Customer Service Software - 11 Tips to Get What You Really Need

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By Joe Boye

Nowadays, no one understands a good, comprehensive customer service without a supporting software platform. A good Customer Service Software will allow you to address efficiently your customer issues, by registering them, assigning them automatically to the right resources, tracking their evolution until resolution, obtaining relevant metrics and creating easily a knowledge base to record known solutions to recurring issues.

If you have spent some time investigating your options in the Internet, you will by now be aware that there are plenty of alternatives to choose from, everyone of them stressing their own strengths. As the features they provide are many and their relative importance may not be completely clear to you, here is a list of the things you should really focus on when making a purchase decision:

1. The Customer Service Software you select has to be compatible with your existing IT infrastructure (computers OS, browser, e-mail technology...).

2. The solution has to be adaptable to your (presumably evolving) needs.

3. It has to be scalable, mainly if you intend to grow or if it is difficult for you to anticipate the demand.

4. If the Customer Service Software is going to be accessed directly by customers (for issues reporting, for example), check that it provides a user-friendly interface and is easy to learn and use. Otherwise, there will be resistance to its adoption and it will hamper your plans for implementation.

5. In the case mentioned above, make sure also that the Customer Service Software provides configurable filtering options that avoid one customer seeing other customer's issues with your product or service. You do not want unimportant issues reported as critical by others or issues that finally are not such, to unnecessarily change the perception of your customer about the product or service.

6. If you plan to get a free Customer Service Software solution because you prefer to give it a try and then decide if you go for the premium option, you have to take into account that you will be investing effort in installation, training, database building, historical records... you will be locked into this particular Customer Service Software and the vendor pricing schemas. Think of this and check also the conditions and cost of an upgrade. The next point may add another difficulty if you decide to change the software platform after your first try.

7. You will also be locked into a particular vendor if you choose a solution that is based on a proprietary standard. A solution that works with Open Standards is much more easy to migrate to another one if you eventually decide to change your Customer Service Software.

8. Make sure your provider offers training to the help desk staff and check which kind of technical support and maintenance it is providing once you have your software installed and running. The support should include upgrades, security patches, new training, etc...

9. Some providers offer hosting in their own machines and they may even run themselves some, if not all, help desk operations. This may save you time and money in the long term, especially if you need to build a help desk department from scratch and you prefer focussing in your core abilities.

10. If ITIL is a must for you now or you guess it may be sometime in the medium term, make sure that the solution you get is ITIL compliant.

11. When you finally reduce your list to one or two final candidates for your Customer Service Software, ask for a live demo, or even, if possible, download a free version and use it for some days to have a better understanding of its features, performance, ease of use, etc.

There are important advantages to selecting a good Customer Service Software, some of them you may not have think of yet. Check them in the Top 10 Advantages of Help Desk Applications [].

For more interesting details and tips about help desk solutions, their most common features, types, advantages, good practices and other resources visit our site Help Desk Solutions []

Article Source: Customer Service Software - 11 Tips to Get What You Really Need


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