It’s nearly Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. As you begin shopping for flowers, cards, and candy to show a loved one how much you care, it’s also a good time to think about ways to show customers of the IT service desk how much you care. Last year, we shared ways to build a better relationship between the business and IT and this year, we have IT help desk customer service tips that will help you make sure no romance is lost to create a supportive, loving relationship between IT and their customers.
5 Ways to Show Customers You Care this Valentine’s Day (and Beyond!)
Let’s face it: customers can sometimes have a negative view of IT support. For example, there’s a joke that contacting IT will result in someone telling you to turn your device off and turning it back on. This negative IT help desk stereotype this sometimes results in customers searching for their own answers outside of IT (shadow IT).
We think it’s time to change that.
Like any good relationship, the relationship between customers and IT support may take time to repair. But, also like any good relationship, it’s worth fighting to make things as good as they can be.
The following five tips can help foster more than just puppy love between the IT help desk and their customers.
1. Give Them Something Sweet (Like Reliable Support!)
Chocolates and candy hearts are great, but reliable support is even sweeter.
And we don’t mean reliable emotional support (although in a relationship that’s pretty important!). We mean the kind of support that answers late night calls and remembers what you talked about.
Reliable support doesn’t necessarily mean hiring an army of new agents. It can be as simple as deploying a non-human virtual agent.
Your virtual agent shouldn’t be something that people avoid using and should be able to execute and automate simple actions. For example, imagine there is a virtual agent powered with AI, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP) who you can reach via multiple channels, who can walk you through troubleshooting your device or software and who can automate ticket creation if you can’t solve the problem using the information provided. And like any good support system, your chatbot should record the entire interaction and provide that to the human agent who may need to take over.
2. Create Memorable Experiences
Nobody wants to feel like just another date – and no customer wants to feel like just another number in the assembly line of tickets. Improving your customer service starts with creating a customer-centric service desk that tailors the approach for each persona.
Creating memorable experiences starts with knowing the customers and their unique needs, and then focusing on IT help desk customer service tips.
To begin, you should create business user personas that encompass various departments, types of equipment used, goals for each persona, and other factors. This will not only help you understand the needs of the customers but will help you prioritize tickets and route them to the proper person or department through your ITSM tool.
Then, use that data and information, you can create a memorable experience for the customer by knowing their goals and speaking to those goals and needs directly. This creates a positive experience with a lasting impact.
3. Show Them You Know Their Needs
One of the most common relationship problems is the feeling that your partner doesn’t know or understand your needs. The same applies to the IT help desk.
Using knowledge management and an intelligent database with automated workflows, you can show customers you know their needs without them even having to ask. For example, using knowledge management, you can offer helpful, device and software specific videos and articles to a customer who is trying to troubleshoot their problem (showing that you know them and their needs), but also to the service desk agent who is working on resolution. This can create a faster, more streamlined experience for the customer in the end.
But going beyond that, you can show your customers that you know their needs by solving them before they even know something is wrong.
It sounds like a perfect world – one where problems are being worked on proactively without having to ask for help. And certainly, at least in relationships, this still might be a dream for many people. But, in IT, proactive and predictive ITSM is a trend to watch.
For in-depth definitions and example of proactive service management, check out our recent blog post.
4. Arrange a Perfect Meet-Cute
In the movies, there is a term called a “meet-cute”. A meet-cute is when two characters, usually in a romantic comedy, meet somewhere unexpected. In the context of the IT help desk, you can arrange a meet cute for your IT team and your customers by creating multiple channels to meet.
For example, the best way to create a lasting IT-customer relationship is to create ways for IT service desk agents to show up for customers where they are. This is all part of creating both omnichannel and multichannel experiences.
Omnichannel and multichannel have different meanings, but the general idea behind both is providing a way for customers to create tickets and seek help from various devices and channels. For example, consider a chatbot which can be accessed through a dedicated web portal, Teams chat, Skype chat, or any other channel as well as on a variety of devices whether mobile, laptop, or even smart watch. Of course, this might not necessarily be a meet-cute because the goal is to have your customers meet you multiple times through these channels.
5. Make a Long-Term Commitment
A positive customer-IT team relationship shouldn’t be a short-term fling. Making the customer relationship great takes a long-term strategy and the right tools.
Arguably the most important tool in creating and nurturing a healthy relationship with customers is a service management with self-service capabilities. This tool will be able to integrate several aspects, like the AI component and omni or multi-channel approach we mentioned earlier, and tie them together with those proactive and predictive strategies that are on the rise.
But your commitment goes beyond just using the right tools. Just as you would have a wedding to proclaim your commitment, you can also create and internal marketing campaign to share your initiatives to improve the customer experience. Market self-service portals and the use of ITSM internally and you can see the benefits of a decrease in shadow-IT.
If you like it, put more than a ring on it…
Beyonce once sang “if you like it then you should’ve put a ring on it” and we couldn’t agree more. But encouraging customers to contact the service desk using a ring on the phone simply isn’t enough. Show them you care by tailoring their experience for any channel and through every interaction. Download the new Gartner report, Tailor Your IT Service Desk Support Based on Business User Personas today!