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Why Service Providers Must Focus On Phone And Email

A new report shows that phone and email are still the preferred ways of communicating with customers for services.

An article on Service Management Online’s website highlights the results of a survey of 120 service professionals in the United Kingdom.

When asked which channels they used to initiate customer service engagement, the results were predictable, but also shed some light on the future. Not surprisingly, phone (89.2 percent) and email (83.3 percent) ranked as the top go-to-channels for most service organizations.

Since these two channels are more costly than others, it’s important for companies to have service call and dispatch software that processes calls quickly and efficiently. This will keep administrative costs to a minimum.

For field services companies, having this kind of system determine customer entitlement, pricing services and visibility into technicians’ skills and availability will go a long way to making customers happy. It also will drive costs down.

As the Service Management Online article notes, delayed email responses and problems with phone queues continue to irk end users, so it’s important that companies focus on those areas.

The survey also found that online portals are on the rise as a means of customer service engagement. About 36 percent of respondents surveyed reported that they are taking advantage of social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

When asked about areas of future investment, nearly half of the companies surveyed indicated that they would focus on mobile technology, with the assumption that greater layers of infrastructure will be in place.

Finally, the survey asked companies how they track service quality. About 88 percent indicated that they have some type of quality monitoring in place, and of those, nearly 43 percent rely on historical reports for reviewing service levels.

Twenty-five percent of companies allow management real-time access to service quality data. It’s the most advanced option available because it allows for optimization and issue avoidance on new levels.

Source: Service Management Online, October 2012

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