One of the differentiating factors that determines the success of a software support company is whether they provide a great service to their clients as key stakeholders in the company’s business model. In fact, it is highly unlikely that any business will succeed without establishing solid relationships with all their clients.
The second important element is that a company needs to ensure that it has strong, suitably skilled and high performance teams to enable great client service.
Paul Santaga, Head of Industry at Google believes that, “there’s no team without trust”. (They conducted a two year long team performance study and documented some interesting findings here.)
At OPENCOLLAB, we follow SEMCO principles and are highly driven by the SEMCO Pillar of Trust. We not only believe, but also trust that our teams are well positioned to deliver exceptional client support and great service.
So what are OPENCOLLAB’s top five tips to enable great client service?
1. Provide a clear communication mechanism
* The client needs to know exactly which channels are available to them in order to contact the support company.
* It can, of course, be email, Skype or (in our case) the OPENCOLLAB Service Desk where they can log a ticket.
2. Be responsive
* As soon as the client has reached out, the company needs to have a mechanism in place to acknowledge receipt of the communication.
* In the OPENCOLLAB Service Desk, for example, an automatic responder has been set up to notify the client that the issue has been logged and confirm the ticket number.
* Our clients have access to this at all times because the Service Desk is where the agent or team responsible for the issue will then provide regular and sufficient feedback.
* The client should never need to reach out and ask for a status of their issue as they would already have all the necessary information at hand.
* Pay attention to the client experience and make it easy for them to follow up if / when needed.
3. Provide an easy to use system to record all interactions
* OPENCOLLAB uses Jira Software & Jira Service Desk as our issue tracking solution where details of all our interactions are recorded.
* This solution assists in faster turnaround times on tickets and enables all teams to be agile while still following a workflow and process as defined in the software.
4. Deliver what you promised
* Service Level Agreements document what is expected between key stakeholders and all parties should be guided by this.
* It is however important that clear channels of communication between all parties are kept.
* Software support staff work in a highly pressured environment with very tight deadlines within project scopes at times. These may change from time to time and all role players need to know exactly what will be delivered and within what time frame – and then we need to deliver what we promised to do!
5. Follow up
* OPENCOLLAB follows an agile software development process and therefore also undertakes a retrospective look after each deliverable to evaluate what worked well and what can be improved.
* This has worked well in the past and is definitely a way to add to the feedback phase. (If it is relevant to them then some of this feedback can be discussed with the clients going forward too.)
* Finally, once the delivery is complete, it is a good idea to close the loop and check in with the clients to confirm that the delivery met their expectations and whether we can assist further.
“With three months into 2020 and the change of our collaborative support approach and methodology, it is with gratitude that I can provide feedback on the results of the various controls, additional quality assurance steps, swim-line steps, more communication, transparency, and collaboration.
The end result of the OPENCOLLAB deliverables is of high standard. Feedback from various stakeholders at the North-West University indicates that they are extremely satisfied with the outcomes with only limited minor comebacks. My appreciation to the whole team (including those on projects) that’s really doing their utmost best ensuring expectations and deliverables are met.”
– Mari Prinsloo, Director: Business System Development and Support, NWU ITC
Should you have any more client service tips or general feedback that you would like to share, please contact us at: Marketing Team