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Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery
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Astute aberdeen multi-channel_service_delivery

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  • 1. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryGetting Customers the Service they Want, Where and When they Want it June 2010 Sumair Dutta, Aly Pinder, Jr.
  • 2. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 2 Executive SummaryIt is often a misnomer that with the increased use of multiple non contact- Research Benchmarkcenter based channels to deliver customer service, organizations are Aberdeen’s Researchafforded the opportunity to reduce and eliminate service interactions with Benchmarks provide an in-their customers in order to cut costs. This strategy isnt reflective of the depth and comprehensive lookmulti-channel framework supported by Best-in-Class organizations; those into process, procedure,that do leverage multiple channels to eliminate unnecessary dispatches or methodologies, andservice calls, but are most interested in enveloping their customers with the technologies with best practiceright level of effective service information via the channels where customers identification and actionableprefer to receive their service information. As a result of truly connecting recommendationswith their customers, these organizations are significantly outperformingtheir peers with regards to key customer-facing and financial metrics.Best-in-Class PerformanceIn May and June 2010, Aberdeen Group surveyed over 170 serviceprofessionals to distinguish Best-in-Class companies from Industry Averageand Laggard. Those defined as Best-in-Class exhibited the following: • 86% current performance in customer retention (74% for all others - including Industry Average and Laggard companies) and 85% performance in first-call resolution (56% for all others) • 3.9 (out of 5.0) score for current level of customer satisfaction as compared to 3.0 (out of 5.0) score for all others • 21% reduction in total support costs over the last 12 months as compared to a 1% decrease for all othersCompetitive Maturity AssessmentSurvey results show that the firms enjoying Best-in-Class performance are: “We are no longer perceived as an expense center, now we • More than two-times as likely as all others to provide their support are viewed as a critical part of agents with real-time access to customer and service information the service organization enhancing the customer • Nearly 30% more likely than all others to leverage web-based self- experience and firm as a service solutions whole.” • Three-times as likely as Laggards to instantly collect customer ~ Ed Billmaier, feedback after a service interaction and more than four times as Senior Director of Relationship likely as Laggards to proactively monitor customer sentiment & Interactive Marketing, ScottsMiracle-GroRequired ActionsTo achieve Best-in-Class performance, companies must: • Empower stakeholders with real-time access to information • Educate customers on the availability of non-contact center-based support channels • Support multi-channel delivery with cross-channel agents© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 3. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 3Table of ContentsExecutive Summary....................................................................................................... 2 Best-in-Class Performance..................................................................................... 2 Competitive Maturity Assessment....................................................................... 2 Required Actions...................................................................................................... 2Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class.................................................... 4 More Channel Options........................................................................................... 4 The Maturity Class Framework..........................................................................11 The Best-in-Class PACE Model ..........................................................................12 Best-in-Class Strategies.........................................................................................13Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success.................................15 Competitive Assessment......................................................................................16 Capabilities and Enablers......................................................................................18Chapter Three: Required Actions .........................................................................25 Laggard Steps to Success......................................................................................25 Industry Average Steps to Success ....................................................................26 Best-in-Class Steps to Success ............................................................................27Appendix A: Research Methodology.....................................................................29Appendix B: Related Aberdeen Research............................................................31FiguresFigure 1: Reasons for Incoming Service Requests ................................................. 6Figure 2: Drivers for Multi-Channel Service........................................................... 8Figure 3: If Only I Had Coupons - Cost Cutting Initiatives...............................14Figure 4: Measuring Service Success - KPIs Tracked ..........................................23TablesTable 1: Opening up Service Options ...................................................................... 5Table 2: Channels for Incoming Requests and Resolutions ................................ 6Table 3: Changing Focus on Channels in the Next 12 Months.......................... 