Some people proudly follow the mantra, “Give ’em what they ask for!” However, giving someone exactly what they ask for — rather than what they need — isn’t necessarily the best approach. Sometimes it can lead to significant problems. Suppose for example, your company previously used a third-party software product for case management or complaint management. When you migrate to SAP CRM, you might similarly ask your consulting partner to implement SAP “case management” or SAP “complaint management”. However, a good consultant will first take the time to understand your current business processes and then to map your requirements against the appropriate SAP solution — which may be different than what you expected.
Another example, it turns out that in many case what companies actually need is SAP service ticket management, rather than SAP complaint management or case management. In SAP CRM, case management and complaint management are specialized solutions reserved for certain, very specific types of scenarios. Service ticket management is actually the solution that is appropriate for the majority of situations. However, these solutions — case management, complaint management, service ticket/order management — are not mutually exclusive. Rather they work together to support your CRM service requirements, with each transaction tailored to a specific purpose. Let’s take a look in more detail.
Activity (Interaction Record) Management
Before we get started talking about complaint management, case management, and service ticket/order management, we need to first become familiar with a something known as the interaction record — a crucial business transaction that is created whenever your company interacts with a customer. The interaction record is the leading business transaction, used for logging every customer interaction. Every customer telephone call, email, fax, letter or Web chat results in a new interaction record. The interaction record is used not only to document the purpose and result of each customer interaction; but the interaction record is also used as the anchor that holds together all other related objects (registered products, documents, emails, etc.) and follow-up business transactions (i.e., service tickets/orders, complaints, cases) that were created during the customer interaction. For more details on the interaction record, please see the Blog entry, “Everything you need to know about the Interaction Record in the CRM Interaction Center by Gert Tackaert.
Service Ticket Management
As mentioned, the service ticket is the most common type of service-related business transaction. Service tickets are commonly used as the default transaction for logging product defects, bugs, or any other technical issues. After creating a service ticket as a follow-up transaction to the interaction record, agents can perform technical analysis of problems (using multi-level categorization) and provide solutions within defined service-level agreements (SLAs). If necessary, agents can also dispatch or escalate service tickets to second-level support using pre-defined business rules.
Service Order Management
Service orders are very similar to service tickets (in fact they share the same underlying technical structure) but are used whenever it is necessary to schedule a repair, installation, or other field-service related appointment — especially if spare parts/service parts are required. Unlike service tickets, which do not support spare parts/service parts, the service order allows agents to assign the relevant spare parts/service parts required for a repair, maintenance or installation.
Complaints are a very specific type of service transaction. In SAP CRM, complaints are created as follow-up documents to support product returns, exchanges, or refunds. A complaint is appropriate when a customer has a problem or issue with delivery shipment or billing invoice. Agents can create a complaint from a reference document such as sales order or billing invoice. Agents can also generate appropriate follow-on tasks such as credit/debit memos, QM notifications, free-of-charge shipments, and returns. In SAP, complaints are NOT used to record situations in which a customer is calling to “complain” about bad service or defective products; rather interaction records and service tickets are best suited for such situations.
Cases are also a very specific type of service transaction. In SAP CRM, cases are created as follow-up documents to group together multiple documents or objects related to a single root cause or issue. For example, a company might create a case for keeping track of all of the service tickets related to a particular product recall, service outage, insurance claim, criminal investigation, etc. Cases are not created to log individual customer issues or problems; rather service tickets are typically used for such situations.