As we ramp up for the 2015 holiday season – and the chaos that’s bound to ensue – we invited people to tell us how their customer service teams prepare – what challenges they face, what their priorities are, and best practices to share. Meet our Holiday Heroes below!
Holiday Hero #1: Juliana Booth
Juliana is an E-Commerce Supervisor at The Orvis Company. Here’s how her team gets ready for the holidays:
As a retail company, the holidays are a busy time for us. Before we start approaching the season, we like to go over what we did the prior year – what worked, what didn’t, what issues we encountered and how can we get a head start to fix/avoid those this time around.
In the midst of hiring additional staff and working long hours, we also like to look for opportunities to give back and have fun. Some examples are employee pot luck/food days, days to “dress like your favorite Christmas character”, and opportunities given to allow everyone to give to/support local charities.
Thanks to everyone who has already submitted nominations! It’s not too late to share your story – the contest will remain open until December 23rd.
With the holiday season right around the corner, many of us will be traveling to visit friends and family and as a result will be leaning even heavier than normal on our mobile devices. Whether working remotely or just passing the time in the airport with a little Netflix, we rely on our devices more than ever during this busy time. It goes without saying that our smartphones are more than just phones – they are our mobile offices, our movie theaters, our social connection and so much more.
As a result when things go wrong, it can be very frustrating. Here are just a few of my favorite mobile device faux pas — and how LogMeIn Rescue + Mobile can help:
- Poor Battery Life – As smartphones get bigger and more powerful – battery life tends to suffer. Faster processers, bigger screens, extra RAM to run the dozens of apps we access daily – all great for performance and aesthetics, but they also drain the battery much quicker than ever before. With Rescue + Mobile’s Click2Fix battery optimization you are able to push several settings known to improve battery life within devices with just one click.
- Connecting to Bluetooth or Wireless – We’ve all experienced that awful wait time as your phone re-connects to Bluetooth or wireless networks. —Is it going to connect? What’s taking so long? With Click2Fix radio toggles you’re able to see and manage existing connections and turn Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS on or off quickly.
- App Crashes – With large demands on apps there is bound to be a few crashes here and there. Rescue’s In-App Support provides quick and easy access to the end user’s app to help optimize the mobile app support experience with a seamless, intuitive support channel within the app (all within the Rescue interface).
Whether staying connected to work through email, chat, collaboration tools, or the thousands of other apps choices you may have on your phone – we can all agree on one critical issue – they better work when called upon!
One of our customers, Republic Wireless, is using LogMeIn Rescue + Mobile to help provide quick and seamless support for customers working to get and stay connected. Offering a low-cost mobile phone service in the US, Republic Wireless customers are often first time smartphone owners. By offering quick and easy hands-on support Republic Wireless is able to answer questions and remediate issues – reducing costly send-backs and keeping customers connected and happy – over the holidays and beyond.
At LogMeIn, we have made it a mission to help ensure that apps are working properly – and when they aren’t a solution is just a click away.
Every company has a different list of priorities as they plan for the busy holiday season, and the overwhelming demands of crazed holiday shoppers. So, we asked our friends at VF Corporation (The North Face, Timberland, JanSport, etc.) to share their list with us. Erin Dunlavy, Trainer for their eCommerce Customer Service team, said this is what VF does to prep for the increased volume of orders and customer inquiries:
- Hire more than 100 seasonal Customer Service Reps to manage the influx of volume – beginning in September to ramp up and have all hands on deck for “The Big Show” (AKA – Black Friday!)
- Extend customer service hours of operation to include Sundays and remain open until 10pm Monday through Friday
- Offer week-long and weekend training sessions on systems, customer service, and product training to onboard all staff, regardless of their work schedule
- Give incentives to top “contact takers” each month to keep employee morale high
- Have a designated chat table where all agents trained only in live chat and emails have a designated place to manage increased volume
- Provide ongoing trainings throughout the holiday season to address concerns/issues, continue systems and product training, and increase brand knowledge
How does your customer service team prepare for the holiday season? Share your priorities, challenges, or best practices, and you could win a $100 Amazon gift card! We’ll randomly select one winner each week from now until Christmas and highlight their entry on our blog. Fill out the form below or use this link to share your story today!
The holiday season is fast approaching and with it comes days, or even weeks away from the office. Whether you plan to work remotely over the holidays or just need to stay connected in case of an emergency, LogMeIn gives you the tools you need. Here are four tips to help you prepare for this holiday season:
- Connect your computers – Make sure you add all of the computers you’ll need to access to, to your LogMeIn account. It only takes a few minutes to download the LogMeIn software on your computer. From there, simply leave on the computers you’d like to access and you will be able to access it from any web browser using your LogMeIn ID.
- Empower employees – If your colleagues or employees need to stay connected over the holidays, ensure you give them the appropriate rights and permissions to access specific computers and software. This is especially helpful if you will be out of communication for a period of time (ie, a long flight or destination with poor cellular service) when clients or customers might need to reach you.
