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2 min read

B2B Customers' Best CSR? Themselves!

By Staff Writer on 7/6/21 4:39 PM

Let's start with two surprising statistics:

  1. Slow response is the #1 deal-breaker: In a recent survey of 1,000 B2B decision makers, lack of speed in interactions with their suppliers emerged as the number-one pain point (mentioned twice as often as price.)
  2. Today's B2B customers prefer instant DIY tools: Digital solutions loom large in executives’ thinking as a way to make routine tasks more efficient. Some 86 percent of respondents said they prefer using self service tools for tasks like reordering, rather than talking to a sales representative.

    Smartly leveraging all your data and content assets to optimize your customer service ecosystem

    To drive better engagement and truly transform customer experience (CX), it's critical to make as much helpful—and current—data-driven information available. (Ideally, in real time.)

    Customers will be happy to interact with premium content that you can deliver via self-service such as video presentations and training.

    Of course this means gaining secure and controlled visibility and access into enterprise solutions that live outside the traditional realm of Customer Service platforms.

    Expanding your customer service horizons to drive robust self-service options

    Tapping the power of a solution like Vivantio—supported by our FLEXBridge™ rapid integration platform—quickly connects your customers to vital real-time resources in a way that drives real customer satisfaction and instant self-service performance.

    How are you measuring up in the self-service evolution?

    Currently, there’s a wide spectrum of adoption of Customer Service Optimization powered by today’s best technology. This spectrum ranges from “pre-digital” organizations—all the way up to advanced CX practitioners who are leveraging the power of AI to anticipate the needs of their customers and head-off potential problems long before their customers become aware of them. (See table below.)

    Stages of service operations1

Determining where you are, today, and developing a strategy for advancement can be greatly assisted with the help of an experienced partner. Especially one who can share—and amplify—your vision.

If you're ready to accelerate your self-service efforts, speak to one of Vivantio's experts today to discover what's possible with a short timeframe and a reasonable investment.

Topics: Customer Self-Service service optimization CX Technology flexbridge enterprise service management
2 min read

When your Customer Service is Right, Sales Success Works at a Whole New Level

By Staff Writer on 5/17/21 12:15 AM

Not only is it easier for your team to sell (and cross-sell... and upsell) to satisfied customers, it's a whole lot more profitable—from 25% to 95% more, according the inventor of the Net Promoter Score, Frederick Reichheld of Bain and Company.

It's a phenomenon that makes intuitive sense, but it's even more impactful when you start looking at the numbers. Whether the KPI levers you're trying to pull involve increasing revenue from monthly subscribers or shortening the sales cycle for major programs, focusing on delivering superior Customer Experience (CX) will pay great dividends.

The "shortcut" that benefits every stakeholder

Better Customer Service has a direct effect on accelerating the sales process, by improving customer retention, upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Statistics show that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one.

serviceloop

Improving the Customer Journey—some concrete steps

Understanding the concepts and principles behind the Customer Journey can go a long way in helping you re-imagine current practices to find ways to streamline processes, break down silos, and increase transparency across the entire extended value chain. All of this helps bolster your team's ability to deliver a better CX.

Achieving these gains often means improving your human-driven processes, making sure your team is supported by the right technology—and giving your customers robust self-service options for quickly getting the information and services they need most.

ServiceManagementChart

For the technology piece, be sure to find a "good fit" partner

Two main considerations should be:

  1. Does the Customer Service platform provide you with the kind of robust
    visibility and interfaces with your enterprise systems to make "one-call resolution"
    a reality? Look for solutions that can deliver on the vision of a unified customer
    service management platform.
  2. Does the solution match your in-house skills/need and leave you free to configure
    for the future (without a lot of expensive consulting)?
Some of today's popular platforms require extensive implementation assistance. To make the product appealing, the monthly cost may not appear too high—until you begin to add-in consulting fees.

Vivantio offers an approach to Customer Service Optimization through our Unified Customer Service Management Platform that is truly poised to support better CX and customer journeys.

To learn more or request a live demo, click here.
Topics: Customer Self-Service Customer Service Optimization Customer Journey Service-Sales Connection CX Technology
4 min read

Separate Fact from Myth to Master Self Service

By Andrew Stevens on 6/3/20 9:00 AM

THE USE OF SELF SERVICE

Self Service is the most cost effective, efficient way for your end users to get help.

