April 30, 2012
Empowering customer service agents with relevant, complete, and accurate answers to customer questions remains one of the major challenges in contact centers today. The past 10 years have seen efficiency and productivity gains squeezed out of the mechanics of routing and queueing a call to the right agent pool, screen-popping the customer information to the agent’s desktop, case management, and workforce optimization. Less attention has been placed on allowing agents to access information and informally collaborate with one another. Its no wonder that more than 70% of the time of an average call is spent locating the right information for the customer.
In many contact centers, content is created by groups of authors who are disconnected from the day-to-day conversations that agents are having with customers and who are unfamiliar with the language and terms that customers use. All content follows the same basic create-edit-publish cycle, irrespective of its usefulness in answering customer questions.
What has proven more effective is to allow customer service agents to work in a more collaborative environment where they are also allowed to take collective responsibility for the content that they use. Programs like KCS have evolved to give organizations the process flows and organizational structure to allow customer service agents on the front lines the ability to create and modify content in real time, and link content to actual cases so that the body of content is evolves in line with customer demand. Organizations like Symantec are using variations of these programs with great success. Have a look at two stellar examples from McKesson and Ogilvy that report improved answering speed, reduced handle times, and increased customer satisfaction scores because of the social collaboration and content creation processes that are being used within their organization.