demand it. And no Excel spreadsheet can help you manage customer queries coming in through phone, email, text, chat, and social media.
Today’s savvy help desks rely on collaborative software that helps customer support teams—and other departments in the company—streamline all communications, address customer concerns AND communicate internally more effectively, through all possible channels.
4. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.
Sometimes the help desk is running brilliantly. Customers are getting their issues resolved with minimal waiting and tickets are being processed in record time.
Perhaps the disconnect is not between the help desk and customers. Rather, the disconnect may well be between the help desk and other internal departments like sales or engineering.
If internal teams aren’t collaborating effectively and seamlessly, the company suffers—and ultimately the customers do, too. If the chain of communication between your help desk, engineering and IT, and sales is weak, it may be time for a software solution that provides a collaborative and high-level view of customer issues and fixes so your company is working together as a team.
5. You’re using too many software tools.
Perhaps your help desk is already tech-savvy. Maybe you’ve long done away with the messy manual spreadsheets and you’ve automated your ticketing system. Good for you!
But maybe you’ve hit another snag: By using too many software tools that don’t work together seamlessly, you’re making things more complicated for your team rather than less so. Multiple systems mean multiple opportunities for duplication and error.
If you’re spending too much time using too many tools, your support team will benefit from an all-in-one software suite—one that is easy to use but powerful enough to integrate seamlessly with many of today’s most widely used CRM, communication and social media tools.
Has your customer support team recently made the leap to a software solution to help serve customers better and collaborate more effectively? What other “tell-tale” signs prompted you to turn to a technology solution?