How many windows does it take to get to the center of a contact record? Cumbersome systems can push your CSR’s over the edge when it comes to good service.
If you have spent a decent amount of time in the customer support business as either a technician, manager, or divisional VP, you should be able to relate to the above statement on some level.
I can recall using one particular enterprise system (which of course shall remain nameless) that actually opened thirteen (yes 13) windows before I got the information that I needed. That did not count the ones that were online help!
Cumbersome systems can push your CSR’s over the edge when it comes to good service. Remember that these are people that are continuously beaten on a daily basis by customers and other dependent individuals – the very last thing they need is a system that is hard to use.
When looking for Helpdesk/CRM systems, very often the focus is on the relationship that the tool will create between you and your customers.
The truth of the matter is that while external capabilities and features are important, we often forget about the our own support staff in choosing a system that will help them be more productive as well as resourceful.
It is a given today that the most frequently requested capability is web access – some managers may disagree because of their preference for “in-office” support, but the majority of today’s professionals can be much more productive solving support issues anytime, anywhere using the power of the internet.
When it comes to CSR productivity, less is definitely more. Look for powerful feature that are clear, easy-to-use, and give back real value. Many CRM vendors sell on a feature basis, but who wants a system (and pay for it as well) where 70% of the functionality is never used?
Some good solid features and “must haves” to consider for CSR access:
- issue/ticket creation that includes automatic workflow defined by you
- cloning capabilities to initiate multiple tasks from one primary issue or ticket
- attachment capabilities, with binary storage to minimize database size
- activity management that is both system-driven and user-driven
- routing options, such as customer to CSR, company to CSR, product to CSR
- easy-to-use, yet powerful search capabilities for CSR’s
Likewise, there are feature that the outside world (customers and partners for example) should have as well, such as:
- issue or ticket creation that is clear, simple, and easy-to-use
- ability to (as warranted) show who the ticket has been assigned to
- ability to add attachments and activities
- knowledge base search
- field level security (blocking sensitive internal information on the form)
- password change capabilities
- ability to update personal contact information
- broadcast or news pages maintained by support
Additionally (and perhaps one of most important features) is the ability for a CSR to facilitate equal support capabilities through e-mail. This means that your tool of choice should have e-mail monitoring capabilities that will result in issue or ticket creation and maintenance as the result of incoming e-mail from your customers.
Ordinary e-mail communication between CSR’s and customers should post the same identical information to issue and ticket activities automatically, enabling the events to occur in a completely mobile situation without any detection.
Finding this combination of features and functionality is not nearly as difficult as it once was due to the many updates technologies that are being used today to create these systems.
About the Author
Leandro Goldberg is a blogger and CRM Advisor at Support Fusion.