Ask the expert: Service and support

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With more than half of consumers reporting they would pay more for better customer experience,1 businesses are finding it increasingly important to focus on service and support and not just the quality of a product. After all, a bad customer experience has far-reaching effects, potentially impacting your ability to compete in the marketplace even in the long-term. In fact, consumers are 2 times more likely to share a bad experience than a positive one and 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related versus product related.1 Bringing a customer back into a positive relationship with you involves significant investment. It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for that one negative experience.1

The unique challenge of improving customer service, though, is that it can seem especially subjective and imprecise. It may seem like a moving target to define how to provide the best possible customer experience, going beyond offering a superior product to supporting that purchase before, during and after deployment with exceptional customer service.

Matt Brett, Global Vice President of Customer Care, Verizon Connect discusses how we take customer support to heart to help our customers maximize the return on their fleet or field service management investment.

Q. We know that a company’s service can be as important as the product they provide and can sway customer decisions. What would you say is unique about the service and support Verizon Connect offers our customers?

A. First, it’s our ability to provide support when you need it. We have more than 215 customer care team members globally to address customer service needs. Because we’re a global enterprise, we’re able to take what we call a “follow-the-sun” approach to customer service calls. This means we can route inbound calls and emails to whichever office is online. For example, if a call comes in after hours in the United States, it automatically gets transferred to our Australia office. That way, we’re there for our customers.

Second, we hold ourselves to strict customer experience standards. To achieve this, we monitor and track phone answer stats to help ensure very quick answer rates, measuring overall and specific category Days to Resolution to help ensure that issues, requests and questions are addressed quickly. We also employ follow-up surveys. Once an issue is resolved, we value the opinions of every customer to help us continually improve. Hearing “you quickly resolved my issue and kept me updated on a regular basis” or “you had a very friendly customer demeanor” is what drives us to be the best and make our customers happy.

Q. Today, the efficiency and effectiveness of any company’s teams, including customer service, depends heavily on the use of technology. How does your technology platform enable you to better address customer support?

We’ve deployed a state-of-the-art infrastructure to support our customer care teams in providing the highest level of service. First, we leverage our extensive and sophisticated customer database for case management, which allows us to customize the process to best meet the unique needs of our customers and make it as customer-friendly as possible.

Next, we’ve rolled out a global unified phone system that lets us route calls and support an “always-available” approach, even during high-demand call times. Finally, we’ve built out a proprietary technology system called FleetCARE to help quickly address any customer issues that may arise.

Q. Can you talk a bit more specifically about FleetCARE and how it’s used?

FleetCARE helps us quickly diagnose and triage issues that a customer may be having by letting us see the customer’s interface, account settings and more first-hand.

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For example, if there’s a question about information in a report, our support team members can mirror exact customer settings to see their experience in near real-time and determine the problem. For example, is there a configuration glitch? Is an update needed? Does the development team need to step in?

FleetCARE also gives support team members access to detailed plot-level information from the field, which gives us the ability to understand if the product is working as it should so we can do a better job of quickly identifying where an issue exists and letting customers know the solution.

Q. Customer service is only as good as the people providing the support to customers. Can you tell us how you prepare your teams for the task?

Before any support rep takes inbound calls, our teams go through training and certification to ensure they’re truly a subject matter expert on the platform they’ll be supporting. We also cross-train all reps on every platform to make sure they can seamlessly move between support teams to help out as call volumes increase or decrease.

In addition, we have both an Inside Customer Care team and an Advanced Support team. Inside Customer Care is on the front lines handling inbound calls, emails and chat. If a more sophisticated or complex customer issue comes in, they can turn to Advanced Support for deeper subject matter expertise to triage and diagnose the issue, and, in the process, learn how to solve that problem themselves.

Q. How does what your support team learns impact other teams in the organization?

We keep our new customer training team and our customer support team under one umbrella. This allows customer support to quickly collaborate with the training team when trends and questions arise to ensure the trainers are able to include customers’ most common requests or need.

Find out the difference world-class service and support can provide and how to choose the right telematics solution for your fleet.

Sources

1 www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/10/customer-service-stats-55-of-consumers-would-pay-more-for-a-better-service-experience.html

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