Using automation to improve customer support at CoSector - University of London
As a technology provider, good customer support is the key to a strong relationship and feedback is vital for a product that works seamlessly. At CoSector – University of London, we pride ourselves on our customer support. Dave Kenworthy, Director of Digital Services, explains how we've used technology to improve our customer service over the last few years.
Any company who runs a support function will tell you how important it is to their business to have a division with fully-trained staff to quickly deal with any issues or questions a customer may have.
At CoSector – University of London, we pride ourselves on our customer support, and we consistently receive brilliant feedback from our customers, which is impounded by our bi-annual customer user event, that gives everyone a chance to discuss any issues or questions in person.
That being said, we will always look to improve in this area. As a technology company, we understand how tech can be used to improve a service, and we do not limit that view to our product offerings. We also continuously review how technology can help us to better support our customers.
In 2018, we decided to start looking to use technology to automate some of our customer support processes in multiple areas. Here are a few examples where we’ve made improvements.
There are several services you can book through our customer support function, such as system upgrades and consultancy appointments. Previously, this was a manual process which required customers to physically book in an appointment through a manual invite process. With the new automated system, we now have a booking website – which immediately shows availability slots for each of the different booking options. Previously, booking was time consuming and required extensive checks, which could lead to errors.
Our ticketing system allows our customers to log any concerns, and ensures one of our team will be with them as soon as possible once a particularly issue has been raised.
We have now connected various review tools to our system, meaning we can see how many tickets are coming in, versus how many have been handled through to completion. Now we can analyse which tickets come in and when, which gives us a greater ability to resource the correct team member to deal with the issue. The biggest effect that we’ve seen as a result is faster delivery of service, as well as full visibility of which tickets are being worked on, meaning no ticket is left behind
System upgrades to Digital Learning Platforms (DLPs) or other software provided by CoSector, are requested by customers using the booking system. When it comes to the upgrade process, no customer is the same as another one, and the activity needed is fairly unique.
To reduce the time it takes us for us to prepare an upgrade, we’ve tried to standardise the process and use automation to allow us more time to do the actual upgrade. Meaning less downtime for the DLE system during an upgrade.
Previously, an upgrade was a manual process, and would typically take multiple days to deliver. Now we are able to get data from a current Moodle system by accessing the main Moodle website to see the latest version of the various plug ins. This enables our team to build the perspective details in a more automated way, meaning the process is reduced from several days on site to just a half a day on site, under the new automated way.
Summer used to be a stressful time for our customers as pressure to get systems in good working order before the academic year mounts, but with faster upgrades and a new, easier to use booking and ticketing system, laborious tasks are sped up and all software upgrades can be done quickly and planned around your schedule.
For the rest of the year your customer support team is freed up to do other things, spending less time doing admin and more time speaking to customers about their needs.