We do a lot about the need to automate the service business & field service nowadays. Here are some numbers to back up our claim. We have obtained these numbers for the IT outsourcing market, but they are somewhat relevant as milestones for service companies in other segments as well.
How many employees should be engaged in technical support?
The technological sectors' support is very quantifiable. According to the HDI (industry support organization), an average user generates 0.61 support requests per month associated with incident resolution and 0.77 requests for ongoing maintenance. According to Gartner, to cope with this volume of incoming queries, it is necessary to keep a 70:1 ratio of users submitting the requests to customer service employees, meaning that for every 70 users or customers there should be 1 support employee. In practice, this ratio may fluctuate depending on the specifics of the market and the service processes. Some large companies cope up keeping an 800:1 ratio, whereas small & medium businesses tend towards 30:1, with a market median value being somewhere around 200:1.
The main issue here is that the workforce costs money, and hiring more people to handle customer service makes the customer service more expensive. Frequently, it's not even possible to hire enough qualified professionals: businesses in every region experience human resource shortages. This is why instead of bloating the teams, businesses often look for technologies that can help to increase the efficiency of their existing employees.
Here's just one example of inefficiency to illustrate our argument about the necessity of process automation. Do you know how much customer service actually costs? Romexsoft compared the cost of resolving the request on the first and second lines and obtained a staggering difference of almost 4 times, because way more people are involved in the interaction with the customers on the second line. Now, imagine if there are no dedicated customer service lines, there are no standard processes, but there is routine and everyone is busy doing everything. Resolving even the most trivial issues will be exorbitantly costly.
Why should the tech support be automated, and why implement a Help Desk?
Help desk system for best support service & field service. Experience of 10,000+ companies!
In particular, automation of tech support addresses the following issues:
ruling out the expensive processes and reducing the customer service expenses.
Automation simplifies the processing of incoming inquiries, helping to avoid wasting time on superfluous issues and actions, increasing overall productivity. While the routine is handled by an automated system, dispatchers and field technicians can be solving more important issues;
getting extensive information about customer service efficiency and figuring out the bottlenecks in the processes.
Collected statistics allows spotting the opportunities for increasing team efficiency. On average, companies using analytics in Help Desk system reduce the time of processing requests by 16%;
Using solution for tech support & field service (Help Desk system like Okdesk) increases the efficiency of the department by 50%, on average. Manual processes that often allow mistakes are now replaced by impeccable error-free automatic processes, so that the team can perform their job duties faster (correcting the mistakes is always more costly);
increasing customer service quality, subsequently boosting sales.
62% of B2B clients are ready to make additional purchases after having a positive interaction experience with customer support, and 66% of them stop buying from a partner who failed their customer service.
Beginning of support automation, and how to start the Help Desk implementation?
There are several "blocks" that should be automated first and foremost in the process of Help Desk system implementation for B2B service companies & field service:
Processing of incoming queries.
Reducing human involvement at the early stages of service reduces its cost. An automation tool can help classify the requests into categories and send them to corresponding executors just as effectively as a scheduler would.
Customer communication management.
To reduce the total number of queries, one should keep the clients informed about the current status of their issues and their ongoing maintenance. Help Desk systems can both automatically send corresponding reminders, which takes off a load of customer support by eliminating the need to answer trivial questions and provide the customer service with access to customer web portals and other communication channels.
Service Level Agreements progressively find their way even into small businesses. Tech support automation systems allow setting up warnings that some parameter of customer service is conflicting with SLA parameters. The team can then respond quickly to resolve the situation by, for instance, increasing the priority of the requests with an expiring fulfillment deadline in order to maintain the company's good reputation among its clients;
Measuring the efficiency.
Instead of lengthy in-person daily/weekly employee performance reviews, team performance reports can be viewed in real-time on a dedicated panel.
Automatically resolving the repeating issues & maintenance.
In the service industries like fleet management, about 30% of customer service time is spent on resolving basic tasks or preventive maintenance, with 13% of employees considering these tasks a waste of time. This is why automating the routine kills two birds with one stone—it cuts down the overheads and increases employee loyalty.
Okdesk is the leading Help Desk system (experience of 10,000+ service companies) for tech support & field service automation. Free testing!