Food for Thought

Business Support

Your Customer Service Team Should Be in Every Strategy Meeting

It used to be that mistreated customers were often powerless to stand up to a large company or organization, but social media is changing that. Even one wrong move has the power to drum up a massive number of interactions on various platforms, such as the video of a man getting dragged off a United Airlines flight earlier this year. Most of the customers who post their gripes on social media aren’t interested in any sort of refund. In fact, Sprout Social reports that whistleblowing unfair practices are much more important to 80 percent of survey respondents.

Customer service interactions are some of the most loaded for a business. They have the capacity to earn lifetime customers or if handled poorly, a slew of public complaints that hurt business and tarnish the reputation of an otherwise upstanding company.

Which side would you rather be on?

 Decision validation

In traditional marketing textbooks, low-cost, immediate purchasing decisions were in a different category than the more complex and intensive buyer decision cycle. When Amazon entered the fray, everything changed. Now, the Pew Research Center points out that up to 82 percent of adults in the United States read online reviews from other customers at least some of the time — of that group, 40 percent report that they almost always do.

Related: Customer Service Is Ground Zero for Success

Percentages for Millennials are even higher, with only 4 percent claiming to never read reviews. Across demographics and at different purchasing levels, customers are looking for feedback on everything from the latest smart TVs to a new bar of soap.

Things that were purchased in stores just a few years ago needed to have the flashiest labels or the best product marketing on the shelf. The buyer journey has since changed, and businesses need to deliver accordingly. Instead of looking at the customer service team as a cost center that solves issues, companies should recognize it as the key to developing consumer intimacy.

Treat customers like family

Contrary to common belief, the best customer service isn’t about the customer always being right. It’s about adding as much value as possible to her purchase of your product or service, even when it means going far out of the way to make it happen. Treating customers like they’re family is a powerful way to win loyalty, and it goes a long way toward ensuring a company’s future is a bright one.

Customers today evaluate every aspect of a brand, going well beyond the products themselves to include how the service fares against the competition. Because of the hypercompetitiveness of the product market, especially in the technology sphere, brands are realizing that customer service is another way to outdo one another and win over more of the market. It’s not always easy, however, so here are three ways for businesses to incorporate customer service teams into their brand strategy:

1. Hire a chief customer officer.

While it’s tempting to take good individual contributors and promote them to a managerial role, they aren’t always the ideal choice. Instead, look for candidates who demonstrate good leadership skills and the capacity to motivate and engage a team.

And, according to a recent Nasdaq survey, the job of a CCO is not only becoming more prevalent, but it’s also becoming infinitely more important. The survey revealed that more CCOs today are responsible for what was once viewed as marketing key performance indicators. This includes indicators such as search rankings, which 65 percent of CCOs are responsible for; content marketing at 57 percent; web traffic at 65 percent; and customer loyalty at 56 percent.

It’s evident the role is necessary — even the big guns like Mars and Johnson & Johnson have recently hired a CCO and found success doing so.

2. Synergize product development and customer service efforts.

Customer service representatives know customer pain points more intimately than anyone else in the company because they’re the ones who deal with the complaints on a daily basis. Loan some of your veterans to the product development team, and you can eliminate problems at the source.

Similarly, leadership should be interacting with the customer service team on a regular basis. Ask team members for feedback, and find out what makes their jobs more difficult. When representatives are frustrated, so are customers.

3. Correlate executive goals and compensation with customer satisfaction.

Incentivize the information sharing described above to ensure the lines of communication between leadership and employees remain open and the latter remain engaged in their work. Paying leadership based on overall customer satisfaction will also lead to a sharp upward trend in company ratings — just as many sales employees operate on a commission basis, the same can be done for customer service representatives. Giving the whole team a goal to work toward will ensure the highest level of cooperation and engagement — and the happiest customers.

Customer support services

Customer Experience & Simplicity in Technology: How Design & Quality Influence the Base

Why is simplicity so important?

