One cannot say that using a support system is an absolute must or a life or death issue. In fact, many small companies do manage to use support systems entirely revolving around emails. This requires proper filtering rules being set in each email account as well as appropriate meticulous and comprehensive in-house workflow and conduit rules.
As stated, in a small friendly company where everyone knows each other, the group could figure out how to go about daily tasks and self-correct if issues appear. But with scaling company size, you can get a total mess. In such circumstances, accountability, prioritization, detailed workflows, automatized tasks, and collaboration and responsibility delegation rules are essential for things to work.
The Impact on Business Productivity
A support system impacts productivity in a number of ways:
- makes responsibilities clear – each agent understands his or her obligations (this applies to departments as well) and hence, no time is lost to debate who is responsible for a given ticket or action. This also prevents situations when certain tickets are forgotten and the customer ends up waiting.
- prevents the conflictual situations when two or more agents start working simultaneously on the same task (the system has the capability to temporarily lock the ticket to prevent this).
- the fact that all actions are recorded in the ticket’s thread severely discourage irresponsible or unprofessional behavior from employees – the latter are always aware that the system can reveal such things as an unjustified delay or a failure to perform a certain action. Altogether, this leads to both higher responsibility and productivity.
- automation of certain actions (e.g. tasks) is yet another aspect boosting productivity by delegating certain functions from people to computers. The same is true about the ticket and task prioritization and deadline notifications that can absolve employees from constantly having to keep track of multiple tasks and decide which one to work on at any given moment. With support systems in place, multitasking is possible in a way which does not disrupt normal work.
- implementing self-service for customers is yet another important aspect that can lower the load of work on agents. By enabling customers to find answers themselves both to simple and complex problems, the customer support department will end up dealing with a smaller pool of requests. The same kind of approach is working when customers are encouraged to assign the problem to a specific category in order to enable faster assignment of a specialist.
Finally, although we’ve focused on the benefits big companies would have from mentioned support systems, this can be equally true for small businesses, given that such software products usually have rich functionality.