Intelligent Customer Service: Connected, Contextual, Consistent

Posted by Kelly Koelliker on 2/9/17 5:00 AM

This article was originally published on the Verint blog on 2/1/2017

Today's customer is smart, engaged, connected and informed. To keep pace with this new breed of customer, organizations must also become smarter and more connected. Your employees are the gateway to your customers, and the best way to help ensure they stay satisfied and loyal is to empower your employees with the tools and tactics to provide superior service. Organizations seeking to provide intelligent customer service are able provide this level of service throughout the customer journey, even as it spans multiple channels.

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Topics: support, customer experience, social media, support services, social support, customer support, customer service

4 Self-Service Trends and Pacesetter Practices to Watch in 2017

Posted by John Ragsdale on 1/11/17 5:00 AM

With the unprecedented planned spending for customer self-service portals, companies are looking for help on where to start. Over the last year, TSIA's VP of Support Services Research, Judith Platz, and I have had the opportunity to work with multiple TSIA members on evaluating their current self-service programs, tools and metrics, and making recommendations on investment priorities to accelerate self-service success. I'm hoping these engagements have been as informative for the members as they have been for us.

As we head into 2017, I wanted to recap some trends and member pacesetter practices we are tracking related to self-service.

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Topics: support services, social support, customer support, online communities, online support, customer engagement, self-service support, knowledge base

Take Part in TSIA Social Support Research!

Posted by John Ragsdale on 12/2/16 5:00 AM

Today's customer is demanding support via their preferred channels, which means that online communities and Twitter are now being used as often as phone and email. No longer just a consumer phenomenon, social support has become a common practice in enterprise support, with the majority of B2B companies offering customer discussion forums. In fact, more than half of TSIA members are now offering some level of support via social media channels. But, that doesn't mean that we, as an industry, have it all figured out just yet.

You're invited to participate in TSIA's annual Social Support Survey, which tracks year-over-year trends in social channels offered for customer support, program ownership, performance metrics, service level agreements (SLAs), and staffing for both online communities and social media support. This year, we've added some new questions that will help us gain additional insight into community activity, including the role of customers vs. employees vs. partners in answering forum questions.

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Topics: social media, support services, service level agreement (SLA), social support, customer support, TSIA Survey, online communities, multi-channel support, online support, TSIA Research

TSW Las Vegas 2016: What I Heard

Posted by John Ragsdale on 10/28/16 5:00 AM

After each of our Technology Services World Conferences, I like to look back over all the 1:1 meetings, breakout session questions, and hallway conversations, and come up with some of the top trends and issues I heard. Last Tuesday, I had 1:1 meetings scheduled from 8 AM to 5:30 PM, which was a great opportunity to hear what members are working on, where they are seeing success, and where they are struggling. 

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Topics: knowledge management, professional services, social support, online communities, online support, professional services automation (PSA)

Intelligently Optimizing Digital Support Channels

Posted by Nick Sellers on 10/11/16 5:00 AM

Many businesses aren't clear as to what good digital support entails, with only vague notions about lowering costs and improving customer experience. Their focus is instead on implementing a platform that gives them the best return on investment, which is measured in money (and time) saved.

These businesses often also make the mistake of introducing digital support platforms—such as self-service, real-time chat, online communities and social networks—as discrete standalone projects even when part of a larger campaign. They also tend to prioritize budget and execution methods rather than customer experience and outcomes. While the former strategy can save a little money now, the latter will be what defines a support platform's long-term success.

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Topics: customer experience, social media, support services, social support, multi-channel support, online support, optimization, digital support

TSIA’s 2015 Social Support Survey is Now Open!

Posted by John Ragsdale on 12/3/15 6:30 AM

Over the last decade, social support has gone from bleeding edge, to pacesetter practice, to what is almost standard operation procedure. TSIA defines social support as online customer communities or discussion forums, as well as interacting with customers using social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. To gather information on how companies are managing and staffing these programs, TSIA’s 5th annual Social Support survey asks about channels offered, interaction volumes, service level agreements, and more.

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Topics: social support, TSIA Survey

[Breaking News] Verint Systems Acquires Telligent: Customer Community Core to Customer Engagement Strategy

Posted by John Ragsdale on 8/17/15 5:00 AM

When I first began publishing research on customer communities as a self-service channel in 2004, few companies had a community, and most were afraid of the “free-for-all” nature of discussion forums, fearful of what customers might say. Today, communities are a critical channel in supporting customers (and partners), allowing expert customers to answer other users’ questions and weigh in on any issue based on their own unique experiences. 

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Topics: customer success, knowledge management, social support, online communities, online support, customer engagement

What Does the Internet Think About Your Company?

Posted by John Ragsdale on 3/5/15 6:30 AM

With the advent of social sharing, the world has become a very public place, putting professional organizations under the microscope more than ever before. The Internet never forgets, and it’s crucial to not only monitor what is being said about your company, but also to be vigilant about the message you convey to the public. 

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Topics: social media, social support

Why Social Media Support Is More Important Than You Think

Posted by John Ragsdale on 2/20/15 6:30 AM

We’ve already examined how to offer social support through online discussion communities, but now it’s time to explore the second part of this customer satisfaction puzzle: social media support. Support interactions through social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, etc., can play an important role in providing the level of support your customers have come to expect from you and your business.

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Topics: social media, social support

TSIA's Annual Social Support Survey is Now Open!

Posted by Technology Services Industry Association on 12/2/14 6:30 AM

TSIA's 5th annual Social Support Survey is now open! The purpose of this survey is to find out how different companies are leveraging social media channels to better support their customers, as well as compare the results from previous years to gauge upcoming trends and best practices. Participation in the survey is open to everyone and ends at midnight, December 31.

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Topics: social media, knowledge management, social support

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