7Table 4: Top Performers Earn Best-in-Class Status............................................12Table 5: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework .....................................................13Table 6: Supporting a Multi-Channel Service Framework.................................13Table 7: The Competitive Framework...................................................................17Table 8: Empowering Information for Support Agents......................................20Table 9: Tools to Build a Multi-Channel Roadmap .............................................21Table 10: Giving Customers What they Need ....................................................22Table 11: Getting Social with Service.....................................................................24Table 12: Multi-Channel Report Card ...................................................................28Table 13: The PACE Framework Key....................................................................30Table 14: The Competitive Framework Key........................................................30Table 15: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework .30© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 4. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 4 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-ClassMore Channel Options Fast FactsThe existence of numerous communication platforms and tools is changingthe way we choose to interact with our personal and professional √ 86% level of customernetworks. This is not only in reference to outbound communication to a retention reported by theperson or a group of people, but also in the way in which we gather Best-in-Class compared to ainformation from others. Instead of picking up the phone to connect with 74% performance by all other organizationscolleagues at work, one can choose to use instant messenger or email toestablish a direct personal line or use a company-based forum, social √ 21% reduction in totalnetwork, or an intranet to tap into company information. On the personal support costs experiencedside, tweeting, texting, chatting, posting on walls, nudging, and buzzing are by the Best-in-Class over thereally just means to communicate and tap into the lives of others without last 12 months, compared toever having to speak a word. While we may talk less, we are communicating a 1% decrease for all othermore. organizationsThe extended network of communication tools and platforms also impacts √ 47% of all organizations looking at their multi-the way customer service can be delivered. By no means is the phone the channel frameworks to driveonly way one can get in touch with a product manufacturer or servicing revenue, compared to 34%organization. As customers, whether in the form of consumers or of organizations in 2009businesses, we are afforded a variety of channels to capture serviceinformation, make service requests, share feedback and purchase additional √ 65% of organizations lookingproducts and services. These channels are also available to employees of an for more self-service options as a primary means to cutorganization looking for information regarding their resources and benefits. service costsWe are no longer tethered to the phone for all of these requirements. Inresponse, servicing organizations, whether direct manufacturers or third- √ 3% potential decrease inparty providers, are afforded a variety of platforms to deliver service. This total service costs from a 5%can be in the form of reactive service in response to a particular customer decrease in unnecessaryquery or proactive service on the channels in which customers are active. dispatchesThese channels also allow for better visibility into issues of customersentiment and customer feedback, all of which can greatly impact customerservice strategy.In a recent study of over 170 service and manufacturing organizations, amajority indicated that they were using more than just the contact center asa means to capture customer requests and deliver service. While thecontact center, fax, and email have been the traditional channels availablefor customer service requests (Table 1), channels such as live chat,customer-specific web portals, and others have seen increased support inthe last three years. Looking ahead, organizations are actively looking toincrease investments in live chat, social media, SMS, and technical forumsand discussion boards.© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 5. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 5Table 1: Opening up Service Options Percentage of all respondents, n=172 Channel In Place for more In Place for 1- In Place for less Not in Place, Will than 3 years 3 years than 1 year be in 1 yearMail / Fax 74% 6% 3% 1%Email 73% 11% 6% 3%Contact Center 70% 8% 5% 5%Help Desk (Internal) 56% 8% 5% 7%Website Queries 43% 12% 8% 10%Customer Service Desk 41% 6% 4% 3%(Physical Location)Customer-specific Web 34% 14% 13% 15%PortalsRemote Support 31% 13% 9% 8%Web-Based Technical Forums 13% 12% 9% 23%/ Discussion BoardsSMS / Texts 12% 11% 7% 16%Live Chat 9% 8% 10% 21%Social Media 3% 10% 19% 22% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010With the availability of and familiarity with a great number of channels, "[We have seen] significantcustomers are actively leveraging non-contact center based channels for reductions in administrativetheir service requests. In fact, while organizations reported that they questions to our L1 techreceived an average of 1.15 million service requests through the contact support when we integrated acenter (including escalations) in the last 12 months, they received 316,000+ live chat function.”service requests through non-contact center based channels in the same ~ Mark Bath,time frame. With reference to incoming requests, customers are leveraging Director, Customeremail as the primary non-contact center-based support channel with varied Service/Support,use of web-based queries and mail / fax. Other newer channels such as Overland Storagesocial media, instant messenger / chat and SMS still only account for 6%, 4%,and 3% of overall requests respectively.A majority of incoming requests are either for issues around technicalsupport or troubleshooting (Figure 1). Thirty percent (30%) of all incomingrequests are to schedule service appointments with 29% tied to thepurchase of a part / product or additional service. Billing queries andchanges as well as other account changes were indicated as reasons forincoming service requests by approximately 23% and 16% of respondentsrespectively.© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 6. