Welcome to the world of document management systems. It can be a difficult concept to get across to some people. When you throw the human element into the mix, it all comes together. Customer service is that human element. How you treat your clients is what makes the difference between a business relationship and a missed opportunity.
Putting a face to the name
You often hear the lament that meeting vis a vis is no longer routine in the business world. Even more so for software companies – installations and implementations do not even require a phone call. Users want to know that your software is user friendly and that your staff has the customer in mind, not just the bottom line.
Putting a face on your product (or multiple faces) will soften interactions with a new or existing client. Instead of clogging your website and collateral with screenshots of the software “in action,” try highlighting the people using it. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you by adding contact forms to your web pages and placing your digits at the bottom of pages in user manuals or brochures.
Consider using video chat for demonstrations of the program. Or at least choose the phone over messaging apps and email. Some clients may be less familiar with the technology or your brand, so feeling more like they’ve actually met you does wonders to build their sense of trust. Don’t forget: all software is built by humans, not machines. It’s up to you to remind people of that.
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
The IT department might be keen to make use of their expertise, but most customer support providers will go for employees with excellent people skills over those with extra technical specialties. When you need a stressful issue resolved, you want a calming, empathetic voice on the other end of the line.
Enterprise software can seem a little surly to most at first. It’s easy to assume that all of these programs are mass-produced for enormous organizations and made to run on Windows 10. Not true. A lot of enterprise software has to be tailored to the organization that purchases it. Whether a SaaS or a SaaP product, making sure that your clients are well taken care of keeps them coming back for more great service.
Across the sea
Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing isn’t limited to telemarketing and manufacturing. Hiring an international group that knows the work better than you is common practice in almost every industry. In software, that means a development team from across the world who cranks out streamlined products in record time.
Global expansion in the demand for enterprise software is creating globally minded companies. And vice versa. Clients prefer domestic work. Meeting face to face of course entails that you’re local enough to make that happen. So, when half your company is located abroad, don’t ignore your domestic customer base. Show them how your global business has the time and resources to devote to every client. There is no better way to do this than delivering topnotch service.
A step above the rest
The software market becomes more and more competitive by the day. While your competitors are piling all of their funding into creating a new update every hour, taking your time to answer customer’s questions and give them a memorable experience will do way more for your company.
Don’t be afraid to show your clients you care, either. Pester them about their problems. Call them instead of waiting to hear when something’s gone wrong. Draw attention to technical issues before they become issues. Being transparent with people is flattering, so long as you put yourself out there before someone drags you out, kicking and screaming. Great software is about client feedback as much as it’s about product testing.
Great service is integral to great software
How much your software provider cares about you should be clear from the moment you land on their website. And, if they really care, their interest in your well-being will only grow over time.
Software companies work with other software companies all the time. Enterprise document management providers may, for instance, need the benefits of servers, toolmakers, plugins, website developers, or often third party developers. If they haven’t learned from each other by now how important it is to treat your customers well, then they never deserved your business in the first place.
A version of this article was published as Why Customer Service is Key for Enterprise Software by Daniel Cochran on November 26th, 2014.