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Every customer support ticket offers an opportunity

BloggausAmazon’s Jeff Bezos once said: "The best customer service is if the customer does not need to call you; does not need to talk to you. It just works.”

I could not agree more. 

When a customer opens any service ticket, more often than not it comes from a negative place. They either want an answer to a “how do I…” question, or they are trying to fix an unexpected error or hiccup. They are reaching out because something is not working as it should. 

This is followed by a customer service representative trying to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Although a service agent works as efficiently as possible, it does not solve the real problem: the customer has already lost valuable time opening a support case in the first place. 

Contacting customer support is not only about technology or process problems. It is an indication that you are wasting someone else’s resources. This is why the opportunity ahead of us is not about building larger customer service teams. 

Both organizations and leaders must focus on designing products and services that are so thorough that the customer does not need to reach out in the first place. Basware is committed to developing products and services that honor our customers’ most valuable resources – their attention, energy and time. 

Here is how we make it happen. 

Time better spent designing for people 

As much as our work is about products and services, the key of our work is people. Like many other businesses, we constantly learn about our audience and our customers. When we develop products and services, we must consider every aspect of how the end user makes it a part of his or her life and work. We work with the idea of our customer in mind – what makes them satisfied, calm and successful. 

Our journey always begins with understanding what our customer needs. Then, we work backwards from there, developing products and services that make someone else’s life easier. This is why we need the right people and perspectives at our design table – we need to be able to build solutions for the right people. A product manager is a talented and experienced thinker and designer - it is their job to put themselves in the shoes of the end user to anticipate their needs, challenges, and opportunities, and to consider how to do that in a way that is scalable and efficient. The products need to be provided in a way that can guarantee success for 10,000 users versus just one. 

Using functionality and automation saves people time 

We want every customer to experience the value of our products and services. At Basware, we talk about this as digital adoption. By this, we are referencing to the process by which customers learn to leverage our technology to its fullest potential, so that the value becomes inherent. 

Functionality and automation make digital adoption possible, which means our team has to be proactive about optimizing processes. Here is an example: Basware’s accounts payable automation product aims to optimize the process of receiving and processing invoices. This AP automation enables more of a customer’s AP process to be touchless, requiring minimal human effort. 

Reaching this optimization is part product development and management, part “listening” to the tickets. Every support ticket provides a hint on how we could improve our products. Artificial intelligence delivers just that – the opportunity to learn and apply technology appropriately. 

Asking ourselves key questions

Analyzing incoming support cases and identifying patterns is critical to how we move forward with serving customer needs. It Is also critical in improving, modifying, and developing Basware’s next generation of products and services. 

For each case, we need to ask several key questions: 

●    Why did the customer raise this case? 

●    How can we make the customer’s life easier? 

●    How do we make the process simpler? 

●    What would we do to avoid such a case in the future? 

Yes, asking questions is about seeking solutions and answers, but the process also offers a curious look into how and why things work. If a complex setup and configuration is impressive to our internal team, but creates service tickets and confusion for customers, then our technical prowess is working against us. Being willing and eager to ask ourselves those questions is critical to our ultimate goal: a customer’s satisfaction and success. 

We already have enough things to do, so we do not need a service ticket or a customer support call added to the list. While I am thrilled to experience exceptional customer service, I am much happier when I do not need it. I think that is the case for many of us. 

Our customers should be able to live and work without interruption. Our goal at Basware is simple: to make products and services that deliver value in a frictionless way. In that sense, we believe we are in the business of delivering peace of mind. 

The text was published on LinkedIn

Written by: Matthias Lippert

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