Customer Service Software for Small to Midsize Business 2014
By Larry Caretsky
CEO Commence Corporation
Software Advice has produced a white paper titled “Customer Service Software – Small Business Buyer View 2014” that clearly articulates what businesses are looking for in order to improve the buying experience and service they provide to their customers. I am posting this paper with their approval because I believe it is spot on with regard to what I believe is the next wave of application software for small to mid-sized businesses.
Most small to mid-sized businesses are struggling to manage customer service and customer expectations. Using basic methods such as e-mail or an Excel spreadsheet leaves them with no consolidated record or history of customer interactions. Some key findings include:
- Over half of buyers (52%) were still using manual methods to manage their customer support functions.
- 64% of all first-time buyers cited a need to better manage customer complaints as the top reason for evaluating software.
- The top requested feature was trouble ticketing (90%), followed by reporting and analytics (36%).
“Trouble ticketing – gets people out of inboxes and into a system with greater visibility across the organization.”
Managing customer expectations is paramount to customer retention, and while there are several standalone Help Desk solutions on the market, customers need to make sure they do not fall into the old trap of creating silos of information within their organization. Many understand this, and as such are seeking customer service functionality that is integrated with web-based CRM.
Several CRM solution providers have been working diligently to provide integrated customer service solutions for their customers. My firm Commence Corporation is taking an aggressive approach to this opportunity and has already differentiated itself with a solid customer service and ticketing system that is fully integrated with the contact management, sales and marketing applications. A new web-based customer portal that enables customers to enter tickets into the CRM system, as well as access a knowledge base for self-service support, is due out in November. Only a few CRM solution providers can match this capability and they tend to be quite expensive and support enterprise level organizations.
The Software Advice white paper will provide you with quality information about what buyers are looking for and why. It is a great source of information for companies looking to automate the customer service side of their business. Click below to access the free report: