Computers are a great help for any business. It makes the job easier as it helps in storing information, uniformly print data, and process requests from the user while allowing them to work faster and more efficiently.
Companies have to get computer software to make the use of computers tailor-fit for their needs. If the business does not know where to start or what should be considered in getting the best customer service software, this guide will help make a sound decision.
1. Choose Between Installed Software or SaaS
Customer Service Software can be classified into two types in reference to its deployment. First is a fixed installed software on the workplace’s computers. Most of this kind of software cannot be accessed outside the office as it is based on a secure server.
These programs are usually unavailable for consumer use to prevent employees from using them for personal purposes. Software providers may charge only once for purchasing them but will require an IT team for maintenance. Financial institutions like banks are an example of an industry that prefers using this.
On the other hand, SaaS (Software-as-a-service) is web-based where it can be accessed through a web browser. This will require an online connection and can be accessed with an internet connection. It may also require a VPN when in use outside the local internet connection in the workplace for security reasons.
This will help employees that would need access beyond working hours or when at home. Since it is acquired through the use in the cloud, the company may need to pay subscription fees while providing software updates. Companies may start checking for this option first to narrow down the selection. It helps in making a decision on what will be more accessible depending on the industry and function it requires.
2. Compatibility with Other Technology or Resources
The customer service department may need to use multiple software or make transactions on behalf of another department. Therefore, take into consideration the other technology, resources, and software being used by the department. Besides, not all software can support the necessary data that will be required by the department.
Ensure that the new software can also make a smooth transition from the old software to the new one. As much as possible, the company would like to make the migration hassle-free by making customers feel that nothing changed with the data they already provided.
Asking customers again for their personal information can lead to assumptions that there could be a data breach or hacking due to the change of software. It may affect the way customers feel about the security of their information.
For example, some transactions in the customer service department need to be forwarded to the billing team. The customer service software should be able to properly detail the bill in transferring the information while making sure that it is accurate and updated.
3. Features that the Department Needs
Not all software is created equal, as some may be more functional than others. If the business requires special processes, it would help to have a careful review of the features and function of the software being considered.
Aside from what the company and customer need, consider the software’s provision for future updates. Customer service software chosen should allow adaptation of incoming technological changes in the way customers are served. For example, the company may inquire about the AI or Artificial Intelligence built into the software and how it will be used in the future.
Some software providers can reduce the prices if fewer features are required. This can be a great option for companies who would like to update their existing system to a new one without the high cost. Make sure that in reducing the features, it will still provide the same level of customer service or even better.
4. Request for a Free Trial and/or Demo Accounts
Asking for a free trial or demo accounts is a must, enabling the company to see how it will work against the other factors being considered. This will also help in developing a training plan that will make learning easier for the users.
It may take time for employees to get used to the new software. Training the staff should not be limited to getting familiar with the interface, but to practice how processes work. This will allow them to learn and set their expectation with the customer on how the system will work.
There are companies that do not include this in their training programs and ended up doing a trial and error when it is already implemented in the office.
Companies may provide a guidebook or an online database that will guide users in case they would need clarification. This is also an important factor to consider, where employees can promote self-help to their colleagues in learning more even after the training is finished. They can share knowledge and best practices based on what they have learned.
5. Focus on User Experience
No matter how much pieces of training are given to the staff, but the software is very hard to understand, it will not be able to serve customers well. It would result in a chain reaction where customers being served by the employee will take time, increasing the waiting times, and get bad feedback. This is why a trial or demo account is suggested. It may be user-friendly on paper, but it is hard to use in real life.
Ask for some employees to check to see if the software is user-friendly enough to serve customers. Besides, they are the one who faces the customer and knows well what should be done.
Honestly, it is possible for a company to find software that can provide all of its requirements. However, checking for the factors stated above will help the business determine the software that will benefit the customers, users, and the company.
The most important factor when talking about software use of the customer service department is having a streamlined process that will make customer service more efficient.