Jive white paper - The customer service balancing act: Need to rein costs? There's no need to sacrifice quality and cost - 2013
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Jive white paper - The customer service balancing act: Need to rein costs? There's no need to sacrifice quality and cost - 2013

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Jive white paper - The customer service balancing act: Need to rein costs? There's no need to sacrifice quality and cost - 2013 ...

Jive white paper - The customer service balancing act: Need to rein costs? There's no need to sacrifice quality and cost - 2013

Balancing customer service quality and costs is an ongoing battle for most organizations. Superior service means higher labor spend, but shunting customers into long support queues and confusing self-help areas costs companies loyalty and retention. Conventional technologies don’t help much: They’re fragmented, with no unified view of customer interactions; they don’t provide effective peer-based support, leaving customers frustrated and dissatisfied; and they do nothing to improve retention, knowledge-sharing and overall enablement of service rep teams.
Now there’s an alternative that eliminates the conventional cost/quality trade-offs. Jive for Customer Service, powered by Jive’s social business platform, provides an optimal combination of assisted peer-to-peer support communities, selective escalation and productivity-enhancing internal team collaboration. The result? A combination of reduced call volume and faster resolution times, happier customers and lower costs.

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Jive white paper - The customer service balancing act: Need to rein costs? There's no need to sacrifice quality and cost - 2013 Document Transcript

