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Customer Service Software Critical to Achieving High Standards of Customer Satisfaction

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September 24, 2012

Customer Service Software Critical to Achieving High Standards of Customer Satisfaction

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

When it comes to setting and achieving benchmarks for customer service, who better to poll than your customers? That’s KANA’s philosophy. After all, sometimes the best answers are right under your nose. Even with the best customer service software, you still need to gather feedback to know where you shine and where you should strive for improvements. 

Providing decent customer service today  just isn’t going to cut it if you want to dominate the industry, according to this KANA blog. In our ‘customer-is-always-right’ culture, the bar is constantly set higher and higher. Customer service software should be designed to attend directly to their needs, and to find out what customers really consider important, KANA went straight to the source. 

Take the subject of first call resolution, for instance. Research shows that when customers call with an issue, their expectation is that the matter will be resolved the first time – one and done. Plus, they don’t want to wait for it, so hold times and calling queues tend to hurt perception. While there are moments that this may seem impossible, there’s no hope of reconciling those goals if the right customer service software isn’t in place. 

Some would argue that a choice has to be made between speed and accuracy. Meaning, your value proposition should determine your focus. If cost is your driver, then the goal of your customer service software should be to decrease average handling time. Conversely, first call resolution would be most important if you have your sights set on creating lifetime customer value.

Customer satisfaction has often been considered the standard for customer service. When KANA went on its quest to find out what mattered in the eyes of the customer, customer satisfaction received an overwhelming rating of “very significant.” Customer service software that bridges the divide between quick and efficient is what can spell the difference between good and great customer satisfaction.

But not everyone agrees that customer satisfaction is enough to make customers loyal. Less than a year ago, KANA conducted similar customer service research with customer strategist, Esteban Kolsky, of the consulting firm, thinkJar. As many as 38 percent of study participants responded that customer satisfaction and meeting customer expectations were the main determinant of customer service. Kolsky, however, feels that these measures may not be the best metrics of success.

In Kana’s recent poll, one Customer Service VP in the telecom industry said that efforts at employing technology to meet customer demands have caused us to sacrifice the personal touch. Moving forward, it will become increasingly important to find ways to incorporate more personalized service into customer service software. The challenge lies in instilling the human touch without the human interaction.

Even though there is some research out there to suggest that not all satisfied customers remain loyal, diminishing the importance of customer satisfaction is not a risk that many are willing to take. Instead, customer service software designed to focus on key performance indicators supporting corporate objectives and brand management goals may be a better approach.

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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

Technology Marketing Corporation

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