Rene Van Popering discusses the process businesses need to consider when seeking to excel at customer contact success and deliver a streamlined service across all their channels.
Cutting to the chase, to attain and even exceed your customer service goals you need to become very familiar with your customer service levels and targeted objectives.
You should also consider measuring how much time and effort are involved in maintaining your service levels and where the source of friction comes from. This may be knowledge, process, the journey, or ease of access to information, for example.
Ultimately, you should set a minimum and maximum acceptable level; substantiate if these metrics are in line with your agreed customer service levels and whether they may be confidently achieved and delivered, and evaluate any shortfalls.
Consider if you can realistically provide a consistent service that meets all your known conditions and targets. You may find that the some of the objectives are just too unrealistic or out of your control.
The good news is that everything is possible if you measure the correct indicators and are willing to choose a transformative data-driven path.
Your starting North Star vison and goal should be documented, for example: providing an excellent service-first experience, with a fast turnaround time and a first-rate assessment – aka the ideal process.
The ideal process is one where you contact the service centre, someone is available almost immediately, knows the current situation and history, has the information to answer your question, and you move on with your life and don’t need to make contact again.
Your next question should be, what can I do to achieve this? My advice would be to start with the basics of interaction analysis – the characteristics of customer contact – as they reveal a lot about the health of your contact centre performance and highlight which areas require your focus.
Ask yourself, how many of my customers experience some form of friction or extra effort before they get the right answers? Is this a people/knowledge issue, is it a broken process or policy, are we asking the right questions at the right time?
Knowing where friction and extra effort occurs across all interactions with your customers, together with understanding the scale of service effectiveness and friction, is directly linked to setting up data-driven insights that highlight what is going on every day and give you a complete picture of customer service dealings.
They also underline how often multiple contacts are made and whether the expected turnaround time falls within the promised excellent service. Furthermore, these insights should be impartial and standardised.
If you are relying on third-party surveys or agent-entered data, you only have 10 per cent of the picture and an emotional viewpoint.
Knowing these touchpoints gives you the opportunity to understand what decisive actions are possible and what can be done to improve the outcomes.
The use of AI data-driven and automated insights will help you achieve this as they are transformative and focus on improving service level management based on full and highly reliable insights into your service health. They can help organisations to propel their service level excellence.