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Photo Credit: Nancy Van Elsacker

New Methods for Customer Contact May Be Required to Engage Your Organization

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Your employees working from home have the same questions and concerns as your employees who work at the office. There may be differences in the work they do and the amount of it that they produce, but both expect the same level of services. You can use a unified communications tool to support your employees on location, but there are some cases when this approach is not enough to address the needs of all employees within the organization.

The first thing to remember is that communication with employee customers is critical to your ability to provide the services they need to do their jobs. Thus, while trying to meet the employee in his or her space, at home or onsite, it may be worthwhile to consider using the communication channel of his or her choice to help create a more interactive exchange. Body language, facial expressions and even hand gestures are missed when customers only have the ability to call or chat. Organizational leaders must be aware of employee communication needs and allow them to take the lead; if they have a question, they can determine which medium to use to reach you.

For example, if you use a specific chat client and your employee customer is working from home, they may not want to use the chat feature your organization offers and they may not want to install a mandated application to contact you. We are actually now seeing that these roles have been reversed. If your employee customer uses a specific service, like WhatsApp?, then perhaps you should allow him or her the ability to reach you through this medium. Ultimately, your customer is going to determine the medium you use to provide service and that’s not a terrible thing, especially if serving these customers off site.

Presence

Indicating your availability, or your presence, is an important aspect of providing services through a variety of media. When service providers and employee customers indicate their status in a communication tool it is even easier to provide and receive good services. A customer can directly see whether a specific service desk employee is available for a question, and vice versa: If you are processing a call you can check whether the customer is present and available. You also can decide to extend your communication network to suppliers or partner organizations, for instance. When your customer needs a new printer, for example, you do not have to call to see whether your contact person at the supplier is available. This creates shorter communication lines, enabling you to process calls more quickly.

Service through online solutions

Developments in media and technology have created a number of possibilities to bring your services to a higher level. The first step toward providing your employee customers quicker and better service on the phone or through chat. It remains essential that communication channels suit your organization’s applications. In the future, service providers will likely have to provide a number of contact options for clients, including the persons currently available. Thus, when an employee customer clicks the preferred contact option, an automatic connection is made with his own communication software. If a customer clicks the video chat, like Skype, a new window opens in his own chat client, such as Skype. We’ll continue to see more programs used both professionally and privately. One example is that more and more people are starting to ask service providers questions via Twitter.

By allowing multiple channels for your employee customers to connect with you, you’ll find that they are likely to be more engaged and driven to work with your service desk, and you’ll be better able to address their immediate service needs. While these suggestions may seem overwhelming, the service you’re able to provide with them is better than the service you’re able to provide without them.

Nancy Van Elsacker is president of TOPdesk US, part of a global provider of IT service management solutions and services.

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