Five Ways to Automate Service Delivery

Five Ways to Automate Service Delivery

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Five Ways to Automate Service Delivery

Automation plays an increasingly important role in support case deflection and management activities. Let’s explore some ways you can automate service delivery and help scale your Support operation.

Service automation can provide intelligent answers to customer questions or perform simple, repetitive, yet important tasks. The more we can automate service tasks the less time skilled support staff need to be involved in lower value activities.

Use these 5 proven strategies to automate service delivery and free up your skilled support staff for higher value activities:

  1. Introduce conversational chatbots to assist with issue triage and preliminary diagnostics.
  2. Enable chatbots to answer customer questions when possible or route cases to the best qualified resource for resolution.
  3. Match and present available solutions as new cases are created via web or submitted by e-mail.
  4. Use AI-enabled automation to discover “at risk” customers and alert necessary Customer Success or Technical Account Management.
  5. Automate simple and repeatable case management activities.

Learn more about Automation Metrics that gauge the impact of issue prevention initiatives – Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper:
Four Imperatives for Scaling Support.

 

How successful are your efforts to scale Support?

We’re here to help you do better.

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about proven, measurable ways for your Support function to run at greater scale. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

 

Support demand is on the rise. What’s your response plan?

Download the ServiceXRG Whitepaper:

Four Imperatives for Scaling Support

Download Four Imperatives for Scaling Support and discover:

  • The most effective approaches to scaling support — proven in high-volume support organizations.
  • The 4 top strategies to scale support and reduce demand.
  • The best practices that make these strategies effective.
  • The metrics that enable precise tracking of your efforts to scale support.
Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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Nine Best Practices to Help Customers Help Themselves

Nine Best Practices to Help Customers Help Themselves

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Nine Best Practices to Help Customers Help Themselves

Many new support cases can be avoided if customers are able to access the knowledge and expertise of Support without needing to interact with live agents. It’s all about helping your customers help themselves — and everyone benefits.

Support teams represent a repository of product expertise and must work to make their knowledge available to customers. Many new support cases can be avoided if customers are able to access the knowledge and expertise of Support. Transferring knowledge to customers to help them become more self-sufficient should be high on the list of strategic imperatives for all Support organizations.

Leverage these 9 self-help best practices to help customers successfully help themselves:

  1. Provide direct customer access to up-to-date solutions to common customer issues.
  2. Provide enhanced search and discovery capabilities to help customers find answers.
  3. Implement formal knowledge management processes to create new and update existing knowledgebase content.
  4. Supplement the support knowledge base with customer access to documentation, release notes, getting started guides, help files available.
  5. Deliver more than just answers to frequently asked questions and develop a repository of best practice guides, examples, same code, templates, etc.
  6. Take advantage of delivery formats including text, video, and interactive guides.
  7. Provide access to self-guided tools and utilities to assist customers with self-diagnostics and issue repair.
  8. Create and nurture and active user community to facilitate peer-to-per issues resolution and sharing of best practices.
  9. Provide access to self-paced training, recorded webinars and other skills development resources.

Learn more about Customer Proficiency Metrics that gauge the impact of issue prevention initiatives – Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper:
Four Imperatives for Scaling Support.

How successful are your efforts to scale Support?

We’re here to help you do better.

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about proven, measurable ways for your Support function to run at greater scale. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

Support demand is on the rise. What’s your response plan?

Download the ServiceXRG Whitepaper:

Four Imperatives for Scaling Support

Download Four Imperatives for Scaling Support and discover:

  • The most effective approaches to scaling support — proven in high-volume support organizations.
  • The 4 top strategies to scale support and reduce demand.
  • The best practices that make these strategies effective.
  • The metrics that enable precise tracking of your efforts to scale support.
Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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How To Successfully Change Your Service Organization and Culture

Change is inevitable in Services but often difficult, especially when it challenges current operational and organizational norms. When you can recognize the conditions that require change and can address the potential inhibitors you can prepare for a smooth transition to a new operating and organizational model.

read more

Service Planning Drives Results

To be successful with Services, you must establish a Service plan. To be effective, the Service plan must clearly define the role of Services within your company, prioritize service initiatives necessary to attain prioritized results, and establish metrics to track service performance and outcomes.

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The current organizational structure of your Services team and alignment with other customer-facing teams may be inhibiting your ability to deliver outcomes. Organizational alignment, increased cooperation, and shared goals are key to customer retention and revenue expansion initiatives.

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Ten Strategies to Build Customer Proficiency

Ten Strategies to Build Customer Proficiency

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Ten Strategies to Build Customer Proficiency

The more you can build customer proficiency with your products, the more good things will happen. You’ll increase product adoption, a positive indicator for future purchases. And you’ll reduce the need for customers to contact your Support teams, giving you more runway to scale your Support operations.