Global brand strategy and experience firm Siegel+Gale completed their 7th annual Global Brand Simplicity Index study, which is designed to achieve three things:

  1. Understand the impact of simplicity on consumer behavior and firm performance;
  2. Determine which brands and industries create the simplest experiences;
  3. Figure out which top brands use simplicity to drive disruption

The findings are summarized on Forbes’ CMO Network, with the top 10 brands in this year’s study being:

Customer Support Services

If this was my list, I wouldn’t have included McDonald’s or KFC because of how unhealthy they are and the consequences for those who eat those brands. But I believe they made this list because of simplicity around their customer experience and cost structure, so I understand. I myself wouldn’t have included them.

I was maybe a little bit surprised that more enterprise tech companies weren’t on this list, at least near the top (the only ones here are really Google, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube), in other regions Microsoft, Facebook, and some other tech and electronic companies as GE, Samsung and Paypal and even Apple were far from the top but in the list. In this list, there’s a huge amount of food retails but that makes sense because they absolutely need to deliver great, simple humanized customer experience to get repeat business. Retailers often have it easier designing simpler experiences. But for me is a surprise to see the German chains Lidl and Aldi at the top of the list. Yes, they deliver very simple experiences, but almost without any aspect of a great customer experience here in Germany and around the globe.

Somehow we need to change the mental models of connecting enterprise technology and solutions with the word complexity. Companies like SAP, Dell-EMC, Salesforce, Microsoft, Sprinklr, Lithium, Software AG,IBM, Adobe, Tableau, Genesys, SaS Analytics,  Nice Systems, and others should be regularly appearing on lists such as these, since they are trying to turn complexity in simplicity, and is not a real easy task as you may know in  the enterprise technologies sectors.

Some of the bigger statistics that Siegel+Gale found are important to understanding, including:

  • 64% of consumers will pay more for simpler experiences (46% U.S.A., 48% Germany– but much higher in countries like India, at 92%, and China, at 85%)
  • 61% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simpler to use
  • A stock portfolio of companies from these simpler brands outperformed major stock indexes by 330%
  • When your experiences are too complex, an average enterprise brand can leave an estimated share of $86 billion on the table

Now, obviously different regions are used to different kinds of complexity in their products — and each country in surveys like this is unique, in terms of customer experience around services and business as a whole. Look at China as an example. A company like WeChat is a very simplified experience as a complete cockpit of the western world separated social media all conjointly. Other companies, like Huawei (building amazing things) and Alibaba, are very easy to use and understand. This is all based on persons mental models,  and perception, obviously, what is easy for you doesn’t necessarily make easy for others and vice versa. We can’t generalize from one survey, no. But in almost every region on the globe, the simpler products are out-performing the more complex ones. And there are billions of dollars at stake here.

As we know from our last article, complexity should be avoided, and especially in hardware, software, tech user-centered design, customer experience, and services. In any sector, this is the key aspects of loyalty, customer success, adoption, referrals and ultimately revenue generation.

Now we know a bit more that we should avoid complexity, and we have basic statistics on how important simplicity is to a business.

What is simplicity exactly?

To me, simplicity means a demonstration of features, functionalities, processes, governance, and design which are really necessary. They need to be there, the end user understands their role, and they make the experience better.

We also know that in some sectors complexity is part of the daily life, whether we like or not. Note Amazon’s front end interface — what you see when you order anything as a customer —  looks easy and very simple for us. However in their back office, they use a series of very complex algorithms and process to make all easier for us humans, the complexity is so big in essence that enables them delivery an unique hyper-personalized experience for each of us. Amazon is focusing in provide us the right visibility, that is perceived as easy to use or I would say the essence of minimalist experience toward simplicity, even though takes a lot of human centricity design effort from their teams. The #UX and great user interfaces or (UI) design that they are developing, create this unique thing, that we all call  “ The Amazon experience”, which many people around the globe think is among the best of the best, if not the top.

