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Increasing Agent Efficiencies and Delivering Social Media ROI: Dr. Natalie's Research on How Customer Communities Reduce Support Costs Via GetSatisfaction
 

Increasing Agent Efficiencies and Delivering Social Media ROI: Dr. Natalie's Research on How Customer Communities Reduce Support Costs Via GetSatisfaction

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This ebook looks at increasing agent efficiencies to deliver better return on investments in the Contact Center and Customer Service by using communities. The ebook has detailed calculations of the ...

This ebook looks at increasing agent efficiencies to deliver better return on investments in the Contact Center and Customer Service by using communities. The ebook has detailed calculations of the savings. The study was conducted by talking to customers and studying dozens of case studies and client results.

www.DrNatalieNews.com
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www.GetSatisfaction.com

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    Increasing Agent Efficiencies and Delivering Social Media ROI: Dr. Natalie's Research on How Customer Communities Reduce Support Costs Via GetSatisfaction Increasing Agent Efficiencies and Delivering Social Media ROI: Dr. Natalie's Research on How Customer Communities Reduce Support Costs Via GetSatisfaction Presentation Transcript

    • a publication of Reduce Support Costs With a Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency eBook II in a series of III
    • Reduce Support Costs With a Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency – eBook II in a series of IIII 1 Contents INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Customer Community: The Basics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Reduce One-Off Requests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Empower Your Support Champions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Community-Based Support Compliments the Contact Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Community as the Canary in the Coal Mine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Close the Loop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Saving Time is Saving Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Saving Time & Money Through Improved Agent Efficiency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
    • Reduce Support Costs With a Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency – eBook II in a series of IIII 2 Introduction We love our customer support agents. Friendly, helpful, and patient by nature, these folks spend more time talking to your customers than anyone else in your company. They truly understand the pain points of your business, and they’re the ones putting in long hours to resolve them for your customers. It’s important, then, to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to be truly effective. This isn’t just a good idea from a warm and fuzzy perspective. Agent salaries are the most expensive part of a support center. By ensuring that they’re using their time efficiently—helping people solve complex, technical or individual problems, not responding to the same basic questions over and over again—you can do a lot to maximize the value of your support agents, the satisfaction of your customers, and minimize stress and pain points for both. This eBook is the second in a series of three explaining how customer communities can help companies realize significant savings and revenue sources, along with the metrics and calculations to measure the results. The first eBook focused on customer community as a valuable resource for customer self-service support. This book focuses on the way companies can leverage community to improve agent efficiency. Stay tuned for the final, which will discuss community as a means to improve customer retention and acquisition.
    • Reduce Support Costs With a Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency – eBook II in a series of IIII 3 Customer Community: The Basics Since this eBook is all about how you can leverage a customer community to improve agent efficiency (and reduce costs as a result), we figured it makes sense to give a quick refresher course on what exactly a customer community is, just to make sure we’re all on the same page. If you’re a seasoned community expert, skip ahead to the next section, “Reduce One-Off Requests.” So what is a community platform? It all started with some of the first technology that emerged on the web—the forums and message boards of the 80’s and 90’s. These technologies were built to create online spaces where users could have threaded conversations about the topics, products, and services that interested them. To have an identity across conversation, users typically created a profile with a nickname, so that they could build their reputation. This primordial community technology worked well for engineers, developers, and early adopters, but it was not designed to be easy-to-use by a mass audience. A lot has changed in today’s community platforms, but the core conversational functions have remained the same. At Get Satisfaction, we have a strong point of view that, for a community to be most effective and beneficial for customers as well as companies, it should have the following: ❑❑User-friendly interface with a simple way for even tech-wary users to browse and search for relevant conversations ❑❑Technical flexibility that allows business to embed community content and functionality across customer channels … on websites, social networks, in digital campaigns, and on mobile and tablet devices ❑❑Business features and tools (topic moderation, content curation, etc.) that allow for successful community management ❑❑Ability for the community to be branded by the company that owns or sponsors it ❑❑Content that is highly indexed by search engines (through SEO) and naturally appears in top search results ❑❑Analytics tools that allow business users to assess community health and performance, determine the most relevant content, and identify the community members who are mostly likely to become brand advocates ❑❑Formal Champions program that allows you to identify, recognize, and allocate simple moderation capabilities to the customers who act as informal leaders in your community When equipped with these features and moderated and curated effectively, communities are great assets for customers to research products, find answers to their questions, and act as resources for others. These conversations drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, while helping companies deliver great support, gather feedback to build better products, and acquire more customers. Effectively, community allows you to deliver a better customer experience, while reducing costs and bringing benefits to multiple departments across companies.
    • Reduce Support Costs With a Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency – eBook II in a series of IIII 4 Reduce One-Off Requests Your support agents are knowledgeable about every aspect of your business. They have extensive knowledge about your product, your processes, and policies. So it’s an ironic twist of fate that (especially as your business scales) they spend most of their time answering simple, one-off questions. Don’t get us wrong—it’s important that your customers are supported as they purchase, set up, and begin using your products. You want them to be as successful as possible, so they have a positive experience and brand association. But does this mean your support agents have to hold the hand of each and every customer as they look for the “on” button? Absolutely not…at least not anymore. As you scale your business, you need to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to reduce the number of simple, repetitive questions your support staff is answering. A branded customer community is ideal for this. It acts as a living, breathing conversation library, hosting all the questions, answers, praise, and ideas that have come before, while constantly being updated with the most current topics of conversation. Because community is designed to facilitate engagement around the topics your customers care about (as opposed to Facebook or Twitter, which are optimized for engagement around recent content only), all conversations, whether they began two years ago or this morning, are easy for search engines and hence people, to find. Get Satisfaction customer communities take this archive capability a step further. They search the entire community to see if an answer may already be tucked away somewhere in the ghosts of conversations past, before allowing a new topic to be posted. This means that customers are automatically exposed to existing questions and answers before they can open new issues. This is beneficial for all concerned parties—your customers are able to self-serve their own answers quickly and easily, which is what most consumers prefer these days. And your support agents don’t have to answer the same questions over and over again, because there is a huge repository of content that exists already. Empower Your Support Champions Increasing agent efficiency is really a fancy way of saying reduce agent tickets, calls, emails, and instances, freeing them up to put their support super powers to work on more complex issues. A great way to do this is by identifying the customers who are naturally knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and vocal about your product, also known as brand advocates or Champions.
    • Reduce Support Costs With a Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency – eBook II in a series of IIII 5 It may seem unlikely that there are actually people out there who are excited to speak up on your behalf, answer questions, and act as impromptu support agents, but anyone who works in social media will tell you that there absolutely are! Your job is to identify them, incentivize them (even with a simple web badge—these folks love a little recognition!), and connect them with prospects and other customers. A customer community, with its wealth of people, content, and analytic capabilities, is a natural place to do just that. Get Satisfaction offers a Champs program, which allows you to publically designate champions so the community knows who they are. You can even give them special abilities so they can moderate and curate as you see fit. Champions are not the only ones who can help alleviate the load on your support agents. The people interacting in your community naturally bring with them varying experiences, perspectives, and skills. From highly technical developer communities, to those of companies that sell basic consumer goods, bringing your customers and employees together to share experiences and solutions is a solid base to build on for innovation, development, and collaboration. Community-Based Support Compliments the Contact Center Community-based, social support doesn’t have to exist in a bubble—it’s a great way to complement and complete agent-based support strategies. Let’s say, for example, that your software product is acting a little buggy when it’s used with a certain operating system. A customer can’t figure out what to do, so he calls in and gets an answer. A couple weeks later, someone else has the same issue, but they post in the community instead. This might be a younger or more tech-savvy customer who prefers to reach support online, or maybe they just did a quick Google search and were brought to the community that way. The customer who called support originally sees the post and reports what the phone agent told them as a response to the community topic. Now the answer exists in the community as a resource for everyone in the future who has this problem. They can discover it through search or by going there directly. Each person who sees the answer is equal to one fewer call to an agent.
