When you contact customer service with a question, you may not be interacting with someone who has the answer. You’re more likely dealing with someone who is looking up the answer, which can take quite a bit of time if their content collaboration tool is inefficient. SYKES helped the Australia/New Zealand branch of a major electronics retailer take their customer service performance to a whole new level by introducing a knowledge bot named Sonia. Read on to find out how we:
- Reduced average handle time for both tenured and new agents
- Significantly cut turnaround time for SMEs and team leads assisting agents
Our partner is one of the world’s leading global consumer electronics and home entertainment brands. Because of a trusted partnership with SYKES as the steward of their complex customer support for television, camera and home theater products, they were confident that we could help streamline the knowledge bank used by customer service representatives in their Australia/New Zealand sector.
Our partner’s customer service agents were using a content collaboration tool for knowledge sharing and reference in which a general keyword search could yield more than 2,000 results — not very efficient for the agent or the customer. The brand partner’s knowledge bank was producing similar results, with more than 1,500 possible answers to a search query.
To narrow their search, agents had to memorize exact keyword phrases that correlated with common customer issues. And if they still couldn’t find the correct solution? They had to submit the query to the team lead via email. Altogether, these challenges led to lower productivity for the agents and an increase in stress on both sides of the interaction.
We worked with the brand partner to develop and deploy a custom version of our OneTEAM collaboration platform, equipping it with a new feature: a knowledge bot that would greatly enhance the way agents help customers.
We named the bot Sonia, and her resume was impressive:
- No more memorization of keyword searches. Now, agents could just type in the customer’s question as they asked it. Sonia would recognize the question’s context and produce one best answer.
- Content around a particular topic could be curated and repurposed in order to work harder and faster for the agents.
- In addition to identifying current problems, Sonia could also communicate emerging gaps in knowledge (identified by the agents) to a curation team so that the appropriate content can be created.
- Sonia could use inquiry trends to recognize potential issues with a product or service, alert the brand partner so that it could be fixed and issue instructions to the agents on how to handle related queries.
And because the OneTEAM platform provides instant messaging capabilities between users, agents were better connected to team leads/SMEs for immediate assistance if the bot couldn’t return the best answer.
Collaborating with our brand partner to create Sonia completely changed the way agents were able to interact with customers, answering their questions more quickly and accurately via phone, chat or email. The bot has been increasingly successful since its launch, labeling 950+ unique customer questions and curating more than 320 knowledge items. The bot’s accuracy enables agents to handle more issues without additional assistance, ultimately reducing team lead effort and headcount for on-the-floor support.
To top it all off, the program was implemented without any degradation of performance or service quality. All these improvements make the customer service process easier than ever, not only for the customers who contact our brand partner with questions, but for the agents who are ready to answer them.