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5 min read

The Best Customer Service Management Software Improves Customer Experience

By Staff Writer on 7/8/22 12:37 PM

Customer service management (CSM) software can provide an exceptional customer experience, eliminate manual processes, give you a competitive edge, and increase growth through renewals and retention

But choosing the right solution for your business can be challenging as most providers offer very similar features. Below, we explore the benefits of Customer Service Management software to help you choose the best CSM solution that fits your business needs.

Benefits of Customer Service Management Software

With a customer service management platform, your business will be able to offer a better customer experience which helps drive customer loyalty. Industry-leading CSM (Customer Service Management) software offers the following benefits:

  • More responsive and consistent support. Your team can spend more time helping customers and less time fighting their tools with dedicated support software features like automated workflows, tagging, knowledge base integration, and more
  • More effective collaboration. You can reduce duplicate work, keep track of customer inquiries, coordinate responses across multiple teams, and provide up-to-date information to your employees.
  • Better understanding of your customers. You can collect, organize, and use feedback, feature requests, bug reports, and use cases to increase customer satisfaction.
  • Analytics and Reportings. Using the software's built-in reporting tools, you can see changes in support volume, productivity, size, and type of customers.
  • Service scaling. Using organizational features, automation, and third-party integrations, you can manage multiple teams of agents to support an expanding customer base while maintaining high-quality service.
  • Self-service capabilities. Self-service portals collect relevant information and resources in one place and empower users to troubleshoot existing issues proactively. Self-service portals also offer ticketing capabilities and could serve as a knowledge management tool giving users access to relevant resources and self-help articles.

How to Choose the Best CSM Software

Selecting a software solution isn't like shopping at a convenience store. You have to be patient and dedicated. The same goes for picking the right customer service management software. If it doesn't work, you don't just return it for a refund or get a new one. Take your time and study carefully

An important thing to consider is whether a provider offers integration of their solution with your existing infrastructure. A cloud-based software-as-a-service CSM system offers you many more integration options via open application programming interfaces (APIs) compared to an on-premise version that is less agile.

To help you with this process, here are eight steps to choosing the best CSM software to boost your customer experience.

1. Understand your business requirements

Ask your customer service team what they like or dislike about their current tools. For example, teams using feature-heavy multi-channel tools for managing support must deal with complex interfaces, advanced features, and additional training. Most teams want software with a simple interface that helps them easily assign requests. Look at your goals; whether it’s improving customer NPS scores, reducing wait times, improving service levels or retention, it’s key to find out how to drive positive change from an operational perspective when looking for the best CSM software.

2. Research the tools that best suit your customers’ needs

Each business is unique and requires a different combination of tools to provide support and resolve issues. Evaluate how your customers want to interact with your service team. Determine how you can add more value to the process and speed response times. Ask yourself if you have the information and tools you need to resolve many customer queries immediately. The tools available include phone, email, live chat, social media, FAQs, and community forums.

3. Get to know the different types of software

It's essential to think about the kind of solution your business needs. Pick an all in one vs. best of breed. You need a solution that lets you integrate different channels into one place. Best-of-breed solutions are cheaper if you only need a couple of service channels. Also, they're easier to use, and you don't have to pay for tools and services you don't need. For larger teams where there are other business units that have their own comprehensive solutions, integration with those systems is key to success.

4. Review software features

You should focus only on the features you need, not the ones most companies advertise. Factors you should consider include the software’s limit on the number of users, ease of use, scalability, customizability, and third-party integration options. Then, develop a plan that includes the set of features that best fits your needs.

5. Consider return on investment

After narrowing down the customer service software you want, it's time to determine which one has the best return on investment (ROI). You shouldn't skimp on customer service software. You should spend the money to get the solution that will give you the most value for your company. For example, suppose you can improve customer retention by 10% and that’s worth $1 million to your business. In that case, spending $50,000 on a solution is probably a good investment compared to other solutions, such as hiring more customer success managers.

6. Read the reviews

You should read online software reviews before signing up. By looking at recent reviews, you can get a good feel for the customer service software's strengths and weaknesses and hear first hand from users of their products.

7. Take a software test drive

You can get free trials or demos from most software providers. Try out the software for free for a few days to see how it works and what features it has. Also, demos give you a glimpse into a software’s features and show you how to use them. The best vendors may provide a proof of concept that would allow you to configure the tool for specific needs and run it internally to determine fit.