  • 1. JIVE WHITEPAPER THE CUSTOMER SERVICE BALANCING ACT NEED TO REIN IN CUSTOMER SUPPORT COSTS? THERE’S NO NEED TO SACRIFICE QUALITY AND SATISFACTION. www.jivesoftware.com
  • 2. Balancing customer service quality and costs is an ongoing battle for most organizations. Superior service means higher labor spend, but shunting customers into long support queues and confusing self-help areas costs companies loyalty and retention. Conventional technologies don’t help much: They’re fragmented, with no unified view of customer interactions; they don’t provide effective peer-based support, leaving customers frustrated and dissatisfied; and they do nothing to improve retention, knowledge-sharing and overall enablement of service rep teams. Now there’s an alternative that eliminates the conventional cost/quality trade-offs. Jive for Customer Service, powered by Jive’s social business platform, provides an optimal combination of assisted peer-to-peer support communities, selective escalation and productivity-enhancing internal team collaboration. The result? A combination of reduced call volume and faster resolution times, happier customers and lower costs. Customer Service Without the Compromises According to McKinsey Global Institute, improving customer service is essential to unlocking many billions of dollars in additional value for companies worldwide. But how do you boost the quality of customer service while also controlling costs? How do you please new and returning customers while keeping support reps effective and satisfied at the same time? The status quo is not encouraging: companies can staff up call centers with rockstar support reps and delight customers, but only at budget-busting prices. Or, they can cut back on in-person support, subject customers to long hold times and fend-for-yourself online forums where it may take days or longer to get answers, and watch loyalty and repeat business take a nosedive. And adding a few low-cost social media touchpoints, such as a Facebook Page, doesn’t solve the problem. These don’t provide the real engagement and detailed answers customers crave, and only add to an already fragmented view of customer interactions scattered across CRMs, forums and other disconnected channels. In addition, conventional solutions do almost nothing to make reps better at their jobs. CRMs may be great at tracking tickets, but they don’t accelerate onboarding, or help reps collaborate and share knowledge to solve customer problems faster. They don’t capture and spread best practices that raise team performance, and they don’t deflect the kind of mind-numbing repetitive issues that can make support work so tedious. Jive had all these challenges in mind when it designed its customer service solution. Jive for Customer Service is a significant departure from previous technological approaches, applying the next-generation capabilities of the Jive Social Business Platform to provide more effective peer-based support communities as well as performanceenhancing internal team networks. Internal and external components are not only integrated, but they leverage built-in intelligence and advanced social technology to optimize the effectiveness of every resource involved, including agents, customers and digital content. The solution also breaks down silos and ties together badly splintered support channels. In contrast to transaction-based systems like CRMs, Jive addresses the human factors and relationships central to successful service. For example, customers use the externally-facing community to meet up, ask and answer questions, access rich support content and share best practices. Jive drives the whole process by simplifying search, proactively recommending content and people, anticipating users’ needs and pointing them to helpful resources, and facilitating connections among like-minded users. This optimized mix of human interaction and intelligent assistance leads to much faster resolution, and saves reps from having to constantly answer the most common questions, day in and day out. And if issues aren’t quickly solved in the public community, Jive can automatically escalate them so reps can step in strategically to resolve things. Internally, Jive provides service and support teams with their own community, which serves as an easily accessible centralized location for all the latest product and technical information, as well as a way to quickly ask questions, access experts inside the support team and other groups, and speedily collaborate to solve difficult issues. In short, Jive transforms the whole customer service equation. The sections below describe how. © Copyright Jive Software, Inc. 2013 1
  • 3. Customer Service Integration: Provide Synergy, Not Silos Fragmented systems are a huge barrier to effective customer service and support, and ultimately, to satisfaction and loyalty. The problem has been getting worse, not better, as tools and solutions proliferate. Look under the hood of a typical customer service organization and you might find a support forum disconnected from the CRM; a knowledgebase sitting on an outdated, isolated SharePoint site; a Facebook Page that has turned into a pseudosupport community; and other social media channels where customers post and discuss issues without any coordination with the company’s systems. The greater the disconnection, the harder it gets to manage your customer interactions, to follow an issue through to resolution and get a handle on what’s working and what isn’t. Jive for Customer Service helps integrate channels and provide a unified view of your customer service interactions. You get the complete picture, not an impossible-to-solve jigsaw puzzle. Jive bridges your key systems, including: • Your CRM: It’s critical to make sure that any questions that get asked in your public-facing community can be easily converted to a support case in your CRM if they go unanswered. Jive for Customer Service provides this crucial CRMcommunity integration. • Facebook: Jive for Customer Service automatically replicates Facebook Page content in your customer community, where resident experts can step in to answer questions and resolve issues, with their responses automatically posted back to Facebook. Both environments stay in sync, and customers get the help they’re looking for. • The Rest of the Social Web: You probably use a social media monitoring tool to track and respond to customer questions, but it’s hard to easily share those reports and collaborate around necessary actions with the rest of your service team. Jive for Customer Service, however, easily connects with any web-based social media monitoring tool so you can share data, discuss and collaborate with colleagues. • An Internal Team Community: Maybe your team has dabbled with some bolt-on social capabilities inside your CRM or CMS, or deployed a microblogging tool where people will supposedly work smarter by posting short status updates. But these approaches don’t provide the rich collaboration your team needs, and they’re disconnected from subject matter experts and other systems. Jive for Customer Service offers a fully-connected collaborative community where your team—and other experts and stakeholders—can converge, share, communicate and solve customer issues without disconnects. • Your CMS: This is where, for years, well-intentioned support and knowledgebase documents have gone to die. But what if you and your entire services team could search for those documents from within your social collaboration platform? Even better, what if your team could have conversations about those documents, inside the CMS (like SharePoint) and inside your social platform? Jive for Customer Service provides deep integration with SharePoint, bringing context and conversations to SharePoint content and turning a document graveyard into a dynamic collaborative workspace. Peer-Based Support That Really Works Ideally, customers could get the answers they need promptly and at little or no cost to service organizations. In an ideal world, the experience would be so good that it would convert otherwise indifferent customers into authentic brand advocates. Of course, that’s a far cry from today’s norm. Here’s a more typical scenario: Call after call comes into your support team, often after the customer has searched online and waded through pages of documentation without any luck. It’s an often demoralizing experience that leaves customers fuming and your call volume (and support costs) soaring. Traditional customer support strategies and systems haven’t helped much either. CRMs help track and manage support tickets, but they’ve failed at their promise to improve customer relationships. © Copyright Jive Software, Inc. 2013 2
