Who are you? The importance of cross-searching. Part 2 of 2

The point of the story, though, is that for some reason, the system at the company I called was not good enough to find out that I had called 10 minutes before, had explained my problem, and had been given a case number.

This is an example of the software not working for the company. The point of the software is that it should work for your benefit to make things easier for how you want to do them (not the software). You should purchase software that works for you and your customers. IT is a big part of customer service – the technical systems that allow representatives to deliver service are extremely important and can make a difference between effective and ineffective customer service. Use your IT resources to develop or purchase systems that will work for you.

Another thing you can do to make “cross-searching” more feasible is to make it a regular part of your system and operations. Instead of using ticket numbers, case IDs, etc., base your data on your customer. Ask them for their name, then their email address or telephone number. Then, when the customer calls, the representative can look at the account and say “I see you called us recently. Is this related to the issue you were having with your monitor?” instead of saying “Is this related to Ticket #92391-FJ-1382-UI7?” Using the customer’s name and email address, telephone number, etc. makes the experience far more personal (and easier for the customer) than ticket or case numbers. Customers have an easier time remembering their name and email address than a ticket I.

Train your employees to cross-search and base searches around the customer, instead of just ticket numbers or case IDs. They will get used it and may even prefer it over the previous system.

Plus, basing searches on the customer allows the representative to quickly look at the customer’s profile as a whole. The representative can easily see how many times the customer has contacted the company before, how big of a customer they are, any notes on the customer (upcoming events/occasions, etc.), etc. This allow the representative to better personalize the customer service experience for the customer, know how big of credits to give if necessary, whether the issue should be escalated right away, etc.

Now, should I start giving out reader IDs to everyone who reads Service Untitled?

By the way, I am looking to do a survey of my readers. If anyone works for or knows of a good (and free) service or company that makes a script that I could use to do the survey, please let me know by posting in the comments or emailing me (email address is on the about page). If you work for a company that does surveys, feel free to contact me and perhaps we could work something out. If the service or script is good, I am sure I will be using it in the future on Service Untitled as well as other projects.