Make your systems work for you.

zwei fensterI got an email from the head of customer service at today letting me know about how they recently redesigned their main internal system and made it so it focuses more on customer service and the customer service experience. Having systems that work for you (instead of systems that make you work for them) is absolutely critical to customer service success.

More and more businesses are getting more and more reliant on technology to help them on a day-to-day basis. I work almost exclusively with technology/Internet companies in the work that I do, so my point of view is admittedly biased, but even with that in mind, it’s impossible to deny that customer service and technology are at least somewhat linked.

What happens to a lot of companies is they buy or build expensive software that ends up causing a number of problems for customers. “The system won’t let me do that” is probably one of the worst excuses any customer service representative can give to a customer and should be avoided at all costs. Any system you use should be specifically designed to help customers and to ensure that the customer (service) experience is as smooth as possible.

When you’re designing or buying back-end systems for your company, make sure they’re going to be able to suit your needs and that they’re flexible and extensible. I’ve always loved “notes” and similar features that let you add personal details about a customer and their relationship with your company. Other systems calculate the profitability levels of various customers. Some let customer service representatives know what the customer is and is not using and where any additional sales opportunities might lie.

What the systems need to do really depends on your industry, but make sure that any system you consider buying or building is going to be able to do what you need to do from a customer service perspective. There’s nothing worst than having the people, time, and skills to do some customer service “magic” and being stuck technology that just prevents it from happening.

photo credit: loop_oh