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 6Figure 1: Reasons for Incoming Service Requests "As with all organizations we Technical support request 58% find that our customers have different preferred channels for service and even have multiple Troubleshooting 37% channels to obtain information on service. Providing great phone support does not Request for product information 33% address the needs of a customer who prefers self helpRequest repair / maintenace appointment 30% tools on a web site. We want to make sure that we address the customer’s needs in the Purchase of part/product/service 29% channels that they are using." ~ Don McNair, 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Senior Director - Customer Percentage of respondents, n=172 Interaction, Note: Respondents were asked to select their top three answer choices Yaskawa America Inc. Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010The contact center remains the major medium of issue resolutionaccounting for more than a quarter of all service issues resolved (Table 2).Field support, email and remote support are other channels that are highlyleveraged to resolve service issues. Nearly 8% of all issues are resolvedthrough self-service channels (company branded or otherwise) and anadditional 4% of issues are resolved via online search engines. It isinteresting to note that while social media accounts for approximately 6% ofall incoming requests, less than 1% of all issues are actively resolved viasocial media.Table 2: Channels for Incoming Requests and Resolutions For Incoming Requests For Issue Resolution (Last 12 Months) (Last 12 Months)Top 1- Contact Center - 35% 1- Contact Center - 26%Channels 2- Other Email - 15%(average 2- Field Support - 20% 3- Web Query - 11%result - 3- Email - 14% 4- Customer Service Deskpercentage 4- Remote Support - 9% (Physical Location) - 11%of requests) 5- Customer Service Desk - 8% 5- Mail / Fax - 10% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010Looking ahead over the next 12 months, while nearly 30% to 50% oforganizations report the maintenance of the status quo when it comes touse of channels for incoming requests, more than 40% of respondentsindicate the increased use of website-based service queries and email for thecreation and logging of service requests. Fifteen percent (15%) oforganizations also see a significant 5%+ increase in the use of company-branded social media channels for incoming service requests. On the© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 7. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 7opposite end of the spectrum, the contact center and regular mail or fax arethe most likely to see less traffic in the next 12 months.Table 3: Changing Focus on Channels in the Next 12 Months Proportion of Requests Percentage of all respondents, n=172 through Channel Increase Increase Slightly Remain the (Next 12 Months) Decrease Significantly (5%+) (Less than 5%) SameWebsite Query 24% 22% 30% 2%Other Email 20% 20% 33% 8%Contact Center 17% 14% 34% 16%Social Media (Company Branded) 15% 17% 37% 1%Instant Messaging / Chat 13% 16% 39% 2%Company Blog 13% 9% 44% 1%Discussion Board 12% 14% 41% 1%Helpdesk 9% 12% 47% 5%Social Media (Third party) 9% 12% 44% -SMS / Messaging 8% 13% 29% -Customer Service Desk (Physical 8% 6% 49% 6%Location)Mail / fax 8% 6% 43% 16% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010Pressing Needs - Dispatch Avoidance, Not Customer ServiceAvoidanceAs companies look to leverage multiple channels to enable the delivery ofservice and support, they are doing so in the face of increasing customerdemands for better and faster service coupled with the need to controlservice-related costs. The trend towards multi-channel service delivery isntjust to push the cost per contact or cost per transaction to the lowestcommon denominator, but to provide the customer with improved serviceresolution regardless of the channel that is chosen. An isolated focus oncost reduction without taking ultimate service issue resolution is shortsighted, just as a lack of focus on cost management in the current economyis dangerous. As such, service organizations need to balance the pressuresof cost and customer satisfaction in their pursuit for the optimal mix ofservice delivery channels.© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 8. Multi-Channel Service Delivery Page 8 Figure 2: Drivers for Multi-Channel Service Customer demand for faster service resolution - 68% improved time to repair and first-call resolutionNeed to control and reduce service-related costs 53% Need to drive revenue opportunities 47%Need to drive productivity / utilization across the 41% entire service organization 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Percentage of respondents, n=172 Note: Respondents were asked to select their top three answer choices Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010 Service organizations are also looking to their expanded service delivery "[Migrating customers to less networks as a means to increase overall revenue opportunities. Multiple expensive channels of support] channels of service delivery that envelop the customer not only breed is probably more important increased customer loyalty, but also offer multiple outlets of promotion that than ever. With all departments ensure that the customer is aware of complementary products and services looking to cut their allocated support costs and product offered by the servicing organization. The pursuit of revenue has been management being driven to highlighted in past Aberdeen research (The Chief Service Officers Guide to lower and lower margins, less Service Revenue January 2010 and in the 2009 Chief Service Officer Summit) costly support is almost as a key goal for service organizations in 2010. This active interest in mandated.” revenue in 2010 is further evidenced by the fact that the percentage of respondents that indicated that revenue was a key pressure jumped from ~ Mark Bath, Director, Customer 34% in Aberdeens 2009 research on multi-channel research to 47% in this Service/Support, years research. The ranking and priority of most other pressures have Overland Storage. remained the same over the last two years of surveying. Case Study — ScottsMiracle-Gro The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (Scotts) is a marketer of branded lawn and garden care products. Scotts delivers customer support through a number of channels, including contact center, email, phone, and social media tools. The company handles approximately one million customer contacts per year. Scotts has a long history of focusing on the consumer and their needs. In fact, the originations of the existing contact center date back to 1935. While this focus on the consumer and their needs has a long history, the amount of investment in this area has varied over time. continued © 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200 www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 9. