It’s Not an Option – It’s Expected (Blog Series)
Access the on-demand playback of our recent webinar “When, How and Why Customers Self-Help” with Steve Morrell, Managing Director and Principal Analyst of Contact Babel and John Cray, Vice President – Product Management, Enghouse Interactive.
Blog #3 of 3: Key Findings from “When, How and Why Customers Self-Help” Webinar
For those that attended our recent webinar, here is a quick summary of the findings from Steve Morrell of ContactBabel and John Cray of Enghouse Interactive, along with some additional insight and commentary made during their presentation.
How & Why The Pandemic Has Accelerated Automation and Digital Adoption
As is typical of unforeseen events of great magnitude, the pandemic has undermined all existing customer experience (CX) and Self-Service planning assumptions used by Contact Center administrators and operational management teams.
As a result, ContactBabel reached out to the contact center industry to quickly understand what had changed and why. The most important observation was the impact associated with the type of self- service requests – digital-based interactions grew significantly more (at an average rate of 65%) than voice-based requests, illustrating the reality that contact centers – as configured – were ill-equipped to deal with the increased demands.
On average, call abandonment rates increased 63% increase – while call waiting times increased by 30%. Click here for the complete infographic.
As noted, innovative organizations look at Self-Service with a comprehensive end-to-end view, understanding that each touch-point has a significant impact on their overall success: from the customer’s perception of the completeness of the services they offer, to how well the organization has delivered on their promise of customer-centricity. This means that each step should be designed to optimize service processes, reduce handling time and enhance the overall experience, while ensuring quick resolution of any issue(s), thereby increasing overall First Call Resolution (FCR) percentages.
Proactive Outbound Engagement + Self-Service = More Success
The success-driven organizations I referred to earlier in the series, seek to leverage any competitive advantage they can to achieve the success to which they aspire. They do so by leveraging highly flexible and agile technologies from the start – such as combining Proactive Outbound Engagement with as many Self-Service capabilities as possible.
By integrating Self-Service with Proactive Outbound Communications, these organizations can ensure customers; partners or suppliers are notified of important news – promotional offers, price changes, additional re-stocking orders, staffing changes or pandemic closures – in a timely manner. With either mass broadcast capabilities or targeted messages with receipt confirmations, they can make sure everyone is contacted in time to take appropriate action. When tied to the use of Self-Service tools, the organization can manage the process without the need for human intervention while also benefitting from having a comprehensive audit trail including responses or actions taken. Click here to read more about Proactive Outbound Communications.
7 Guiding Principles For Using Self-Service to Establish Your Competitive Advantage
- Make Self-Service the first port-of-call, not the last – Publicize and promote Self-Service
- Experience the full customer journey – Identify where your friction points are and aggressively work to eliminate them to make doing business with your organization simple and pleasurable
- Knowledge is power – Deploy, constantly review and optimize the information available in the knowledge base to ensure it addresses the user’s evolving needs on an ongoing basis
- Encourage customers to use natural language – Leverage Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Speech to Text conversion to analyze and categorize customers verbal commentary
- Set expectations and measure success – Know what you want to achieve with Self-Service, track your progress against those goals and constantly refine your approach to achieve your objectives
- Be proactive – Incent customers to use Self-Service, make sure the interface is as intuitive as possible and then train them on how to use it
- Be realistic – Make it easy for customers to resolve any issues that arise. Self-Service won’t always be right, so make sure that the next level of support/escalation is optimized and works seamlessly
By fully integrating the Contact Center and the most important Self-Service applications, organizations have seen significant improvements in the speed and manner they engage with their customers, improving their ability to deal with rapidly changing business realities, while still delivering the customer experience that customers expect.
Help make sure your organization delivers the service experience that exceeds customer expectations. Doing so will transform your contact center from a cost-center into a revenue generator.
See how your organization can benefit from Self-Service!