Why is customer context crucial to quality service delivery?

Customers today expect more than ever when it comes to quality of support and service.  They expect that you value their time, tailor their experience and constantly bring new value.  They also expect that you personalize your service delivery and cater to a wide variety of skill levels. Today’s expectations of service can’t be achieved with fragmented technology.  Today you need to provide exceptional and integrated support through all customer channels:

  • Self-service
  • Chat
  • Web (Co-browse)
  • Phone
  • Mobile
  • IoT

Unfortunately, most companies don’t invest in a seamless integration across channels and often lose context when the customer leverages multiple tools.  This disconnected experience hurts your brand and more importantly, your pocket.  Today, it is expected that you maintain context throughout the full support experience.  Each stage of the support experience should inform the next.  Your customers should never have to go backwards or even worse, start over. 

How does customer context impact my service delivery?

According to the  2015 Connected Consumers Report, consumers are most frustrated during the support experience when they have to repeat themselves.

By providing agents with context of the customer’s full experience across multiple channels, you can eliminate the need for repeat activities.  Maintaining the customer's context across channels saves them time and gives your agents the ability to reach faster resolutions.

Agents can also leverage this insight to increase credibility and build rapport with customers.  A quick review of the user history can indicate the skill level of a customer and help agents to tailor the service delivery accordingly. 

What is User History?

In today’s Connected Support environment, the vast majority of consumers prefer online self-service (76% according to Forrester 2014).  Before your customers speak to an agent, they likely attempted a series of activities on the Internet that didn’t get them to a point of resolution.  These activities make up the User History, and they provide incredibly useful insight that can help your agents improve the customer experience.

If you look at your support experience as your customers do, you should agree that your brand is being judged by the full end-to-end support experience.  This means all support channels ranging from self-service to chat, phone and so on.  Providing a seamless experience throughout these channels is no longer a wow factor, it’s simply the normal expectation. 

How can I use User History and Analytics to improve my support experience?

Customer context by itself will already provide agents with significantly more service delivery value.  That being said, there is still more you can do to optimize your customer experience.  

Over time as your customers leverage self-service and escalate inquiries to agents, a clear picture will emerge.  You will be able to see how your self-service content is performing and more importantly where it is failing.

Imagine that you built one of your Guided Paths® with 10 steps and your analytics showed that 52% of users ask to chat with an agent on step 5.  This would clearly indicate that you should spend time improving step 5.  Typical improvements include:

  1. Reduce - Break step 5 into two or more smaller steps so the solution is more achievable for your customers.  This approach will also provide more granular data so you can see precisely where it is failing.

  2. Rewrite - Rewrite the content on step 5 and analyze the before and after performance of the content.

  3. Reorder - There is also useful information in the fact that 52% of users never get to steps 6-10. If a large number of the other 48% are finding a satisfactory solution somewhere in steps 6-10, it might be a good idea to also reorder the steps to see if it can lessen the impact of step 5.

  4. Research – If you can’t get the results you want through analysis, you can always go right to the source.  Capture feedback directly from customers who struggled with step 5.

How can my agents leverage user history?

By providing a clear display of the customer activity, agents can not only build a stronger understanding of the customer's objective but also direct the customer to a more appropriate resource.

If your agent knew that their customer completed 5 out of 10 steps of an instructional guide before they escalated the interaction to chat, the agent could pick up where the customer left off and provide a seamless escalated experience. 

Additionally, with insight into how much time the customer took on each step, the agent could deduce where the customer struggled in the first 5 steps and offer targeted advice around specific topics.