The simplicity or Amazon should also be found or applied to enterprise technologies for user and customers. Therefore and not by coincidence as previously mentioned SAP the big German tech giant, created a division in Berlin to solve those problems and make it simple. Simple sells, simple engage and simple, actually ensure people and companies successful outcomes and that is the way we all want to be even in complex solutions.

The simpler design, human-centric world enables us humans to engage with your enterprise technology in an easy way. So how are you planning to transform your technology in your organization to be nicer to work with?

Aspire to a non-complex world.  To create the right usability and solutions for your customers that they really need, starting with it is a good point of beginning. One good example is “The e-commerce  Zalando, here in Europe, they have simplified shopping to only 3 clicks almost maybe in the beginning a bit more.  Both Zalando and Amazon’s intuitive user interface and experience and its speed and reliable delivery system are good examples, how to simplify in general.

How do we minimize complexity and arrive at simplicity, though?

You will need buy-in

Before we get to any specific examples, this should go without saying but it still must be repeated: you will need buy-in from the executive level to simplify your products and services. The main reason is logically budget and strategy. Without support at the budget-setting and approving level, you will encounter many challenges. This can be a challenge in different sectors that were born out of complexity. Bill McDermott, the CEO of SAP since 2010 understood that early on and as soon he becomes the CEO he also started a series of internal initiatives to make their solutions complexities,  much simpler creating the simplification unit in their Berlin office.

Martin Wezowski, Chief Designer, and Innovation is leading the initiative to simplify SAP. This is a large challenge for SAP, but they are delivering and enhancing their software’s customer experience and usability at a fast pace. Some sectors have such strict rules since they began that, it’s now hard for them to offer simple solutions and transform themselves in both (B2B and B2C). Whether B2B is your sector, it’s going to be a little bit harder to get the buy-in but you will get it as you create the right approach for your leadership.  The glass-half-full here is that technology often enables simplicity, and every week more human-centered designers are being trained to go and help companies with design thinking and crafting and developing better, more intuitive experiences. This is great for every sector — and remember, every sector needs simplicity in design, customer experience, and execution.

Source: eGlobalIs

Desktop Support

Field Techs are Driving the Customer Experience

“Customer experience” is in vogue again. Everywhere you look, there are articles and posts covering how companies can ramp up customer experience to generate more revenue.

And, to be fair, customer experience should always be in focus. As the economy swings back into hyperdrive, consumers are being bombarded with new and exciting offers – the kind that can get otherwise loyal customers to jump ship.

Retaining customers makes sound financial sense – acquiring a new one is five times more expensive than wowing an existing customer away from the noisy competitors and their splashy ads.

Improving the customer experience is a great way to retain your best customers.

Hands down, the best way to retain your customers is by finding ways to make their experience with your products and services hassle-free and completely satisfying. In the world of technology, customers always remember when things go wrong.

Customer disappointments can become a customer experience highlight reel.

Everyone understands that technology likes to act up from time-to-time. How many times has your laptop suddenly run out of charge right before an important presentation, or a 6-hour flight?

For telecoms, the stakes are even higher. Right before a huge pay-per-view fight, the node goes down – and everyone on the block is left without cable. Or a misguided neighbor decides to try their luck at edging their lawn – right next to where the buried cable lines are.

The way to win, in these moments, is to deliver fast, competent help. From the moment your customer service center gets the call, there’s a timer running. Your customer will judge you based on how quickly you respond. And an appointment sometime between next week and next month isn’t going to cut it.

New platforms can provide on-demand, highly-skilled help

Companies can leverage technology to deliver better experiences. For instance, FieldEngineer is one platform that tech companies are using to help shorten the gap between problem and solution. By allowing companies to access on-demand talent, with the skills and experience necessary to complete technical assignments, telecoms and other tech players are dramatically improving customer experience, without the overhead of a traditional (old school) global support team.