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 9 Case Study — ScottsMiracle-Gro In 1993, Scotts viewed its customer support contact center as an expense center and therefore did not invest in key processes, knowledge sharing and technology to enable greater customer service. As a result, support agents in the contact center were equipped with large binders and manuals to refer to in order to offer resolution scenarios to their customers. This manual process for support led to more than half of all incoming calls being abandoned, a major problem for any service organization that prides itself on providing a quality customer service experience. In turn, this manual process led to support agents having no ability to exchange best practices across the company while also having no way to capture customer data in order to leverage this information in future communications or internal processes. This lack of information also hindered the organization from gaining insights into any product development and marketing information that could have been inferred from customer feedback. Along with the manual process to handle customer calls, agents were scheduled in a static manner which could not handle the seasonality of the lawn / garden care business. Call volumes can fluctuate from peak levels in the summer and fall of 160,000 calls per month to 6,000 calls per month in the winter - leading to unutilized or overstretched resources. Therefore to turn things around, it was integral for Scotts to transform its service business, gain greater access to customer information, and develop internal capabilities in order to equip their support agents and customers with the necessary information for the delivery of the right customer experience. In 1994, Scotts embarked on a support group reorganization that was structured around: - The capture, storage and accessibility of customer data - Training in the use of data by support agents - Workforce staffing levels The company needed to formulate a strategy to change the culture and information flow of the business prior to any investment in technology. With insight into customer request volumes and trends, service leaders recognized that the seasonal nature of Scotts’ business made its current static support agent scheduling sub optimal. There was no need for a full time staff of employees year round from eight to five, and thus the organization moved to a dynamic staffing model which combined full-time workers with seasonal non-traditional staff to mirror the business needs and demands. With a part-time staff, it was integral that the accessible data was easy to use in order to provide customers with an “expert” at all times regardless of the employee being contacted. As a result, any new systems or information architectures had to allow for faster time to productivity for new / part-time agents and increased data capture. The system also needed to be scalable enough to accommodate the rapid growth of the organization through acquisitions. continued© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 10. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 10 Case Study — ScottsMiracle-Gro Scotts’ has grown both organically and through acquisitions, and thus needed a system that could integrate disparate knowledge management systems in order to quickly create a uniform support offering for the customer. With its restructuring in 1994, the organization was able to see a significant reduction in dropped or missed service calls (from 250,000 in 1993 to 40,000 in 1994) and a significant improvement in productivity - all at a minimal cost investment. Once the service organization was able to show the value of an improved customer experience and the need for improved information-related automation, the company decided to move ahead with the implementation of a broad customer management and interaction system in 2001. As a result of these investments, customer support agents have the ability “The goal for the technology to capture data in real-time while having immediate access to customer investment was to get more history, call patterns, and weather information. This maturity in customer value. It was never sold as a support delivery has led to measurable results with regards to service cost saving tool but one that organization performance. Most importantly for the company, the enabled strategic customer experience has been improved in regard to a more personal differentiation.” interaction with support agents as real-time information is accessible at ~ Ed Billmaier, each channel and can be leveraged to provide resolution and Senior Director of Relationship recommendations. & Interactive Marketing, ScottsMiracle-Gro The company has also been able to reduce new agent training times by 25% through the user-friendly interface of the customer management solution and the overall robust nature of the information that is available. Scotts has also been able to leverage the customer data being captured to increase product sales and personalize marketing efforts. With the breadth of customer information / trends being captured, Scotts has the capability to efficiently identify and provide an early warning email alert to notify their customers of potential negative issues (i.e. insect infestations) being identified and educate them on the right products to purchase to eliminate the problem. This type of proactive insight not only leads to increased product sales resolving an impending issue, but also a significant percent of all email alert recipients purchase products after receiving an email. Another added benefit of this interaction is that it also reaffirms the expert relationship of the Scotts team to the consumer. As Scotts continues the journey to perfect the customer experience there is an opportunity to further enhance the knowledge base, specifically with regard to increasing opportunities to leverage customer insights and data by supporting business units (i.e., sales, marketing, and engineering) further improving the service offering. The company would also like to extend the knowledge base to its customers to greater enhance their access to overall service information. continued© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 11. