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Giva & Customer Service in a Changing World

Time for Changes in Customer Service

If there is one thing that is constant in this day and age, it is change. Today's business pace demands perfectly smooth transitions or large amounts of money can be lost from interruptions in productivity. The optimal part of change is growth. If growth is the goal, then improving customer service should be top priority. According to author Seth Godin, "Customer service, like everything an effective organization does, changes people. Announce the change you seek, then invest appropriately in a system that is likely to actually produce the outcomes you just said you wanted." In order to have the best customer service, your company needs to have the best and most up to date software that addresses your customer service needs.

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Method of Communication an Important Factor in Customer Experience

Social Media & Customer Experience

The recently released 2015 Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report highlights a serious problem in the customer contact realm: the fact that customer experience levels have dropped for the fourth consecutive year, and are at their lowest level since 2011. More than half of the surveyed companies reported a connection between customer experience levels and profit growth, confirming that improving customer experience is vital to revenue.

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Benefits to Using Hosted Solutions

Call Center Cloud Computing & Devices

In a previous blog post, we discussed how important it is to have a variety of contact options for today's consumers, based on findings from the 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report. However, many companies are finding it difficult to integrate these new options into their contact centers.

As expected, a majority of call centers have the capability to support customers over the phone and through email. These capabilities line up with the previous generation's expectations in a support center, as most customers over the age of 40 prefer support over telephone or email. However, the next generation's first choice of webchat is only supported by 45% of organizations, and 35% of organizations without webchat have no plans of offering it in the future.

According to data from the Report, an average of 79% of companies are afraid that their systems will not meet demands in the future. However, the cost of integrating a new support system can be expensive, and new software may not be compatible with older machines. One solution that the Report proposes is hosting contact centers in the cloud, which can reduce the cost of integrating a brand new system greatly while expanding support options.

In fact, the Report found that 89% of organizations currently using cloud architecture agree that it has reduced costs. Other benefits from cloud technologies noted in the Report include access to new functionality, improved flexibility, and better reliability. Yet half of the organizations surveyed do not even use hosted technologies.

Giva's customizable cloud technologies are easy to use and can save your company time and money. Read about how the Giva Difference has changed the way many companies handle customer contact on Giva's case study page!

Does Your Help Desk Have Good, Better or Best Practices? Part Two

Help Desk Best Practices

Best Practice simply means the most effective way that has been determined to accomplish a desired goal. In order to improve, an organization must assess its current practices against those used in other organizations. The following are some Help Desk Best Practices, summarized from Giva's free whitepaper on this topic, recommended to be used when evaluating what your company is doing and why, and what your company should be doing and when, as well as what features and functions you should look for in help desk software.

Part one detailed several best practices for help desk optimization. Listed below are additional recommendations for implementation.

Perform Root Cause Analysis Every Day to Determine Why Problems Occur

It is important to be able to track the root of issues, so the actual cause of problems can be determined.  This helps with forward planning and being able to determine which areas of IT (hardware, operating systems, networking, etc.) might need more attention.  Ideally, the help desk software should allow for easy tracking, and even possibly requiring, the selecting of a root cause before closing a ticket, and/or entering/requiring problem resolutions.  Further, root cause reports should be available, to identify specific issues and trends.

Implement Service Level Agreements Linked to Impact on Firm Revenue

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are an important part of help desk accountability to the customer, and compliance with them can impact customer satisfaction or even revenue.  A help desk should not only implement SLAs, but should be able to track compliance in various levels of granularity, from the overall help desk or service groups (eg. facilities, networking, etc.) to the individual agents; and SLA trends reports should be available, which can be valuable to management, in understanding how effectively services are being provided.

Utilize Predefined and Customizable Help Desk Reports

Agents and management should have a wide variety of reports available that they can quickly access, easily customize, share with others, and use to analyze their areas of responsibility to keep the customer service process flowing smoothly.  The reports should also provide the right data to assist in better decision-making.

Use Real-Time Reporting Features That Decrease Time Required to Prepare Reports

Having real-time reports customized and automatically e-mailed to users, or easily downloaded in various formats (eg. Excel, PDF, etc.), can further provide useful data for quicker analysis and better decision-making, and can save time and money.

Implement an Asset Management System That Is Integrated With the Help Desk Software System

Having an asset management system integrated with a help desk software ticketing system not only can better provide root-cause analysis, but the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) foundation in part requires tracking changes to assets, which can also help in saving problem-diagnostic times.   This type of asset management can include software license tracking as well, helping IT departments better track licensing compliance.

Implement an Integrated ITIL Change Management Software System

Integrating a change management system with the help desk software system can reduce problems due to change-related failure.  Not only can the help desk be prepared ahead of time with information about upcoming changes, perhaps even notifying its customers beforehand, but once implemented, issues can be tracked, and backout plans implemented if necessary.  Further, problem tracking analysis can help better plan for future changes.  This type of system keeps the change and help desk teams much more coordinated and functioning as a cohesive unit.