The ability to choose assignments dramatically improves the employee experience as well. And, it turns out, happy team members help to deliver an even better customer experience. It’s service with a smile for the digital age.

Freelancing Field Techs solve more than a budget challenge.

There’s a real shortage in the industry. Fifty-five percent of telecoms report that they are struggling to fill open positions. This means that customer service is directly impacted, as in-house tech teams are stretched to the breaking point.

As large firms continue to engage contract firms to help solve customer-facing issues, there are still times when the sheer need of customers facing service outages is overwhelming. Add into this a labor shortage and a disconnected customer service process, and you have a perfect storm for customer disappoints.

It’s exciting to see the gig economy expand into the tech sector. Yes, technology has always supported the gig economy – if you think Uber is a cab company, guess again. But, it’s only in recent years that the freelance marketplace is expanding into more skilled arenas – the kinds of jobs that keep the technology running and evolving.

Having platforms find ways to provide quality service contracts, on-demand talent that’s available locally on a nationwide basis, and who are fully connected to the rest of the business deserves some serious applause. For telecoms, it means a better customer experience and a real opportunity to hold the competitors at bay.

 

Source: Salesforce

AI Automation

Let’s Not Scared of AI: Why Customer Service Teams Should Welcome The Technology, Not Fear It

The robots are coming! At least, that what people seem to think. In fact, a recent Pew study found that nearly three-quarters of Americans (72%) are worried about a future where artificial intelligence technology will completely take on human tasks — stealing their jobs and livelihood. While this apocalyptic view has garnered a lot of media coverage and social conversations, people aren’t acknowledging the major advancements and progress this technology has sparked in our hyper-digital world.

In the customer service industry, specifically, this technology has quickly become a major part of how brands support their customers. While many people would assume that this also means they’re replacing human representatives, the truth is that this technology is actually helping customer support agents to be more productive, engaged and overall happier employees. Here’s how AI-driven virtual assistants do it:

Taking on the easy questions — and leaving the rest to the pros

Yes, one of the main benefits of AI-driven virtual assistants is that it provides a new channel for customers to ask questions and get faster responses. But the bigger benefit here is for live agents. Specifically, when a volume of simple customer queries come in around shipping processes or new products a retailer is selling, they can eat up a live representative’s day and, ultimately, make their work feel repetitive and unfulfilling.

By implementing chatbot technology to take on these quick questions, live agents are able to focus their full attention on those more complex customer situations that require the human touch. This not only means that customer support agents are focusing on high-value activities, it ultimately creates more engaged workers who have a sense of purpose in their jobs.

Providing an internal resource to ensure consistent support everywhere

Chatbots works great as an external, customer-facing tool — but their smarts seamlessly translate into an intelligent internal resource that helps customer service teams offer consistent and cohesive support. Specifically, by implementing virtual assistants internally, agents can use the technology to get up-to-speed on new company policies or processes, and therefore ensure they’re providing the most up-to-date answers to any customer question. This way, no matter which touchpoint a customer is on or who they are speaking with, they will receive a consistent customer experience.

By equipping a chatbot with innovative AI technologies, support teams can provide a new level of service — providing a channel to seamlessly share insight on specific customer history, or previous interactions to ensure the agent has all the information they need to get a customer’s situation solved. As an internal tool, chatbots augment customer service teams’ ability to provide stellar support.

Helping business understand where they’re falling short

We know chatbots are a great tool for internal and external use cases — but they can also help companies understand customer service performance. With knowledge management capabilities, chatbots have the distinct ability to pinpoint specific customer questions that aren’t receiving relevant or accurate responses — and therefore create frustrated customers. These tools create a new channel to understand where a company’s support is lacking and, in turn, prompts CX managers to make immediate improvements. This becomes a process of continuous improvement, where a focused knowledge management system can answer a wide variety of questions and new issues that pop up are quickly identified and addressed.

