By 2020, the main brand distinguisher will be customer care to overtake quality of product and price. Although companies have often perceived customer care as a mandatory cost centre, they are now realizing its importance. 80% of companies now rate customer experience as a top strategic objective.
However, changes in customer expectations and market trends make navigating this area challenging. While striving for premium customer experience, you can encounter multiple pain points. Dimelo, sponsors at CEW2018 London have partnered with Shep Hyken, International Customer Service and Experience Expert, Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations to review some of the most common customer care issues and our insights to address them.
Managing Customer Activity
Customer Care activity must be seen as the foundation of your strategy. This includes using the right tools, processes and strategies to process inquiries efficiently. Some of the most common issues include:
1. Allocating messages efficiently
Without the right organization, processing large volumes of inquiries can quickly become a problem. Messages are coming from multiple channels, with different issues, in different languages… Processing them manually takes a lot of time, increases costs, and ultimately negatively impacts customer satisfaction.
The first step in overcoming these challenges is to analyse your activity and identify which criteria you should use to route messages
Re-organizing your teams by expertise instead of by types of channels you operate on is another major improvement and will help break silos and give you a better organization. You will then be able to automatically route messages based on skills and availability. That way, whether an inquiry comes from e-mail, chat or messaging, you will be sure it will reach the right agent. This will also help to balance the workload in case one channel receives more inquiries than another, resources will be optimized to process them efficiently.
2. Managing peaks of activity
Customer care activity is usually unequal during the day, forcing you to manually allocate messages. Peaks can also be caused by seasonality (sales, new product launches, Holiday season) or specific events (technical issues, extreme weather events, promotional offers…).
All these peaks cannot be planned, but specific methods can help anticipate some of them. Relying on hard facts will allow to identify patterns of activity peaks and allocate the right resources to face them. Analyzing volumes of inquiries by the time of the day or day of the week can give you insights to forecast peaks. For unexpected peaks, relying on tools integrating live analytics and supervision will allow you to face them more efficiently. For example, a Telecom company facing network failure will be able to prioritize all messages related to this topic over the other ones, to make sure customers get quick answers to this urgent problem.
Managing peaks is a challenge that companies should consider as an opportunity to deliver an excellent customer experience and differentiate themselves from competitors.
3. Improve key KPIs
Customer service departments should closely monitor some key KPIs such as Average Handling Time and First Contact Resolution Rate (FCR). The latter has a major impact on all other KPIs: a study by SQM Group shows that an improvement of 1% in FCR leads to an improvement of 1% in customer satisfaction and a 1% reduction of operating costs.
This indicator can be improved in different ways, such as analyzing the cause of repeated requests, making sure the customer problem has been solved at the end of each interaction and giving agents better access to information. Agents can also rely on specific tools (reply assistant, spell checking, knowledge base) to reduce their handling time.
|"I have a philosophy about KPIs: many companies focus on how long the resolution is, how many interactions are managed per hour, etc. All of them are worthy of consideration, but what really matters is: “Is the customer happy? Is his problem solved?”|