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TASKE Technology's Call Center Blog

In last month’s blog, we talked about how to motivate agents by creating an environment where they can focus on higher-value work. One great way to do this is to provide your customers with more self-service options. As well as offloading tedious work for your agents, self-service options can improve customer satisfaction and contact center operations, which in turn, supports your organization’s contribution to higher-level business objectives.

Improve customer service

Keeping customers who interact with your contact center happy is becoming increasingly complex. As customers become more tech-savvy, they expect faster service and more choices when it comes to getting the information they need. In fact, in the article ACD Software: Self Service Evolves to Improve Customer Service, Amanda Ciccatelli  notes that “a lot of kids would rather get online, they would rather use social media, and they would rather text to take care of any questions or issues they have about products or services.” (Beware, however, of simply jumping on the social media bandwagon without giving due consideration to your customer demographics. Come back next month for more on this subject.)

Self-service can improve customer service by giving choices about how to get information. Whether you provide troubleshooting tips via IVR options or videos on your corporate website, customers can actively engage in resolving the issue, rather than simply waiting in a telephone queue to talk to an agent.

Self-service can also improve customer service by giving flexibility about when to get information. Many organizations don’t operate their contact centers 24/7 because staffing just isn’t economically feasible during low call-activity time periods. However, many self-service options aren’t dependent on your contact center’s hours of operation. A customer who is having difficulty resolving an issue at midnight will most certainly be satisfied to find an answer on your website, instead of waiting until your contact center opens for business the next day.

Improve contact center operations with minimal investment

Self-service options may provide an opportunity to improve operations by leveraging existing knowledge and resources. In terms of the content you can make available to customers, it’s likely that your agents can provide a wealth of information about the questions and issues they deal with over and over again. A few team meetings may be all you need to identify the self-service content that would provide the most value to customers.

Obviously, the delivery channel or technology you choose to provide self-services will have a big impact on the overall cost. Self-service has some very high-end solutions, such as fully interactive websites where customers can obtain bills, change passwords, and update services. For many companies, solutions are available at a much lower cost by, again, looking to the available resources, such as your IVR or company website. With the help of some people in your website and design areas, you may be able to provide professional-looking “Show Me” videos about how to assemble products or troubleshoot services. An even simpler idea is to provide a text-based description of the most frequently asked questions received by your agents.

We hope that over the next month you’ll consider the benefits of self-service options. If you already offer self-service options, feel free to share your experience with us with a comment or two. Next month, we’ll try to help you maximize the benefits of providing self-service options to your customers by suggesting some best practices for implementing them.

See you next month.

 

Tags: agent productivity, business objectives, call volume, customer satisfaction, economy, motivation, operating costs, self-service.

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