This may seem an unusual question but just because a product is of a technical nature, it doesn’t excuse the supplier from providing a high level of customer service.
Imagine you are experiencing a problem with your software and need to access support. How does that make you feel? Would you be relaxed and confident that your supplier would respond quickly and effectively until the issue was sorted? Or would you feel tense and frustrated, expecting to have to deal with delays before getting through to someone who insists on patronizing you and speaking in tech jargon?
Why customer service is particularly crucial in the tech industry
Many technology providers place a lower priority on customer service than they should. They understand the value that high quality software can deliver but they fail to balance this with a customer-service approach that recognizes the end user’s need to feel supported and listened to.
According to Accenture, this has led to an over-reliance on digital service channels. Despite this though, 83% of people prefer to use human channels over digital ones, which should ring a warning bell for those companies who hide behind a wall of technology in the guise of efficient customer support.
When used effectively, technology such as chatbots can be a useful tool, helping you get to the right place so that your issue can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. However, it’s important to recognise that these technologies shouldn’t solely replace the role of a sympathetic, knowledgeable and friendly human being.
The vicious circle of poor customer service
It can sometimes be easier to accept poor customer service than to look elsewhere for a new supplier, but this can be a dangerous stance. Poor customer service is both a symptom and a cause of deeper problems with a supplier. For example, if customer service agents are not respecting their customers it is a sign that they are not being trained or supported in their role and that the company doesn’t understand the importance of customer service.
It could even be a warning that the company is running out of money and is not able to invest in anything, including software development. Even if they are financially secure, a poor attitude to customers will inevitably lead to churn which will eventually hit the company’s bottom line. An econsultancy study found that companies which didn’t invest in customer service experienced 14% less growth than those that did.
Nobody wants to be last leaving a sinking ship, so it is important to react to poor levels of service before the situation becomes too dire.
What are the symptoms of poor customer service?
Any customer service representative can have a bad day so what are the signs that problems with poor customer service run deep? They include:
Regularly feeling dissatisfied after speaking to customer/tech support
Not having a dedicated account manager (suggesting high organizational churn)
Long wait times
Difficulty accessing a human contact
Lack of urgency with mission-critical software failures
This last point should be a real red flag. If your recruitment software fails, it will lead to increased time to hire, lost candidates, lost data and could end up affecting your reputation with clients and candidates as well as the morale of your staff.
The grass really is greener
The good news is that there are companies out there which fully understand the need for high quality customer service and work hard to make every customer feel special.
idibu customer support team members not only know their software inside out, they also know their customers and what they need from our cutting-edge software. We operate an efficient onboarding system to start things off on the right foot and we don’t churn account managers. This means we can provide a consistent service to help build the customer trust that is so important to the success of our business.
Is it time to change?
Customers are more empowered than ever to switch suppliers. Sticking with the ‘devil you know’ may feel comfortable but can you really afford the reputational hit that comes from the knock-on effects of poor customer support? Whether you’ve always had a difficult relationship with your software supplier or service levels have declined more recently, we recommend researching alternatives before things deteriorate further.
Jerry Gregoire, CIO of Dell, claims that, ‘customer experience is the next competitive battleground.’ Is it time to find out who’s willing to fight for your business?