It is commonly believed that first impressions are extremely important in laying the foundations for all future relations with a person, a customer or a place. There is only one chance to make it as good as possible, it cannot be repeated, and the result cannot be changed. For many customers, a service desk is the first point of contact with a company, and the basis on which they will make all future judgments. Of course, the quality of the product and competitive prices are important, but no-one should ignore the human factor; first impressions engender emotions and, therefore, influence satisfaction. Do not underestimate the power of your service desk.
Service desk is typically the first point of contact for your customers if they want something from you, whether they are enquiring about a new offer, asking a question or reporting a problem. They want to get what they need quickly and effectively, and that is what they expect service desk consultants to deliver.
A good service desk must be well-organized. This means you need enough consultants to serve your customers (they hate waiting on the line listening to monotonous music), the system should have high-quality audio to avoid annoying noises in the background, there should be protection against lost connections and other technical issues, and consultants should be qualified, professional and polite. Customers need to have their problem solved, and to feel that they really matter. This is especially true if their issue cannot be solved at the first point of contact, in which case they need regular follow-ups so that they feel somebody is working on their case and cares enough to keep them updated. Customer satisfaction surveys are big business, and not without reason; you need to know not only your products and your competitors, but also what your customers feel about the service they receive, and whether they are likely to visit/buy again or recommend your business to their friends and partners.
The practical implementation of this sound theory can be easier said than done. It takes time and money to build good service desk teams, and you need a clear idea of what you want to have, the typical issues you expect to be reported to consultants, the scope of first line of support responsibilities, the procedures they should follow, and the person responsible for handling all this. You need to engage your HR department in looking for good candidates, coordinating recruitment, and providing new employees with all necessary training (which requires time and the attention of some already experienced staff). That’s not to mention the office space and equipment you will require. It is a long and complicated process, so many companies decide to outsource their service desks to third-party providers that have the experience, knowledge and resources to build an effective team quickly. Outsourcing helps your employees save time, so you save money on recruitment, training and administrative costs. You do not need to worry about sick leave or workstations, as such things are the responsibility of your outsourcing partner. You get a professional service desk with all its benefits, but without administrative issues. Many outsourcing providers, such as Comarch, offer monthly-fee contracts, transparent rules, agreed SLAs and simple performance measurements via KPIs and monthly reports. Instead of building everything from scratch, you can buy a ready-made product adapted to your needs.
Outsourcing is no longer about simple call centers. Today’s market offers a much wider choice of services and solutions. Consultants are no longer simply telephone operators, but professionals with hard and soft skills (appropriate to the industry in which they work) who will provide comprehensive support to your customers whatever the complexity of their requests. In our era of fast-paced technological change, it is worth choosing an expert who will provide your company with high-quality support so you can focus on your core business.
Dagmara Skomra, Product Manager