Still, recent data shows that it’s not being used nearly as often as it should be across service teams in nearly all industries.

In a recent post, we uncovered that given recent widespread, drastic changes to the way most organizations work on a day-to-day basis, Self Service use is at an all time low among organizations that count Self Service as a part of their overall strategy. The number of tickets opened via Self Service in Vivantio dropped more than 17% from March to April.

Further analysis from Vivantio’s Product Management team finds that 30% of Vivantio customers forgo the use of Self Service altogether.

And for 50% of Vivantio customers, self service is only a small part of their strategy, with fewer than 1 in 4 tickets being created via self service at those organizations.

self service myths and facts pie chart

Granted, it’s fair to say that self service isn’t the right choice for everyone – no two organizations or service teams are alike, and there are many factors that come into play when deciding not only how much focus you put on Self Service, but whether it should be a part of your strategy at all.

But if you’re part of the 75 percent of customers who aren’t using self service extensively, when was the last time you asked yourself why? To help answer that question, we’re going to look at some facts and myths about self service.

THE FACTS

FACT #1: SELF SERVICE IS MORE COST-EFFECTIVE

We surveyed some of our customers who have a balanced mix of tickets – email, Self Service and “walk ups” – to understand the impact of channel on the cost of resolving a ticket. And as you’d expect, Self Service wins. On average, Self-service tickets are resolved faster and with fewer touches than tickets logged via email.

FACT #2: SELF SERVICE SCALES

The same research showed – unsurprisingly – that the fastest way to get a ticket resolved was a walk-up. If you’re a technician and someone is in your office, on the phone or on Slack asking you questions, then you typically answer that person then and there. That’s how you provide great service, right?

Wrong. What about the five other customers who called, but received your “all staff are busy” message? Maybe one of those was a VIP customer. Maybe their next phone call isn’t to your tech support team, it’s to one of your competitors.

So how do you prioritize a walk-in over your current workload? Should that walk-in have jumped the queue to get your undivided attention? Have they stopped you working on something that’s far more important to the business? Self service is scalable and helps prevent this from happening.

On average, self-service tickets are resolved faster and with fewer touches than tickets logged via email.

FACT #3: SELF SERVICE IS EMPOWERING

We’ve all been there: we’ve run into a problem and we want to fix it. And we want to fix it now. Not when the support desk opens at 9am on Monday, nor when we reach our turn in a seemingly never-ending queue. If you have the resources to fix it yourself, you are going to try to do so. And what’s more is that next time, your first thought isn’t, “I need to call for help,” it will be, “I can probably take care of this myself.”

THE MYTHS

MYTH #1: CUSTOMERS DON’T WANT SELF SERVICE

You might think your customers don’t want Self Service. Maybe you’re right. If you ask your customers if they’d prefer Self Service versus a human on the line, some of them (maybe most of them) will pick a human.

Are you asking the right question, though? What if you ask, “Do you want the same end result, but sooner?” How about asking, “Do you want the issue resolved immediately or tomorrow?”

Of course, there is a time and a place for human contact, but with limited resources, you need to save it for where it counts.

MYTH #2: SELF SERVICE IS IMPERSONAL

OK, so this one is partially true. Bad Self Service is impersonal. Good Self Service isn’t.

Your Self-Service portal is the equivalent to your shop window, and like any shop window, it can put people off or it can welcome–even entice–them in. To entice customers to use Self Service, show them resources that are relevant to them. Give them easy access to their open tickets and service requests. Provide links to articles about the products and services they’ve purchased. Give them news about your business and your people. If you do, they’ll find your Self-Service portal incredibly valuable.

MYTH #3: SELF SERVICE ISN’T WORTH THE EFFORT

We won’t sugar coat it: getting Self Service right isn’t always easy. But if you take the time to do it right, it’ll pay for itself many times over. You don’t need a massive knowledge base, rigorously designed workflows or a huge team to make self service work for you. The only things you need to get started are a commitment to understanding your customers needs, and a desire to improve your service levels.

