Centralizing your support offerings is a growing trend that has many advantages. Not only does it cut down on confusion of figuring out who to call when something goes wrong, but it can help drive down costs too! Your customers will enjoy being able to call a “one-stop shop” for all of their support needs. It will also show them that you care that they have a positive service experience each time they call.
More companies are centralizing their support in order to provide that single point of contact for their customers. This way, the customer need only know one phone number to call for any need they have. Additionally, it allows support teams to get to know frequent callers better, and thereby providing better, more personal customer service.
There are a few options you can look into if you decide centralizing your support is a good idea for your company. When researching possible solutions, be sure your selection ensures that their services are clearly defined and aligned with your business needs. You need to have a firm grasp on your customers’ requirements, service objectives, goals, and deliverables.
• Call Center – Call dispatching is the only service offered, there are no other activities performed by the employees. This is the most basic option.
• Unskilled Service Desk – A step up from the call center; this includes call dispatching, incident tracking, and offers clients the ability to leave feedback.
• Skilled Service Desk – Similar to the Unskilled Service Desk, but this offering also allows a large number of incidents to be solved with first call rather than perform additional escalations.
• Expert Service Desk – All of the benefits of the Skilled Service Desk, but also includes Incident Management and Problem Management. Most incidents will be solved by the Expert Service Desk.
Service Desks are a good choice over the Call Center (based on your business need) because they offer so many extra tasks:
• Receive all calls and emails for incidents
• Incident Recording, classification, prioritization, and escalation
• Search for a work around
• Update the customer and IT group on progress
• Perform communication activities for other processes (such as release notifications, change schedules, and service level management reports)
• Perform daily configuration management database verification
• Report to management, process managers, and customers on Service Desk performance
When you have a good understanding of the costs involved, you will be able to properly plan for future projects. Costs include personnel, set-up of the physical location, software and hardware with applicable tools, training new employees, and any external consultations you determine are required.
Centralizing your support will not only help you meet Service Level Agreements with your existing customers, it will be a good way to bring on new prospects. Your company will build a reputation as one that cares about improving their customer service, offering a quick turnaround of customer requests, and being easily accessible.
- Meredith Estep