One of our customers in the mobile space in Europe recently gave a presentation to their colleagues on how they completely revised their approach to customer service and how technology was playing a key role in this transformation. This company had recently implemented several new Genesys solutions that helped them improve customer service. It was a big project.
A key question was asked from the audience was, “How difficult was the technology implementation?” Well, the speaker thought and thought and stumbled for a while, but then finally responded,
“The technology wasn’t that difficult. What took time and focus was rethinking how customer service should be designed and delivered in our organization. The technology was going to allow us to deliver service based on our business rules, but what were the new business rules going to be? We had to rethink everything, white board all our service processes and decide what should happen for each of these processes to create the new design model, and then test and test. Doing this was difficult, but the design was the core of creating a better customer experience.”
Getting the Service Rules Right
Why was the answer to the question from the audience so difficult to answer? The speaker was presenting about technology, but the heavy lifting for this project on his part was designing the service business rules. While technology is part of the answer to improving service, designing service models that work for employees and customers comes first.
In their 2012 book, Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business by Anne Morriss and Frances Frei, the key point that the authors learned about service is exactly this concept, “Uncommon service is not born from attitude and effort, but from design choices made in the very blueprint of the business model. It’s easy to throw service into a mission statement and periodically do whatever it takes to make a customer happy. What’s hard is designing a service model that allows average employees-not just the exceptional ones-to produce service excellence as an everyday routine.”
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Wow. That’s an amazing statement. We need to design service strategies that allow average employees to excel. In the area that my colleagues are focused on, helping organizations provide a great customer experience from both the front and the back office, Genesys has found that design and technology do complement each other. For example, we created a business rules system where business people can create and implement rules that help determine how customer work can be prioritized. These rules can be created without any IT help. However, adding and changing rules to optimize service can only occur after creating a foundation that contains the basic service rules. These rules are rethought and redesigned from existing processes. Having control of the business rules at the business level then enables business people to continuously improve customer service.
Technology also plays a role in improving average employees. For example, skills-based routing and employee presence, long-time staples in the contact center, are now being deployed more frequently in the back office to align the best skilled resources available for new work and match these resources with customer work tasks prioritized by business value. That helps back office employees excel every day, because employees can use the skills they have.
Still, even great technology is dependent on great design. Genesys Business Consulting works with organizations to help them reveal and understand their service design flaws and create new customer service flows. The professionals in this group do this type of thing every day and are a huge help in the difficult phase of rethinking service design, since every basic service process should be challenged and rethought. Their process is simple and straightforward:
- Assess the current state. Assessment of strategy, people, process and technology.
- Determine the ideal end state. Define and validate the ideal end state based on business strategy.
- Analyze gaps. Identify current gaps and recommend opportunities.
- Build a transformational roadmap. A comprehensive business case summarizing the recommended design and solutions.
To read more about best practices for customer service and help in strategic transformation and services design, read the brochure, Business Consulting; Your Roadmap to Success. To read more about best practices for managing customer work, click on the link, Taking the Effort Out of the Customer Experience; Best Practices to Optimize Your Service Strategy.