Whether it’s a phone conversation with an insurer, a live chat with the cable company, or a conversation at your bank branch, there are really just two fundamental things a customer wants: better outcomes and less effort.

Better OutcomesKM_screen_capture_from_microsite_JChmaj_blog_Aug_26_resized

The goal of any customer service interaction is to resolve the customer’s issue. It may sound obvious, but for a variety of reasons this goal is often not attained. Maybe the customer service agent simply doesn’t know the answer and is unable to find it by searching for information. In other cases, the agent may believe they know the answer but could have outdated or incorrect information.

Still other cases occur where the agent seems to resolve the customer’s inquiry, but the information is incomplete and requires a subsequent interaction. Finally, there are situations where the agent is simply not allowed to help the customer, such as a customer who wishes to cancel a service via live chat and is required to use the phone instead.

Less Effort

In today’s competitive environment, it’s actually not enough to successfully resolve the customer’s issue. If a resolution requires multiple holds, transfers, repeating yourself, or changing communication channels, then it isn’t good enough. Customers want things to be as simple as possible.

In fact, 77 percent of surveyed U.S. online consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good online customer service.1 In order to meet these customer expectations, customer service agents must be armed with the right tools and informationto provide accurate, complete, and efficient information across all communication channels.

The customer service industry is often overloaded with metrics to measure success. Handle time, hold time, FCR, NPS, CSAT, time to answer, time to resolution, throughput. The list goes on and on. Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and simplify the problem. If you just focus on creating better outcomes with less effort, the rest of your metrics may take care of themselves.

If you’d like to know more, please join me on a live webinar on October 20. David Moody, vice president and global practice leader, government and public sector for Verint, and I will be discussing some real tactics you can use to provide better outcomes with less effort, including examples from several of our customers.

 

1 Source: January 20, 2015, Channel Management: Core To Your Customer Service Strategy, Forrester Research