Industry trend predictions cause varying levels of stress for the organizations they impact. Service directors would love to be on pace with every significant trend affecting their organization, but they’re already feeling the pressure from a hyper-connected customer base that has quickly shifted the balance of power and surfaced internal challenges in current business processes.
Change is inevitable, if not imperative for most organizations. This year’s key trends focus on the growing need to empower both customers and agents with information and technology.
Helping Agents – and Helping Customers Be Agents, Too
Service trends continue to revolve around the ways organizations are empowering their customers and customers are empowering themselves. The “customer as agent” movement has organizations increasing their investment in knowledge management technologies, stronger search engine strategies and quality real-time content that seamlessly flows across multiple service channels including social media.
A major 2013 initiative for organizations should be giving their agents access to and training to use the same real-time customer-facing content in addition to company-facing materials. “If you want to be in the business of providing exceptional customer service, you need to provide the most relevant and accurate information, whatever channel the customer chooses,” says Albert Pang, President of Apps Run the World.
Agent Empowerment: Best-in-Class Comparisons
A new multichannel customer service trends report from Aberdeen makes the case for empowering agents with service training and more and better information. According to the report, 61% of best-in-class service providers versus 47% of all others frequently train their service agents on issue diagnosis, escalation and resolution procedures. And the result of this training is evident:
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- First-call resolution on voice: 65% best-in-class vs. 58% all others
- First-contact resolution on email: 55% best-in-class vs. 47% all others
- First-contact resolution on chat: 38% best-in-class vs. 27% all others
Augmenting training with more and better information at the point-of-service also has significant effects. Some of the ways best-in-class service providers empower agents with information to improve service delivery include:
- Visibility into complete customer history: 71% best-in-class vs. 54% all others
- Performance dashboards: 57% best-in-class vs. 42% all others
- Visibility into customer interaction history regardless of channel: 54% best-in-class vs. 43% all others
- Access to resolution knowledgebase: 57% best-in-class vs. 41% all others
- Remote access tools: 61% best-in-class vs. 39% all others
- In-call or in-session collaboration with other service agents: 39% best-in-class vs. 20% all others
- In-call or in-session collaboration with customers via co-browsing or screen sharing: 36% best-in-class vs. 19% all others.
Get more telling and compelling multi-channel customer service statistics from Aberdeen in their Trends in Customer Service: Multi-Channel Edition report. Click here to access.
Read more about the trend of agent and customer empowerment, plus four additional customer service trends that companies can’t ignore in Parature’s most popular white paper of the year, Service Spotlight: What to Look For in 2013. Click here to access.