- Get the app – You never know when work might call and you may not have your laptop. Download the LogMeIn app, which allows you to remotely access your computer from anywhere. With the app, you can access your desktop, share or send files, and communicate with your team.
- Power up – Ensure that you leave your computer(s) in the office with the power on and connected to a power source. The machine needs to be on in order for you to remote into it. Worried about privacy? As soon as you start the remote session, click ‘Screen Blanking’ from the Remote Control Toolbar so your screen isn’t visible to anyone who might be near your computer in the office.
With ever-evolving markets being a constant challenge, companies are working tirelessly to stay ahead of the competition. Many have begun to embrace change by pivoting – making a sharp shift in the direction of their business – and some have done so with great success.
The most famous contemporary pivot is probably Twitter, which transformed from an iTunes-like podcast repository to today’s ubiquitous micro-blogging behemoth. Other notable pivots include Groupon, originally a fundraising site; Nokia, which started out life as a paper mill; and Wrigley, which pivoted from soap producer offering a stick of gum inside each box to a chewing gum company.
Companies reinvent themselves for a number of reasons. Some do it to stay relevant in a constantly changing market, while others make the change as the result of understanding of your customer needs. For example, David McConnell, a book salesman, found that his mostly female clientele were more interested in the free perfume samples than the books he tried to sell door to door. Pretty soon, Avon was calling.
Reinventing yourself is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It can be extremely risky, but also can be extremely rewarding. When considering whether a pivot makes sense for your organization you should ask yourselves a few questions:
- Does it make sense for your company to reinvent itself?
- What are your main reasons for the change?
- Are you in a position, financially or otherwise, to take a risk?
- How do we do it without losing customers or market credibility?
While all of these questions are extremely important, I would argue that customer retention is the most critical. You worked hard to gain the trust and loyalty of your customers and the last thing you want to do is lose them in the transition. Keep your customers informed of plans, talk to them about why this is important and how it will help you provide better products and services. Give them an opportunity to provide input, and once the transition is in place, continually keep your ear to the ground so you know how they feel about it. Helping your current customers feel part of your journey is the best way to keep them loyal while opening opportunity for additional customers.
One of the best ways to keep your customer base updated is through your customer engagement organization. Customer service representatives should be trained to have an open and caring dialogue with customers to answer questions and acknowledge comments. Customer engagement and support tools are a great way to keep to ensure constant contact with customers no matter where they are. If part of your pivot plans include rolling out a new product modern tools like remote access can help you provide excellent education and support for your customers as they get acquainted with the new product.
Done well, a pivot – or several pivots – can lead a business through changing market conditions to come out a winner.
With Black Friday a mere two weeks away, companies are diligently preparing for their busiest time of the year. They’re hustling to make sure they have enough product in stock, staff their teams appropriately, and– perhaps most importantly– ensure they have all the pieces in place to deliver consistent and satisfying customer experiences when contact volumes and customer expectations will be at an all time high. Knowing this can be a daunting task for many contact center professionals, we partnered with ICMI to provide some best practices for excelling during what can be overwhelming time – and keeping the holiday spirit alive!
- Know your customer and understand their expectations – customer expectations don’t change during the holiday season, so why should their experience?
- Address their needs in a timely fashion – focus on service, not the sale.
- Provide a consistent experience across all touch points – regardless of device, channel, or type of inquiry.
- Let customers engage with your company through their preferred channel – 53% prefer to use live chat before calling a company, yet only 34% of companies offer chat for customer service.1,2
- Utilize a multi-channel strategy to handle high volumes – providing alternative and more efficient channels like chat can help reduce the amount of time customers spend waiting on hold. Consider this a holiday bonus: it also increases efficiency, reduces costs, and sets you apart from your competitors.
- Ensure your customer service reps are adequately trained on product knowledge, return policies, shipping timeframes, promotions, etc. so they have the information they need to answer questions quickly and correctly. Wrong answers will result in repeat inquiries, irritated customers, and coal in your stocking.
- Staff your contact center appropriately to account for increased volume and urgent resolution. Not having enough CSRs creates chaos, aggravates customers, and results in added stress for your reps.
- Provide incentives – like gamification and spiffs – to keep employee morale high. A happy agent = a happy customer.
- When possible, avoid escalation – solve the problem in the channel they started in.
- Make improvements for the future. Not everything will be 100% perfect – take time to reflect on customer feedback, what went right, what went wrong and make the necessary changes to ensure next year is even more successful.
This list certainly isn’t all-inclusive, but it’s a good starting point to ensure you’re delivering the experience your customers expect.
For more information on these tips and more, watch our recent on-demand webinar – How to Deliver Great Customer Service During Peak Season.