8. Make a decision

After your test drive, you should consider what kind of support the vendor provides. If you are looking for best of breed, you should focus on an all-in-one solution that includes consulting services to help you with setup so you can get the best ROI. To ensure you are getting the right solution, you should ask the vendor if they can develop a proof of concept so you can decide if the solution meets your needs. Investigate if the vendor offers on-going support, so you don’t get stuck with a suboptimal solution. Once you are confident you have the right solution and vendor, it’s time to decide.

Try Vivantio

Now that you have gone through these steps, consider using Vivantio as your customer service management software platform. Vivantio's powerful platform can offer both internal and external customer service and support. We enable effortless operations through our service management solutions, empowering your teams to focus on elevating the customer experience for a future-ready business.

For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a unified service management platform. To find out how Vivantio can help you with the best CSM software for your company, contact our team today or register for a free demo.

Topics: Customer Service Management Customer Experience
1 min read

8 Reasons Why You Should Elevate Your Customer Experience Ecosystem

By Staff Writer on 10/18/21 5:51 PM

IT professionals have long envisioned the concept of a single view into one's company. This would:

  • Provide comprehensive visibility to virtually all data that touches any part of the customer journey and
  • ensure that systems across an enterprise are integrated to support business goals and metrics. 

Fortunately, this concept is available today for forward-thinking organizations that invest in a Unified Service Management Platform like Vivantio.

Here's 8 Reasons Why You Should Elevate Your Customer Experience Ecosystem and create a future-ready firm with a level of connectivity that gives service and sales teams a holistic view across their enterprise. 

For a PDF version of this infographic, you can click here. 

Vivantio8reasonsElevate

 

Are you ready to: 

  • better address all use cases?
  • track & report on the KPIs essential to improved service & sales?
  • tailor that service at the individual customer level?

Why not schedule a free demo of the Vivantio solution today?

FREE DEMO

 

Topics: Customer Experience Unified Service Management Platform ecosystem
2 min read

10 Ways to Align Your Teams for Optimized Service Management

By Staff Writer on 8/10/21 6:03 PM

The benefits of optimized Customer Service Management are becoming more widely understood every day. Of course, within any given organization, not everyone will recognize the value at the same time—in which case you may be interested in some communications tips we've seen from our clients.

Whether you're a C-level leader looking to rally your teams to investigate and adopt state-of-the-industry methods, or a CS/CX manager who needs to win support and resources from the boardroom, it's essential to have a strategy for communicating your vision and advocating for the action and resources required for success.

If you’re a Senior Leader looking to drive change...

  • Work to understand the reasons for current systems and processes—but quickly articulate your vision for the future state of your organization.
  • Stress that this effort has the attention of senior leaders, that the organization is counting on them, and that the required support for change is forthcoming.
  • Articulate your expectation for the solution, the implementation vendor/partner, and new capabilities you're looking to achieve.
  • Provide the appropriate guidance in sharing some of the benefits of Service Optimization (e.g. renewals/repeat business, customer retention, upsell/cross-sell wins, etc.)
  • Discuss the KPIs you expect to be tied to Customer Service and share current-state baselines as available. For KPIs that aren’t currently tracked, outline a method and timetable for discovering them.
  • Set an agile cadence for work periods, dependencies, and check-ins with the appropriate teams.


If you’re a Customer Service Leader looking to gain executive support...

Find a sympathetic Senior Executive (or two) and prepare these steps: 

  • Discuss how some enhanced Customer Service capabilities have been shown to improve critical business outcomes such as renewals/repeat business, customer retention, upsell/cross-sell wins, etc.
  • Try to discover what top management’s priorities are for the coming year or quarter and discuss how you think your team could contribute to advancing those goals.
  • Frame your discussion around those make-or-break business outcomes that are driven by customer satisfaction. Get people to appreciate the role you’re playing in the organization’s very survival.
  • Next, help inspire confidence that—with the right resources and support—you can deliver an optimized service organization built around a proven methodology and supported by technology that will demonstrate significant ROI.

Don't go it alone!