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 11 Case Study — ScottsMiracle-Gro Also, as social media (i.e. chat, blogs, discussion boards) continues to be internally validated and expected by the consumer, the company is actively developing its customer interaction strategy via social media platforms and is well positioned to continue efforts in delivering consistent customer support through all channels that are leveraged by its customers.The Maturity Class Framework Cost per Contact (AverageThe ability to manage the highlighted pressures (Figure 2) is the true Result)measure of a Best-in-Class service organization. As a result, these √ $248 Field Supportcompanies excel in metrics (Table 4) that tie directly to: √ $58 Contact Center • Customer satisfaction. Best-in-Class organizations indicate that their customers rank them at 3.9 on a 1 to 5 scale of customer √ $31 Email satisfaction. This is compared to a 3.0 average for all other √ $27 Chat organizations. • Cost. Customers of Best-in-Class organizations are more likely to see resolution for their service requests on first-call basis, therefore leading to higher levels of satisfaction at lower overall costs. For service requests in the contact center, leading organizations report an 85% level of first-call resolution performance when compared to a 56% level for all other organizations. In fact, Best-in-Class organizations report a high first-time resolution performance across multiple service delivery channels such as email, e-service and chat. In addition to excelling at overall service efficiency, Best-in-Class organizations are also more successful in directing their customers to the most cost-effective service channels. These organizations report that 22% of requests could have been handled by a more cost efficient channel over the last 12 months, compared to 26% of First-Time Resolution Rates service requests for all other organizations. As an overall result, √ E-Service leading service organizations have seen a 21% reduction in total Best-in-Class - 72% support costs over the last 12 months when compared to a 1% All Others - 44% reduction for all other organizations. √ Email • Revenue. While a 3.9 scale of customer satisfaction still indicates Best-in-Class - 74% significant room for improvement for the Best-in-Class, they All Others - 53% successfully retained 86% of their customers over the last 12 months when compared to an overall 74% retention rate for all √ Chat other organizations. Aberdeens research on service revenue (The Best-in-Class - 77% All Others - 33% CSOs Guide to Service Revenue January 2010) highlighted that organizations reporting a 70% to 80% level of customer retention experienced a 4% decrease in total spend from existing customers over the last 12 months, when compared to a 3% increase in total spend for companies reporting an 80%+ level of customer retention.© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 12. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 12 • Productivity. The cost and customer satisfaction performance advantages experienced by Best-in-Class organizations are also tied to significant improvements in support agent productivity and utilization driven by these organizations. Over the last 12 months, leading organizations have driven a 38% increase in support agent productivity when compared to a 6% increase for all other organizations.Table 4: Top Performers Earn Best-in-Class Status Definition of Mean Class Performance Maturity Class 3.9/5.0 level of customer satisfaction 86% customer retention in the last 12 months Best-in-Class: 85% first-call resolution performance in the contact Top 20% center of aggregate 38% increase in support agent productivity over the performance scorers last 12 months 21% reduction in total support costs in the last 12 months 3.5/5.0 level of customer satisfaction 84% customer retention in the last 12 months Industry Average: 66% first-call resolution performance in the contact Middle 50% center of aggregate 8% increase in support agent productivity over the performance scorers last 12 months 3% reduction in total support costs in the last 12 months 2.1/5.0 level of customer satisfaction 57% customer retention in the last 12 months Laggard: 35% first-call resolution performance in the contact Bottom 30% center of aggregate 1% increase in support agent productivity over the performance scorers last 12 months 4% increase in total support costs in the last 12 months Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010The Best-in-Class PACE ModelAberdeen’s PACE framework is designed to highlight the key strategies andcapabilities employed by firms that attain Best-in-Class status through theirexcellence in meeting and overcoming internal or market pressures. Theframework serves as a roadmap for non-Best-in-Class firms to duplicate thestrategies enforced and capabilities developed by Best-in-Class firms toimprove their service performance (Table 5).© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 13. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 13Table 5: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework Pressures Actions Capabilities Enablers Meet customer Increase access to Real-time capture and storage of Optimized support agent schedules demand for customer- and customer and service information CRM Solutions with multi-channel better service - service-specific Standardized escalation protocols support capabilities enhance speed information across Service information made available Service or contact center analytics and effectiveness the organization in central knowledgebase Customer feedback management of service Invest in Immediate capture of customer solutions delivery technology feedback following a service Web self-support platforms solutions or interaction Knowledge management solutions platforms to Front-line support agents have real- enable multi- time access to complex resolutions channel support steps and schematics Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010Best-in-Class StrategiesIn Aberdeens 2009 Delivering Customer Service via the Contact Center and the "[The most vital action that ourWeb report, it was highlighted that Best-in-Class companies are enabling organization has taken tomarket leading service delivery frameworks around the 5Es: Educate, ensure the success of ourEliminate, Escalate, Evaluate, and Empower. While the priorities of these multi-channel solution is] tightactions has changed in 2010, the Best-in-Class are still looking to these integration between the CRMprinciples to enable a true multi-channel service model in order to ease cost system, ERP