Guest post from Haytham Yassine, Software Engineer, IBM Social Media Analytics
I’m back with the redesign of the call center complaint process. Click here for part 1.
Before I share, here are some key areas such a process should focus on regardless of implementation:
· Customer – Today’s customers find value in sharing experiences and advice amongst themselves via social media. Companies should accommodate our preference for these channels and come to us as opposed to us going to them.
· Customer value – Customer value and loyalty is attained by resolving requests in a short encounter with high quality and minimal effort.
· Inputs and outputs – Inputs to the process should simply be the complaint/question, a relevant profile summary of the customer and any CRM data to assist the agent in providing assistance. The output should be quality service along with reference points for future engagements.
· Performance measures – Key measures are customer effort, customer satisfaction, quality of engagement, number and ratio of successful engagements, capacity of the system, channel flexibility and obviously cost.
You will see from the diagram below how most of the issues mentioned earlier can be resolved via a social media solution.
So what are the key improvements to take away from this redesign?
· Reduction of customer effort to a single activity
· Perception of shorter service encounters by pushing most aspects of the process into the pre-encounter phase
· Elimination of duplication by utilizing customer’s social media profile as input, as well as CRM data when available
· Educated (and empowered) agents provide more sophisticated responses by utilizing analytics and suggestions offline
· Proactive quality control integrated into process workflow by incorporating a review activity
· A multiple workstation approach is still employed, where customer requests are distributed across agents
Here’s an end-to-end scenario:
If I have a complaint or question about your product, I’d share my thoughts through a social media channel; let’s say Twitter for simplicity’s sake, but it could be via a blog (similar to the one I’m writing now), board, forum, etc.
Using a social media analytics solution, such as IBM Cognos Consumer Insight, a scheduled hourly query would pick up the post (and many others) and run it through its analytics dictionary and the XYZ-defined model.
Based on geography, demography and other user attributes, the analyzed post is pushed to the designated agent’s backlog.
The agent accesses the backlog from within a reliable social media management dashboard such as HootSuite. The workflow can define the priority in which complaints should be answered, be it the influencer score of the customer, time of request or a combination of both.
The agent sees my post dissected to portray opinion, product mentions and other analytics:
The agent then assesses whether this post is worthy of a response. Maybe it should be addressed by the developer of the EFG application or better yet, maybe it has already been answered by other users in the same social network.
User specific analytics (preferences, prior engagements, etc.) would be brought up to assist the agent in providing the appropriate response. If my profile can be mapped to the company’s CRM, internal data would be loaded as well. The agent would then formulate the response, get it reviewed by their social media manager and then share it.
So how does this implementation fair compared to the current one?
I can’t claim to have done an assessment so I’ll leave it to your company to implement a pilot project and test it out. However, I’ve already proven that quality, effort, capacity, and flexibility are far more superior in the proposed design.
Please ensure you measure successful engagements in absolute and relative terms across the two processes. A reliable social media analytics solution would measure the impact of your engagement efforts over time.
There are also numerous considerations to keep in mind prior to migrating to this process design, most notably, your customers’ demographics and their presence on social media.
I do realize that it won’t be easy to get over your call center’s sunk costs. Don’t worry; I’m advising a gradual transition. Pilot this system in parallel.
The cost of a social media analytics solution is mere change compared to the millions and millions you’ve already spent on that call center.
Please let me know if you have any feedback or comments. I would love your input.
Larry P. Ritzman, Lee J. Krajewski, Manoj K. Malhotra & Robert D. Klassen. Foundations of Operations Management (third Canadian edition). Toronto: Pearson