Market Drivers and Business Issues in Customer Service
Customer Service Affects Buying Decisions
Today, people’s buying decisions are commonly influenced by the existing customer’s experiences and satisfaction level. Social media, community platforms, news on the web are affecting the customer’s perception of your brands.
In some mature markets, keeping existing customers happy and loyal is more crucial than gaining new customers. Therefore, customer service is one of the potent marketing tools to create and enhance your brand’s awareness.
Multi-Channel But Not Omni-Channel Communications
Companies have multiple communication channels to capture customer issues such as call centres, live chat operators, social media agents, email, web forms etc. But in most cases, channels are not integrated, For example, a customer sends an email about his issue and then calls the call centre afterward The agent who catches the call will not be aware of the customer’s previous email due to the unintegrated between communication channels.
In an omnichannel communication environment, you will be able to handle all communication channels as if there is only one. In other words, whichever the channel is being used, your agents will know the customer’s current and previous communication in other channels. Similarly, your customers trust every communication channel you provide. For instance, they trust your email addresses dedicated to customer service; they prefer your self-service in your website.
Customer Service is an End To End Process Management
Customer service is generally assumed to be in relation to call centres, customer service, complaint management etc. Regarding our perspective, customer service is an end to end process management that may be in relation with any departments, even branches, vendors etc. depending on the type of customer issue, its attributes, channels, customer segment and more.
Fragmented Customer Experience
In today’s organizations, call centres, customer services, operational departments, and others are using separate systems. Customer issues are managed through departments by sending emails, entering the same information to the other systems etc. which causes fragmented customer experience. Agents responding the phones take his notes and forward the issue by email or phone to the related department or submitting the issue into another system. Most of the time, the resolution may be longer than 2 steps in the workflow; therefore the experience becomes more fragmented. It may be required in these steps, to talk with the customer, without knowing what happened before.
This creates some pseudo-problems, that is to say, while we are trying to resolve an issue, we are creating some more serious problems. People may give up trusting our products and services just after they see our performance in the customer service.
Customer Service Consists of Several Processes (not only one)
There is no single solution for all type of issues. For different types of customer issues, you may need different processes.
Status Monitoring is Not Process Management
Organizations generally apply classical “captured”, “forwarded”, “in progress”, ”resolved”, “customer replied” etc. status to all type of customer issues as if these statuses are workflow steps.
In our perception, every type of customer issue may require a different workflow. And a workflow means a sequence of tasks to be requested from different parties to resolve the issue. It is much more than the statue of the issue.
Every Process May Require Different Data Structure
Asking the same questions, filling the same forms for every type of issue is not a healthy way of issue resolution.
Depending on the type of the issue and customer’s properties different type of data may be required. These may play a role in business rules. For example, the data needed for the issue about returning product are different than the ones required by complaints about an employee. We need these data to be used in processes and business rules to design automation in workflows, automatically forwarding the issue related departments etc.
Tools can be classified into four different groups;
- Ticketing Solutions (*desk*.com): As the name implies they are just to collect the issues, give them a unique number, let the agents forward them to related departments. Then agents wait for the answers from departments and reply to the customers. There is no solution process.
- CRM Applications: Most of them are focused on marketing & sales side of customer relations instead of after sales communication and customer-care management. They have modules for customer service. They are mostly old-fashioned and not covering all aspects of unfragmented customer service and they are very hard and costly to customize. They require coding in order to adapt the requirements. Therefore business departments have to wait for IT departments availability, which is mostly a very long period of time to get what they need.
- IT Service Management Applications: They are for the issues of the users of IT departments and mostly to resolve technical problems. They are good for ITIL compliance but not convenient for customer service management. Adapting an ITSM solution to changing requirements of Customer Service mostly is a big project and it is almost impossible for the business departments to be independent of their IT.
- BPM Applications: Tools for business process management may be divided into three subcategories.
- Process Modelling Tools: Basically they are drawing tools, you can design (draw) as-is and to-be processes of your organizations. But the designs have to be implemented by IT or in some other tools. Which this discrete design and implementation phases bring the problem of up-to-date processes and corresponding automation. Because whenever a change has to be done, probably it will be implemented directly in the applications. So the process design will be out-of-date. Or vice a versa, when you will design a new to-be process, you have to wait for the IT availability to get it implemented.
- WorkFlow Tools: They are simple tools for simple problems (simple problems are most of the time imaginary problems, there is no simple problem). They are not process-management tools. Data and user interface design utilities do not exist or not enough.
- Non-code real BPM tools: They are great tools for business process management. We have been developing Opheleia as our non-code BPM solutions for the institutions. But for the need of customer service automation, you have to have customer service management tools like next4biz. Otherwise, you have to implement a CSM on your BPM which will take time, require more budget and involve risks of failures. But suppose that you have succeeded, what will be the next version of your CSM according to your changing requirements. You have to follow the same implementation steps.
- End To End Customer Service Management Applications: Focused on customer communication, providing end to end resolution process management, monitoring & improving customer service and provide sustainability in customer satisfaction. Key functions are;
- Designing an omnichannel communication platform,
- Designing issue resolution processes (both data and flows),
- Execution of customer service automated workflows,
- Monitor, analyze and improve customer service quality,
- Comprehensive tools for collaborative communication and case management.
next4biz End To End Customer Service Management
next4biz is a process-based customer service management software. With automated workflows, you can define resolution actions for each type of customer issue. You can monitor your customer service process, measure your performance and customer satisfaction with dashboards & reports.
next4biz, allows you to listen to your customers from all communication channels and manage their issues on a single platform. Mibiz is a none-code platform that enables you to design customer communication and resolution processes by yourself without a technical knowledge.
Our AI-enabled learning engine assists you to classify the customer issues and initiate the resolution process automatically.