Managing an IT budget is a daunting task where businesses need to always sustain the best workers, but the cost of keeping a group of experienced service experts should need attention. Especially when technology has become an integral part of every business, companies need to understand the importance of customer service and look for ways to improve their IT services and follow best practices for their overall business goals.
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Why is good customer service great for an efficient outcome?
Customer service departments are mostly known as “contact centers,” which contribute less to the company’s direct growth. But the truth is that customer service can have a direct impact on business outcomes. However, it costs money to run an experienced customer service team. At the same time, there could be a negative impact if there is no one to support your customers.
73% of consumers say a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalty. – PwC
Therefore, businesses focusing on providing good customer service will be successful in attracting more prospects, closing more sales, and retaining existing customers.
What is the cost per ticket?
At the time of a financial downturn, IT support is considered an additional cost in most organizations and is usually the first one to get a budget cut. Therefore, the IT support team must remain efficient even when IT spending is reduced. Cost per ticket is one of the key metrics that help the IT support team analyze their efficiency in handling support tickets within a given budget.
The right ITMS solution helps businesses create appropriate structures around the lifecycle of IT services. To reduce excessive costs on service desks without leaving an organization unable to respond to service requests from end-users, businesses need to work out the average cost of a ticket.
Businesses can bring the service desk cost down by looking at how their IT service desk collaborates with users while still ensuring that their users (whether customers or employees) can get back to productivity quickly.
Tips to Reduce Service Desk Costs
It is common for the customer service team to be on a tight budget. But that does not mean the team needs to compromise on the quality of the customer support. Here are tips to reduce service desk costs.
Hire and retain the right customer service professional
Hiring a customer service executive can be an expensive affair for any organization. An organization spends on outsourcing, eligibility tests, third-party background checks, referral rewards, job listing sites, etc.
The average business in the United States spends about $4,000 to hire a new employee and around 24 days to fill a vacant position. – Glassdoor Study
Therefore, if organizations need to keep their customer service costs down, they cannot afford to make any blunders. They need to hire people with the right experience, the right skills, and on-track motivation to support customers.
Move on to More Cost-Effective Methods
Today, customers prefer using multiple channels or methods whenever they seek any kind of support. Teleservices or phone support is good for clear communication, but it should not be the only communication channel from which a customer gets support. Let us assume a company offers phone support only, which means a support agent can manage only one customer at a time. In such a case, there will be a long wait time to speak to an agent.
There are chances that such a lengthy process might frustrate a customer, and there are high chances that customers will drop the service. On top of that, it is also expensive. However, to reduce the extra channel cost, organizations need to cut off expensive channels. For example, they can cut off teleservices and instead use advanced technology such as AI or use live chat, chatbots, or virtual agents.
“AI adoption is forecasted to surge by 143% over the next 18 months.” – Salesforce
Use a Help Desk Tool to Automate Workflow
To reduce customer service costs, organizations should automate the workflow and get other important things done in a short time. They can choose the right help desk software to automate most of their workflow and eliminate the need for manual tasks. This can be the best move that allows your team members to collaborate easily and enhance the team’s productivity.
Let’s see how help desk software automates everyday tasks:
- Automated ticket routing: with this feature, support staff does not have to load themselves with overload as automated ticker routing will automatically allot tickets as per the workload. Help desk software or tools automatically assign tickets to the agent who is most capable of resolving them.
- Canned responses: this feature can save plenty of time. Instead of typing a response to the same query, agents can choose an appropriate canned response, customize it a little bit as per the situation, and send it.
Proactively provide customer service
Proactive customer service helps organizations resolve problems even before customers reach out to them with queries or complaints through efficient problem management.
Organizations can reduce customer service costs by being proactive. Here is how:
- Using social media for important announcements: being proactive on social media allows customers to get important announcements, even about the latest software updates or new product launches. For example, a lot of brands use social media to share updates about their new software updates.
- Proactive emails: In addition, companies can send proactive emails to notify customers about scheduled maintenance, outages, and even sudden downtime. So, in that case, if a customer is not following you on social media, they will receive your email and acknowledge the same.
Make the Knowledgebase accessible and encourage self-service.
Knowledge is the most valuable asset for any company, and there is no point in keeping it to themselves. The more knowledge they share, the more knowledge their customers will get, and that will be cost-efficient as well.
A study conducted by McKinsey found that knowledge workers still spend 19% of their time searching for and gathering information.
That means organizations should allow their customers to focus on handling more efficient work rather than just searching for the right pieces of information through knowledge management. In such a case, if the organization has offered an efficient knowledge base, the customer will be able to resolve the basic issues such as finding the product price, return policy, troubleshooting, etc. by themselves. So, ideally, encouraging self-service will help organizations be able to reduce support tickets and lower customer service costs.
Reduce customer service costs while maintaining quality
As IT functions are increasingly embedded into the day-to-day operations of businesses, more organizations are choosing to adopt IT service management (ITSM) tools and best practices to meet the rapidly changing needs of the businesses they serve.
Some entrepreneurs think that if they cut down on costs, it will lead to a reduction in customer service quality. Well, they are not completely wrong. They can always modify their existing process or bring in advanced technologies such as AI-based help desks to save time, track productivity, and become more efficient. At the same time, some fixed costs cannot be changed. Nevertheless, there are certain ways for companies to offer exclusive customer service without affecting the quality of customer service.
When companies focus on more cost-effective channels such as chatbots, email, and knowledge bases, they are more likely to empower their employees to be more productive and focus more on valuable tasks. They will not get eye-catching results immediately, but gradually they will see positive results.