CONCLUSION

Self Service can be a critical part of your service management strategy, and it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of implementing it. Of course, there are huge benefits to Self Service when it’s done well, and hopefully we’ve given you some insight into those benefits as well as dispelled a couple of common myths. To learn more about the ins and outs of Self Service, check out our self service resource page.

Topics: Service Management Customer Service Customer Self-Service
1 min read

Video: How Self-Service Portals Improve the Customer Service Experience

By Staff Writer on 3/20/20 9:00 AM


 

In this video, we explain how self-service portals play a key role in the customer service experience. They represent a company’s professionalism, brand, and its desire to help customers find answers to their questions, solve their own technical issues or find resources. The Vivantio service management platform enables service teams to build codeless, custom self-service portals tailored to business needs and customers.

You can get the latest insights on the impact self-service is having on service desk professionals and their customers in our exclusive report created in partnership with the Service Desk Institute (SDI).

Download your report here

SDI-SSReport thumbnail@2x

 

Topics: Service Management ITSM Customer Service Customer Self-Service Video
4 min read

How to Implement a Self-Service Portal for Your Support Team

By Staff Writer on 5/11/18 9:00 AM

A GREAT SELF-SERVICE PORTAL HELPS BOTH CUSTOMERS AND SERVICE TEAMS ALIKE

Not only does a great self-service portal free up a service team’s time, but users also prefer it. As customers are given the tools to solve their own technical issues, the service team can focus on more strategic work that delivers greater impact to the service desk, such as automating and streamlining workflows.

 

It’s important to remember that the premise behind a self-service portal is that it’s providing a service. The customer still needs to see the value of using a portal, which means that their answers are findable, new information is regularly updated, and service teams assist customers if they cannot solve their problems alone.

Let’s jump in and have a look at the ways you can successfully get self-service up and running for your internal support team.

 

DEFINE WHAT SERVICES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR SELF HELP

Begin by identifying which services take up most of your technician’s time and pinpoint tasks that customers can fulfill on their own.

Through examining your service reporting, you can identify trends in your service data, such as the number of requests associated with a certain issue and sorted that metric by the average time it takes to complete each action. For example, you may discover that your team receives 5 requests a week on “Installing office 365 on my local machine” and determine that it takes 20 minutes on average to close this type of request. Rather than continuing to address the same request one by one, write a comprehensive article on how a customer can do this themselves to save your team 10 days of service work per year.

At first, this may seem like a small change, but think about how much time you are going to save when it comes to other time-consuming tasks such as replacing printer ink or toner cartridges, installing software drivers, or diagnosing the reason a laptop’s internet is down. Not only have you reduced the time it takes your service team to handle simple and repetitive requests, but you have also empowered your customers by teaching them new skills.

Striking a positive experience with your customers, it is not uncommon to find a majority turning to the self-service portal first rather than coming directly to the service team to solve their issues.

 

ENABLE THROUGH EDUCATION

Your self-service portal cannot be a successful support channel if customers do not understand its benefits over sending an email or calling the service desk.

When you implement the self-service portal, take time to utilize its capabilities in order to educate new users and promote self-help. You can do this by:

  • Setting up a comprehensive knowledge base to promote user guides, help videos, and FAQs
  • Creating a service catalog to set expectations on available services
  • Setting up chat channels so customers can have immediate discussions with available technicians regarding their open tickets
  • Alerting users when assets are unavailable, such as when a file service goes down
  • Using conditional fields in your ticket submissions to capture specific information on the request type

After implementing these changes, you will find that the portal becomes the preferred method for customers to submit tickets because it saves them time.

 

USE DATA TO BENCHMARK THE SELF-SERVICE PORTAL

The most successful self-service portals incorporate scheduled reporting to analyze where continual improvements can be made. It is crucial that you use data to benchmark your self-service portal against other support channels.

For instance, how long does it take the technician to solve a request through email versus the portal? The portal provides a dynamic environment to capture specific information based on the issue type, while email only provides a subject and body. A service team technician may require additional information provided by the customer if submitted via email, which lengthens how long a ticket remains open.

As you continue to migrate your service to the self-service portal, compare the completion time, the number of exchanged emails, actions, escalations, and total ticket volume with your other support channels. There can also be other tools to help gauge success such as surveys and article rating systems, depending on what tools you are using to build your self-service portal.

