Focusing on the customer experience at a software organisation – from the service desk onwards
As a team leader, I always strive to build strong relationships between our team and our customers. That's done, in part, by making sure the software product is always up to standard, but that's not always enough. Customer success is incredibly relevant to the service your organization provides, through the service desk and to offer better services, you must know what your customer wants from you, and what you can do to make customer relationships successful.
To do this, consider the following three steps:
Map customer experience journeys
Providing the best possible experience means providing your customers with the best possible encounter with your service teams by first getting to know them. To do this, pay attention to your customer journeys. Their journey is every experience the user has with the service desk, like logging a ticket and waiting for a resolution.
When you map or understand this journey, you can consider ways to optimize this journey.
In my firm, we often take into account the support we provide our internal users then work on all possible interactions these individuals have with our service desk team and work on continuously improving the experience. For example, we have reviewed the journey that individuals encounter once their signature is put on a contract, and mapped out the best possible on boarding experience we can give.
Examine your touch points
The point of reviewing customer journeys is to be able to optimize every touch point. For my firm, that would mean a call to support. For service desks, this could be anything from a company wide email to the individual touch points of a complex change procedure. The point of this exercise is to look at things from the customer’s perspective and ask “how are we presenting ourselves here? How are we perceived?” Every touch point analyzed can help you gain important customer information, and what obstacles they face. For example, you can dig into your call closure data and analyze reoccurring themes in customer feedback, where such is given.
Engage and interview customers
Armed with data and information, you can also reach out to your actual customers and ask them what they would improve in their experience with you. Either in focus groups or with a survey of some kind, but the best is personal connection. It doesn't give the widest sample, but it gives the most detailed feedback.
At TOPdesk, for example, some members of our Netherlands team recently made an appointment with a user community in northern Holland. For us as a firm it was ideal because as a community they bring together different customers in varying sectors, meaning we received varied, but varied feedback. Through this one interaction, we learned a lot about different contact channels and new knowledge sharing opportunities which are helpful to improving our processes.
Likewise, if running a focus group at the service desk, it's great to bring in customers from different departments and different age groups. In education, for example, a long-term professor may have completely different requirements and understanding of quality IT service than a first year student, but both need to be provided with the same level of excellent service.
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