For a much more in-depth look, please refer to Giva's free whitepaper on Help Desk Best Practices.

The Giva Challenge: Giva Customers are Talking! Saint Elizabeth Health Care

Saint Elizabeth Health Care

With today's mobile workforce, the ability to access answers to important questions quickly is a must. Meghan M. Biro at Forbes says there is a "need to maintain a corporate culture supportive of - and with technical and communications systems in place - to enable remote employees to be successful."

Saint Elizabeth Health Care has long been a leader in incorporating technology to support new and innovative ways of delivering care, information and improvement of health care practices. Many of Saint Elizabeth's 6,500 employees work remotely providing health care services in clients' homes and other community settings.

Because of this, Saint Elizabeth has been an innovator in the private cloud and was the first health care organization in Canada to offer employees a full suite of applications in a private cloud over ten years ago. Saint Elizabeth was looking for the newest generation of IT service desk functionality and a long-term vendor partnership to respond to rapid organizational growth. Following an evaluation of other service desk vendors, the organization identified concerns that replacing the current IT service desk tools would be highly disruptive. In their search, they found Giva to be what they were looking for.

"Giva has provided Saint Elizabeth with a solution that makes extraordinary economic sense and has achieved a high ROI in a very short period of time. The organization was looking for a true cloud-based service with multi-tenancy to avoid the cost of dedicated servers," said David Burne, IT Leader.

Upon switching to Giva, Saint Elizabeth realized the following ongoing benefits:

  • 40% increase in productivity of the IT service desk team by using Giva reports and dashboards
  • 50% lower TCO (total cost of ownership) over a three year period
  • 90% reduction in the time required to configure/customize Giva
  • 100% application uptime using Giva nearly 24x7

According to David Burne, "Giva does not wait years or even months to launch new product improvements. The stream of improvements is ongoing. Giva is very proactive in that they take time to carefully listen to feedback. Saint Elizabeth has never worked with a vendor that listens and delivers as well as Giva. This is one of the key ways that Giva is very unique!"

Learn more about the benefits of Giva at Saint Elizabeth Case Study.

What is your challenge? Let Giva be your solution!

Does Your Help Desk Have Good, Better or Best Practices? Part One

Help Desk Best Practices

Best Practice simply means the most effective way that has been determined to accomplish a desired goal. In order to improve, an organization must assess its current practices against those used in other organizations. The following are some Help Desk Best Practices, summarized from Giva's whitepaper on this topic, recommended to be used when evaluating what your company is doing and why, and what your company should be doing and when, as well as what features and functions you should look for in help desk software.

Perform Customer Satisfaction Surveys on a Regular Basis

Daily customer satisfaction surveys performed by your call tracking software provide valuable information from a broad sampling of employees. It is important for your company to generate its own customized survey to keep a close pulse on help desk performance at any given time. A continuous customer satisfaction survey process improvement philosophy will drive customer satisfaction and loyalty to even higher levels.

Implement a Web-Based Knowledge Base Tool

The greatest asset of a service organization is the knowledge of its staff. By encouraging and rewarding employees to document their knowledge in a centralized knowledge base software system, it becomes available for all staff to leverage. Also, the customer can access this knowledge through a self-help portal potentially easing help desk traffic.

Implement a Web-Based Knowledge Base Tool With Real-time Reports, Dashboards, Metrics and Business Analytics

Having readily available reports for knowledge base value, knowledge base usage, knowledge base status and more can help knowledge managers better understand how their knowledge base is being used, which can further streamline help desk agent processes and increase self-help usage.

Implement Service Request Automation Processes In Your Help Desk Software

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Providing for uploading screenshots, or perhaps allowing agents remote terminal access to those whom they support can increase problem resolution speed.  Converting customer emails automatically to help desk tickets, configuring quick-ticket templates, predefined resolutions, and preset questions to ask agents as they create issues provide more options to optimize your help desk performance resulting in greater customer satisfaction.

Use the Help Desk Software System to Increase Communications with Agents and Customers

Communication among agents can help keep the help desk processes flow smoothly.  Some examples include: a scrolling marquee message for event alerts, data record lock notification, new agent assignee alert, important message alerts, and more.

Implement Customer Self-Help Portal Accessible 24 Hours/Day

Allowing customers to access a self-help portal to resolve issues, when appropriate, or create their own service requests, can save your organization a significant amount of money.

Use Real-Time Help Desk Reports, Dashboards, Metrics and Analytics

That which is not measured, cannot be managed!  Good real-time metrics can also result in higher-quality decision making by any involved personnel, including the CIO if needed.

For much more in-depth information please refer to Giva's whitepaper on Help Desk Best Practices.

Read on in part 2!

Social Media Presence Tips

Social Media Presence Tips

As shown by the 2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, businesses having a strong social media presence is important to the next generation of consumers. However, with so many different social media options available, it can be overwhelming to even think about getting your company started with any social networking site.