    • Reduce Support Costs With a Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency – eBook II in a series of IIII 6 Community as the Canary in the Coal Mine Until recently, support was strictly reactionary. With the adoption of community as a key support tool, we’re seeing entire support organizations evolve from reactionary “fixers,” to agents working collaboratively with community members to identify bugs and issues before they come become widespread problems. When your agents are on the front lines, getting real-time feedback about the things that aren’t working, they can be prepared to address them fully and effectively with others who are likely to be experiencing the same issue. This saves the agents time and stress, as they have deeper, more immediate insight into where things are breaking down before they get on the phone with an angry customer. And the fact that the agent is already aware of issues and possible solutions before they take that call means the customer is more likely to get off the phone feeling like they’re in good, capable hands. Close the Loop As any good support agent knows, it’s not just important to provide customers with immediate assistance, but also to close the loop and keep them updated about new developments as well. This may be when a bug has been fixed, a new feature has been released or rolled back, or a work-around has been uncovered. A customer community makes it fast and easy to provide your customers with the most up-to-date information. What previously would have required individual emails, Tweets, or status updates, now can be accomplished with one simple community update. You can post a company update for big notifications, or just post an “official reply” to a topic, so everyone who has expressed interest in that topic will get an email notification of the update. That also means that when the next person who experiences that issue comes to your community, they will find the answer waiting for them there. How’s that for efficiency?
    • Reduce Support Costs With a Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency – eBook II in a series of IIII 7 Saving Time is Saving Money Get Satisfaction Customers Save Agents Time & Tickets with Community Customer: Mint Reduced Support Tickets 75% Customer: Kiddicare Increased First Call Resolution by 38% Customer: Ustream Reduced Support Tickets 55% Customer: Springpad Reduced Support Emails 80% Customer: VolunteerMatch Reduced Support Emails 40% Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, social business expert and the CEO of Social Business Builders, analyzed dozens of Get Satisfaction customer case studies to understand how much money on average these companies are saving with a customer community. Here is what she came up with: Dr. Petouhoff found that, by proving customers with easy-to-find, real-time information and keeping agents up to date about the issues that are affecting customers with community, companies were able to: ❑❑Decrease the time agents spent on a support call by an average of 2 minutes ❑❑Handle more customer support requests (scale), without adding staff She took it a step further and calculated exactly how much money those results were saving the companies she examined on average each year. The results are on the next page.
    • Reduce Support Costs With a Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency – eBook II in a series of IIII 8 Average savings based on companies studied by Dr. Petouhoff Total # of Interactions/ month Total # of Interactions/ year Average time to resolve a call before GS Average time to resolve a call after GS Time reduced by Get Satisfaction Savings by using Get Satisfaction 30,000 interactions 360,000 interactions 6 min (36K hours yr) 4 min (24K hours yr) 12K hour Reduction Agent = $15/hr Savings = $180,000/ year Therefore, by reducing the average time to resolve a call from 6 minutes to 4 minutes, your company on average can save $180,000 a year! Saving Time & Money Through Improved Agent Efficiency So there you have it. Leverage a customer community to reduce one-off, simple support requests, connect your customers to one another for social support, identify issues early, and make updating your customers a quick and simple task. This will help you save your agents time, and will allow you to scale without adding agents or sacrificing customer satisfaction. Just saving your team a bit of time can help you realize big savings (who knew that reducing support calls by two minutes can save you $180,000 a year??). But the best benefits you realize from improving agent efficiency are not so easily quantified. When your support agents are free from dealing with simple, repetitive questions, they have more time and energy to focus on complex technical problems (you know, the ones you hired them to take care of). Their morale is higher because they feel like their time is being well spent. This has a positive impact on your bottom line, your company culture, and (most importantly) the satisfaction of your customers.