The growing focus on customer success (CS) and customer experiences (CX) has re-prioritized customer support for most industries. As such, support centers are suddenly finding themselves at the core of the growth strategies at many companies. Even so, IT teams at many companies waste this potential by utilizing outdated systems, mismatched technology solutions, and patchwork fixes that are too specialized to be broadly effective.
Instead, companies that want not only to survive but also to thrive must build a technology stack that maximizes its team’s potential and streamlines operations. Customer support is racing towards automation; experts foresee AI taking on 85% of customer support responsibilities as early as 2020.
However, before companies begin to onboard even more new technologies, they need to get their tech stacks primed for efficiency and communication.
IT’s Role in Maximizing Efficiency
Today, a good IT strategy is about much more than just fixing problems—it’s about creating success, being an integral part of a broader experience, and it is also about ensuring that the right data is available to the right people at the right time.
Research has shown that companies that companies that utilize customer behavioral insights have higher sales and revenues than their competitors while marketing and even R&D products groups can leverage these same datasets to inform their strategies and designs.
It would make sense that workflows be set up to maximize this data gathering and distribution most efficiently, but too often that’s not the case. As of now, nearly 90% of company executives aren’t sure whether they’re leveraging the customer data they own to the best of their abilities. In siloed companies in particular, systems are installed without concern for data communication and effectiveness, adding redundant, useless, or simply incompatible pieces to an already complex puzzle.
In this haphazard environment, the best-intentioned holistic plans to keep all parts working towards the same goals are inevitably replaced by on-demand fixes, possibly putting out fires but rarely contributing to growth.
Building and Maintaining an Efficient Stack
Companies can take charge of their data, improve interdepartmental communication and consequently improve customer success by investing in tech stack optimization. The first step is to understand both your optimal workflow—from representatives to analytics to those that need them—and your current ecosystem. A collaborative flowchart tool like Creately can help you to visualize the gaps between your existing and ideal processes.
The second step is creating a system that can help you track the value each tool gives you as well as if they’re actually used. A breakout option in this field is Torii, whose integrated smart solution keeps logs of of the SaaS (News - Alert) services you’re paying for. Torii maintains a dynamic “Application Catalog,” which is essentially a searchable portfolio of all the software people use in your office. It also tracks the extent to which each employee uses each platform, what value you’re deriving from tools, and how to gain even more value from these services.
The third step is considering how different parts of your customer support system interact with each other—i.e. what needs to happen to get the data quickly from point A to point B. As long as teams across all divisions are required to use the same systems, all-in-one CRM platforms like HubSpot (News - Alert) or Salesforce can empower teams to create comprehensive customer journeys that can be accessed and added to by different departments.
In this way, CRM can be a major stepping stone on the way to fully utilizing customer data and consequently keeping up with fast-changing customer expectations.
But before taking any steps in your journey towards achieving an optimally functioning tech stack, you need to make a serious commitment to construct a tech stack that works organically and cohesively. If this isn’t a priority, then no amount of innovative tech will be able to magically transform your tech stack from pandemonium to high-performing harmony.
Get the Most out of Your Tech
By focusing on building a full tech stack and not just components, you can create a stack that works not just for simplifying IT, but to provide actual value. Deconstructing and rebuilding your team’s toolbox enables you to get a handle on workflows, to improve communication and work-life balance, as well as to ultimately to unlock better insights.
By viewing tech stacks as a whole instead of a sum of its parts, you empower your team to efficiently and simply provide excellent service while collecting better data, leading to higher customer success rates and profits.