A new milestone reached …

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At Codemenders Oy, we offer two flavors of Qtip.me. One is the standard “Software as a service” flavor (for anyone to register and start using at www.qtip.me) and other, the enterprise or corporate flavor (focusing more towards the on-premises needs of our corporate customers). It was a pleasant surprise to note that we’ve served more than a hundred thousand customers on the “Software as a service” flavor of Qtip.me. We decided to shout about it in our holiday greetings this year. While we knew this was coming, we were just not sure that Santa will bring this gift for us so early.

Happy to announce that Qtip.me handled its 100,000th customer (consumer) on December 18th, 2017 and we are still counting. No wonder, the holiday season also brings in a lot more queues for our customers and we are happy to be a part of their efforts to make their customers happier!

Thank you!

 

Please note, the impact report (related to Customer Waiting Times and Staff productivity) are in comparison to similar numbers from 2015-2016 timeframe.

Happy 100th birthday, Finland

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Happy birthday, Finland

​Hundred years ago, Finland took fate in its own hands and declared independence. Exactly 100 years later to that, they have set an example of an ideal society and in various fields. It is definitely a story of determination, democracy, equality and an astounding national success! We at Codemenders Oy are proud to join the 100 year celebration of the Finnish independence​ and would like to take this opportunity to wish all Finns and Friends of Finland, a very happy Independence Day!​ Happy birthday, Finland!​​

Three pillars of the Customer Service Industry

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Customer service is the first line of interaction that any business has with the people who are already paying or are considering to pay them in near future. Irrespective of the size of the company, the lifespan of an existing customer or a to-be customer completely depends on their experience of the customer service provided by the business. Customers are the first channel of marketing that help any business glow and grow by the most trusted form of marketing, the word of mouth!

Anything you say may be used against you in the court of law. A similar paradigm exists in the so called “Court of a Consumer”. Anything you or your staff may do or say, will be held against you by the consumer. This is the reason why, a Quality Customer Service is very, very important for a business to establish themselves and build a reputation. At Codemenders Oy, we’ve been in touch with various businesses to help them tailor Qtip.Me for their use and this has helped us understand the Three Basic Pillars of a Quality Customer Service.

1. Reduced waiting time

When waiting in queues, customers are quick to form opinions related to the business. A queue is one such place where the entire customer service experience can be made or broken. This is the place where a business cannot leave a customer disappointed. After waiting in a queue for more than five minutes, a customers perceived waiting time changes to twice of the actual wait time. Many people abandon the queue if its not moving fast enough. While some of them do complain or raise their concerns, many leave with a perception that brands or businesses do not care about them.

Waiting time is the single most important factor in customer satisfaction.

– Paco Underhill. Why we buy.

2. Streamlined service

Today’s customers are smart, connected and demanding. They want businesses to operate on all possible channels, be efficient and provide a better quality service. This makes streamlining a customer service process and support a crucial part of an organization’s business strategy. A simple step towards this is to know a customer’s needs in advance. Even before they arrive to the service desk physically. This allows the staff to engage with customers in an informed (and efficient) way and gets rid of unwanted wait from the whole process.

3. Happy and pro-active staff

Queues are boring. They consume time, resources and often come with additional overheads like managing the agitated customers, attend to that cute little wailing kid with a toy or an activity of their choice, making sure that there is enough coffee for everybody, making sure that there is nothing you accidentally do that can be held against you and still be “happy to help” when a customer arrives at your desk. Its not an ideal world and we all understand that all these overheads do affect the staff on a regular basis, thereby also affects the business efficiency. It is very important for any business to explicitly focus on their customer service staff. This not only keeps their morale high when serving customers, it also creates a silent-yet-effective marketing channel for the business as a brand that takes very good care of its employees.

We, as a team are very happy that we have been able to deliver to our customers a product that has helped them strengthen these three pillars of customer service and has given to them tangible results like upto 50% reduction in waiting times, 30-35% improvement in staff’s efficiency and a streamlined customer service.

