IT service desks don’t always get credit for being good at customer service.
The bad rap is largely unfair. IT service desk techs are problem solvers and most care about doing a good job. They want to make customers happy, but customers are human, and they aren’t always reasonable. Sometimes, they feel angry at the service desk for problems – about which they’ve never even contacted the service desk in the first place.
Customers, above all else, want you to solve their problems. If a problem is stopping them from doing their jobs, they want you to make their problem disappear. Using your IT help desk software to automate tasks may seem like an impersonal way to solve problems, but this argument incorrectly assumes that human interaction increases customer satisfaction. By automating the right things, you can prevent these problems before they occur. Fewer problems means happier customers.
Automatic for the People
If you observe carefully, you’ll notice certain warning signs that indicate a customer may need service desk assistance. If a customer’s account becomes inactive, or if an application a customer regularly uses is disrupted for a while, you can predict the customer is experiencing a problem even if they haven’t opened a ticket.
Use your IT help desk software to set up automations for contacting customers during these key moments. Write a script that emails customers when their accounts are inactive for 30 days. Send out an automatic email after you’ve fixed a problematic application.
Customers often experience IT challenges when they first start working with your company. Automated emails explaining how to do things, like how to reset passwords or how to contact the service desk, can help them feel empowered instead of frustrated. A low customer satisfaction rating after a service desk interaction may indicate the customer still has a technology problem – or that you need to repair the relationship. Send an automated email after a low score asking them how the service desk can do better.
Of course, some customers receive higher-priority status than others because of their job role. Also, certain alerts about application performance or other events need more immediate attention. Establish scripts that alert you to requests from high-priority customers and scripts that raise a red flag for potentially troublesome events. Keeping the CEO happy – and keeping an incident from causing business-wide downtime – these are both key benefits to using automation in a way that prioritizes people.
Automation as a Connector
When you send an automated notification or message, let customers know your message is an invitation to connect with a human being. By replying, clicking a link or calling in response to that message, they can get answers to questions they haven’t asked yet – from a human. Automatically contact customers who are spending a lot of time researching a topic in your knowledge base. Or create FAQ emails compiling answers to customers’ most commonly researched questions. By anticipating their needs and letting them know you’re available, you’re building better relationships through automation.
Better service doesn’t always require a human touch; it just has to be created with humans in mind. For more ideas on customer-centered automation, download our white paper: 101+ Ways to Automate Your Workplace.
About Chris Walls
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