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As Customer Expectations Continue to Rise Organisations Need to Improve Support Processes or Be Left Behind.

Customer expectations have been on the rise for some years. Amazon and the like have made immediate communication and resolution…

As Customer Expectations Continue to Rise Organisations Need to Improve Support Processes or Be Left Behind

21st December 2023

Customer expectations

Customers are expecting immediate resolutions of issues but with manual handling slowing up processes more must turn to automation 

Howard Williams, Commercial Director, Parker Software

Customer expectations have been on the rise for some years. Amazon and the like have made immediate communication and resolution an everyday experience. This expectation has transferred to all areas of customer/company interaction and anything, but a fast resolution can result in reputation and business loss.

Customers have always wanted a friendly, personal service, but now, thanks to the pandemic, new behaviours and technology have driven customer expectations higher and higher.

Research has consistently shown that customers share their bad experiences with family and friends and as a consequence they now have a very low tolerance for poor or slow customer service. Any delay in resolving an issue impacts the end-customer, but it also damages the reputation of the service provider, something which is difficult, if not impossible to claw back.


Traditional methods cannot cope with increased customer expectations

For larger companies, dealing with multiple incoming customer enquiries is a real challenge. Large numbers of incoming communications from customers, all of whom are expecting a near instant reply or resolution is placing a huge strain on organisations who are reliant on traditional methods.

When it comes to technical queries and complaints, these methods often rely on the issuing of support tickets which are tracked by the support system. A specific support technician then picks up the ticket and provides the customer with a course of action to follow to try resolve the issue. The ticket is left open until the technician follows-up to ensure that the problem has been resolved.

When a business is dealing with a large number of enquiries this process can take time to resolve as technicians are dealing with multiple tickets manually. This means that tickets can remain open for long periods of time, much to the dissatisfaction of customers- potentially impacting the reputation of the service provider.

As well as reputational damage, this process also means that the technician is ‘stuck’ on customer support and away from other business critical functions they could otherwise be undertaking.


Turning to automation to speed up processes and protect reputation

However, some organisations are turning to automation solutions to help speed up the process and bring in levels of previously unseen efficiency.

These types of solutions allow companies to re-engineer their support processes and alleviate resource challenges caused by more traditional approaches to customer service and the increasingly high expectations of customers.

Automation solutions can mean that when a support request comes in, customers are automatically informed that they will receive a follow-up within three days. These personalised follow-up emails are auto-issued after the auto-timeframe. Automation solutions can automatically interrogate each individual customer reply to see whether the ticket can be closed or whether it needs the attention from a technician.

This works on automated ‘if’ rules. If a reply contains ‘yes’, this triggers the system to write a text file containing a script. This then examines the database within the mainframe, allowing it to identify the ticket number and mark it as closed.

If there is no ‘yes’ then a different workflow runs. It will update the issue record and the technician can continue the standard support procedure until the issue has been resolved.

This is just one example of how automation can take the manual tasks currently sitting with technicians, freeing them up to deal with complex customer issues or other business critical tasks.

Automation can result in substantial time savings, reduced operational cost and more efficient customer support processes. Companies continuing to deal with customer enquiries manually, especially technical enquiries, will soon find themselves falling behind competitors.

Customer expectations have continued to rise over the past few years, and actually accelerated during and after the pandemic. They are not going to decrease and so companies need to get on top on how their customer services are operating. Integrating automation solutions can have a real impact on the ability of companies to deal effectively and efficiently with customer enquiries. By freeing up technician and customer support employee’s time, businesses can ensure that they are dealing with the most urgent or complicated customer issues.

Categories: Advice, Articles

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