Do you remember your first car? That great feeling of freedom that came with the ability to drive yourself wherever you wanted or needed to go, without having to ask for a lift, take public transport or cycle or walk. And the ‘kudos’ from your friends that came with independence.
Suddenly, going to the store for bread and milk was no longer a chore, but an exciting opportunity to take your wheels out for a spin. Beyond being more exciting, life became easier. You possessed the ability to get where you needed to go timeously, and that car probably solved any number of difficulties. It helped you get things done, faster, and with much less effort.
The fact is, that car was a tool that made you more efficient. In the workplace, the right tools are important to ensuring efficiency, however, they are also key to job satisfaction. For example, a customer service agent with a fast, responsive computer and fingertip-access to customer data can not only perform better but will also make fewer errors and enjoy overall better job satisfaction.
Customer Service complexity
Service Management professionals deal with a plethora of requests of various complexity, priority and urgency levels on a daily basis. They are traditionally entrenched in a high-stress environment. They deal predominantly with negative interactions such as customer complaints or service delivery issues. Occasionally, they are on the receiving end of positive, affirming calls, however, most of their job satisfaction comes from the ability to solve customer concerns, help people resolve problems and closing a call with a happy customer at the end of it.
Customers who call into a Customer Service Desk tend to already be impatient and frustrated, and require prompt, friendly service, with a solution that doesn’t require multiple repeat calls. To best assist customers, Customer Service agents should be able to access information at the touch of a button, including all customer information separated into relevant categories for easy problem identification and solution allocation.
Ideally, the tools that Customer Service Desks leverage should be able to make their lives easier while aiding collaboration between agents, as well as between the Customer Service Department and the rest of the business.
Customer Service Tools
The right Customer Service Management tool provides these agents with the capability of fulfilling their tasks and attaining greater job satisfaction. It also promotes the sharing of data between those authorised to access and use the data and ensures that customer information is limited to use for the purposes for which it is intended. A 360-degree view of the customer enables Customer Service Management teams to provide the best possible service.
A proper Customer Service Management tools offers smart features, such as:
- Automatic assignment to the right person or team, based on their current workloads;
- Bulk transfer of requests to other teams or individuals;
- Identification of staff with the right skills set (while also checking their availability);
- Reporting on workload estimates, versus actual time spent;
- Identification of skills gaps, training needs and potential areas for improvement;
- Measurement of employee satisfaction to increase motivation and retention;
- It also helps encourage people’s feedback and contributions, and recognise their achievements and successes.
Customer service drives business
Customer service and experience is critical to business success, especially in today’s consumer driven environment. When a business’s Customer Service Management department is functioning optimally, it underpins the market reputation of the business. Satisfied, happy and productive Service Management professionals means happier customers, boosting customer retention efforts and directly impacting an organisation’s bottom line.
The tools in a business have to work for them and not against them. They should rather enable than impede customer service delivery and promote faster turnaround times with better results while keeping costs down to a minimum. Ultimately, they should make Customer Service Management faster, better and cheaper, just like that first car made life faster, better and – when weighing the efficiency against petrol prices – cheaper, for you.
By Edward Carbutt, Managing Executive at Marval Africa