 

CONCLUSION

Armed with a greater understanding of the benefits of the self-service portal, it is easy to see why offering a solution like this for your customers makes sense. Not only do self-service portals provide better customer service, but teams can also do so at reduced time and cost. Setting up a self-service portal conscientiously by properly customizing and implementing all its features can help elevate an organization’s reputation and brand and make their service teams’ lives a whole lot easier.

Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.

Topics: Service Management Customer Self-Service Self-Service Self-Service Desk
2 min read

How to Create An Effective Self-Service Strategy

By Staff Writer on 2/23/18 9:00 AM

ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS ENGAGED?

With the levels of self-service provided by the likes of Amazon, ASOS, and Zappos, service desks are under mounting pressures to match their service levels, despite having fewer resources. In fact, The Service Desk Institute (SDI) has research that shows that a whopping 64% of service desk professionals keenly recognize this pressure and are ready to respond.

Yet, in an industry where technology is developing at a rapid pace, many service desks struggle to do self-service well. However, unlocking the potential of this technology can greatly increase service desk efficiency and customer experience.

 

LEARN FROM SELF-SERVICE EXPERTS

In partnership with SDI, Vivantio staged and recorded a webinar where you’ll hear about how self-service has been successfully used by real organizations to improve customer satisfaction as well as drive efficiency of the service desk.

In the webinar, Vivantio’s Helen Heyns will be sharing real customer stories and her industry expertise:

“The Self-Service portal (SSP) plays a key role in the customer experience; it’s the shop window and it represents your professionalism, brand and competence in dealing with your customer’s queries and issues. I would love to show you how a well-built self-service portal will improve the efficiency and performance of your teams and in turn increase organizational ROI.” – Helen Heyns, Senior Technical Consultant, Vivantio

From this webinar, you will learn:

  • What a Self Service Portal is and how it works
  • An array of Self Service Portal best practices
  • The multitude of benefits a Self Service Portal brings to the service desk, to customers, and to the overall business ROI – if it’s done right
  • Why investing in a new or improved Self Service Portal now can be a sound decision.
Topics: Service Management Customer Self-Service Self-Service Service Strategy
2 min read

Why the Look and Feel of Your Self-Service Portal Matters

By Staff Writer on 4/20/15 9:00 AM

LOOKS CAN MATTER WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR SELF-SERVICE PORTAL.

Most companies already recognize the importance of aesthetics and user experience in their corporate websites, as they are key to winning new business. What can often get overlooked is that a self-service portal is essentially an extension of the website. A self-service portal is all about servicing and retaining business, both key factors for any company. Let’s what elements impact the look and feel of your self-service portal and how they can have serious impacts on the health of your business.

self service portal home page screen capture

 

WHAT GOES INTO A GREAT LOOKING SELF-SERVICE PORTAL?

A self-service portal is the “shop window” for any service management team’s customers. This can include internally or externally supported users. It represents your professionalism, branding and competence in dealing with your customer’s queries and issues and, as an important customer service touchpoint, is paramount to starting the process off on the right foot.

A self-service portal is meant to provide a stellar customer experience to your end-users, reduce the total number of inbound service calls and ease the load on your team so you have more time to resolve issues and close tickets.

When your portal looks and feels completely foreign to your brand, it’s unlikely to achieve any of this. At Vivantio, we work with hundreds of service desks who manage a self-service portal. From that experience, we’ve long recognized the value of self-service modules and how the design elements within have an impact on the overall service experience for an end-user. It’s important to account for organizational branding elements like photos and colorways. You also will probably need to make small visual tweaks to your portal design such as color changes in select areas or the addition of a company logo.

With the right tools in place, your service team can control your portal’s look and feel.

monitor and laptop showing the self service portal login page

 

CONCLUSION

A great self-service portal provides value not only to your business but, perhaps more importantly, to your customers. It can provide users with a central location where they can research their own problems with rich content like self-help guides, videos, and FAQs. Your users can also see the status of services, all under the umbrella of your company’s unique branding.

Topics: Service Management Customer Self-Service Self-Service Service Strategy