Companies need to look beyond just helping customers help themselves and consider how they can build customers’ expertise so they can use and apply products more competently. Proficiency will require companies to move beyond a reliance on self-help-focused strategies and invest in building the foundational technical and business skills customers need to use products fully and successfully.

Leverage these 10 strategies to build customer proficiency, speed product adoption and reduce the need for support assistance:

  1. Define formal onboarding procedures that can assess customer proficiency and recommend appropriate skills development and training.
  2. Establish a skills inventory and recommended training plan as part of onboarding and adoption planning.
  3. Provide access to on-demand self-paced training and skills development.
  4. Provide access to on-demand live coaching to help customers gain experience and build skills in the context of using a product.
  5. Provide access to instructor led in-person and virtual training programs.
  6. Define learning paths to recommend skills development activities and align with available training resources.
  7. Encourage proficiency development by offering customers incentives to develop product-related skills.
  8. Provide skills inventory and assessment tools and services to assess customer proficiency on an ongoing basis.
  9. Define standards of proficiency and offer assessments and skills certification programs.
  10. Make learning fun for customers and reward proficiency development.

Learn more about Customer Proficiency Metrics that gauge the impact of issue prevention initiatives – Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper:
Four Imperatives for Scaling Support.

 

How successful are your efforts to scale Support?

We’re here to help you do better.

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about proven, measurable ways for your Support function to run at greater scale. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

 

Support demand is on the rise. What’s your response plan?

Download the ServiceXRG Whitepaper:

Four Imperatives for Scaling Support

Download Four Imperatives for Scaling Support and discover:

  • The most effective approaches to scaling support — proven in high-volume support organizations.
  • The 4 top strategies to scale support and reduce demand.
  • The best practices that make these strategies effective.
  • The metrics that enable precise tracking of your efforts to scale support.
Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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How To Successfully Change Your Service Organization and Culture

Change is inevitable in Services but often difficult, especially when it challenges current operational and organizational norms. When you can recognize the conditions that require change and can address the potential inhibitors you can prepare for a smooth transition to a new operating and organizational model.

read more

Service Planning Drives Results

To be successful with Services, you must establish a Service plan. To be effective, the Service plan must clearly define the role of Services within your company, prioritize service initiatives necessary to attain prioritized results, and establish metrics to track service performance and outcomes.

read more

From Tasks To Outcomes – Transforming The Service Organization

The current organizational structure of your Services team and alignment with other customer-facing teams may be inhibiting your ability to deliver outcomes. Organizational alignment, increased cooperation, and shared goals are key to customer retention and revenue expansion initiatives.

read more

Seven Strategies to Prevent Support Cases

Seven Strategies to Prevent Support Cases

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Seven Strategies to Prevent Support Cases

Identifying and alleviating performance and usability issues can go a long way toward preventing Support cases. That reduces Support demand and enables your teams to focus on higher-value initiatives.

Support must take the lead in identifying product-related root causes of support demand and aggressively advocate for mitigation of these circumstances. Support must also work with Engineering groups to improve product supportability, advocate for fixes to performance issues, and work to identify and address issues related to product usability.

To help lessen Support demand, leverage these 7 strategies for issue prevention:

 

    1. Establish a well-defined escalation path from Support to Product Engineering.
    2. Integrate Support case-tracking and Product Engineering bug-tracking systems for seamless integration and ongoing progress tracking of reported issues.
    3. Establish service level agreements to define the type and frequency of action for Support and Product Engineering cooperation.
    4. Provide performance and security updates and patches on a regular schedule to address top issues.
    5. Automate update and patch management – make it frictionless for customers to access and apply updates.
    6. Use remote system monitoring and alerting to provide early warning of potential issues before they become critical.
    7. Improve the supportability of systems and products with the goal of increasing the rate that products can self-heal.

Learn more about Prevention Metrics that gauge the impact of issue prevention initiatives – Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper:
Four Imperatives for Scaling Support.

 

How successful are your efforts to scale Support?

We’re here to help you do better.

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about proven, measurable ways for your Support function to run at greater scale. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

Support demand is on the rise. What’s your response plan?

Download the ServiceXRG Whitepaper:

Four Imperatives for Scaling Support

Download Four Imperatives for Scaling Support and discover:

  • The most effective approaches to scaling support — proven in high-volume support organizations.
  • The 4 top strategies to scale support and reduce demand.
  • The best practices that make these strategies effective.
  • The metrics that enable precise tracking of your efforts to scale support.
Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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Essential Customer Success Activities

Essential Customer Success Activities

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Essential Customer Success Activities

Customer Success—and the recurring revenue it generates—results from a series of intentional, interrelated activities performed throughout the customer relationship lifecycle. As shown in this graphic, effective customer success activities comprise a continuum:

 

Essential Customer Success Activities

Effective Customer Success activities fall into 6 distinct categories.  All are essential, yet recent ServiceXRG research revealed that half of companies surveyed are doing only half the job:

Customer Success Activities Commonly Used

Source: ServiceXRG 2020

Customer Success Activities Defined

Onboarding Activities

Onboarding activities aim to remove barriers that may inhibit successful product use. Onboarding can encompass activities to welcome and introduce customers to the resources necessary to use new products, as well as verification that customers can access and use products.