  • 4. Here’s the formula for peer-based customer service success: • Forget the 800 number and DIY forum you scraped together 5-10 years ago: They’re not working. Jive for Customer Service enables customers to easily find answers, documentation and peers who can quickly help solve their issues and build enthusiasm in the process. Social networking has fundamentally changed the way people connect, share and learn, and Jive leverages these social dynamics. • Gamify: Badges, points, missions and rewards are proving to be powerful incentives for community participation and peer-based assistance. Gamification can be the catalyst that turns a customer base into an extended support team. Jive’s game mechanics can motivate people to do exactly what you want them to do—answer questions that your service reps would otherwise be answering. • Great search: Jive’s search technology lets customers quickly find what they’re looking for, before they think of picking up the phone. Its social search engine goes beyond simple string-matching and factors in user behavior and preferences to identify and recommend the most relevant content and most helpful peers. And it provides robust, community-wide searches of all documents, discussions and participants, so if the answer is out there, the customer can find it without having to start a new discussion thread. Jive even goes further, proactively recommending helpful resources based on user interests and behavior, before the user even initiates a search. • Built-in case deflection: Inevitably, there will be some questions that haven’t yet been answered in user discussions. When that happens, Jive gives customers the next best thing, highlighting related dialog and content that may provide the needed information. Typically, users will either get the help they need through pre-existing resources (via search or recommendations) or by posting their questions and receiving answers from community experts. • Auto-escalation: When a user posts a question that goes unanswered, Jive can automatically escalate those questions after a configurable interval (such as 24 or 48 hours), enabling reps to jump in and post the answer. That way, no customer is left behind, but reps are deployed strategically—only intervening when they’re really needed, not stuck answering routine questions over and over. And any answers that reps do post are now available to the community as a whole: a much more efficient one-to-many alternative to the old one-to-one support paradigm. Internal Communities: Teamwork Matters More Than Ever The key here is maximizing customer service productivity to get more—a lot more—out of your chief asset, your support reps. There’s huge room for improvement, because current customer service tools and systems do such a poor job of boosting rep performance. Consider the status quo: Onboarding is slow, taking too long to ramp up new hires, while ongoing classroom training is expensive and inconvenient. It’s hard for reps to find information and answers while impatient customers sit on hold. Knowledge is trapped in the brains of the best employees, while reps struggle to quickly solve customer issues and share best practices. Overall, reps are underprepared, perpetually frustrated and dealing with equally frustrated customers. The result is high staff turnover, a steady brain drain and high training costs. Customer service departments need better ways to leverage their expertise so new hires can learn more quickly, experienced reps can share their know-how more effectively, and the organization as a whole can capture and build on its collective brainpower. Traditional tools used by customer service, including content management systems and CRMs, don’t address these critical elements of collaboration and interaction. Neither do most online customer service solutions, since they focus only on external, public-facing communities or forums, not the need for better teamwork internally. © Copyright Jive Software, Inc. 2013 3
  • 5. Jive for Customer Service, however, provides a powerful collaborative environment designed specifically for customer service teams. Here are some key ways Jive’s internal support communities can improve productivity and performance: • Ramp New Reps Fast: If you want to get new hires up to speed as fast as possible, you need solutions that make it easy to connect service agents to subject matter experts, trending topics and issues to study. And you need to give those experts a better way to share and scale their knowledge beyond one-off email and IM threads, long conference calls or occasional in-person meetings. With Jive, people can quickly find and connect with experts in the organization, and experts can efficiently answer questions and spread knowledge to the entire team through blog posts, online discussions, status updates and activity streams that are visible to everyone. • Answer More, Escalate Less: It’s far better to resolve issues than to escalate them. Jive for Customer Service provides one-stop destinations for reps to access information, post questions, find training materials and get help from colleagues. All of the critical tools, discussions, articles, reporting and ideas are right at their fingertips— whenever they need them. If they run up against a tricky customer issue or tough question, they can post it to the community for teammates to quickly answer or discuss. • Search Smarter: Jive for Customer Service enables reps to rapidly search all of their team assets and interactions— from documents to discussions and status updates—with one quick query. And it goes even further, saving reps from having to search by actively recommending people and content based on what users have done in the past. For example, if a rep has just searched for product information, the next time the rep logs in, the system recommends other content and other experts on the product. • Train on the Fly: What if instead of going back to the classroom, reps could be learning all the time? Jive for Customer Service changes the dynamics of management communication and ongoing training, providing central team spaces and networks that keep everyone up to date and informed 24/7. Reps can easily find the latest training content and product documentation, along with critical team communications, blog posts, discussions and more. Smart activity streams keep everyone filled in on late-breaking news and emerging issues, aligning the entire team at all times. Communication and education also become a two-way street—service staff can comment, interact and ask questions to deepen engagement and understanding. • Bank Your Knowledge: You can’t afford to lose hard-won knowledge every time an employee moves on. Jive for Customer Service’s team communities capture and save all interactions, discussions, postings, documents and assets, which are readily accessible and easily searchable. Past work is no longer lost in inboxes, hard drives and the brains of employees. It becomes part of an extended and ever-expanding knowledge bank, so your information capital grows and your organization gets smarter and better over time. • Exploit Internal-External Synergies: When deployed as part of a single integrated solution, Jive’s internal team communities and external customer communities complement each other in powerful ways. For example, bridging between the two environments can allow your service reps to pull in issues from the customer community, collaborate internally to solve them, and push the answers back to the public. Other features allow service staff to take a customer discussion, edit it and turn it into a searchable article, providing a simple way to build a growing knowledge base. Jive for Customer Service: No More Customer Service Dilemma Jive for Customer Service takes a set of either-or alternatives—quality vs cost, efficiency vs satisfaction—and turns them into a win-win. Customers get the answers and help they’re looking for faster, and they develop community connections that solidify genuine loyalty and satisfaction. Reps become much better at their jobs, and more likely to stay in those jobs. Organizations benefit from greater productivity, lower costs, happier employees and higher revenues. © Copyright Jive Software, Inc. 2013 4
  • 6. But forget those qualitative claims for a moment and look at the quantitative evidence. A top-three global business consultancy recently analyzed the impact of Jive on hundreds of customers and found these results: • Increased workforce productivity 15% • Improved employee satisfaction and reduced turnover 24% • Decreased overall customer support costs 9% • Reduced call escalations 13% • Increased first call resolutions 16% • Reduced call volume 26% • Reduced call handling time 15% Those are the kinds of impacts that really do rewrite the rules of the game, eliminating the traditional customer service compromises and adding many millions of dollars to companies’ bottom lines annually. It’s a new day for customer service. Learn more at: jivesoftware.com/jiveforcustomerservice JIVE. FIRST IN SOCIAL BUSINESS. © Copyright Jive Software, Inc. 2013 Jive is the world’s leading provider of social business solutions. For more information, visit www.jivesoftware.com