1 2015 InContact Consumer Research, InContact, 2015
2 Where Contact Centers Are Missing the Mark with Customer Care, Ovum, 2015
Photo Credit: New Line Cinema
When you’re managing hundreds of end points, whether they’re machines or users, it can be a challenge to organize them in a way that keeps you productive and efficient. With LogMeIn Central, you have a main dashboard where you can view, manage, and update your end points and settings in a way that makes sense for your business. Here are our top 4 suggestions on how to organize your Central account to best meet your needs:
- Create groups – Depending on the size of your company, you have many different types of users and computers that you’re using. Keep yourself sane and organize all users and end points into groups, such as client name, location, industry, etc. This makes it easier for you to support each end user. You can also easily search for machines using the group or computer name, which saves you time.
- Add permissions – Assign permissions to individual users as well as users in a group to add another level of customization to your account. You can give users access to specific groups and computers so they can perform the support needed, without giving them access to the entire account.
- Setup alerts – You can create customized notifications and alerts for all end points on your account. Whether you want to monitor CPU, look for missing hardware, or simply know when a computer is offline, alerts give you the ability to offer proactive support for your clients, rather than reactive. One of the most popular alerts is on that monitors for hard drive errors.
- Schedule updates – For computers that run on a Windows operating system, you can easily view and manage new software with Windows Updates. Whether you’re managing end points for a customers or support internal employees, you’ll be notified when an update is available and push that update to the end points in need.
If you haven’t already customized your Central dashboard and account, get started today with these tips and check out the LogMeIn Central knowledge base for more details.
We recently launched a new release of BoldChat (v8.1) that includes enhancements designed to help companies better engage with and support their customers.
We’ve made improvements to our Automatic Chat Distribution Engine, including Dynamic Queue Length Limits and Visitor Queue Time Settings. New options for queue length limits help address the tapering of chat volume at the start/end of agent shifts, set maximum chats in queue, and define queue size dependencies on available operators. Visitor queue time settings provide controls for queue positions (e.g. end of queue or maintain position), separate behavior for intra- or inter-department transfers, and allow rules to be set for manual re-assignment of chats, emails, Tweets, SMS messages and tickets.
Our latest release also includes the addition of Audible Alerts for our layered chat windows when a chat message is received and when the chat window is not in focus.
To learn more about these and other BoldChat features, contact us today!
It’s an unfortunate reality that no matter how much you try to simplify and bulletproof your product, there are still going to be times when your customers will get stuck and need help. Below is a list of tips to help you get them unstuck, make your support team more effective, all while keeping costs down.
- Steer your customers towards chat: A support tech can only talk to one person at a time, but with chat, they can engage multiple customers. Chat can also speed things along when you have to give the customer a confirmation number or URL – no need to spell things out and risk misunderstandings.
- Support your first line staffers: The more incidents handled by your first-line support staff, the lower your costs. Make sure to equip them with extensive reference materials, including FAQs, records of previous sessions and give them opportunities to shadow advanced support. In the long run, this will cut costs, as your first-line staffers will be able to take on more advanced questions.
- Make remote control easy:Remote control access to the customer’s computer or device can significantly speed up support calls, but only if you don’t waste time assessing compatibility and forging unique connections for each user. Standardize on remote control software that connects instantly and that works across the board.
- Give customers their own reference materials:Help your customers help themselves by giving them their own FAQ, knowledgebase, or forum. This is a great way to get simple questions answered without having bring in support staff. Just be sure to keep your customers’ technical abilities in mind. Don’t assume that they’ll understand things you do – explain everything like you would your non-technical aunt or grandmother and have the information is easy for them to access, without having to call into support.
- Let support work remotely:Today’s professional remote programs let tech staff work from anywhere with an Internet connection. Letting support employees telecommute reduces absences, cuts down on pointless meetings, and encourages employees to stay with your company, reducing hiring and training costs.
- Stay in contact with your developers:No one has a better view of user interface flaws than the tech support staff. Create opportunities – an online forum, department meetings – where support staff can describe aspects of your UI that confuse your customers. In the long run, UI improvements will reduce the number of calls, and save money.
Providing excellent customer support is a necessity for a successful business, but delivering the high level of support customers expect can be costly. The good news is that if you organize and run your support properly, you can keep costs down and provide the best possible support experience for your customers – helping to cement their loyalty. And that is as good as gold.
Au Bon Pain, a fast service restaurant chain, has over 700 POS terminals located across the world and previously had bandwidth problems that interrupted service in their cafes, therefore impacting customer service and company revenue. As a result, Au Bon Pain needed a reliable solution to support their hundreds of end points and keep the business up and running. Enter LogMeIn Central.
“It’s pretty simple: when a café’s point-of-sales system isn’t up, the café’s down. By keeping our POS up and running, Central is helping us make money. And because it’s making us more nimble, we’re saving money because our technicians are more efficient and productive.”
— Chris Incorvati, Director of Café Technology, Au Bon Pain
The Customer Success Story for Au Bon Pain is coming soon! In the meantime, check out our Q&A with E la Carte for more tips and best practices on managing remote devices in the restaurant industry.