Like many growing companies with limited budgets, the one I used to work for held annual customer events in open spaces at our office. Customers were excited to meet members of the team; two people in particular were at the top of their list – Eric, the CTO and Cole, the favorite customer service and support person.
That might seem like a strange combination at first. Eric was a company executive and the source of the company vision; however, it was Cole who most customers interfaced with on a regular basis. Why did one guy get so much attention? Because to them Cole was the man with the answers. It didn’t matter if the question was big or small – Cole would explain the solution. They could have any problem with the product and Cole knew what to do.
Was Cole Superman? When something important was on the line, solving customers problems saved their day, and in that moment, yes, he was their Superman. Cole knew the products really well, but he also had a good customer service software helping him out. He had correct answers pre-written to all the frequently asked questions. He could search all historical cases to see if the problem ever existed before. With the system he could keep track of tons of open and closed cases across the entire customer base knowing the status of any of them in seconds.
Even with great tools, one support person can only scale so far. Therefore when the customer base grew so did the customer service team. And with the support application, new team members got up to speed fast and provided great answers just like Cole. By sharing the information across the team, they maintained great service and got smarter together as new issues popped up with each new product. Every customer felt special in their hands. Brendan and Phil even eventually got their own set of customer fans.
Customer service people that are right for your company can be really hard to find. And when companies take off and grow rapidly the support team can’t address the problem by adding people alone. Support needs other tools to help them scale quickly and effectively. Two of the most powerful tools in service automation applications are knowledge bases and community forums. Not only do they dramatically scale a support system they provide opportunities for users to interact with each other making their experiences with your product even more rewarding.
Knowledge bases allow answers to be searched and found by all community members. Customers quickly find solutions themselves, particularly for the frequently asked questions, which reduces the support team’s load and allows them to focus on tougher issues. Community Forums allow customers to support each other with solutions and suggestions. While some want to hear an ‘official’ voice, they also like to hear from customer experts. A forum allows for both; questions posed to the forum can be answered by anyone including customers, Cole, and the rest of the support team.
Given their use of all aspects of the customer service automation software, it is not surprising that the company had an incredibly high loyalty rate. When people moved on to new jobs, they would bring their favorite products into their next company. They became repeat buyers and product evangelists because they loved the company product and vision, they loved the customer service, and they loved doing business with Cole! This is another example showing good customer service is rewarded with increased company revenue.
Dell Cloud Business Applications can help scale your customer service organization and empower the Coles in your company to provide excellent customer service and support through its service automation software. To learn more about this product or any of the business applications in the Dell Cloud Business Applications family please visit: www.dellcloudapplications.com.
Note: Names have not been changed so that great customer service people like Cole, and his support teammates Brendan and Phil, receive some well-deserved recognition for their contributions to create positive customer experiences that support customer retention rates and recurring revenue.