One of our manufacturing clients asked, “How can we improve our client engagement team’s productivity?” Before recommending a solution, our experts interacted with all of the key stake holders of Service Management organization, including the support group, the Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), and the business leaders. This helped us better understand their current processes, call volumes, and interaction types.
To improve interactions with customers, reduce call times, and improve overall experiences … we put everything that the Customer Service Representative needed at their fingertips.
REDUCE CLICKS – Right off the bat, we witnessed the CSRs performing too many tasks before providing the appropriate answer to the customer who waited on the phone. We addressed this by streamlining the screens, in the end, reducing the number of “clicks” that a CSR needed to make to get the critical information they needed to help the customer, e.g. supporting documents or historical transactions relative to the customer. Having the right information at the right time significantly boosts “first call resolution”.
PHONE INTEGRATION – We also help improve productivity and reduce handle times by integrating our customer’s phone system with their Service Management application. The phone integration enabled the customer’s details to be visible to the CSR before the interaction started. Having customer details before interacting considerably helps the CSR prepare, anticipating the customer’s needs.
INFORMATION AT THE READY – When the call is accepted, and the interaction begins, it is important to show ALL relevant details, e.g. Customer 360, customer history including the product and warranty information.
UTILIZE A KNOWLEDGE BASE – Integrating a Knowledge Base to our customer’s Service Management application enabled the CSR to have even more information at their fingertips when they needed it, which allowed them to provide additional information to the customer by way of email.
In every company, we see different departments/divisions/business units that function based on select products, offerings, regions, or customer base. We find different teams within the same company running to the same goal (satisfying customer issues), yet following different processes to get there. This type of fragmented effort, or siloed approach, reduces the effectiveness of each swim lane.
SIMPLIFY – When we implement high-value Customer Service solutions, simplifying the way our customers interact with ALL of THEIR CUSTOMERS plays a role in defining success.
OPTIMIZE – We have encountered teams using a front end containing hundreds of fields, many of which are redundant and just occupying space. We make it an aim of the implementation team to understand why some of the steps in a particular process are followed … and then see how the process could be optimized.
CENTRALIZE – Through analysis, we are able to amalgamate all the processes into one company-wide customer service process based on industry best practices. As a result, we centralize customer data which in turn drives stronger outcomes from intelligent reporting.
INCLUDE & REALIZE – Engaging the right people, for example management and team members from the Customer Service organization, help realize process standardization for the whole organization.
THINK GLOBAL – Setting up a global template, then adjusting it to best suit different teams enables the entire organization to work better and keep the teams highly productive.
Designing and implementing Customer Service Management solutions for global companies for over twenty years, our experience reveals to us that it is best to keep your SaaS CSM solution as close to standard as possible. Service Management solutions are developed for widely accepted use cases with shared processes. Using your Customer Service Management solution “out of the box” will help your business apply best practices, benefit from regular software enhancements, and significantly improve the scalability of your solution.
BEST PRACTICES – Overly customized solutions can generally dissociate your business from Service Management best practices and curtail the value of the SaaS software. Many process owners want to know how their industry conducts Service Management and how they can implement best practices. The answer can be as easy as adopting a viable CSM solution, like ServiceNow for customer workflows, and using it “out of the box”. All the best practices that you are looking for have been analyzed, compiled, and baked into the software.
BENEFIT FROM SOFTWARE UPDATES AND RELEASE CYCLES – Increase your return on your investments by leveraging regular software enhancements, generally released in 90 day cycles. On a regular basis you will receive new CSM functionality, better screen navigation, and “tried” processes will continue to become more streamlined in the spirit of simplicity. Taking advantage of solution enhancements administered by the software provider will reduce your development costs, your testing costs, your headaches, all while increasing the elasticity of the solution.
IMPROVE SCALABILITY – Your Customer Service Solution needs to grow with your business. Providing a better experience to your customer is critical to growth. Keeping your Service Management solution as close to standard will enable better scalability. Rolling on new users, new business units, new regions, to a solution representing standardized processes that are clearly defined and understood will greatly boost adoption.
DESIGN FOR GROWTH – Deliver a solution to support where the business is going, not where it has been. Define expectations early. Ensure that the business users understand that we are not trying to recreate the legacy Service Management system. We are trying to utilize innovative Service Management technologies today that will improve our ability to help our customers.
ESTABLISH TRUST – Presenting a robust change management process on day one will immediately help users become more comfortable with the company’s plan to employ a new and improved solution.
ADOPT AN AGILE APPROACH AND KEEP USERS ENGAGED – Maintaining user engagement and a flexible implementation approach throughout the deployment will considerably help to create an inspired Customer Group. Adopting an Agile Project Methodology helps the project team respond appropriately to user feedback throughout the project timeline. You want to invite input, amounting to minor solution configurations, from the Service Management Organization throughout the project. Their input is vital. This will foster proprietorship and adoption.
Self-Service empowers customers and decreases manual work for agents. Customers are inconvenienced by having to call to get answers to their problems because no other options are offered to help them resolve issues themselves. Implement a Self-Service component as part of your Customer Service Management solution.
REDUCE CALLS – Encouraging contact through an online portal can provide a handy way to showcase self-service options, such as a service catalog for common issues. Research estimates that self-service reduces call volume by 15% because customers are able to find the solutions for which they are looking via knowledge articles or other self-service resources. Reducing your call volume helps increase the quality of agent interactions that are necessary.
KNOWLEDGE – In addition to a more convenient support channel, portals provide an efficient way to link to additional resources that can often assist in answering a customer’s question without having to submit a support request. Integrate your Self-Service with a Knowledge Management solution, like MindTouch. Make the information (answers) that customers are looking for visibly accessible everywhere on your self-service portal, e.g. chat, FAQ pages, profile pages if logged-in, etc. There is no reason to tuck answers away where no one can find them.
RELEVANT – Keep your Self-Service Portal up to date. Integrate your Self Service Portal to your company’s dot com. Share news, current product information, new offerings complimenting an owned product, etc. You will frustrate your customers if they invest time to find an answer, only learn that the answer is obsolete, no longer applicable, or irrelevant.
5 Independence Way
Princeton, NJ 08540
3959 Welsh Road
Willow Grove, PA 9090
1400 Preston Road
Plano, TX 75093
89 Kingsway Street
London EC3N 4AB,