Simple Ways to Fix Customer Service Issues Start with Cloud-Based Tools

September 07, 2016

By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer

There are very few businesses out there that actively desire worse customer service. Sometimes it might seem like that's the case, but generally most companies want better customer service as it improves the chance of return business. A new report from ServiceNow (News - Alert), meanwhile, shows us just what goes into the best customer service and how the use of enterprise cloud tools can help.

The best customer service starts with three key components: the best in problem solving, taking a collaborative approach to those problems, and allowing customers to solve problems unaided. The companies with customer service considered the best in the field are actually 163 percent more likely to not only identify the underlying cause of a customer service problem, but also fix that problem. Those companies are also 127 percent more likely to allow customer service to turn to different parts of the organization, or even look outside the organization to partners and suppliers to solve problems. Finally, these companies are 36 percent more likely to offer customers a “self-service” option, allowing customers to address some basic problems unaided.

ServiceNow general manager in customer service management Abhijit Mitra commented “Connecting customer service to the rest of the organization seems like a natural part of delivering superior customer service, yet a large percentage of companies are not doing this today. There is an immense opportunity in applying a service management approach to close that gap between engagement and resolution—and in effect prevent reoccurring issues.”

Rewards for the best customer service are substantial; 98 percent of said firms saw improved revenue, and 95 percent saw better customer loyalty, which represent two highly desirable outcomes. With these outcomes in mind, how does a company actually achieve these results? Focusing on collaboration and problem solving are important options, as are adding self-service options. These points are closely aided by the use of cloud-based systems allowing customer service agents to go beyond the various silos of information connected to individual departments and freeing up the flow needed to make contact.

Making information flow more freely though a company may seem counter-intuitive; we want information in as few hands as possible so we can best protect it from those who shouldn't have it at all. Yet by opening up information access, we offer new options for employees to make connections outside of the customer service department as well as offering some options that customers can access directly. Using enterprise cloud tools makes this process a bit simpler and a bit safer.

We all want protected information, but if we protect it too carefully, we render it unusable by anyone save a handful. If we open up that information a bit more, we present new options in customer service, and some great potential rewards.

Edited by Maurice Nagle