Customer Service with an IT Smile

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Ever notice that some companies are a whole lot better at customer service than others? It's almost like than have an uncanny ability to spot the kind of people who just want to be helpful.

But hiring all the helpful people in the world won't improve customer service unless their feedback is used to enhance customer experience. So the IT challenge then becomes to provide a way to gain that feedback, then rapidly share it with the entire customer-service team.

That's the thinking behind a customer-experience-management application from Medallia. According to Medallia CEO Borge Hald, good customer service requires analytics that give managers insights into customer-service issues. That can range from the performance of employees in the store to complaints about the company's online service. The customer's every interaction ultimately creates the company's reputation, so it's vital to find a way to organize and act on that information.

Most recently, Medallia added a real-time analytics component to its suite of software-as-a-service applications. But Hald concedes that technology alone can never create the right customer-service environment. If companies use applications such as Medallia to track performance solely for employee reviews, a rich customer-service culture will never develop. Instead, Hald says Medallia is at its best when companies use it to empower employees to improve customer experience by sharing their experiences and providing constructive feedback.