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Help Desk, Customer Service, Cloud & Security Insights, with a Side of Altruism!

IT Cloud Software Needs Assessment Tool

Finding and acquiring any new software product to enhance your business operations can be a daunting task. How do you select the right one?

Giva has built a new 2008 Needs Assessment Tool with Help Desk, Customer Service/Call Center, Knowledge Management and Change Management software "Industry Best Practices". You can modify this sample template as you see fit. It contains Best Practice Product Features, Descriptions, Priority, Vendor Score, and a Priority x Vendor Score calculation field. If you are evaluating a number of vendors, then this is an excellent tool to download from Giva for free.

After you add to this Excel template as you desire, you can provide it to each vendor that you are interested in and ask them to “Score” themselves. This is a good way to get preliminary information. While they perform a “live” demo of their help desk or customer service software, you can ask them to show you each software product feature and you can revise the “Score” as you see appropriate.  After you discuss your help desk or customer service/call center software needs and requirements with your team, you can decide how important each feature is to you. You can place a “Priority” next to each software feature. We have also included a third tab in this spreadsheet. It has all the Acquisition and Lifetime costs that should be considered in determining the Total Cost of Ownership of customer service/call center or help desk software. When comparing vendors, besides focusing on your exact software requirements, you might want to ask some of the following general questions:

· How long has your organization been in business?

· What is the true total cost of ownership? When calculating the associated costs, include items such as costs of hardware, software, professional implementation services, and ongoing maintenance, training and support.

· What is the strategic plan for your organization within the next year? Do you have plans to develop new products/services?

· How many organizations have you worked with in a similar situation?

· Will your clients provide references?

· What types of support do you offer?

Read more about our Needs Assessment Tool and how Giva customers successfully used the Needs Assessment Tool at: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/05/prweb904544.htm.

Download the Needs Assessment Tool at: https://www.givainc.com/free-needs-assessment/index.htm

Thanks for Reading!

Treat Your Employees How They Should Treat Your Customers

Many companies treat employees like they are interchangeable parts. Companies that have the capability to amaze and delight their customers, always have an outstanding corporate culture that treats employees with dignity and respect. Make people feel like they are needed and important to your organization. It is a poor company culture to make people feel that it is a privilege to work at your company. You see, you want your employees to go those extra miles for your customers.  Some of your competitors will go AN extra mile. You want your people to go an extra FEW miles!!  This is what will inspire loyalty and commitment from customers. Don’t you want to inspire your employees to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions? If you create a company culture of, "you're lucky to have a job at this mighty company xyz", then you will likely get that same exact attitude translated into how your employees treat your customers. The degree to which you treat your employees with dignity and respect with a great corporate culture will be the tone that is reciprocated with  your customer when you are not looking. That's what's important. How do your employee's treat your customers when you are not looking and they are left on their own to deal with a customer issue.  I guarantee you that they're going to treat your customers the same way your company treats them.

One of the reasons why JetBlue is a stand out in the airline industry is because of their unique culture of how they treat their employees. Unions never caught on at JetBlue...which is part of the very highly unionized airline industry.  How did that happen?  Think what you may about Unions, but organizers can only get traction within a company if there are seeds of employee dissatisfaction. In October 2007, JetBlue was named the number one U.S. domestic airline by Conde Nast Traveler magazine's "Readers' Choice Awards" for the sixth year in a row.  JetBlue has approximately 11,000 employees. Happy employees...make happy customers. Make a reservation with a JetBLue Agent or fly JetBlue and you'll get it. 

Amazed and Delighted Customers

After you have amazed and delighted your customers on an ongoing basis for a long period of time, it is appropriate to document some of these successes with pictures and stories. You have earned their admiration and respect. Your company is in a class by itself.  Now it's time to leverage this customer loyalty and spread the word around your company's brand and approach to customer satisfaction. Ask the customer if it is appropriate to jointly write a customer case study. Perhaps post a short video clip of the people who are featured in the customer case studies.  Utilize the power of the Internet in spreading your brand of customer service and satisfaction.  Ask customers for referrals. You want the world to understand what customer service means to your company. You'll be in a class all by yourself.  You can turn your important customers into walking evangelists for your cause.  That will translate into profits for your company, financial rewards for you, job security and the satisfaction of knowing that you practice your art of caring for your customers with great success.

Your Problems Are My Problems-Here's My Cell Number

Do you really want to impress a major customer with your brand of delight and amaze? If you are a senior executive or the head of customer service, give a major customer your personal cell phone number and tell them that you are reachable anytime. Your problems are their problems. How many of your competitors do this? If the Division President knew that you were doing this, what would this executive think of you? Do you just want to meet customer expectations? If so, you're not competitive enough and you're missing out on the joy of building long term relationships with important customers.

Important Features to Look for in a Knowledge Base

Here are a few features that you should look for in a knowledge base.

Knowledge Base Accepts Attachments and Screen Shots

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. With a good knowledge base software system, files and screen shots can be attached to knowledge base records for further documentation. Attachments that are audio and video presentations of typical "How To" questions are excellent examples. The files are indexed by the knowledge base search engine and become part of the knowledge base software system.

Import Third Party Knowledge Bases for Agent and Customer Self-Help

This provides the ability to purchase knowledge bases from third party vendors and import for use in your own knowledge base software system. Assign security levels to knowledge records This provides the ability to assign a security level to knowledge base records, agents and customers. Accordingly, agents and customers can only view knowledge base records designated with the matching security level in their profile.

Knowledge Base Approval Process

All new knowledge base records must go through an approval process.

"Contact Me" option

After a customer reviews knowledge base records in a customer service self-help portal, if no records answer the query, the customer can request someone contact them. By clicking a "Contact Me" hyperlink, the knowledge base software application automatically creates a service request with the search criteria already tried by the customer. This service request also documents the possible need for new knowledge base information to fill voids.

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Send a Customer Surveys with a Gift-Increase Response Rate

Remember when you were courting someone you cared about? You did crazy little things like sending them notes with candy, calling them to ask if everything is going fine, and keeping your commitments when you made a promise. Are you with me? This is the role of customer service. They are charged with the care and feeding of relationships for the long term.

You may say that this is the role of your Sales organization. No customer can question the sincerity of the customer service organization that sends out love notes and gifts to customers. The Customer service department has no self-interest in a commission so this kind of care and feeding comes across pure and sincere. Have you considered sending a small gift along with a customer survey indicating to your customer that you care about them and would like them to take some time and provide some feedback?

Here is a great White Paper on Customer Service Best Practices-What Features and Functions to look for in Customer Service Software.

https://www.givainc.com/white-papers/customer-service-best-practices.htm

 

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