system, andand customer satisfaction pressures (Table 6). For instance, leading business communicationorganizations continue to look to empower their service agents with real- systems which enable us totime access to customer and service-specific information to aid issue have a central depository ofresolution efforts. This empowerment is enabled with the evaluation and information obtained during the different touch points with theimplementation of solutions and knowledge platforms that allow for the customer."efficient capture, storage and distribution of information. With investmentsin multiple service delivery platforms, the Best-in-Class are also looking to ~ Don McNair,ensure the accuracy, validity, and efficacy of information across all channels Senior Director - Customerso as to eliminate inconsistent service experiences and unnecessary follow Interaction,up service requirements. Ultimately, education regarding the value and Yaskawa America Inc.efficacy of available service channels is enabled through the proactivecapture of customer feedback regarding the overall service experience.Table 6: Supporting a Multi-Channel Service Framework Percentage of Respondents Action Best-in-Class All OthersIncrease access to customer- and service-specific information across the 63% 59%organizationInvest in technology solutions or platforms to enable multi-channel support 54% 44%Proactively capture / monitor customer feedback via surveys (phone, web) and 46% 39%via web traffic and social mediaEnable a multi-channel service structure / strategy encompassing the contact 43% 33%center, web, remote, and other outletsEnsure accuracy and consistency of service information across all points of 40% 31%customer interaction (field, contact center, web) Note: Respondents were asked to select their top four answer choices Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 14. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 14 Aberdeen Insights — Cutting Cost in the Service Organization In meeting cost containment needs, organizations are actively looking to improve the self-service options available for service resolution, primarily as self-service only accounts for 8% of resolutions. Increased use of self-service channels can be accomplished through the enhanced promotion of non contact center-based avenues available to the customers and via attention to the benefits of using those channels. Ultimately, the most valid proof point and subsequent promotion avenue for non-contact center-based channels is in the ability of these channels to quickly and effectively meet the customers needs. A single negative experience on a web-based or other channel will pretty much ensure that the customer returns relying on the contact center regardless of the amount of promotion that is done. Figure 3: If Only I Had Coupons - Cost Cutting Initiatives Provide more self-service scenarios to customers 65% Improve escalation processes and information to ensure least amount of transfers and resolution time 39% Educate customer regarding availability on non- 37% contact center-related service channels Minimize unnecessary field dispatches - primary 34% visits Invest in / leverage remote support 27% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Percentage of respondents, n=172 Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010 To optimize their cost structures, organizations are also looking to minimize unnecessary service field dispatches. While 34% indicate that they can trim costs by reducing unnecessary dispatches of a primary nature (initial visits for repair or service that could have been avoided), another 24% of organizations are looking to minimize unnecessary secondary dispatches tied to inadequate first-visit resolution. Aberdeens research finds that nearly 12% of dispatches over the last 12 months were unnecessary, and a 5% reduction of the unnecessary would have resulted in a corresponding 3% decrease in total service costs. This is attributed to the fact that the cost per contact for a field dispatch for the average service organization is nearly five times the cost in the contact center and eight times the cost of a transaction via email.© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 15. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 15 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for SuccessThe success of all initiatives and programs adopted in support of effective Fast Factsmulti-channel service delivery and customer management ultimately depends √ 60% of Best-in-Classon the supporting cast of organizational capabilities and processes in place. organizations provide theirThe identification of these vital capabilities, specifically around the capture, agents with standardavailability and management of service information, and the organizational escalation protocolsgaps that need to be overcome to put these in place will help service firms compared to 17% ofascend to the status of Best-in-Class. Laggards √ 54% of Best-in-Class Case Study — Yaskawa America Inc. organizations optimize service agent schedules Yaskawa America Inc., a wholly owned corporation of Yaskawa Electric compared to 24% of Corporation of Japan, is a high-tech manufacturer of AC Inverter Drives, Laggards Servo and Motion Control, and Robotics Automation Systems with a focus in the North, Central, and South American regions. Products are √ 49% of Best-in-Class sold through direct sales, distributors, dealers, and partners throughout organizations provide their agents with access to the Americas. Internally, Yaskawa has 30 support agents that manage complex resolution steps either the technical support or inside sales aspect of customer service. and schematics when The challenge facing Yaskawa 10 years ago was one that is similar to compared to 28% of all most service organizations; how does it provide the best customer others experience possible while maintaining a profitable business? Also, how √ Best-in-Class organizations does the company deliver a consistent service experience through its are three times as likely as vast partner network? During this time, the company funneled all Laggards to immediately customer issues and requests through its contact center. However, capture customer feedback Yaskawa was unable to capture any customer information and thus had after a service session no ability to maximize the value of this customer interaction (i.e., ability √ Best-in-Class organizations to understand the customer’s latent and overt needs