7-Part Series On Customer Service Technology, Part 3: What Are The Problems Caused By Current Customer Service Technology?

I’m back from maternity leave, so youll be hearing more regularly from me now . . .

. . . So, to continue my series on customer service — its value, the challenges in getting it right, and what you can do about it from a technology perspective — here is a quick recap of my two older posts, and a new one from today. Enjoy.

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Good customer service is the result of the right attention to strategy, business processes, technology, and people management. This series of seven blog posts focuses on customer service technology  and explains the what, why, how, and when technology questions.

Part 1 reviewed the customer service technology ecosystem.

Part 2 reviewed the challenges caused by the complexity of this technology ecosystem.

Let’s now focus on the tactical outcomes of suboptimal customer service technology.  Customer service organizations are struggling to:

  • Provide standardized customer service across communication channels. Transactional data and customer history are often inconsistent and not reliably available to agents across communication channels.
  • Follow consistent processes. Customer service agents are often forced to use multiple disconnected applications in the course of resolving a single customer issue. Service managers cant enforce a standardized discovery process across applications, which reduces agent consistency and productivity, increases agent training times, and leads to a higher level of agent turnover due to frustration with their tool set.
  • Comply with policy. Governments continue to increase their focus on industry-specific regulations. There are few real-time processes in customer service organizations that audit agent actions against policy requirements.
  • Monitor customer needs and satisfaction. Customer service organizations need direct customer feedback, preferably immediately after the interaction with the customer. Many organizations struggle to link this information to an agent or associate it with a customer record.
  • Provide service in the way that customers want to receive it. Customers are evolving and are using a broad range of communication channels, which changes from year to year. Few companies have technology infrastructures that are agile enough to quickly change with customer demand.

What does this mean? Organizations need to choose the right technologies to power their customer service organizations. Read our TechRadar™ report to understand Forrester’s view of the must-have customer service technologies.

Comments

All of these issues boil down

All of these issues boil down to knowledge (or rather the lack of it). Whatever customer service technology you use it is vital to collect, centralise and share knowledge across every channel if you are to engage customers, increase efficiency and comply with regulations. However many organisations are still at an early stage of knowledge management – as one of our latest blogs shows http://eptica.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/getting-started-with-knowledge-ma...