Top tips for improving customer service using a service desk

Eric Anthony

With all the tools and technology at the fingertips of IT service providers today there is less and less differentiation with regards to technical ability and availability of features. What then is the factor that makes a business owner or manager choose one service provider over another?

"3 out of 5 Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience." - American Express Survey, 2011

Excellent-Customer-ServiceCUSTOMER SERVICE will always be a contributing element of any successful business. Even using the exact same tools and the exact same processes one MSP can excel over another by providing better service. So if technical ability and value-added features are equal, what are customers looking for in terms of customer service when choosing a managed service provider?

  1. They want to feel heard. The first thing a service provider can do is respond to the customer quickly. More importantly, the technician should reiterate back to the customer what the issue is to make sure the customer knows they are understood.
  2. Make the customer part of the process. Give the customer access to view the status of their tickets, who is working on them and what the resolution is when the problem is resolved.
  3. Do everything quickly. Respond to, assign people to and resolve problems efficiently. Don't sacrifice speed for quality but don't make them wait unnecessarily either.
  4. Do it right the first time. The only thing worse than doing it too slow is doing it wrong.

So the question now becomes how to deliver a better experience in terms of the four items listed above? PROCESSES. Processes allow you to measure the things that matter and duplicate yourself to scale the business up. The key to good processes is to automate them as much as possible. An application like GFI MAX ServiceDesk can automate many of the tasks necessary to maintain excellent customer service regardless of the amount of work thrown your way.

Making customers feel heard

Nothing makes people feel "warm and fuzzy" than knowing that they have been heard and that someone understands their problem. The ServiceDesk application accomplishes this in two ways. First it automatically confirms upon receipt, a new ticket or incident from a user. Even though we all know it is an automated email it is still a mental relief knowing that the ticket was received and posted correctly. Second it provides an avenue for technicians to be notified of a new ticket and quickly respond via email or the ServiceDesk interface reiterating the original request and asking for clarification or additional information when needed. It also maintains a complete history of both sides of the email conversation ensuring that it can be reviewed at any point by any technician with access to that queue.

Making customers a part of the process

Another important part of the customer service process is empowering customers to initiate the support process, follow up on progress and possibly even solve their own issues. ServiceDesk does this in a variety of ways. First, users can initiate tickets via email, the customized web portal, the System Tray icon application or Twitter. Giving customers many avenues for creating an incident allows them to use whichever is most comfortable for them.

Be more efficient

Increasing speed without sacrificing quality is called efficiency. Your technicians can be more efficient when they have information at their fingertips. Knowledgebase articles, asset/configuration information and ticket histories eliminate redundant work and save time by all being within one application. Through the effective use of ticket queues technicians can collaborate on tickets creating even more efficiencies. To make sure that you and your organization are up to speed, use the SLA functions within ServiceDesk to maintain proper timing and to generate alerts when tickets are about to breach acceptable limits.

Delivering top quality solutions

All of the rest of it is worthless if you cannot solve the customer's problem. Listening to the customer and responding back to them to make sure you understand their problem is the first step. Making sure you have all the right information about the devices, users and software involved is also key. Finally verifying with the customer that the solution is complete and fully documenting that solution is also critical. That way if the same or similar issue comes up again you can resolve it even faster. Better yet using a remote management tool like GFI MAX RemoteManagement, you may be able to fashion a permanent solution to keep the issue from happening again or be able to implement an automated script that resolves the issue when it occurs.

"Best in Class" service builds customer loyalty, spreads by word of mouth and makes your managed services business more efficient. Utilizing ServiceDesk brings together the functions of communication, knowledge and efficiency to help you provide that level of service and grow your business.

If your considering a service desk tool to help you improve customer service why not check out our white paper to help you get your service desk in place quickly and easily? – 7 key Considerations to Help get Your MSP Service Desk Up and Running – Fast!