One of my favorite quotes is from Douglas Adams (of the Hitchhiker’s Guide) who wrote, “There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is
another theory which states that this has already happened.” There have been other times in my life when I’ve appreciated this line, but none of them were business related. We didn’t ask for the current state of business, but it is our reality, and I am seeing my best clients start to take steps to manage their fates in a positive way.
How? Well, since a lot of new projects are shelved for the moment, they are beginning to inventory some of the systems that they have accumulated and discovered that there is a lot of redundancy. Do we really need three Chat tools, one for our internal marketing team, one for customer-facing CSRs and another for HR? How did it happen? Well, purchases happen incrementally and by department – byegones, but let’s move on and see how we can consolidate. The same is true with knowledge systems, search, email.
Other clients are looking at what drives customers to escalate from web self service to the contact center. They are listening to the customer and analyzing where they fail. By so doing they are putting in the content and the search engines to identify that content, and driving out 5 – 15% of email escalations and 5-7% of phone calls.
There are a dozen ways of improving customer processes such that you can drive out costs and work on higher customer satisfaction. There are also new generations of SaaS-based or hosted systems that are easier to procure and deploy, and that use web services to plug into your existing environment. That lowers your IT spend, and gives you more flexibility.
Just sit with your end customers and watch them move through your website, enter search terms, or call agents. You will easily find two or three areas for improvement. Don’t let up until you finish a project and show the lowered costs and higher customer satisfaction. It isn’t about looking busy: it is about exploiting the situation you have right now and making something happen. There isn’t anything to lose, and a lot to gain.
I’d love to hear about your initiatives!
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