It may be unpleasant — and that’s actually the point of this analogy — but think about the last time you spent a few hours at your local transportation office to get your driver license renewed. You were probably given the runaround, sent to multiple desks to take care of one little thing that probably seemed simple. Then, once your lucky number was finally called, you found yourself without that one crucial document (out of dozens) and go home empty handed. So you’ve just spent hours of your day without anything to show for it. It’s not a great feeling.
Why then do we subject our customers to the technical support version of this frustrating journey? This is typically the general feeling people have of when they call in with a technical problem. The root cause of this issue comes down to one of our Universal Truths that’s jeopardizing your tech support: Current business processes are not designed with a one-touch customer experience in mind.
Getting Contact Workflows Under Control
If you aren’t sure what we mean by the “one-touch customer experience,” its definition is simple: As much as possible, give your customers resolution at first contact. No unnecessary transfers to other departments. No having customers write down a support ticket and a different phone number to call. Instead, do what you can to make sure customers feel that their problems have been solved by the first person who picks up the phone.
We know that not every case can be handled this way; after all, tiered tech support does serve an important purpose for truly niche tech issues. Complicated call workflows may have been set up to solve a problem, but that isn’t what’s happening. In some cases, we’ve found that a large percentage of tech support calls could be resolved before the first transfer (depending on the nature of the problem/business).But most current business process workflows require transfers to at least one other department for every customer call to tech support. And that type of system isn’t making customers happy.
Many tech support calls have a tendency to require multiple contacts, across different departments. Customer frustration can build when they find themselves constantly repeating their situation to the next person down the line. To make matters worse, customers often find that, despite multiple call transfers, their original problem remains unsolved. So from their point of view, they’ve just wasted a lot of precious time.
This leads to:
• High customer dissatisfaction;
• Repeat calls for the same issue;
• A Large volume of open customer service tickets.
In essence, overcomplicated workflows can lower effectiveness, increase operating costs, and jeopardize future business.
The root cause of these dysfunctional workflows is the practice of breaking up tasks into different “silos of responsibility.” In such a system, each department has a rigidly defined role to play in the call workflow, but no one department is responsible for the entire call. Strict domains without allowable overlap lead to a disjointed, inefficient customer experience. In turn, these silos of responsibility simultaneously hurt customers, agents, and costs.
Creating a One-Touch Customer Experience
It may seem daunting, but your company can achieve higher first-contact resolution for a bigger portion of customers. To do so, however, you’ll need to start by taking a few steps:
• Identify which “next steps” could be accomplished during the first call and address them instead of transferring the responsibility. Determine what organizational/process changes will need to be made in order to facilitate that outcome.
• Encourage collaboration between departments to develop the skillsets your support team needs to close more tickets at that first point of call. Overlapping expertise will create a more streamlined customer experience while also enriching your employees’ career development.
We know this process can be complicated, especially for large organizations. That’s why SYKES is here to help your business create the best customer experience possible. To learn more about the other Universal Truths that we mention in this paper, click here to download the full white paper.