Contact centers have always been tricky to run because they have so many moving parts: ringing phones, sticking to schedules, keeping service levels up, accommodating unexpected call volume spikes all while managing some (very imperfect) human resources. For a company to succeed, all these machinations need to be invisible to the customer in the background. In an increasingly omnichannel marketplace where customers expect to communicate with a company via a variety of channels, this leads to doubling, tripling or quadrupling the channels to fail in.
Lack of integration between channels is one of the biggest challenges customer support channels face today. In a recent video on the topic, TeamSupport illustrated that when a help desk or other customer support worker closes a trouble ticket, most solutions don’t allow him or her to see if the customer’s issue is really resolved: it’s possible that same customer has multiple tickets open. While the help desk worker or agent may think they’ve claimed success with that customer, they may have done only part of the job.
“So the ticket may be A-OK, but the customer? It’s not called ticket support, now, is it? It’s called customers support,” according to the video.
Business-to-business customer support software solutions can help ensure that customers are being served instead of transactions being closed. Software that can manage only individual tickets will lead to the kind of annoying silos that brings down the quality of customer support. A customer-centric solution, on the other hand, offers high-level visibility into individual customer relationships.
“With no high-level visibility, your organization wastes valuable agent time, and your customer gets lost in the weeds,” according to TeamSupport.
By managing at the customer level, organizations can identify patterns and reduce duplicate work (which raises the chances of error). Companies can also use the information to spot opportunities that might not otherwise become visible. Working with a single platform ensures that customer issues don’t get lost or delayed, and that agents aren’t unknowingly working against one another. If all channels feed into the same customer support software, according to TeamSupport, then all managers need to do is train the agents on that software rather than a multitude of different solutions according to channel, work group, product line or any other way customer service can often break down. This applies in particular to self-service channels, which are increasingly the channels of choice for many b-to-b customers who would simply like to find answers on their own.
“Gone are the days of siloed or tiered customer support, successful organizations can and must collaborate - across systems and departments - to truly enhance the customer experience,” wrote TeamSupport’s Laura Ballam (News - Alert) in a recent blog post.
In a scattered environment with multiple solutions serving multiple channels, support agents can never be certain if they’re servicing customers to the best of their ability. And mystery, while it may be great in fiction, isn’t a good feature for a business-to-business customer support team.
Edited by Maurice Nagle