Less support calls, but better customer service – how did we do that?

helpdesk

Over recent years we’ve been closely monitoring the volume, frequency, complexity and fix rate of our inbound customer support queries. Like many in this age of cloud based software applications, we use an online customer service portal – to make life as easy as possible for our customers.

We use a solution called Zendesk – a cloud-based customer service tool that enables us to track every customer interaction – whether by email, phone, directly via the portal and in ot

her ways too. By keeping everything in one place, we can easily keep on top of what’s going on, helping us to better serve our customers with things like customer self-service.

Yes, that’s all very interesting, but everyone has some kind of support system – but the really interesting part for us is what the reporting and analytics has revealed.

White Springs ranks above 70% of all Zendesk customers on “First time reply”

What does that mean exactly? Well out of the 52,000 plus customers that Zendesk has, White Springs responds to new calls faster than over two thirds of their clients. And over time, we’ve improved out response speed by a whopping 37%.

But how have we done this? I caught up with Neil Cochrane who runs customer support here and he noted three main reasons:

  • As our own software has evolved, we’re doing less ‘on premise’ work, which historically tended to bring more than its fair share of challenges and consequently support tickets
  • The quality of the solutions we build has improved over time – our software is better made now that it has ever been
  • Our process for fixing bugs and issues has become more robust over time. Not only are there less bugs to fix, but when they do occur, we get fixes in place much quicker

We’re not saying that our work is done, exactly the opposite. We’ll keep pushing to improve in every aspect – solution, services and support.

From small seeds… and building long-term client-supplier relationships

From-small-seedsMighty trees may grow from small seeds, and we’re not saying we’re mighty trees, but many of our clients have been clients for many, many years – and just like a healthy tree, those relationships have grown and successfully weathered the different seasons.

Our White Springs sales enablement technology has undoubtedly played a part in keeping our customers happy. Providing outstanding customer service has also been a considerable influencing factor too – see our recent post on our achieving 100% customer satisfaction.

Clients such as bfinance, Health Edge Software, Pearson Packages and Inova have been working with us to enhance their Miller Heiman and Salesforce implementations for eight years or more. Many others, for example, McCue Corporation, Baker Atlas, Spherion, Noresco, ChemImage and Houston Wire and Cable are not far behind, at around seven years.

In the world of sales, customer acquisition and retention, we’re often reminded that it’s costly to attract new clients, and it’s much better to retain the ones you have. This philosophy is certainly held at White Springs.

We’ve started the New Year as we mean to go on – 100% Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction - Outstanding Customer Service2015 has got off to a great start, in many ways, but in particular the three months to January 13th. We’ve written about our well above the industry norm levels of customer satisfaction before, but we’ve not rested on our laurels. In the three months to January 13th, we’ve hit 100% customer satisfaction once again.

Thank you to our customers for providing such great feedback, and thank you to all involved in delivering this outstanding level of customer service.

Is there anything else we can do for our customers? Make the tea perhaps?

Sales Enablement Solutions – Should you build in-house or partner with the experts? Infographic: The pros and cons

If you’re considering deploying a sales enablement solution or enhancing an existing one, you may be considering building a solution in-house to meet your specific needs. But have you taken everything into account? Our infographic looks at the pros and cons of an in-house built solution versus partnering with experts in the field of sales enablement.

Infographic - pros and cons of build in-house or partner for sales enablement

Agile software development – buzz word or real business benefit? Part 5 – Conclusions

Scott Reynolds White SpringsIn this, the final part of his five part blog series (missed parts 1 to 4? Catch-up now), Scott Reynolds concludes with a summary of the Scrum Agile Software Development methodology and looks at the benefits to both developers and end user organisations.

In this blog series I’ve looked at the steps in the Scrum Agile Software Development methodology and have touched upon the benefits. The methodology is designed to produce software in shorter timeframes to better meet the needs of users, lower costs and increase quality. Scrum also provides a greater level of flexibility as project requirements and understanding evolves. [Read more…]

Agile software development – buzz word or real business benefit? Part 4

In this fourth part of his five part blog series (catch-up on parts 1 to 3), Scott Reynolds rounds off his look at the Scrum Agile Software Development methodology and begins to draw his conclusions.

agile software development scrumOnce the development effort is completed, a Sprint Review meeting is held. The primary purpose of this meeting is to review and inspect the product, with particular focus on the functionality implemented during the particular Sprint under review. With multiple Sprints making up the overall development, this provides the opportunity for the product to be demonstrated to the stakeholders. The stakeholders, who could be internal or external sponsors, or even the ultimate end-user customer, get to see the progress made and are able to provide instant feedback. [Read more…]

Agile software development – buzz word or real business benefit? Part 3

In this third part of a five part blog series (read part 1 or part 2), Scott Reynolds picks up the Scrum Agile Software Development methodology with Sprint Planning Meetings.

Sprint planning meetingPrior to a ‘Sprint’ kicking off an, imaginatively named, ‘Sprint Planning Meeting’ needs to take place. Those participating in the Sprint Planning Meeting determine which User Stories will be implemented in the coming Sprint.

Sprint factors will include: its duration, the number of developers and their available time. A calculation is made around the number of effort hours, or Story Points worth of User Stories, which can be implemented during the Sprint. This effort calculation is based upon the teams’ knowledge and experience. The feedback loop also helps guide the decision, i.e. as teams become more experienced with Scrum, they will be able to more effectively and accurately estimate the total functionality that can be implemented in a sprint. [Read more…]

Agile software development – buzz word or real business benefit? Part 2

In the first part of this five part blog series, Scott Reynolds began to look at the current trend toward agile software development. In part 2, he picks up the story with estimating development effort and the concept of short, sharp, development sprints.

scrumI talked about the concept of the Product Backlog in part 1 of this blog series on agile software development and, in particular, the scrum methodology. All items in the Product Backlog are estimated in terms of effort to implement; this is either in hours, days or in an arbitrary unit known as ‘Story Points’. Story points do not attempt to estimate the exact number of days, hours or minutes required to implement the User Story, but rather give a measure of the relative size or complexity of the User Story. A simple User Story that would take no more than a couple of hours to implement would be assigned, for example, one Story Point, a more complex requirement may be two Story Points. [Read more…]

Agile software development – buzz word or real business benefit?

Scott Reynolds White SpringsIn this first of a five part blog series, Scott Reynolds takes a closer look at the current trend toward agile software development. Is it just a buzzword or a fad, or is there real business benefit to the consumers of software developed using agile methodologies?

In the world of software development the current buzz word come framework is ‘Agile’. Everyone wants to operate a slick, lean process which minimises wasted work effort. An agile framework, as the name suggests, lends itself perfectly to this aspiration. [Read more…]

Buying process alignment made easy with IMPACT Selling® Add-On for CRM

The Brooks Group logoThe Brooks Group, an award-winning corporate sales training and assessment solutions company, recently launched IMPACT Selling for CRM®, a tool designed to optimise customer relationship management software by providing daily reinforcement of the acclaimed IMPACT Selling® System.

The solution integrates with leading CRM platforms such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics®. The add-on works seamlessly with customer relationship management software to allow reps and managers to more strategically apply the way they use their organisation’s CRM system to close more deals. [Read more…]