Why consolidating Customer Service is key to improving Customer Experience

Written by Michael Smith on the 5th of March, 2015

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Good customer service is like patisserie: its arrival gives pleasure; its departure can only make you yearn for more

An organisation’s ability to get accurate, real-time information about customer engagement is vital in today’s multi-channel world. Every business is keen to reach out to as many prospects and where possible, use digital channels to lower the cost of acquisition or sale. Whilst this race for space continues and the touchpoints multiply across mobiles, tablets, wearable technology, smart TVs and kiosks, so we have to be mindful to ensure that we have the power to track, report and properly engage the customer from a service and experience perspective.

Unfortunately, many organisations have not woken up to this fact.

Take the inbound call-centre with its expensive 08xx number as an example. Now your metrics may tell you that your company’s answer rate of 90 percent plus is outstanding. However, this metric only reflects the number of calls that the system has told you can be answered by available agents. Meaning requests for help that couldn’t be answered or came through other channels are not counted.

The same applies where organisations have been reactive and set up live chat, inert FAQs and a bunch of independent social media monitoring tools along the way to cover their digital backsides. The likelihood is that the dots have not been joined from a tracking, control and live reporting perspective. Unless there is meaningful real-time data about customer support across all channels, then it is impossible to track whether enquiries have been properly resolved and whether this creates a positive customer experience. In this instance, its time to consolidate all your digital tools into a single platform, as well as integrating call agents.

If you are going to solve this problem, then your goal should be consolidation.

Firstly, consolidating legacy and digital inbound functions into a single Helpdesk technology like Zendesk. This has to be deployed properly across multiple channels. That means improving existing processes by integrating contact centre telephony into the platform or building out effective help-centres to drive self-management. This ensures that all customer interactions comes into a single system, no matter whether it is a call or a tweet and you can track the engagement through to resolution real-time.

Secondly, providing agents with a single, cross-channel system that they understand how to engage with when solving a customer’s problem. This means proper onboarding and support so they can handle all interactions and have real-time view of customer history. If agents can solve a customer’s problem without forcing the customer to talk to someone else, in another channel (as frequently happens), then customer experience is enhanced.

Zendesk provides a perfect platform for inbound consolidation but like most technology it requires customisation, skillful deployment, proper onboarding and support to maximise its return. If you want to find out more about how this can be achieved, then come and talk to us.

Michael Smith is co-founder of Technology Service Provider, Appamondo

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