Are you truly listening to your customers? Are you capturing their experience with your products or services in the moment? Are you making that knowledge available for future reference?
The customer experience delivered by some call centers is similar to when I try to get help from my family doctor:
- It all starts with symptoms, such as head aches, sore throat, and running fever. I call the receptionist and provide this person with symptoms to establish the appointment.
Note: This can take time, depending on availability.
- The nurse comes into the room - I provide her with the same symptoms to chart, for whom, I’m not sure.
Note: I’ve probably waited at least 30 min to be put into the room.
- Then, finally, the Doctor comes in – for the third time, I provide him with symptoms.
You’ll notice, by the time help arrives, I’ve repeated myself at least three different times and have no idea if I was heard at all. It's frustrating that over time this doesn’t change.
There is a better way to provide customer service for call center customers, and it all begins with managing customer experiences by capturing knowledge in the workflow and tightly integrating the CRM and Knowledgebase (KB) into each agent's workflow. The customer-specific information resides in the CRM, but the other information is gathered into the KB articles in the moment.
Let’s say a customer has searched the KB for their answer and the resolution or answer is not already in the KB. The agent structures a draft article with the customer-specific symptoms or situation (as the customer describes it, resolution is not known). The draft article is then linked to the case in the CRM, before escalation. The escalation agent then receives the case, along with the KB article, with a complete description of the customer’s experience. This KB draft article provides the escalation agent with the information needed to continue with the customer where the first agent left off. The customer feels like they’re being heard the first time and doesn’t need to repeat themselves.
Let’s take this one step further. The situation above is resolved and the customer goes away happy with their experience and has less frustration. The escalation agent completes the draft article with the correct resolution or answer and publishes it to the web self-service. In time, when another customer experiences the same or even similar situation, they search the web self-service site first, find their answer quickly and the article resolves their issue. Happy customer!
What if that same hypothetical customer prefers to call in for help? The agent searches the KB and finds the article, quickly resolving the documented issue. I believe we would call this first call resolution. It saves time and helps provide the agents with time to work on unknown issues going forward.
Solving the situation or problem ONCE and structuring the article for reuse. This is a methodology that we here at inContact choose to follow. It is called Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) created by the Consortium for Service Innovation (CSI) members. inContact is a member of this innovative group.