John Rampton in Forbes suggests identifying your social media goals and objectives before setting up a social media account. He also suggests businesses take the time to learn how their target platforms work and figure what their target audience is. Knowing your audience can help you understand what they need, which will allow you to deliver the content they want to see and make them more interested in your business.

Once you have established a social media account, be sure to post often – but not too often. Make sure your posts are timely and relevant to any current events. For example, if your company attends a local event, post pictures from that event as soon as possible. Using tags and hashtags effectively will also help others find your posts easily.

If you branch out to multiple types of social media, Rampton advises to treat each as its own entity, and post unique content to each. It may seem tedious to update multiple accounts, but followers will feel rewarded and in the know when they see information exclusive to one platform.

As more customers turn to social media for support and help, it is important to respond to and resolve customer complaints on social media pages in a timely and professional manner. When other customers see that you were listening and willing to respond to complaints, they will feel more important and valued.

Each business will use social media in different ways, but outlining your goals, understanding your audience, being active on multiple accounts, and staying professional in all customer interaction can greatly benefit everyone trying to grow their social media presence.

25 Questions to Determine Your Service/Help Desk Maturity Level

Service Desk/Help Desk  Assessment

A help desk must be the proper catalyst for a client's business goals by providing the assistance, analytics, or software necessary for growth. Whether new or well-established, an underrated obstacle in achieving successful business results is the maturity level of your help desk. Thankfully, Giva has crafted a 25 question assessment spreadsheet designed to help gauge the functionality of your help desk.

It is important for a service desk to be a productive business partner. The assessment is divided into five categories: processes and best practices, organizational integration, technology optimization, staff development, and information management. Analysis questions cover everything from incident reports and stakeholders needs to use of IT and employee advancement.

Here is how it works. You rate your organization on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high) for each question, equaling a total of 125 points maximum. You are then provided a Maturity Index scale, ranging from "actualized" to "non-existent," with descriptive sections corresponding to your possible scores. These helpful evaluations provide guidance on improving the functionality and value of your service desk.

Giva strives to be a leading example in productivity and customer satisfaction. Our 25 Question Service Desk Assessment is fashioned by professionals with all of the best techniques in mind.  It is quick, painless and a highly valuable tool towards the optimization of your help desk.

Mobile Devices: Biggest 2015 Trend

Mobile Devices Biggest 2015 Trend

This year, Paul M. Dooley of Optimal Connections reported six trends for customer service and support, particularly that more people than ever are accessing the Internet from a mobile device.

In 2011, the International Data Corporation predicted that mobile internet use would surpass desktop internet use by 2015. However, mobile grew quicker than anticipated, surpassing desktop use for the first time ever in January 2014, and now Americans spend an average of 34 hours a month on their mobile devices. Pew Research reports that nearly two-thirds of American adults own a smartphone, and 46% of smart phone owners say they could not live without one.

Mobile devices are clearly becoming a mainstay in the American lifestyle, so it is worth the time and effort to integrate mobile support in all aspects of business. This integration could be as simple as being active on social media or as complex as creating a new app. However, the Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report notes that 6 in 10 contact centers do not have the capacity for social media, when the industry best-practices indicate that having multiple methods of communication, rather than just phone support, is important to improving the customer service experience.

Equally important is the look and functionality of the mobile version of a business' website. A mobile customer could be deterred by a difficult-to-use website, or choose a competitor whose website is more mobile-friendly. When creating apps for a business, it is also important to make sure the app is available and fully functional on all major smartphone operating systems.

The future of smartphones and other mobile devices is constantly changing, but one thing is very clear: support for mobile devices will be key in making any business more accessible to all customers.

Using Metrics to Improve First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution Metrics

Resolution timeliness is a major factor in customer satisfaction and First Call Resolution (FCR) is an important metric in order to gauge the success of a help desk/call center in resolving routine requests.

The gathering and use of metrics to manage system performance is a common IT practice. A Service Desk manager may employ a number of proven techniques to realize meaningful improvement in First Call Resolution. Each of these techniques is based on standard Continuous Quality Improvement methodology.

The Value of FCR

As FCR improves, the overall cost of providing support decreases. Industry analysts estimate the mean cost to resolve a ticket on level one to be about $32. The mean cost to resolve an escalated ticket is about $60. In an environment averaging 4,000 calls per month, improving FCR from 50% to 75% reduces the number of tickets requiring escalation by 1,000 per month. The total cost to support those tickets is commensurately reduced yielding an estimated savings of $28,000 per month, based on the averages.

The Use of Metrics

Using metrics to establish and improve on baseline performance is one key method to deriving optimal performance from your IT teams. Great statistics alone do not achieve results. Long-term quality improvement and cost savings result from nurturing the operational and organizational maturity of those teams and the people on them.

For a much greater in-depth study of proven techniques to drive first call resolution at the service desk and add value to your organization, read Giva's Whitepaper Service Desk Optimization: 40 to 80 in No Time Flat.

 

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