Handling customer interactions can be a really tough job, whether you’re in the front or back office. It often requires the ability to switch between customer situations; properly understanding all recent events with the customer; navigating within multiple systems; all the while trying to maintain customer focus, handle the interaction as quickly as possible, and trying to delight the customer whilst fixing their problem first time. It’s not uncommon for organizations to have 2-3 weeks’ classroom training, followed by 1-3 weeks of on-the-job training. Even after this, it can still take 3-6 months to become reasonably proficient.
The problem is that what employees are tasked with doing, often isn’t intuitive. This is why process management with context is so important.
When implementing an email management system, it’s therefore important to understand what types of queries or tasks are being handled. Is the query a ‘one and done’? Is the customer contact part of a more complex service request? Are there likely to be multiple customer touchpoints over different channels? Will there be several employees involved in resolving the service request? Would it help to provide the employees with context and process guidance?
The following points are all key for any organization that wants to tackle the above questions:
- Pull in key information from other systems that relates to the current engagement (details of the loan application, details of the order etc.) so employees don’t need to switch applications, and navigate multiple screens for basic information.
- Capture information in a structured manner, with validation around the service request to reduce the need for follow up communications asking for information that should have been known in the first instance.
- Use workflow and case management to model and manage the end to end process so the business process is easy to follow, and allows tracking through to successful completion.
- Try to identify repeat tasks which could be automated via workflow.
- Expose a complete view of the contact history that relates to the current case across all channels, enabling an omni-channel view of the customer journey, and meaning the customer never has to repeat themselves.
- Consolidate all previous customer engagements, events and cases outside of the current engagement, and provide easy access for employees.
Addressing these issues will give employees all the necessary context and intuitive process guidance, ultimately making it easy for them, and empowering them to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
What this really points to is a Single Integrated Employee Desktop, with Omni-Channel and Case Management capabilities. One system for all employees, creating a Single Customer View, where they can perform any task for any customer. This, for many organizations, is an aspiration that is daunting and expensive. It often leads to organizations doing nothing.
However, if you are looking for a place to start, you should consider your current email management strategy. This is an easy channel to tackle, and will allow you to incrementally add channels, context and process management.