How is the software service evolving? Hint: customer support
Software has invaded our lives since 2000. From MicrosoftPayPal and Zoom at Adobe and DocuSign, we cannot perform certain tasks without software. Software is an information program used by our computers to perform tasks. Some software helps store data such as documents and images, while others perform financial transactions. Still others help us create audio files and graphic designs. There is a wide world of variety of software to choose from.
The software eliminates manual work, and at its heart it is designed to automate. Until 2007, you could buy software and take it home. You could install it on your computer, which meant you owned it. But now software has evolved a lot from that. In 2022, it is more common for software to work as a service. Software vendors create a software program and advertise it to the customer. The company then installs the product in its system and allows customers to access it for a certain amount of money per month. This amount could be a thousand dollars or a million dollars. This is how the software has now evolved.
Why Software Services Evolved
The reason for this major shift in software service is that many software programs have become too complex to be installed on a machine and run locally. A client would need to be connected to the Internet 24/7 to run these heavy and complicated programs. There could be possible redundancies in the installation of these programs. For example, if you try to install an application on a phone that is not connected to the Internet, you will simply fail to
install it and run it.
Another type of software is one that stores all the photos taken by your phone. If you don’t have another backup, you may accidentally lose access to all your photos. This is where a software service like Google Photos comes in. The company will back up all your data for you for a subscription. Google Photos is a tool, while the fact that you can subscribe to it for backing up photos is a service. So many companies have built tools and offered them as services to help you save your photos. They include Amazon Photos, DropBox and OneDrive.
Indian IT companies
India is also experiencing rapid growth in IT companies that provide such services. Some of the biggest companies are Tata Consulting Services (TCS), Wipro, Redington (India) Ltd and Infosys. A growing Indian tech startup is Winter. Bangalore-based Winter creates help desk software that helps enterprise customers manage ticket response, automated response, and other types of customer service.
Customer Support – Make or Break for a Business
Customer support can make or break a business. Poor customer service can shatter a customer’s trust in the product and cast the company in a negative light. This results in the alienation of customers and other potential buyers.
A former client (let’s name him Y) shares his experience with Croma. Croma is a chain of consumer electronics and hard goods stores that gave Y a three-year warranty on a refrigerator compressor. However, when Y’s product was broken and he went to Croma to exchange it for a new one, the employees did not follow up on the warranty. They blamed the client saying, “This is not politics. So we cannot help you. The compressor cost around Rs 40,000 at Y.
This is an example of poor customer service. Y no longer buys from Croma.
Good customer support contributes immensely to the overall performance of the business. If you can delight your customers and resolve any problem they encounter instantly and immediately, it sends the message that your business puts the customer first. It makes the customer happy and seen. And because they know your business, that association will stick. If the service you provide is good, customers are likely to return.
Winter’s innovation: customer support software
On a typical day, your business might receive 50 customer support emails. In the event of a disaster, this number could be 1000! You will probably have three to ten employees handling these emails. imagine if Swiggy Where Blue dart fell on a busy day…it would be a major fiasco for them. Thousands of app users will email the company asking for help.
How is a company with few customer service staff going to handle this?
Winter is a Bangalore-based tech startup that has built a tool to help your business with customer support at scale. Winter writes about different strategies for companies to adopt to deal with such crises.
Imagine that you receive thousands of such requests daily. Every day. You really need AI help. Hiver designs flowcharts where if an affected customer requests a refund, the customer receives an automatic response to send the company a photo of the damaged product. If the customer does not request a refund, the flowchart directs the programming to send the customer a farewell message. It’s just one of many
types of org charts Hiver has created to help minimize the manual work needed for businesses to deal with customers on a day-to-day basis.
Another flowchart is created like this: If the ticket received by the company is one day old, the flowchart allows the customer support employee to wait one day before reminding them of the customer’s request. A ticket has a maximum duration without a response from the employee. Sometimes it’s 72 hours.
You can communicate with a colleague via the Winter software by asking him “How much do I have to reimburse?” Or your boss can go through the thousands of refund requests/complaints you’ve received and ask you about a specific request and the order it relates to. How are you going to trace it? Since many successful businesses receive over ten thousand tickets per month, it’s not possible to remember every order, refund request, or customer support message. You can trace a case or action using this software. The Winter software stores all these conversations in a log. So now the boss will not push you about a past operation, but will go to the other employee who is supposed to review this data.
Yet another flowchart design decides the refund percentage to be given to the dissatisfied customer basing it on the emotions of the customer. If they are really upset (decided by star rating or personalized message), then the program gives them a 40-50% refund. He also follows the customer to see how he receives the
reimbursement decision. If it worked, the program closes the refund.
Winter helps you with accountability and feedback. He sees and tracks customer satisfaction ratings, plus stars and rep ratings for each case. Hiver builds software to keep track of all these operations.
So one might ask, “how is the software service evolving?” It has evolved to offer software and run it from company computers. And companies that develop programs to manage customer support are leading the way. Customer satisfaction plays a major role in the successful performance of a business. Start-ups are therefore noticing this niche and helping to fill it.
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