Running a successful business is attaining a delicate balance between economics and operations by trial and error. And easier said than done, attaining that balance is a constant struggle to identify costs that can be curtailed in order to balance the rising expenditures for running functional operations adhering to a basic standard.
However, while pursuing this surge of constantly balancing returns over investment, it is absolutely essential not to forego investments in bare essentials which cannot be overlooked while proceeding to build a sustainable eco-system for business. When working in the customer support area of industry, there is a constant challenge of imposing limitations in every aspect to ensure a certain return on investment. However, no cost cutting is feasible when implemented at the cost of the hampering or hazarding the efficiency and productivity of functional operations.
After all, in a customer service oriented industry, the foot soldiers, or the support executives are the strongest pillars that hold up the rest of the workflow. It is the support executives who are responsible for burdening the brunt of the major chunk of the work in the process critical to sales and turnover. So there can be no unnecessary or curtailable costs in the sphere of their operations. If anything, there should be additional support provisions to ensure ease of work and convenience in multi-tasking, so that there is increased efficiency contributing to improved productivity.
Are you actually generating revenue while creating roadblocks for your organization’s lifeline? The customer support representatives whereas investing in their efficiency can result in manifold profit and exponential productivity in the near future. Investing in a software system to integrate customer information and service inputs provided is a great way of centralizing the work process instead of overloading e-mail inboxes and depending on individual expertise to run the show.
Even if you are confronted with budget issues, allocating spends for a centralized software system to integrate and align work-related information and store them at a central database that can be separately accessed by every support representative is a long-term investment and not actually an expenditure. Moreover, with the latest cloud-based technology, support software are far more affordable, getting a customized version for your team is not a major expenditure you are looking.
If you need more convincing that you are in dire need of a customer support software for this process, below are some pointers you should go through, that should help you arrive at a cemented conclusion.
1. The process lacks a centralized setup or space, like a common system to access and record information regarding customer details and data recording customer interactions
As discussed and brought up in conversation earlier, the work process needs to be centralized and set up such that it is accessible by every person involved in a separate console, regardless of other executives accessing the same information from their systems. This not only promotes transparency but centralized information storage and documenting process which is not dependent on any particular individual for functional operation and accessibility. This can be enabled by having customized help desk software that allows storage and recording of segregated information under various categories and can be accessed separately by different individuals from their respective systems without disrupting workflow. This way everyone is up to date regarding developments at work.
2. Every agent has ownership of an area or aspect of data and knowledge that none other can access without the corresponding owner’s intervention or approval
Like mentioned above, dependability needs to be completely obliterated in a successful working system. There can be restricted access areas, however; dependability is not conducive to the growth and development of a flexible work environment. No single person is indispensable to a working system and a sudden unavailability of a certain individual should not create a repercussion of holding up the entire process at ransom. There can be certain areas which are restricted to unauthorized personnel on the same centralized help desk software, making certain areas and the information they contain accessible only to higher management or personnel with relevant credentials. Implementing such filters and eradicating dependability is only possible with the implementation of a central software system to control everything from logging in working hours of every agent to user information and interaction details.
3. Customer interactions and details are manually recorded in Excel Sheets in your work process
If your workplace has a dedicated system only for storing innumerable documents pertaining to customer interaction and recording and documenting their sensitive information, if you still encourage an atmosphere where your agents are saving call interaction on excel sheets while rendering support to customers, you are the actually contributing to your team’s reduced productivity. Such a working mechanism is not conducive convenience or ease of work or accessibility of work-related knowledge and hampers efficiency, expedites stress and exhaustion and affects productivity by unnecessarily overworking support staff.
4. Reporting and compiling data is a dreaded and time-consuming exercise that involves too many touch points and data centers
Building upon the previously stated drawbacks and shortcomings, compiling reports and fetching data is a manual exercise that is a dreaded period of every month as it requires immense effort and scrutiny to pull out data and then compile them in corresponding reports to display a comparative understanding. This is another wasteful exercise leading to waste of time and unnecessary incremental effort hampering eventual productivity when it should be a completely automated process offering finished reports to be downloaded for perusal and validation. Investing manual effort in preparing reports in this age and day is just not an acceptable practice and could be the root of downfall.
5. You don’t know what’s happening with your customers
In the absence of centralized help desk software, higher management is dependent on a resource lower down the hierarchy to summarize a collective update on daily proceedings, who in turn are again dependent on another team member to collate the data for the same. This entire vicious cycle and practice of creating dependence need to be obliterated. Importance needs to be created on the basis of contributions to the growth of the company and not by imposing dependence. In the absence of a central data center and centralized system updates without depending on anyone particular to commence proceedings, the system is in a state of confusion rather than being a connected mesh and the higher management has no clear picture on the day to day progress of the process.
6. Support Executives and Representatives Are Stressed & Overworked
Investing support representatives’ efforts in unnecessary manual exercises when their operations need to be aided by ease and convenience are getting them overworked and stressed for not achieving goals due to distractions in other exercises, thereby eventually affecting productivity. Such a working atmosphere is not reflective of employees being motivated at work and the direct consequence of such a state is stagnation of growth of the business process.
7. Loss of Business Due To Unhappy Clients
All the above-mentioned scenarios are continuity ripple effects with one event paving the way or commencing the next event all boiling up and leading to a suffering business, what with unhappy clients and lack of a proper direction to move towards. Without identifying the root cause and proceeding to address it with a suitable antidote, the infection will spread through the entire system eventually, rendering the entire system plagues and crippled and unfit for conducting further business. Without any consumers to provide customer support to, no business can continue.