Hosted Call Center Providers Can Drive Customer Satisfaction with Closer Attention to Customer Self-Service
April 21, 2011
How would you rate your customer self-service channels? While your offerings may provide your company with an optimal way to deflect some of the costs associated with customer care, and meet a growing demand among the customer base for real-time access to information and problem resolution at any time, any hosted call center that is delivering merely sub-standard service and support through self-service channels could push your customers to the competition.
According to 2010 ICMI research on customer self-service, contact center and hosted call center professionals throughout the world rated their self-service channels as mediocre at best. Considering the investment many of these companies have put into their self-service plans, and the fact that self-service is a critical interface between the customer and the organization, this finding is alarming.
So what is wrong with customer self-service in the hosted call center space? One finding in the Self-Service and Multichannel Contact Center report from ICMI found that hosted call centers are implementing self-service channels to reduce operating costs and meet customer demands. The challenge is that so many of these organizations do not have a good grasp on the type of experience customers are having within these channels.
While it would seem like a logical process for the hosted call center to measure customer satisfaction and harvest critical reporting data for self-service channels, many are not conducting these activities. The main reason in many situations is simply a combination of system and process failures that are leading the hosted call center away from critical activities.
To drive self-service success, the hosted call center should focus on quick wins by asking specific questions: why do we offer customer self-service; why should we offer this channel; do we know if the current strategy is meeting customer need; what do we know; what don’t we know; how can we use what we know; how can we find out what we don’t know; and who runs self-service within our organization.
By answering these critical questions, the hosted call center can begin to assess the current strategy in place and learn more about the success or failure of the platform. At that point, the center can then move to frequent internal testing to measure performance; examine completion rates to know if customers are reaching satisfactory results within the channel; monitor customer self-service sessions in detail; gather direct customer feedback and act on it; manage the data for customer and agent experiences; design an effective self-service strategy; and look beyond current technology for implementation.
Whether yours is a hosted call center or an on-premise customer service division, it is important that you monitor all customer interactions to be sure you are driving the optimal level of satisfaction to protect your base and ensure revenue and profit projections can be sustained.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell
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