As more companies realize the importance of stellar customer support, they are finding they simply can’t keep up with the changing demands of customers on their own. Most organizations still try to limp by with some type of hybrid, home-grown solution, usually a patchwork of old, new and even proprietary applications, which are often badly integrated (or not integrated at all). Customers fall through the cracks while companies attempt to keep up with spreadsheets, disparate databases, outdated customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and agent desktops that are the result of years of in-house design. The results are usually less-than-optimal. Customers experience long hold times, conflicting information, or are promised callbacks they never receive.
The good news is that more companies are becoming aware of the problem, and are turning to professional customer support solutions to solve it. Earlier this year, Software Advice reported on the explosive growth in sales of customer service and customer relationship management (CRM) software, finding that CRM software sales alone grew over 2,000 percent in a single decade. But the landscape of customer service applications (e.g., ticketing, self-service and social service) is ever-changing, because customer wishes and demands are always changing.
Software Advice recently set out to find the top 10 most popular customer service software products in an effort to showing buyers which solutions are popular across a range of business models and sizes. SA examined user adoption levels, search traffic and social media presence to rank the companies.
Trends that these solutions are following – customers are leading the way – include ticketing, which SA says is the core application of help desk support platforms today, robust self-service support channels, integrated social media apps and mobile-friendly support features. Team Support (News - Alert), which is ranked on SA’s top 10 list, is a solution specifically designed for B2B companies. It allows users to easily track and view details about customers and what products they’re using, and access information on other issues they've had recently. One of the biggest challenges of providing b-to-b customer support – follow-ups to ensure that customer issues are resolved fully and in a timely manner – is easier, thanks to customized alerts. This type of automation means companies no longer have to worry about high priority issues falling through the cracks. And since providing customer support is generally a team activity, Team Support enables collaboration across the entire customer support department to ensure timely and correct resolution to customer problems.
Companies today no longer dictate the parameters of the customer experience. Customers do. If your organization isn’t prepared to build a foolproof system to ensure that every customer is helped in a timely and proactive way, customer defections will become the norm rather than customer wins.
Edited by Maurice Nagle