For customer service managers who are trying to win over anxious employees, the proof is in the pudding. With so many valuable use cases for AI-driven virtual assistants, managers will not only get their CX teams on board with the technology, but they’ll become happier and more productive workers with these tools at their disposal.

Source: Nanorep

Business Support Services

When Customer Service Creates Customer Validation

Many people think of customer service as a department. If you’ve been following me, you’ll know my belief is that customer service is a philosophy, not a department. It should be embraced by every employee, regardless of their job and how long they’ve been there. With that said, the focus on this topic is on what many consider to be the customer service and support department – the people who have contact and interaction with the customer.

Direct interaction can come in many forms. It can be the traditional customer service team who fields questions and complaints. It can come through a customer simply calling, for any reason, to connect with someone inside the company. The customer may reach out to the company via social channels, a website, a text message – really any interaction with the company.

So here is the big question to ponder: Does your company just answer questions and manage complaints, or do they validate the customer’s decision to do business with you?

In other words, when the interaction with the customer is over, does the customer think, “I love doing business with this company”?

Now, that makes common sense, but here is where some companies get it wrong. They focus on metrics – or should I say, the wrong metrics. Metrics are important, as they can tell a big part of the story. If one of your key metrics is about getting the customer off the phone as quickly as possible, however, you could be shortsighted.

The best customer support does several things. First, it answers the customer’s question. Second, it gives an opportunity for the service provider to make suggestions, answer future questions the customer may have (but, doesn’t know it yet), and more. This doesn’t happen if you’re trying to rush a customer off the call.

Customers will call for help and support – and even to complain. And, this is when the company gets to prove itself. Through an employee’s knowledge, communication skills, patience, willingness to help, and ability to build rapport, he or she can ensure the customer is not only happy but has also made the right choice. In other words, validate the reason a customer chose to do business with the company in the first place. But, that can’t happen if efficiency is how you measure success. Instead, the focus should be on the customer’s level of delight and willingness to want to do business with you the next time they need whatever it is that you sell.

Validation needs to be a part of the customer experience. It creates confidence, and that can lead to loyalty!

Credit: Hyken.com

Types of computer Viruses

Various Types of Computer Security Threats, Warning and Risks

We work day and night with computers and sometimes we keep our computers online for 24 hours. In these hours, you access your bank’s, inbox, submit credit card info to various forms, access multiple types of websites [Redirections too from extensions and more]. Have you ever imagined if your computer is using what kind of cookies and data to access the page which is being sent by the server? Or have you ever thought what if all your system’s registries are factory managed? A few days back, social site Facebook was serving some unwanted content that you don’t want to see intentionally. Why was it happening? Facebook clarified on that don’t click on any link which is not known to you or the person who sent you is not in your connection. This is because of security and malware threats. We will see various kind of security threat, computer viruses and more.

1. Trojan. Trojan or Trojan horse is 1 of the most complicated and problematic threats among the all. Most of the popular banking & financial threats come from the Trojan family such as Zeus and SpyEye. It has the ability to hide from antivirus scanning or detection and steal crucial banking information to compromise your account. If the affected virus Trojan is powerful, it can breach your whole security system as well. As a result, a Trojan can cause many types of damage starting from your own computer to your banking account.

2. Virus. A computer virus is a program or piece of code written with a purpose to destroy a computer. It’s mostly used for a revenge purpose.

3. Worms. 1 of the most harmless threats where it’s program designed only with a purpose to spread. It does not alter your system to cause you to have a nightmare with your computer, but it can spread from one computer to other computer connected to a network or with the internet.

4. Spyware. Is a Malware which is designed to spot on the victim’s computer. If you are infected with it, probably your daily activity or certain activity will be detected by the spyware and it will find itself a way to contact the host of this malware.

6. Keylogger. There are certain types of programmes which are created for the purpose of keeping an eye on input key logged in by the user. If you have used your banking sites, you might have noticed there are some virtual keyboards to protect you from the keylogger to protect your secrets/credentials.

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