Customer service- particularly IT customer service- is often a difficult parameter to measure accurately.

A large amount of companies put such strong emphasis on attracting new customers that they will often neglect their existing ones. This is highlighted in some research conducted by ClickSoftware Technologies in 2014, who estimated that UK businesses lose almost £15 billion each year as a result of poor customer service.

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A platform that has become increasingly popular in recent years with customer service complainers and praisers is social media. Predominantly Facebook and Twitter, but also websites such as TripAdvisor.

According to NewVoiceMedia, 59% of 29-34 year olds share poor experience with customer service online. I fall into this statistic and have shared my thoughts on certain companies’ lack of customer service on a few occasions. At times it has worked, and I have been contacted by the company in question and received an apology, and something along the line of service credits received for my trouble.

Equally, I have shared my many positive customer service experiences via social media platforms. I personally find this just as important as sending negative feedback to a company. Although, it would seem that I am in the minority here, as Zendesk reports that only 30% of customers that have had positive customer service will share about it on social media.

 

Looking on the bright side of IT customer service

It’s not just a problem with the customer though – some companies even make it impossible for you to leave positive feedback for them. A few years back I had a very good customer service experience in one of the country’s largest sporting goods stores – the sales assistant went way out of their way to assist me in a purchase. I left the store feeling happy, took a mental note of the young sales assistant’s name and visited the company’s website to send some positive feedback his way; only to find that the company did not have a general feedback page, but only a complaints page.

Having worked in customer-focused roles for the last 16 years (whether this be as a silver service waiter, a bar manager, a Service Desk Engineer, through to a Service Desk Manager), when joining the 848 Group I was keen in educating the engineers the importance of good IT customer service.

In a previous job, I worked with an exceptionally talented engineer that would be able to fix no end of tough IT problems that other first and second line engineers would not be able to resolve, no matter how much diagnosis they did. But the customers disliked his attitude so much that they were willing to have other (less qualified) engineers work on their issues, even if it meant that there would possibly be a delay in the resolution of their IT issue. In this instance, therefore, the quality of his IT customer service was ranked higher than his skills.

I think this example goes to show the importance of having not only the right skills for the job, but the right attitude too.

65% of the 1000 people surveyed for Parature’s survey into the State of Multichannel Customer Service stated that they cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience. A very worrying statistic, which shows that just one bad experience could end up costing your company not only that one customer for life, but potentially many others through word of mouth. IT customer service is more important than you think.

When taking on the role of Service Desk Manager at the 848 Group, I spoke and arranged meetings with a number of customers to discuss about where their concerns lay and what they thought was going well. I also studied the customer feedback we had received through our old ticket logging system and picked up on a few areas of concern and positivity myself.

Following on from this I spoke to the support engineers at length about what good IT customer service means; not only from an end user perspective, but from a business perspective too. I have since implemented my own customer satisfaction survey through our Dynamics CRM system and, at the time of writing, we have a 100% customer satisfaction rating for 2015.

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According to Zendesk, the average customer satisfaction rating across all industries is 86%, with the IT Services and Consultancy industry claiming silver spot being Real Estate, with an average of 95% customer satisfaction rating. IT customer service across the board is much lower than it should be.

We work within an industry that is constantly changing; an industry where the customer contact, the customer demands and the customer expectations are a lot higher than a number of other industries. IT customer service is therefore of the highest importance.

For these reasons, we at 848 are required to not only make ourselves stand above our competitors with regards to value of service, knowledge and support of our products, but also with how satisfied we leave our customers feeling at the end of their working day. Learn more about how we provide great IT customer service here.