You can also enlist the help and experience of a proven solutions provider like Vivantio. Whether you want real-life examples and "case studies" that demonstrate optimized service environments, or just another voice "in your corner" to advocate for needed change, we have a lot of resources available to you. Speak to one of Vivantio's experts today to discover what's possible and how to frame a great strategy for getting your enterprise on-track.
Topics: Service Management service optimization Customer Experience communications strategy
1 min read

WEBINAR: Watch On Demand - Using FLEXBridge to Create the Future of CX

By Staff Writer on 6/1/21 2:16 PM

Today, every business is a service business. The future success of one’s business is tied to customer experience. Now available on demand, Vivantio Vice President of Technology Andrew Stevens presented a 35-minute webinar showcasing Vivantio’s new enhancement, FLEXBridge™, which allows for seamless integration with virtually every other essential tool for a complete customer experience ecosystem.

Watch it now on demand. 

As part of the complete customer experience ecosystem, Vivantio's Unified Service Management Platform integrated with FLEXBridge enables B2Bs to:

  • Gain comprehensive visibility into virtually all data that touches any part of the Customer Journey
  • Use no-code technology to simplify bi-directional data integration and mapping
  • Track and report on the KPIs essential to improved service
  • Tailor service provision at the individual customer level
Vivantio enables SMBs to deliver world-class customer service effectively, efficiently, and affordably to optimize customer satisfaction, retention and value.

 

Topics: webinar Customer Experience flexbridge
2 min read

Augmenting Customer Service and Success Creates a Customer Experience that Drives Growth

By Greg Rich on 5/26/21 12:59 PM

Meeting customers’ growing expectations while managing one’s business makes delivering sound customer service extremely challenging. Companies today must create a strategy centered around Customer Service and Customer Success in order to create a Customer Experience that generates business growth.

Defining the functions that revolve around the customer


Although they may sound similar, the following functions are not interchangeable:

Customer Service/Support
Customer Service or Customer Support is a reactive function. It focuses on helping customers solve immediate problems or manage requests for additional services such as products, features and licenses. Customer Service deals with customers who express emotions of anger or frustration. Following a positive Customer Service interaction, the customer will feel satisfied, valued and relieved.

Customer Success
Customer Success is a proactive function that helps educate customers about ways to garner further value from the products and services they use. The Customer Success team requires in-depth knowledge about the customers’ business, pain points and growth plans in order to align products and services. Customers may express negative emotions such as hopelessness, disengagement or apathy without the guidance of the Customer Success team. Interactions with the Customer Success team will lead customers to feel engaged, informed and confident. Customer Success is focused on building and maintaining long-term relationships.

Customer Experience
Customer Experience describes the interactive, end-to-end customer journey lifecycle. Indifference and lack of confidence or attachment are emotions that customers may feel prior to being introduced to the brand. Success in Customer Experience will make customers feel pride, advocacy and loyalty to the brand.

A People-Centered Approach


Augment Customer PNG3The Customer Service and Customer Success teams should work in harmony to garner a positive Customer Experience. All companies, but especially SMB B2Bs, should augment their Customer Service and Customer Success to drive meaningful, long-term business results. If a customer has a positive support experience, it promotes a good working relationship with Customer Success. Likewise, if a customer receives proactive updates about how to maximize value, they feel supported and are more willing to engage with their Customer Service Management (CSM) teams. Customer Experience is a predictor of revenue, which showcases how important it is for driving growth.

Utilizing Service Optimization to Drive Growth


While 89% of CEOs believe they now compete on service, only a fraction have embraced Service Optimization, which allows businesses to glean coherent insight and use the most efficient processes and information—across all disciplines and teams—to provide business efficiency and optimal service delivery.

Service Optimization means that companies place customers at the center of a unified platform. This forces the business to consider the value of the end-to-end Customer Experience. Self Service, like one of the many features found on the Vivantio platform, is one way to augment Customer Experience as it sits at the intersection of Customer Service and Customer Success. It allows businesses to easily keep track of certain types of requests and the amount of tickets flowing through to keep customers engaged and happy. In addition, a unified platform that utilizes Self Service allows companies to connect with customers during an issue, provides insight into products and services and drives a better, more meaningful Customer Experience.

To get started in Service Optimization, companies should look at all the touch points that a customer has, both inwards and outwards, to see how the Customer Experience can be enriched, service can be personalized and sales activities become predictive.

To learn how to apply Service Optimization to the latest evolution of business service, read Vivantio’s latest report.

Topics: Customer Service Optimization Customer Experience Customer Success
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