Develop customer service with a new approach

The provision of a multi-channel customer service is a great deal more complex today than it used to be only ten or even five years ago. The number of channels has significantly increased, bringing with them additional challenges particularly to resource allocation in customer service and the daily work of contact center agents.

If only traditional approaches are used, it is practically impossible to maintain a sufficient service level for service requests streaming in from the various channels. This presents a risk to the reputation of a company, as negative experiences are amplified in social media at a faster pace than ever before. Simultaneously, contact centers are under tremendous pressure concerning cost efficiency.

Provad can help your business to solve its daily challenges related to customer service. Our Intelligent Contact Center (ICC) solution has been designed for multi-channel customer service. Our solution speeds up the work process of customer service, enabling the optimal allocation of resources between the various channels.  Thus, ICC enables an improved customer experience and streamlined resource use.

 

Enhance resource allocation, dismantle silos

 

All too often, customer service managers spend their working hours putting out fires. This leaves little time for developing operations. The worst aspect of this is the ensuing vicious circle. If there is no time today, there will be no time tomorrow either. Resource allocation between the various channels is particularly time-consuming, as it takes place manually and in a delayed manner.

Customer service staff are generally assigned to teams which are divided among the various channels. Should congestion occur, more customer service staff are be transferred to handle traffic in the congested channel. However, this means that the reaction will be somewhat delayed, as a situation involving congestion has already occurred. Often, other channels show signs of congestion as well.

Manual resource allocation in customer service gives rise to a number of problems:

  • The contact center manager has no time for operational development. Manual resource allocation takes up a vast proportion of the manager’s time, leaving little opportunity for the development of customer service.
  • Customer satisfaction deteriorates following congestion in the customer service channel, as the customer is forced to wait on hold in a queue for a disproportionately long time.
  • The sales, customer loyalty and reputation of the company will deteriorate. Dissatisfied customers may decide to change their service provider. Customers will share negative experiences with their friends, including using social media. Negative experiences and a poor reputation will lead to a situation in which a company finds it more difficult to attract new customers.
  • The efficiency and job satisfaction of customer service staff will deteriorate. If the work of customer service staff is characterized by a fluctuation of congestion and silent moments, they will find it difficult to adopt an appropriate pace of work. Job satisfaction will deteriorate because the work load will be unevenly distributed.

To a large degree, the problems of resource allocation are attributable to a silo effect affecting channels. It is difficult to find an optimal way to allocate resources in customer service because they are distributed across the various channels.  However, if requests from the customers are always routed to an available member of customer service agents, regardless of the channel, the service level of all channels will improve. This is exactly how Provad’s Intelligent Contact Center works. It accepts contacts from any channel and directs them automatically for processing by customer service staff based on their skills and availability.

Resources allocated to the various channels can be used to supplement each other whenever necessary as contacts from from all channels can be routed via a single node. If the contact channels available to customer service comprise telephone and e-mail, customer service staff can focus on processing e-mail messages when fewer telephone calls are coming in. Whether the contact center has two or ten channels, this approach is equally practicable. This will ensure optimal resource use.

Using ICC to combine and route resources and contacts automatically will give you the following significant advantages:

  • Improved customer experience. Customers will receive a prompt reply as contacts can be processed at a much faster pace. Thanks to contact routing that is based on skills, the response will also be well-informed.
  • Enhanced resource efficiency throughout customer service. The work load of customer service staff will be more evenly distributed, as contact requests are automatically allocated to free customer service agents. This will even out the fluctuation between congested and free moments, improving the efficiency of customer service staff. The processing time of contacts will be significantly shortened.
  • Customer service managers will have more time to develop operations. In the traditional resource allocation model, the role of the manager involves continuous monitoring of the work load; in the new model, the customer service system itself performs this work on a daily basis. Thus, customer service managers will be able to focus on the bigger picture: operational development, sustained management and resource allocation on a weekly, monthly and yearly level.

Provad ICC will improve the efficiency of resource allocation in customer service and make more time available to customer service managers, enabling an enhanced customer experience. Find out more about the ICC solution.

 

Save time in customer service through work phase automation

 

Customers appreciate prompt solutions to their issues. However, it is difficult to achieve satisfactory service levels across different channels. This is a challenge faced by most contact centers. In addition to resource allocation, the explanation lies in the fact that the daily work of a customer service staff involves a great number of repetitive manual work phases. This is time that could be better spent. Typical examples of manual work include picking e-mail messages from message lists, retrieving social media messages from message walls and starting various background systems.

