Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service
 

Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service

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If you’re looking to provide the kind of online customer experience that truly differentiates your company you need to first know the three ingredients that make for a truly excellent customer ...

If you’re looking to provide the kind of online customer experience that truly differentiates your company you need to first know the three ingredients that make for a truly excellent customer experience in any channel – and apply those key tenants online.

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    Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service Document Transcript

    • Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service 5 Checkpoints to Help You Get There
    • Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service What Does World Class Online Customer Service Look Like Anyway? If you’re looking to provide the kind of online customer experience that truly differentiates your company you need to first know the three ingredients that make for a truly excellent customer experience in any channel – and apply those key tenants online. Over the past few years, two undisputable truths have arisen in customer service: 1. Consumers are going online for information more than ever, using a variety of devices and channels. 2. Corporations have a way long way to go in order to meet consumer expectations for service online. “Old school” online customer service is just not cutting it – and companies are paying the price. (For evidence of this, just look at the issue of loyalty erosion in your own industry.) The good news is that there are methodologies, technologies and best practices today that are proven to transform the quality of the online customer experience. Following the Right Recipe Much like preparing a great meal, success depends on getting the right recipe, and following it. We make this “recipe” for world-class customer experience easy to understand, by outlining the three core ingredients in this simple schematic: Enjoyable Easy Effective © 2013 IntelliResponse Systems Inc. Make the customer experience enjoyable Make the customer experience easy Meet customer needs 2
    • Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service 92% of Organizations Have Work to Do! Unfortunately, many organizations view the customer experience through a practical lens only, assuming that the path to excellence begins and ends with getting good at meeting customer needs. But effectiveness is only part of the formula. As our recipe card denotes, fewer and fewer companies provide “easy” and “enjoyable” experiences. In fact, the 2013 Forrester Customer Experience Index found that only 8% of organizations deliver ‘excellent’ customer service. The problem, however, is that when setting about to improve the customer experience, the old-school mentality prevails. Companies set about investing in the wrong area – i.e. adding contact center capacity and agent training. But this misses a key distinguishing characteristic of the modern customer: Today’s customer does not want to call organizations to troubleshoot issues. The clear preference is to go online and find the answer to their issue themselves. Therefore, delivering a problem-free online customer experience begins by getting online self-service right. If you’re among the 92% of the population of companies who are offering a less than stellar customer experience, odds are your online self-service experience is the root cause of the problems – and THIS is where you need to focus your improvement efforts. But how do you get there? What you need is an easy way to spot the problems inherent in your online self-service experience so that your own unique path to improvement becomes clear. That’s where this guide can help. It provides you with the first-ever publication of The Five Checkpoints of online self-service, co-developed based on best practices by Forrester Research, Inc. and IntelliResponse. Use these Five Checkpoints as a guide for assessing the quality of you organization’s online self-service experience. A Word of Caution: Our experience indicates that most companies that put their online self-service tool through these Five Checkpoints discover shortcomings in several areas. That’s why the methodology in these checkpoints is highly effective—the questions and exercises are virtually guaranteed to help you pinpoint specific areas for improvement. Easy and Enjoyable Interactions Drive Loyalty “Customers demand real value — as defined by them — from the company’s products, services, and interactions, such as the purchase process on the firm’s website. They also want the company to be easy and enjoyable to work with, as proven by the correlation between these factors and standard measures of customer loyalty.” - “Reinvent Customer Experience: The Customer Experience EcoSystem Playbook,” Forrester Research, Inc. © 2013 IntelliResponse Systems Inc. 3
    • Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service Accessibility and Availability From the customer perspective, simply engaging in online customer service is typically a difficult and non-intuitive exercise on most web sites. This first checkpoint involves visiting your customer-facing website and asking yourself this honest question: How EASY is it to find your company’s online self-service? To help you stay objective in your reply, consider these more detailed additional questions: Proportionately, what percentage of the page does this take up ‘above the fold’? Is it supported by any words or imagery that invite customers to engage? Is it easily missed, effectively buried behind a single-word “Help” or “FAQ” menu link, or reduced to a non-descript and generic looking “site search” field? Answering these questions will help you assess whether or not the average customer, visiting your site for the first time, would be able to spot the online self-service mechanism instantly, and know with zero doubt that this is the entry point to online customer service. Do you have a question? Or see the top 10 asked. Ask me a question Ask Ana Copa Airlines places their “Ask Ana” Virtual Agent right on their homepage at www. CopaAir.com. Having a pleasant digital persona who invites invites customers to ask questions makes for a highly engaging and enjoyable customer experience. CIBC uses virtual agent technology to make online self-service consistent and highly accessible. Customers can ask questions from their mobile device in exactly the same manner as they would on CIBC’s main customer-facing website, while enjoying a user experience that is optimized for mobile screens. © 2013 IntelliResponse Systems Inc. 4
    • Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service Findability (of Searched-for Content) The next checkpoint to assess is the actual effectiveness of your self-service tool. Looking at your customer-facing website, the question to ask yourself is this: When customers use your online search tool, can they easily find the information they’re looking for? The primary job of any self-service tool is to effectively deliver the right searched-for content. This is where most organizations come up dreadfully short, because most assume their content is easy for customers to find when it isn’t. If this is the commonly-held assumption at your organization, the following exercise will expose the cracks that can help you dismantle the assumption. Here’s what to do: Step 1. Pick a specific topic of interest for customers of your business. For example, if yours is a financial services company, you might pick the topic of home equity loan. Step 2. Visit your FAQ page. How long does it take you to find information on this specific topic? What must you do in order to find your way to this information? How much scrolling and clicking through pages is required? Step 3. Enter the same topical keywords into your site search tool. What results do you get? Most site search tools will return hundreds of possible answers. From the perspective of your customer, however, the sad fact is that any answer above one is actually a “fail” in terms of the customer experience—because multiple answers introduce a strong element of doubt and lack of confidence in the customer’s mind. Customers don’t want hundreds of possible answers, or even two possible answers. They want the one right answer. © 2013 IntelliResponse Systems Inc. 5
    • Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service Relevancy In cases where your customer does manage to find the correct answer to the searched-for question, what happens next? Is this customer presented with other contextually-relevant information—such as answers to the next most-likely follow-up questions, or to supplementary information that leads customers to a purchase consideration? Such contextually-relevant content is the key to creating an automated online conversation with customers that results in high satisfaction or purchase decisions. Yet, for most companies, the online conversation never actually gets going. Instead, it gets truncated, coming to an abrupt end on a non-useful FAQ page, or in the face of hundreds of search results that customers simply chose to abandon. Have a Question? How can I order checks? We hope that the following answers your question: How do I order checks / cheques? You can order new cheques online, choosing from many options and designs. You can even view previous online cheque orders. You must activate your account before accessing online cheque orders. Want To Talk? Book an Appointment Chat Live 1-866-822-6446 Branch & ATM Locator To order your cheques: 1. From the Banking tab under My Accounts, select “Account Services” from the left-hand menu. 2. Select “Order New Cheques.” 3. Choose the appropriate account from the dropdown menu and follow the instructions to complete your order. To order cheques for your Royal Credit Line, please contact your RBC Royal Bank Top Tools & Calculators Foreign Exchange Calculators Savings Calculator Account Selector Credit Card Selector Current Rates branch. How satisfied are you with this answer? Related questions you may find helpful: How do I order drafts or certified cheques? Other questions that may be similar to what you asked: Where do I find My Tax Centre ? How do I sign up for the RBC Shoppers Optimum Banking Account? How do I order deposit slips? © 2013 IntelliResponse Systems Inc. RBC maximizes customer satisfaction and engagement by providing links to contextuallyrelevant follow-up questions at the bottom of every answer page. 6
    • Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service Escalation When engaged in the online self-service experience, can customers escalate their calls from a self-service channel to other channels seamlessly? Some companies can answer, “Yes” to this question to some degree, as it is not uncommon to find contact information such as phone, chat and email prominently displayed. Yet, companies that do make escalation options clear are cautioned not to pat themselves on the back, because just having the presence of the contact doesn’t replace the necessity of providing a resolution online in the first place. A variety of industry data over the years has shown that as much as 72% of customers who call a contact center do NOT wish to do so, preferring instead to have found their answers online. Have a Question? How can I order checks? We hope that the following answers your question: How do I order checks / cheques? You can order new cheques online, choosing from many options and designs. You can even view previous online cheque orders. You must activate your account before accessing online cheque orders. Want To Talk? Book an Appointment Chat Live 1-866-822-6446 Branch & ATM Locator Escalation options are easy to see at the top of every RBC answer page. To order your cheques: 1. From the Banking tab under My Accounts, select “Account Services” from the left-hand menu. 2. Select “Order New Cheques.” 3. Choose the appropriate account from the dropdown menu and follow the instructions to complete your order. To order cheques for your Royal Credit Line, please contact your RBC Royal Bank Top Tools & Calculators Foreign Exchange Calculators Savings Calculator Account Selector Credit Card Selector Current Rates branch. How satisfied are you with this answer? Related questions you may find helpful: How do I order drafts or certified cheques? Other questions that may be similar to what you asked: Where do I find My Tax Centre ? How do I sign up for the RBC Shoppers Optimum Banking Account? How do I order deposit slips? © 2013 IntelliResponse Systems Inc. 7
    • Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service Feedback The final checkpoint requires that you look at your customer-facing website and ask this question: Is an easy-to-use customer feedback mechanism integrated into your online self-service experience? No organization can legitimately say it pursues excellence in online self-service if it does not provide a mechanism for customers to rate its performance in this pursuit. The mechanism can be as simple as a Yes/No question such as “Did this answer your question?” or a star-ranking feature, where the customer is asked, “How would you rate the quality of this answer?” An open comments field, where the customer can provide detailed feedback, can also be provided. Only when the feedback feature is served as a natural extension of the self-service experience will a company be able to know with certainty how customers truly perceive the online self-service offering. Have a Question? How can I order checks? We hope that the following answers your question: How do I order checks / cheques? You can order new cheques online, choosing from many options and designs. You can even view previous online cheque orders. You must activate your account before accessing online cheque orders. Want To Talk? Book an Appointment Chat Live 1-866-822-6446 Branch & ATM Locator To order your cheques: 1. From the Banking tab under My Accounts, select “Account Services” from the left-hand menu. 2. Select “Order New Cheques.” 3. Choose the appropriate account from the dropdown menu and follow the instructions to complete your order. To order cheques for your Royal Credit Line, please contact your RBC Royal Bank branch. Top Tools & Calculators Foreign Exchange Calculators Savings Calculator Account Selector Credit Card Selector Current Rates RBC solicits feedback by providing a star-ranking feature that makes it easy for customers to rate their experience with one-click. How satisfied are you with this answer? © 2013 IntelliResponse Systems Inc. 8
    • Achieving Excellence in Online Customer Service Achieve Customer Service Excellence Online with Virtual Agents The five checkpoints above give you an understanding of what’s required to get on the path toward delivering “excellence” in customer service. Adhering to these five checkpoints will ensure that your online experience is effective (i.e. meets customer needs) and is easy to use. But to truly vault into the zone of excellence in online customer service, your self-service experience must also be enjoyable – the third key ingredient in our recipe for excellence. A world class Virtual Agent solution will deliver against the five checkpoints in spades, while also providing you with the engaging, enjoyable experience to really ‘wow’ your customers. Next Steps Having read this guide, you are now better equipped to: i) ii) iii) derive an honest assessment your current online self-service performance using the 5 Checkpoints, understand where the shortcomings are, so that your unique path to improvement is clearer, envision how online-self service technology gives you the competitive edge needed to deliver all three ingredients of world class online service, namely, being effective, easy and enjoyable. IntelliResponse is here to help you in your immediate next steps. Having deployed world-class virtual agent technology solutions at more than 360 enterprise organizations worldwide, IntelliResponse has a wealth of expertise to support you on the path to making online customer service excellence an achievable reality for your organization. Contact IntelliResponse to schedule a no-obligation 30-minute assessment of your website’s self-service capabilities. info@intelliresponse.com 1-866-454-0084 About IntelliResponse Systems IntelliResponse is the leading provider of virtual agent technology solutions for the enterprise. We create profitable online conversations for our private and public sector customers around the world. With our patented Enterprise Virtual Agent (EVA) solutions, corporate websites, mobile applications, social media channels and agent desktops can all be transformed by an engaging virtual concierge, empowering customers to ask questions using natural, conversational language and delivering an effective and engaging online experience. Twitter.com/IntelliResponse Facebook.com/IntelliResponseInc YouTube.com/IntelliResponseInc To learn more about taking online self service to the next level for your customers, visit www.IntelliResponse.com.