What’s cooking in 2017

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The year 2016 was an interesting year for us at Codemenders Oy. We focused ourselves on the Finnish, UK market. Got to learn a lot about consumer behavior (I promise to find some time to write a post about this). Improved our understanding of what our customers want and grew as a team. Thank You!

In 2017, we aim to improve Qtip.Me as a product and bring in the most sought features by our customers. Some of them are:

  1. Improved statistics: An improve UI and representation of “Customer Feedback” module.
  2. Busy hour predictions: Predict the busy and not-so-busy hours at your store based on the history from the past.
  3. Time and ticket distributions: Get to know what is the balance of number of customers handled in a queue vs the time spent by the staff in the same queue.
  4. Queue monitoring: Create queue monitors that help you analyse the customer service experience in real time and raise alarms if needed.

I plan to a more detailed post about these items a bit later, but right now, this is a sneak-peek into whats cooking in 2017. I will also take this moment to thank our customers who responded to our “Listening to you” survey; which has helped us prioritize the recipe for a better Qtip.me in 2017.

 

Customer satisfaction: do brands really care?

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In today’s world, queues are everywhere and so are the huge, serpentine waiting lines with lots and lots of people (customers, some of them new) waiting to be served. For a customer like me, this “forced wait” often comes with many other collaterals like an overdue parking ticket or a desperate wish to use this time for picking up some groceriesdo the dry cleaning or simply grab a cup of coffee instead.

But honestly, who cares? Or, put in another words, do brands really care? They do setup a big waiting lounge, put a split window AC, sometimes even put a couple of PS3 or XBox, have the same (boring) music on their customer service lines and think that their customers are having a good time! What they fail to understand is that “Waiting time is the single most important factor in customer satisfaction”.

It doesn’t take long to create a negative impression. After about five minutes of waiting, a customer’s perceived waiting time is at least twice the actual waiting time. A study conducted a few years ago, suggested that US businesses lose an estimated $83 million in sales annually due to poor customer experiences.

Again, my question is, do brands really care? Because its the customers who control what they perceive and that it does not take long to create a negative impression, often through word-of-mouth; the brands have to care about it. In most of the cases, its the small steps taken by these brands that matter to their customers. While I prepare myself for another post, I recommend you to watch this video about how Qtip.me works and have some food for thought.

 

Information sources: Harvard Business Review, Why we buy by Paco Underhill, Customer Dissatisfaction Study 2006, Lavi Industries – Customer satisfaction blog

Customers satisfaction – Where to start

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At Codemenders Oy we are all about customer satisfaction, something that is easier said than done. There are so many topics about customer service one could talk about. This is the intro to a series of articles regarding customer service and satisfaction as well as how the focus on better customer service can increase productivity, revenue and of course the amount of customers. These articles are made out of passion for our field. They should stimulate thoughts of customer service managers, personnel and decision makers about how important these topics are, and give them ideas on how applying parts of those to their business model and customer management strategy can bring in positive results.

One of the focus points in this series will be queuing. For several reason: all over the world people queue in banks, hospitals, stores, restaurants, public offices. 60 percent of customer satisfaction comes back to queuing or waiting. It affects everything: from brand perception to sales volumes, social media posts of customers, resource management and what not. Companies in the United States lose an estimated $80 billion in sales annually due to poor customer experiences. It does not take long to create a negative impression, especially when after five minutes of wait, a customer’s perceived wait time is twice the actual time. Most of the customers actually abandon the queue if it is not moving fast enough.

Waiting in line has became a national pass-time in Finland. It is so normal that every business owner and manager thinks that there is nothing that can be changed. With the the last two decades of mobile technology development and the increase of smart phone and devices, companies and offices have the possibility improve the customers experience and get more business intelligence.

So enjoy the upcoming articles that should cover topics such as:

  • Customer personality and customer focused service
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer satisfaction metrics
  • The customers brand reception
  • Your customer’s feedback
  • How Queues can actually support your branding
  • Competitive advantages with better customer service
  • Using branded apps for partner boosting (sales or campaigns)
  • Using queuing app for the customer entertainment to keep the customer returning later on
  • As well as identifying bottle necks and managing resources better
  • And how customers social media action have an effect on your business