Manual work performed by customer service staff brings with it a number of problems for the company:

  • Manual work has a negative effect on job satisfaction. Repeated starting of various background systems and other manual work decreases job satisfaction. If the work of customer service staff includes routine and repetitive work phases, their job satisfaction will unavoidably suffer.
  • Situations where agents face a choice causes them stress. Manually selecting e-mail messages and other online contact request presents a source of stress. Customer service staff may be faced with a choice in which their own interests are in conflict with that of a larger whole. This is a choice that should not have to be made by the contact center staff.
  • The response time will slow down. Manually picking contact requests will lead to slower processing times and longer response times. Customer service staff tend to select requests that they find the easiest to deal with, leaving requests from dissatisfied customers asking bothersome questions to be dealt with later.
  • Manual processing eats up the time that could be otherwise devoted to the customers. Contact center agents are also compelled to perform work tasks in the middle of direct contact with a customer. Entering or retrieving information from customer information and reservation systems takes up time that would be better spent on actual customer service.
  • Manual work phases cause problems to service availability. Manual work phases cause moments of standstill, potentially depriving the entire customer service organization of resources. Thus, the service level of all channels will deteriorate.
  • Customer experience will be negatively affected. Long response times, ineffective contact situations with customers and poor availability of services contribute significantly to a negative customer experience. This will have a negative effect on customer loyalty and the company’s reputation.
  • The customer drain rate will increase, resulting in reduced sales. Long response times will cause dissatisfaction among customers. Dissatisfied customers are susceptible to changing their service provider if they have to wait too long for responses to their contacts.

Let the customer service staff focus on the essential – serving the customers. By automating repetitive manual tasks, you will be able to save both your own and your customers’ time. This can be achieved by putting in place our Intelligent Contact Center solution. All contacts from customers regardless of their form – whether e-mail messages, forms embedded in web pages or social media messages – can be automatically routed to customer service staff for processing. Similarly, all information stored in the back-end systems needed by the customer service staff can be displayed in a single view at the right time – for example, when a customer contacts the contact center.

By putting Provad ICC into operation to automate the manual tasks carried out by customer service staff, you will obtain a number of benefits. The key advantages include:

  • Improved customer experience. The contact request processing time will become shorter, contributing to an improved customer experience. The automation of manual work phases improves resource availability, enhancing service level in all of the channels. More time can be allocated to direct customer contact, providing opportunities for improving service and increasing sales.
  • Improved job satisfaction. If the customer service system assumes the responsibility for performing repetitive routine tasks normally carried out by the contact center agents, job satisfaction will improve. Using appropriate tools, the provision of customer service will run more smoothly, allowing customer service staff to focus on their principal task – serving customers. This will also make work more efficient.
  • Enhanced resource efficiency. If contacts are routed to available customer service agents for processing, these agents are able to focus all their attention on the situation at hand, thereby enhancing the resource efficiency of the customer service function. Time will no longer be wasted on non-productive activities, such as retrieving lists or attempting to access back-end systems.

Find out more about our ICC solution.

Accurate reporting on all channels will help to develop customer service

 

In many customer service organizations, the use of reporting is limited. Many reasons lie behind this:

  • The customer service manager’s lack of time. The time available to making an appropriate use of reports and developing operations is simply insufficient, given the time required by the provision of daily customer services.
  • Poor availability of reports. For example, reports may be available from the system provider only through a separate request.
  • Poor quality or applicability of reports. Reports may only contain information that is irrelevant to operational development, such as the plain length of telephone calls. For example, reports may not cover all the channels or work phases. If reports concerning a multi-channel service provision system only cover the voice channels, it will be impossible to use such reports in the development of customer service when the service is viewed as a whole.

Comprehensive reporting will support the development of customer service in a better way than other information. As long as the reporting provides detailed information on operational efficiency and time management, the development needs of the contact center can be pinpointed with high accuracy. Moreover, a comprehensive reporting will help to form a more complete picture of customer service. For example, a comparison of customer service staff based on processing times obtained from the various channels will give a good indication of those staff who need additional training, including their training needs.

Intelligent Contact Center produces comprehensive reports, enabling the effective development of operations. Such reports allow for gaining an accurate picture of the customer service process viewed as a whole, as well as of separate events analyzed individually, because customer service staff will be able to manage their entire work process from processing customers’ contacts to taking breaks from work. The Analyzer reporting tool, directly launchable from the ICC, provides for developing the quality of service, improving the staff’s personal skills and enhancing the resource effectiveness of the contact center. Find out more about our ICC solution.

Do you want to develop your customer service? Contact us.

Contact us

Would you like to develop your customer service? Contact us.

Ari Matula

Ari Matula

Sales Director

Tel.+358 20 761 9612

ari.matula@provad.fi

Contact request