"If the issue can't be resolved on the spot, make sure your process keeps the customer happy"
The improvement cycle part 2 of 3 – plan, distribute, capture
mai 13, 2020
Nothing is ever so good that you can’t do it a little bit better. And given that the result of better customer service will be more satisfied customers and lower costs, it is definitely worthwhile to make a thorough review of organisation, tools and processes at least once a year.
So, what does it take to work smarter? Bernhard Ödin, who works with business development, has identified six key steps.
In this article, we will cover the first three steps of the contact center operations improvement cycle:
When the customer gets in touch, you need to answer reasonably fast, and provide help with the customer’s issue. Planning is about ensuring that the customer service is properly staffed. When planning fails, there is either too little or too much staff on site, or staff with the right competence isn’t available.
Regardless if you are overstaffed or understaffed, there may be severe consequences for either customers, employees or both. Long queues cause customer satisfaction to plummet while employees experience their work situation as stressful. Conversely, too much staff means an unnecessarily high cost and employees can feel under-stimulated. The rule of thumb here is that staff who are happy stay longer.
Planning has a short-term as well as a long-term aspect. On the one hand, it’s about looking at volumes and handling times more or less in real-time, but it is also about securing staff and skills over time.
Three planning tips:
- Set a measurable goal for what planning should lead to, such as shorter wait times
- Work continuously with skills development
- Begin any recruitments in good time
For the customer to get help with their issue in a satisfactory manner, it is important that you forward him or her to an employee with the right skill. As we add more channels, staffing becomes an increasingly complex puzzle to solve.
If you fail to solve that puzzle properly, there is a risk that some employees are stressed out, while others don’t have enough to do. If the contact distribution isn’t working well, there is also the risk that the customer will be forwarded back and forth between employees. In the worst case, even without getting their issue resolved.
This risk is mitigated with a system that makes it possible to manage all channels in the same interface and where the customer’s history stays in context throughout the customer journey.
Three tips for good distribution:
- Make sure to tag employees for the right skills
- Use a tool that handles all channels in the same interface and keeps the customer’s history available throughout the customer journey
- Ask yourself: Are we adequately organised for our assignment?
3. Capture/Resolve the issue
Even if you succeed and keep track of contact distribution, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the customer will get help with their issue in the best possible way. Just because an employee has the right expertise on paper, it cannot always be directly translated into a resolved issue. Maybe it is a type of case that the employee meets only very rarely, or that the employee’s skills are outdated? Competence and skills need constant monitoring and maintenance to stay fresh and usable.
There are always some issues that aren’t possible to resolve during the contact, but you may still have a process in place that makes the customer happy. When the agent receiving the issue says that she or he will take care of it, even though she or he may not know exactly how at the time, the customer can relax, knowing that the issue will be resolved.
Three tips to provide a trust-inspiring customer experience:
- Ensure that you keep staff skills up to date
- Have a plan for how you handle issues that cannot be resolved on the spot
- Collect all information in one single knowledge base and make it easy for all employees to find it and use it
In the next article in this series, we will cover the closing three steps of the contact center operations improvement cycle.
Dårlig tid? Artikkelen på 5 sekunder
- Plan carefully to avoid over- or under-staffing. Both in general and for specific skills
- Integrating all channels makes it easier to route contact to the right skill
- Keep staff skills up-to-date and provide them with easy-to-navigate information to resolve customer issues
Did you like this?
Make sure to subscribe to the ACE blog and we will email you when there is new content.