Customers expect frictionless service 24/7, regardless of what’s happening inside or outside your company. For larger organizations, even the simplest request requires the orchestration of complex processes and human decisions. Agents and back-office employees must handle multiple products, access numerous systems, and stay informed on a large volume of policies and procedures that continually change.
To meet growing customer expectations, you need the right technology. Keep these three vital ingredients in mind to gain an edge on the competition.
1. Implement a 360-Degree View Instead of a Single View
Customers might engage with you about a variety of journeys that they’ve either completed previously, recently abandoned, are currently on or plan to start. By adopting a holistic view of the customer — and bringing together transactions, interactions and behavioral data in real time — service professionals can better understand what the customer is talking about when they connect and identify the next-best actions.
Unfortunately, customer data exists in multiple systems across touchpoints, departments, geographies and product lines. Integrating these systems is a technical challenge and an operational one – as siloes often form due to department-owned apps, quick-fix point solutions, product acquisitions and legacy technology. And, as service complexity grows, so does the amount of data. Simply showing an agent all information on one screen, regardless of relevance, forces them to be a detective in one app instead of multiple ones.
A 360-degree view goes beyond just a mash up of all data. Instead, it focuses an agent’s attention on the most relevant information. Such a view should anticipate that the customer is calling about a missed payment, an outage caused by a storm in the area or an upcoming car lease return. Intelligently surfacing this information ensures a quicker and personalized level of care.
2. Adopt Dynamic Case Management (DCM) to Support End-to-End Resolutions
As McKinsey explains, “simple customer requests are typically addressed by self-service tools and automation, meaning that agents must handle the more complex ones.” These complex cases require collaboration and coordination between multiple people and teams — within and beyond the organization. Such cases require people to make complicated decisions using knowledge and judgment. Automation helps but it can’t be the universal remedy.
Many companies still rely on traditional business process management (BPM) or legacy CRM ticketing systems that work well for straightforward requests but crumble under complex, dynamic and potentially unpredictable situations. For example, a customer inquiring about an unusual charge on their cell phone bill could lead to a refund pending a fraud investigation and a parallel technical support case to check their device for malware. Before the investigation is even complete, the customer might call again the next day to report another unusual charge on a different device.
Any tool focused on just optimizing a structured process by minimizing human intervention will be challenged to accommodate such a non-linear scenario. That’s because these tools force strict process definitions that end up littered with technical details about system integration and data access. And this forces agents to use “tribal knowledge” to find workarounds when journeys fall outside of the pre-defined paths. Instead, companies find the most success when they empower “agents” to be “super agents” by giving them tools to handle both the predictable, repetitive journeys and the unstructured ones.
A dynamic “case” within a DCM platform supports both structured and unstructured work by automating where it can — surfacing relevant information when human intervention is needed — and distributing tasks to the right teams, departments and individuals. It also builds bridges between applications, so humans don’t have to reconcile information from siloed systems.
3. Modernize on a Unified Solution Rather Than Quick-Fix Apps
Service leaders benefit most by modernizing on a unified platform designed for end-to-end customer service, rather than a growing collection of poorly integrated point solutions. When integrated into an omnichannel engagement platform, a “case” record maintains the customer conversation — even when the customer switches channels mid-journey. This unifies service teams onto a single case management system rather than a collection of disconnected siloes that force agents to waste time navigating and circumventing.
To handle complex service requests in the way today’s customers expect, your company must give agents unprecedented visibility and deliver end-to-end digital journeys that connect people, functions and systems. Equipped with the right technology to do their jobs, agents can provide a superior customer experience.