Onboarding activities can include:

  • Initial welcome
  • Kick-off-meeting
  • Goals and objectives inventory

Success Planning Activities

Success planning helps customers realize the full potential of products. These activities can increase understanding customer business objectives, introducing customers to product capabilities, and aligning services to help yield tangible business results.

Success Planning activities can include:

  • Goal setting
  • Account planning
  • Journey mapping
  • Business reviews

Activities to Drive Adoption

Adoption activities occur throughout the product ownership lifecycle. They are designed to advance Customer Success by encouraging the full and successful use of product features and capabilities by all targeted users.

Adoption activities can include:

  • Coaching
  • Training
  • Best practices
  • Templates

Health Monitoring Activities

By monitoring the customer ownership experience, your team gains insights about the extent to which customers are using products successfully. Early-warning signs of low adoption or low success rates trigger corrective actions.

Health monitoring activities can include:

  • Usage tracking
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Risk assessment
  • Intervention

Customer Retention Activities

Customer retention activities facilitate the contract-renewal actions that are necessary to assure sustained customer relationships and continuation of recurring revenues.

Customer retention activities can include:

  • Renewal notification
  • Budget planning
  • Follow-up
  • Win-loss analysis

Up-sell and Cross-Sell Activities

These expansion activities focus on the growth of customer relationship value by offering additional capabilities or capacity. This is where Customer Success activities pay off in additional, and ideally recurring, revenue.

 

Up-sell and cross-sell activities can include:

  • Account reviews
  • ROI analysis
  • Goal setting
  • Opportunity alignment

Make a plan to optimize Customer Success activities

ServiceXRG provides coaching and guidance to help companies optimize their Customer Success strategies, create action plans, and apply best practices.

Let’s make a plan to optimize your Customer Success Activities.

Contact ServiceXRG via the chat button at bottom right or e-mail now; or click on my calendar to set up an initial assessment of your Customer Success planning needs.

 

Exclusive ServiceXRG whitepaper: "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

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Best Practices and Metrics for Assisted Support Delivery

Best Practices and Metrics for Assisted Support Delivery

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Best Practices and Metrics for Assisted Support Delivery

Making it easy for customers to get help depends upon the channels available to access support resources and request assistance. Many companies offer assistance by phone but there is a clear shift towards electronic channels.

Assisted Support

The time, effort, and costs required to provide assisted support make it imperative for companies to find ways to expedite issue resolution and bolster efforts to prevent issues.

Companies offer a variety of channels for customers to request assisted support. These include interactive channels like chat and phone, and passive methods such as e-mail, Support communities, and web case submission. Customers have embraced electronic channels and are relying less on assistance by phone.

Key Trends

  • 83.1% of companies offer both phone and electronic channels for support. Only 14.9% offer electronic-only support contact methods.
  • Support case submission by web-based form is the top channel used, followed by phone and e-mail.
  • Phone support use has declined by 8% as electronic channel use grows.
  • The use of chat has grown by 26% while use of e-mail has risen by 24%.
  • The reasons customers request support assistance are equally distributed across three primary categories of “How To,” “Bugs or Performance Issues,” and “Installation, Configuration, Setup.”
  • Most support interactions are reactive, although proactive engagement is on the rise.

Best Practices

From case open to closure, case management and resolution processes must be efficient and effective.

  • Apply structured data collection to assure that submitted cases are complete.
  • Encourage adoption of web-based case submission.
  • Apply intelligent automation to triage and routing of new cases.
  • Deflect as cases are created.
  • Collaborate.
  • Leverage case closure automation.
  • Completely document closed cases.
  • Trigger knowledge process upon case closure.

Key Metrics

It is important to track how your customers engage your Support organization as well as the types of issues they need help with. Consider using the following metrics and measures:

  • Cases by Channel
  • Assisted Issue by Types
  • Support Access Point

What more insights about assisted support best practices and metrics?

For insights about how support is changing and the opportunities and imperative for 2021 please review ServiceXRG’s latest study: Support Transformation: The Guide to Essential Practices and Metrics.  This report examines current trends in Support delivery and offers tangible guidance for Support, Success and Service professionals to meet growing expectations of both customers and company executives.

Download your copy now

Make a Plan to Optimize Assisted Support

ServiceXRG provides coaching and guidance to help companies optimize support performance and apply best practices.

Let’s make a plan to optimize support.

Contact ServiceXRG by chat or e-mail now or click on my calendar to set up an initial assessment of your Support planning needs.

Fresh, authoritative, actionable insights for Support leaders

Exclusive Research Report:

Support Transformation: The Guide to Essential Practices and Metrics

Download the ServiceXRG Support Transformation 2021 research report

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