How to Reverse the ‘It’s Getting More Complex and Expensive’ Trap

Oct 3 • Features, Software and Apps • 354 Views • No Comments on How to Reverse the ‘It’s Getting More Complex and Expensive’ Trap

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Across the last few weeks, we’ve run a mini-series of excerpts of from the latest white paper from IFS we take a look at how communication is changing and technology is evolving.

In the first feature in the series, we looked at how when it comes to communications, Customers Want It Their Way . In the second instalment, we explored how Complexity Is a Distraction to Delivering your Target Customer Experience.

Now in the third and final excerpt in this series we discuss “How to Reverse the ‘It’s Getting More Complex and Expensive’ Trap” that so many field service companies can fall into…

Want to know more? the full white paper, which contains additional information and insight beyond this series of excerpts is available to fieldservicenews.com subscribers.

The good news is that if you are a field service practitioner then you may well qualify for a complimentary industry practitioner subscription – an offer over 40,000 field service professionals globally have already taken advantage of!

The even better news is we will send you a copy of this white paper when you apply as a welcome!

Click here to apply for your complimentary industry subscription to fieldservicenews.com and access the white paper now

Note: Please do take the time to our T&Cs (available in plain English at fieldservicenews.com/subscribe) and note that this content is sponsored by IFS)

So far we have explored two points of view: the customer and the advisor. The customer’s adoption of technologies that enables an always connected, real-time responsive lifestyle has set an incredibly high bar for organisations to match. In particular, smartphones simplify the business of getting things done. An obsessive design focus on ‘oone-click access has set expectations for simple, immediate engagement.

Choice in communication channels is often offered in a fragmented way. Tactical procurement of ‘the next channel’ means they operate without the ability to orchestrate conversational continuity across channels and devices.

However, organisations are yet to match this sophistication. Choice in communication channels is often offered in a fragmented way. Tactical procurement of ‘the next channel’ means they operate without the ability to orchestrate conversational continuity across channels and devices.

A similar fragmentation has also occurred with enterprise CRM deployments. These have an enduring reputation for being hard to deliver. Scaled down ambitions then tend to target a more pragmatic focus on the individual needs of functional teams. This makes personalised service a much more complex task for advisors who are still expected to be knowledgeable about any event across a customer’s lifecycle.

Organising customer data by functional priorities has meant CRM is failing to keep pace with expectations for informed, low effort customer service engagement. Operationally it is just too hard for advisors to locate and assess the context of a customer’s situation on the fly. Both customer and organisation suffer in terms of poor customer experience and ROI.

Instead, this is how customer data should be used.

At the point of initial customer contact, a rich mix of relevant data is used for automated decision making. The aim is to direct customers to their ‘best’ resource. In an omni-channel context, this could be live assistance, self-service or proactive service. The triggers for selecting the ‘best’ resource will depend on the demands of each customer journey and how each customer reacts during that journey.

As a rule of thumb:

  • Repeatable customer needs at definable points of a journey can be anticipated and therefore offered as a proactive service.
  • Whenever things typically become complex, emotional or require some form of relationship nurture, live assistance is best.
  • Anything else is a candidate for 24×7, instant self-service.

As far as live assistance is concerned, the ‘best’ advisor experience is that data and workflow is proactively pushed to them at the right points during each customer journey. The function of an effective unified desktop is to make the complex look simple. As a result, advisors are less distracted and can remain in full rapport with each customer and their needs.

This simplification demands a single screen of information that will adapt as the conversation flows. What previously required toggling across multiple screens is now condensed into a single overview – with duplicated and inconsistent data entry a thing of the past.

Some of this design intent is achieved through visual layout: for instance just one inbox for all voice and text enquiries, one view of interaction and transaction history etc. All of which makes for the kind of intuitive user experience that advisors already expect from their mobile technologies.

However, there is also some clever stuff that happens before any customer information is brought to the advisor’s attention. In the design quest of presenting only the most simple and relevant view, an advanced unified desktop will combine many data sources into a single stream.

As previously mentioned, holistic customer insight is seldom held in one system of record or offered by a functional view. And hard-won experience tells us that the ‘rip and replace’ strategy of turning many legacy systems into a single consolidated version seldom works out as planned.

Modern ‘digital glue’ such as data aggregation models and APIs can ‘mashup’ multiple data sources and present the advisor with everything they need.

Instead, there are less risky ways of achieving the same goal. Modern ‘digital glue’ such as data aggregation models and APIs can ‘mashup’ multiple data sources and present the advisor with everything they need.

Sometimes an even greater focus is needed around how customer information is organised and displayed. What about those instances when first-time resolution does not happen within a single session? Maybe the process that supports a customer journey inevitably takes time, such as making an application or a claim or trying to recover lost property. Maybe the customer or organisation has to find more information or do something else to reach a decision. All of which takes more time.

This is where case management comes into its own. It draws boundaries around this type of customer situation and attributes the relevant data, interactions, transactions and workflow for easy ongoing reference. This is especially important when there are multiple points of customer contact, which are progressed by different employees, who need to easily reference previous steps in the customer journey without expecting customers to provide the narrative.

This form of grouping is enabled by one of the defining functions of an omni-channel framework. So-called ‘universal queuing’ will organise all voice, text and workflow items into a single management system instead of treating them as separate queues. As a result, integrated views of activities over time are automatically generated and presented to the advisor, saving time and effort for all concerned. This ability is however untypical in a CRM centric approach.

Want to know more? the full white paper, which contains additional information and insight beyond this series of excerpts is available to fieldservicenews.com subscribers.

The good news is that if you are a field service practitioner then you may well qualify for a complimentary industry practitioner subscription – an offer over 40,000 field service professionals globally have already taken advantage of!

The even better news is we will send you a copy of this white paper when you apply as a welcome!

Click here to apply for your complimentary industry subscription to fieldservicenews.com and access the white paper now

Note: Please do take the time to our T&Cs (available in plain English at fieldservicenews.com/subscribe) and note that this content is sponsored by IFS)

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