Erinnern Sie sich noch an unsere Blogparade zum Kundenservice der Zukunft? Im Rahmen dieser Aktion haben wir einige Experten zum Interview gebeten. Wir wollten von ihnen wissen, wie sie die Entwicklungen der Service-Branche einschätzen. Sie können sich sicher vorstellen, wie sehr wir uns über die Zusendung des nachfolgenden Beitrags gefreut haben. Dieser stammt nämlich aus dem Hause Microsoft. John Pompei, Senior Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), hat unsere Fragen in einem Gastbeitrag beantwortet.
Customers are at the heart of everything we do. Listening to customer feedback – whether in the consumer or business realm – and then working with product teams to act as their advocates in seeking a resolution is an intrinsic part of our mission. Our end goal is always to help customers get the most out of Microsoft technology with accessible support functions so that they’re as productive and efficient as possible.
But how exactly do companies ensure customers are satisfied and feel supported?
Smart companies should strive to be where customers are and adapt their support models accordingly. Companies should never make their customers come to them – it’s vital to understand the channel they prefer and develop the way you approach them to make sure that you’re being as responsive as possible in meeting their needs.
Companies should make it easy for customers – they shouldn’t have to know your org chart to engage with you. By partnering with other teams such as marketing or sales we can respond as one Microsoft – so if there is a problem, customers aren’t chasing around to find a solution.
Staying relevant is also essential in the evolving customer service model – companies must discover where conversations about their brands and products are taking place online and reach out to customers via those platforms. Being vigilant and actively listening will greatly benefit your reputation by ensuring that customers know that, as a company, you are listening and that you care.
Through having a presence across social media, we are also keen to talk to customers in a language they understand – directly in the channels they commonly use. For example, on Twitter alone, we have dedicated resource covering more than 10 languages, with others in the pipeline. The average consumer doesn’t have a technical background, and enterprise IT managers don’t always know as much as support teams. Avoiding jargon will help to put customers on side and resolve any problems faster, and our ability to communicate in their native language ensures we can help in the most effective manner.
Aside from helping ensure customers are happy and productive, social media engagement is also a great opportunity to learn by listening to what is said. The insights and feedback you receive are incredibly valuable in terms of helping shape future product development, so it is important for companies support teams to be sharing intelligence broadly.
The dominance of social media and smartphones in many markets means that having access to solutions 24/7 is a must. Today’s consumer has grown used to having all of the information they need at their fingertips as and when they need it. Even if your team isn’t always available, some form of support must be easily accessible. For example, our community-driven Microsoft Answers site is home to help with many of the most common queries across our product range. Through a mixture of our own support engineers and user generated content, the community can answer the majority of users’ basic questions quickly and efficiently.
This means that customers don’t have to phone: a quick online search can generally help them on their way. The social element adds value and increases satisfaction here, allowing customers to engage with IT experts outside of Microsoft who have helped build an environment where they can access answers in an easy to understand form.
Where support can’t be provided online, try and keep one point person for customers. Being passed around often results in details being lost and the customer having to explain themselves numerous times, none of which benefits the company’s reputation. In the same vein, giving the correct answer in a timely manner is also essential. It sounds basic, but getting it right first time not only keeps the customer happy, but also saves the company resource in having to deal with the same problem twice.
Many of the products we offer are vital to the daily lives of millions of people over the world, so issues need to be addressed promptly and thoroughly. Our Fix it Center Online is currently available in beta and helps solve many PC and device problems automatically by proactively checking for known issues and installing updates. By preventing problems before they are an issue, we hope to make the user experience as seamless as possible.
Our differentiator we have is that we know the unique challenges faced by our SMB and enterprise customers. As companies migrate to the cloud to achieve greater cost-efficiency and IT flexibility, our role in providing customer support is shifting from one of reactively solving issues, to playing a consultative role which ensures they’re benefitting from all the advantages the cloud has to offer. In this way, our job is not just providing technical support, but ensuring our customers have the greatest competitive advantage.
For both businesses and consumers alike, technology has never played a bigger role in our daily lives – making our jobs all the more critical. And in a digitally connected world, the ability to respond in a personal, timely fashion has never been greater, regardless of your sector you’re in.