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Customer Service Software - Only as Good as the Strategy

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October 02, 2012

Customer Service Software - Only as Good as the Strategy

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Customer service in and of itself indicates little more than a focus on interacting with customers. It does not indicate that the interaction will be positive, beneficial or create loyalty. It is up to enterprise management to ensure a strategic approach to quality customer care that delivers the results you need. When the right customer service software is in place, that step is that much easier.

According to this KANA blog, the products and services of any organization are evaluated on a daily basis. If an evaluation is not going as well as the company hopes, that’s when the phone starts to ring. The customer is unhappy because the application doesn’t work, the promised battery life falls short, or any other failure of the product or service, that starts the communication channels buzz.

Companies that truly want to shine within their industries know the importance of the customer experience. They understand that customer service software, when implemented correctly, can work to the benefit of the company and the customer, providing for an experience that is nothing short of engaging, meaningful and most importantly – consistent across all channels. The right customer service software can make that happen.

In a blog written for the Harvard Business Review by R. “Ray” Wang, nine characteristics of engagement systems were identified that differed from transactional systems. Many of these points still ring true today – including the fact that these systems were designed for sense and response. In other words, a system of engagement keeps its ear to the ground to assess en masse.

Two-way, engaging conversations must also be given priority in customer service software environments. This means the one-sided, broadcast-type conversations with no direction are simply not entertained. To accomplish this goal, however, the people and systems in place must coordinate and have a like focus.

The social Web has also demonstrated the importance of speed in customer service software. It is no longer enough for companies to use customer service software to be responsive. Today, they must deliver answers, service, help and responses in real-time. Immediacy and content are both critical in the engagement system. Managers can help promote the use of such a system with visibility into real-time alerts, activity streams and notifications on all devices.

Finally, customer service software will deliver little value to the organization if its customer service agents are not reaching customers on the devices they prefer. In other words, if your customers are mainly mobile, you have to offer mobile channels. If your customers are engaging on social channels, you need to be on the same channels, involved in the conversation.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to ensure all of these systems work together for the betterment of the company and the customer experience. To ensure that happens, the strategy developed by top managers must focus on the proper outcomes. With customer service software selected and implemented according to the strategy firmly in place, success is more likely. 

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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