Everyone complains about how bad customer service has become.  You hear the stories about people getting lost in the automated phone answering systems or getting directed to a voice mailbox where they are told to leave a message and someone will be in touch “soon”.  Sometimes they get told “Please hold, the next available agent will be with you in approximately 23 minutes.”

When they finally get to talk to a person, the agent is completely unqualified to solve anything but the most basic issues and you have to be transferred to another department, where you are asked to hold for another 10 minutes.  You are pushed off the phone as fast as possible, your problem is not really solved, and when you call back, you have to go through the whole process again.

People have been conditioned to call a phone number to get support.  They think that it is going to be the most efficient way to get an answer to their question.  But when I have a realistic discussion with people about this, they quickly realize the process is fundamentally broken.  As the product director, I control the customer experience for Rapid Inventory, so why would I do it the same broken way as everyone else?  Constantly failing to meet expectations is a lousy way to treat customers.

We are doing it differently and our customers love it.  We start by respecting the customer’s time.  Every page in Rapid Inventory has a red and white life preserver icon on it that takes the customer directly into our help desk.  They start by creating a new help desk ticket.  They provide the details about their problem and can even attach a screenshot.  We automatically provide them with potential answers from our knowledge base, if they do not find an answer, the ticket goes to the entire team of agents.  At that point the customer goes about their business, while we get to work.

If the answer is easy, the customer will usually have an emailed response from an agent within 15 minutes.  If the problem is complicated, they will still get a quick response from an agent and probably a request for more details or a phone number for the agent to call them at.  A screen sharing session may be started so the agent can see their screens.

 

By using a ticket method, several things happen that benefit the customer:

  1. The ticket gets routed to the next available agent that is the most capable to answer the question.  The answer is faster and more accurate.

  2. Our agents are able to help far more customers, since they can answer additional tickets while they are waiting for a customer to reply with additional details.

  3. Our agents are all specialists.  We do not have beginner agents on staff for the purpose of answering the phone and reading common solutions to customers.  Not only do people hate that, but the additional salaries would require us to raise the price of Rapid Inventory.

  4. Our agents are empowered to answer tickets in the order that makes the most sense.  A person whose business is at a stop because the sync between Rapid Inventory and QuickBooks is not working will get assisted before the person who has a question about running a report.

  5. Our agents can easily collaborate on tickets.  If an agent’s shift is over, the next agent can start working on the ticket.  All the details are there and they don’t have to ask the customer to explain the issue again.  They are a team.

  6. We never assume that the problem is solved.  We leave it up to the customer to mark the ticket as solved.

 

In the end, prospective customers are going to have to trust me that our way is better.  That we value customer service above almost everything else, and that we want them to be delighted with the level of service they receive.  They are going to have to try it for themselves and see.  Even the most skeptical prospects eventually come around.

Here is some proof.

Customers get a chance to rate their satisfaction on every solved help desk ticket.  We ask one basic question that gets right to the heart of the matter.

We”d love to hear what you think of our customer service. Please take a moment to answer one simple question by clicking either link below:

How would you rate the support you received?

Good, I”m satisfied

Bad, I”m unsatisfied

 

Our help desk averages around 97%  satisfaction (over a rolling 60 day window) and has hit 100% satisfaction three times over the last two years.  People will always find the time to voice a complaint, which makes it even more incredible that the vast majority of our customers take time out of their busy days to tell us how great we are doing.

 

Here are a few of the more  recent comments received:

 

This ticket has been rated as Good, I”m satisfied

With the following comment:

You need to add a Fantastic / Great button, because I”ve used your Customer Svc several times over the past few months and it”s AWESOME!!!!! Keep it up!!!!

 

This ticket has been rated as Good, I”m satisfied

With the following comment:

Everything was great! Was able to remedy the situation and worked around my schedule.

 

This ticket has been rated as Good, I”m satisfied

With the following comment:

Very good response time. Thank you very much. Customer Service is King….and you do a very good job. High Fives all around!!!!

 

This ticket has been rated as Good, I”m satisfied

With the following comment:

Better than outstanding! Very responsive and everyone I”ve been in contact with is knowledgeable and very helpful. Can”t wait to get up & running.

 

I don”t hide behind an unverifiable statement that “people love our help desk”  so I put our real-time satisfaction score on the website for every customer to see.  Go to this page and take a look yourself: http://www.rapidinventory.com/resources/support/

 

When you truly value the customer, you treat them the way you want to be treated.  The Rapid Inventory help desk treats customers the way I want to be treated.