Customer-Care Operators Rejoice: The Future is Looking Fast

If you work in customer service, you know just how stressful it can be. You’re under a lot of pressure to solve the customer’s problem and get them off the phone, pronto. If you run your own business, or head up the customer service department, here’s what you need to know about the future of customer service.

A Little History

First, a little history.

In the 1980s, companies started outsourcing their customer service needs. In the 1990s, they saw that the Internet, email, and live chat could dramatically reduce those costs further. This development allowed U.S. companies to outsource their help desk to low-cost countries including Singapore, India, China, and the Philippines. Improvements in technology and infrastructure helped further this trend. Improvements in education in these countries also helped.

In the 2000, companies switched to help desk software, but didn’t kill off their low-cost outsourced solutions. This decade saw the growing popularity of social media channels like Facebook and Twitter — which were used as customer service channels.

Customers began using social media to give feedback and customer service agents of these companies started responding to customer inquiries, concerns, and feedback. Recently, companies introduced remote desktop software able to access customers’ computers to get “hands on” access to problems before making a suggestion or solution.

You can learn more about some of the most advanced options available today on this page from CMIT Solutions.

Help Desk Developments

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The earliest use of computers in the customer service industry was done via mainframe software. Customers submitted paper forms or called customer service lines to get help with problems. The tech support would then help by providing a solution right over the phone or by returning mail with detailed instructions on how to fix the problem.

Desktop PCs and email significantly and dramatically improved these help desk systems. Customers could communicate via email, which was fast and efficient. This let them bypass paper forms and get faster responses from customer service agents.

Networked systems made help desk systems more interactive and participatory for customers. It also let them submit and track their issues more easily. The introduction of “support tickets” made the process feel more streamlined and that there was a process in place that the customer had some measure of control over.

Lotus Notes was a pioneer in this area because they allowed customers to track and view support tickets.

Current Trends

Web-based and cloud-based solutions are the future. Today, they’re very popular, but they are expected to become more so as the technology develops. The new generation of help desk software also offers real-time updates and uses a remote desktop access feature.

A recent survey of IT professions by Software Advice also found that 68% of respondents reporting using on-premise systems rather than cloud-based service models. Common features include live chat integration and reporting and analytics features. They also used ticket management systems.

Help desk software helps improve three performance factors: issue resolution time, first-contact solving rate, and IT staff productivity.

This survey also found 84% of companies planned to increase their spending on help desk software, with 44% of companies citing the need for new features as the main reason for the spending.

The Future Of Help


It’s clear that the help desk isn’t going away. In fact, it’s expected to get better over time. There are a few things to look forward to, like improved resolution times, and easier tracking, including prioritization features to help get urgent problems solved faster.

The cloud is also a part of that future. It’s becoming more popular because of the many advantages. And, help desk providers are likely to use fewer servers which simplifies their disaster preparedness plans. End-users will get better security because of this.

More support for apps and devices is also expected. Previously, desktops and company laptops were the most used devices for support. However, more IT professionals are using their own devices at work. A recent survey found that 67% of respondents used their personal devices in the office.

This opens the door for remote access. Instead of trying to understand customer problems over the phone, help desks agents will try to use remote access software to access customers’ devices directly.

And, they can do it from their own devices.

Finally, self-service models are expected to become more popular. As people before more tech-savvy, a self-service model will become a low-cost alternative to expensive IT service calls or help desk solutions. Knowledge will become more decentralized, and this will empower a new generation of users.

Aaron Clarke has experience working in a busy call center and has been in customer support all of his working life, now in a team leader role. He writes on the subject of good customer support in his articles which appear mostly on business blogs in the hopes that he can help raise standards and stop customers getting poorly treated.

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