Most small and medium-sized companies address customer service issues related to the mechanism we call Service Delivery as just part of the day-to-day ongoing workload and never really track it. The only tracking is the recent relevant memory of those involved. And if it was a particularly bad issue, there are scars on one of the client’s end users and on one of our techs, a few nasty or dubious emails, and that’s it. Again, only those closest to the issue have any understanding of what happened or what came of it all.
Why do we care anyway? Why not let sleeping dogs lie and, to steal a line from The Lion King, “Put your behind in your past”? Because if we’re to grow as a Service Delivery company and as a team with quality communication skills, we need to track, weigh, and measure these occurrences so we can learn from them, but more importantly, so we can make adjustments to our policies, practices, habits, and methods with the intention of having these issues become an anomaly, not the norm.
Okay, enough about that, so how do we bag, tag, and track these things? Easy! Enter an internal ticket in your PSA or ticket system for the issue. Then, treat it just like any other important issue. Have a team meeting, come up with a resolution or plan of action, and execute. More on this in a minute.
Example: New Ticket/Issue for our company Excel-Tech
Issue Title: Client company Cement-Co.’s end user Barbra was offended by email from tech Bob.
Issue Description: Barbra called in and spoke with the service coordinator about the email that came to her from Bob (via the automated system) indicating that her Ticket was marked as Resolved. She was very upset because she had not signed off on the closing of the ticket and stated she did not like the curtness of Bob’s email. Even after trying to explain to Barbra that Bob did not send the email directly, but rather that it came from the automated system, she was still irritated at Bob for closing the ticket without her consent.
Now, I don’t believe I need to get into the mechanics of the example issue, I just want to be sure you understand what it would look like. The following actions are the basic plan of resolution:
1) Team discussion to the appropriate level required to get all the facts and details.
2) Communications with client technical contact and the end user Barbra, by our Service Manager (or higher up), to get her input and ideas on what the email should and should not say. Specifically, what set her off? And what would she recommend?
3) Modify policies, procedures, emails, forms, reports, etc. as necessary / if required.
4) Disseminate the new or updated information to all parties necessary, i.e. internal and external, and to the specific tech and end user or entire teams? Entire company? Press release? Newsletter blurb? Etc.
5) Update the time and notes on the issue and close it.
There must be a trackable path for customer-related issues related to our machine we call Service Delivery. It it also our path to continuous incremental improvement in everything we do. These “lessons learned” are not really learned and mean nothing if we don’t stop and read the signs we’ve been given. Our clients will know and care that we do this. It is what we call Customer Care.