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More Than Just A Software Solution: Why Support is Key

Support isn't just for when something breaks, it's about a partnership based on shared expectations. Here's what you should expect from your vendor and why.

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| Read time: 4 mins

According to Salesforce Research, 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services; while research by Zendesk tell us that 77% of business leaders recognize that offering personalized support experiences leads to increased customer retention .1

It’s clear that in today’s commercial and consumer landscape customer service matters - whether that’s a mobile phone subscription, a new car, or a full scale business digital transformation.

As a provider of software solutions to deathcare partners across the globe, one thing has always been clear - the great differentiator between being a good vendor and a great one is the level of support you can provide to your customers.

It is also clear that support doesn’t stop at Go Live. 

 

The importance of partnership.

 

And that’s because support is about building and maintaining a relationship. It doesn’t matter how good a solution is, if the implementation, expectations, and partnership goals aren’t aligned, then you as a customer can’t expect maximum value from your product.

In this way, a vendor that offers comprehensive support becomes more akin to a strategic partner, rather than just a software provider; this partnership is key to navigating the implementation process, addressing challenges, and optimizing the software utilization - so that it continues to do what you need it to.

 

Why support matters.

 

Contrary to popular belief, support isn’t solely about fixing things when they’re broken. Support within the context of a successful partnership is ultimately about providing you, the customer, with confidence in your solution, and in your provider.

Why support really matters - and also why it’s sometimes undervalued - is that new software doesn’t just mean a new piece of tech to hold records - it will more often than not mean a significant change to your processes and systems.

New systems and processes: Where implementing new software involves transitioning from existing systems or manual processes, the right support helps to ensure a smooth transition, helping users adapt to and gain confidence in these new systems without undue disruption.

Training needs: Comprehensive training is also essential for users, in order for them to understand how to use the software most effectively. Some degree of resistance or uncertainty is natural, which is why support services should include bespoke training programs and materials, ensuring that staff are comfortable with the new software's features and functionalities in advance of the go live date.

Issue resolution: With the best will in the world, with the best product on the market, and despite careful planning, issues will arise - both during the implementation process and afterward. The manner in which those issues are addressed and resolved is key to your confidence in your partner. 

Updates and Upgrades: Inevitably, software will evolve over time with updates, new features and improvements. A strong support system should be in place to keep you informed, assist with any training requirements and address any issues that may arise.

Feedback and Improvements: Among their many functions, support teams should serve a bridge between you and the tech teams. They can collect feedback, identify common issues, and communicate these to the development team. This continual feedback ultimately helps to improve both the software and the user experience.

Maximizing ROI: Effective support ensures that you can make the most of the software's capabilities. This, in turn, helps you to maximize your return on investment by utilizing all features efficiently and effectively.



What good looks like.

 

So far, so theoretical, but what does good look like in practice when it comes to support for your new solution? What should customers expect from a software partner, and what is that all-important difference between a good service and a great one?

Setting clear expectations: Being honest from the outset - setting expectations of what can be delivered, when and how quickly is imperative to ensure that both you and your vendor know what to expect from each other.

Responsiveness: A responsive support team is one that can quickly address and resolve problems, minimizing downtime and potential negative impacts on daily operations. What are your vendors' response times? Do they meet your requirements? As we know, issues don’t always keep office hours, which is why, no matter where you are in the world, you should expect help when you need it - at any time of the day or night.

Helpdesk support: Undoubtedly, we’ve all had negative experiences with help desks in our personal lives - contemplating the meaning of life as we sit on hold listening to muzak versions of pop classics. But in business, a dedicated help desk or support team that can respond promptly to inquiries and provide assistance with technical issues or challenges is imperative. A help chat function from within your existing solution is a good way to streamline that process, which as far as possible, should not solely rely on automated chatbots - interactions with real human beings.

Support materials and resources: Not every issue will require some form of technical intervention. Well-documented manuals, user guides, and FAQs are a great way of allowing users to learn or resolve minor issues for themselves. Sometimes, self-help can be the best help.

Project management: Every customer is different, with different needs and priorities. That’s why dedicated Project Managers - to deliver the project in the best way possible - and Customer Success Managers - to ensure that you are happy with your product - should be guiding you every step of the way.

On the ground support: Emails and phone calls are all well and good, but sometimes you need someone with you to help resolve important issues. That’s why having people on the ground with industry expertise, and specifically a good knowledge of your operational needs is important.

Communication: Whether its updates on ticket statuses, or notifications for installing software updates, clear and timely communication is key to ensuring that you as a customer know exactly what is happening and when, giving you confidence and allowing you to plan effectively.

Training: Whether on-site or remote, personalized training sessions led by experts with an understanding of your specific needs will help to ensure that staff understand the software in the context of their specific roles. This will not only help to encourage smooth adoption but will help to maximize the software to its fullest potential.

The success of a new cemetery management software solution isn’t just about the initial implementation; it's about how it best serves your evolving needs.

Great support is what will help to ensure that happens.

From the outset, it will ensure a smooth transition, address challenges, maximize the software's potential, and help contribute to long-term success. While it can often be overlooked, organizations with digital transformation on their mind, should recognize support as a primary consideration when shortlisting partners.

Refs.

1 70 Customer Service Statistics to know in 2024

  1. Amaresan, Hubspot

Learn more about our industry-leading Customer Training and Support.

 

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