and provide that are two times as likely as service offering). Not being able to understand the customer led Yaskawa Laggards to use web self- to a point where exceeding customer expectations would be difficult. service solutions As customers continued to expect faster service, it was integral that Yaskawa provide the right information to the right people in real-time. “About eight years ago, our The company, in order to create a unified voice to the customer, sole channel of customer implemented a strategy to centralize contact center operations / service contact was via the information and map the process flows within the organization. As phone. We could not capture process and information flows were identified and standardized, the much user data, and thus would company made sure to involve / engage various stakeholders in order to say hi and goodbye with no ability to leverage past call extend the level of ownership across the company. Yaskawa, once the history. We needed to better process flows were standardized, implemented an Enterprise Resource understand the customer in Planning (ERP) and Customer Resource Management (CRM) solution to order to improve their overall better manage its information workflows. The integration of the these customer experience.” management tools allowed Yaskawa to equip the support teams with the information necessary to both resolve customer issues and explore other ~ Don McNair, Director – Customer Service / Support, products / services of need for the customer. Yaskawa America Inc. continued© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 16. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 16 Case Study — Yaskawa America Inc. Yaskawa has seen measurable returns from the implementation of their CRM solution and subsequent transformation of their multi-channel customer support. Yaskawa has achieved improvements in customer retention and overall customer satisfaction; as seen through annual customer surveys and a subsequent willingness of customers to recommend the service offering to others. The customer satisfaction survey program is a tool Yaskawa is using to not only gauge customer sentiments but also to better understand the customer in order to more effectively lead them down the path to issue resolution while also tracking overall service performance. Over the last 12 months, Yaskawa has seen measurable gains in both internal performance metrics and overall future revenue generating metrics. The company has achieved an increase in leads of 172% due to data / need validation. Also, Yaskawa has “Customers want accurate information. They want good been able to close 19% of these leads that would otherwise migrate to a and accurate information. We competitor. must lead them down the path Yaskawa has been successful at providing their customers with a great to solving their customer service experience while also leveraging the valuable information service issues in order to build their trust and loyalty.” captured throughout the service process to create opportunities to both cross- and up-sell new products. As Yaskawa moves into the second half ~ Don McNair, Director – of 2010, there are further opportunities to expand and enhance the Customer Service / Support, current web portal to provide an even friendlier, more intuitive user Yaskawa America Inc. interface in order to create an even better customer experience. This improved web portal will also be leveraged by Yaskawa’s distributor network to increase the functionality of the product ordering tool allowing for even more opportunities to extend the selling cycle. The benefits of providing a better experience to the customer while creating an easier access point for the distributor network will in turn lead to Yaskawa’s ability to reap the value of its efforts.Competitive AssessmentBest-in-Class service firms, as determined by their performance in keyindicators, exhibit several of the capabilities highlighted in Table 4 that fallinto the five categories of Aberdeens Competitive Framework: (1) process(workflows for contact management, escalation, and feedback management);(2) organization (corporate focus on the opportunity for improvedcustomer service through multiple service delivery channels, coupled withincreased visibility and oversight); (3) knowledge management (makingasset and service data available to stakeholders that can act on theinformation to impact profitability); (4) technology (the selection ofappropriate tools and the intelligent deployment of those tools); and (5)performance management (the ability of the organization to track /measure performance and drive further improvements with necessarymodifications to processes in place).© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 17. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 17Table 7: The Competitive Framework Best-in-Class Average Laggards Real-time capture of service, asset and customer-specific service information 71% 55% 33% Standardized escalation procedures - higher tier agent has Process immediate access to call history and customer information 60% 50% 17% Immediate capture of customer feedback following contact center, web-service, or other specific service sessions 46% 41% 15% Frequent and periodic training of CSRs or web agents in Organization accurate diagnosis, resolution, and escalation procedures 67% 59% 30% Front-line support agents have real-time access to customer service history 86% 80% 50% Knowledge Front-line support agents have real-time access to complex resolutions steps and schematics 49% 35% 15% Optimized service agent schedules to account for high- demand service times 54% 44% 24% Customer Management technology currently in use: 51% CRM 44% CRM 24% CRM “We needed to create an Solution with Solution with Solution with information architecture in our Contact Center Contact Center Contact Center system to give information to functionality functionality functionality the consumers when they need 49% Web Self- 48% Web Self- 24% Web Self- it and make all our reps sound Service Solution Service Solution Service Solution like experts.” Technology 43% Knowledge 38% Knowledge 17% Knowledge ~ Ed Billmaier, Management Management Management Senior Director of Relationship 43% Contact 41% Contact 24% Contact & Interactive Marketing, Center or Center or Center or ScottsMiracle-Gro Service Service Service Analytics Analytics Analytics 34% Contact 18% Contact 13% Contact Center Center Center Management Management Management Solution Solution Solution Proactive tracking and capture of customer feedback Performance (sentiment) on web 43% 35% 9% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 18. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 18Capabilities and EnablersThe Competitive Framework (Table 7) highlights that Best-in-Classperformance isn’t predicated on excellence in just one of the supportcategories. Best-in-Class organizations exhibit a comprehensive focus on allof the following support structures to strengthen the planned strategicactions illustrated earlier (Table 6) in this research. In the context of thediscussion around multi-channel service, a majority of the capabilitiescontinue to fall into the 5E framework described earlier - Educate,Eliminate, Escalate, Evaluate, and Empower. In addition, 2010 data indicatesthat Best-in-Class organizations are taking significant steps to proactivelytrack, capture, and act on customer feedback.ProcessSixty percent (60%) of the Best-in-Class indicate their organizations provide Insight: Standardized Escalationstheir support agents with standardized escalation protocols when compared √ On average, organizationsto 38% of all other organizations. These escalations can occur across the that have standard escalationsame delivery channel (contact center to contact center) or on different protocols in place report achannels (live chat to contact center). As a result, if support agents are 74% first-call resolutionunable to resolve a service issue at their level, they are provided with performance as opposed to a 55% result for those thatguidance into: do not • when an escalation needs to take place • who it needs to be escalated to • how that escalation takes place with the smallest disruption and inconvenience to the customer • how to track the result of that escalationThe investment in standardized escalation protocols can be greatlymarginalized if the higher-tier agents or managers do not have immediatevisibility into the current service issue and steps that have already beentaken to resolve the issue. Therefore, the Best-in-Class strategy is not onlyto standardize the upward escalation of service issues but also to ensurethat the agent receiving the escalated issue has full visibility into service issueinformation prior to correspondence with the customer. As a result of thefocus from the Best-in-Class in ensuring that a first service call / email findsthe right service person, they are able to report higher first-call resolutionresults. On average, organizations that have standard escalation protocols inplace report a 74% first-call resolution performance as opposed to a 55%result for those that do not.Immediate access for higher tier support agents to service information ismade possible due to the Best-in-Class focus on real-time capture of andvisibility into service, asset or customer-specific information. This real-timemode of capture is in place at 71% of Best-in-Class organizations as opposedto 47% of all other organizations. As seen in the context of escalationprotocols, leading organizations are also taking significant steps to invest inmaking this collected information available to all relevant service© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 19. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 19stakeholders to ensure an improved and expedited resolution experiencefor the customer. Aberdeen Insights — Voice of the Customer Increased access to service knowledge continues to be a key pillar in the Best-in-Class multi-channel service delivery framework (further detailed in the proceeding section). In addition, Best-in-Class organizations are making significant investments in increasing their insight into customer feedback regarding the efficacy of their service delivery and the strength of the overall service experience. The success of any internal process can ultimately be measured on the final service experience felt by the customer. As a result, nearly 50% of Best-in-Class organizations immediately capture customer feedback at the end of a service session to not only understand whether the session was successful or not, but also to understand if there are gaps in the service delivery process that need to be addressed. Only 32% of all other organizations are looking to immediately capture customer feedback.Knowledge Management and OrganizationAs discussed earlier, Best-in-Class organizations are making significant "Complete integration of datainvestments in their knowledge infrastructures to ensure the availability of across all support channels isvaluable customer and service information to all support agents as well as to critical to not only efficiencyother teams across the organization. Effective knowledge management but customer satisfaction asforms the backbone of a successful multi-channel service strategy, and this is well.”evidenced by the dual Best-in-Class focus on: ~ Mark Bath, Director, Customer • The storage of service information in a common knowledgebase so Service/Support, as to expedite access to vital service and customer information. Overland Storage. Such a central knowledgebase is in place at 31% of leading organizations when compared to 26% of all others. As a result, interactions with a customer on one channel can be leveraged for subsequent discussions on another channel, thereby enabling visibility into resolution practices or other service information that can improve the overall customer experience. • The type of information that front line support agents are empowered with at Best-in-Class organizations (Table 8). As a result of the available service information, support agents at Best-in- Class organizations arent required to blindly enter into an unprepared service interaction with a customer and are immediately alerted to past service instances or resolution scenarios that may expedite the service delivery process. From the perspective of service revenue, access to trends in customer service queries can also alert the support agent to complementary services and offerings that the customer might not be aware of. While this cross- pollination of service and sales activities requires a focus on training, Best-in-Class companies are much more likely to provide their front© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 20. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 20 line agents with access to such sale offerings based on customer usage and service history.Table 8: Empowering Information for Support Agents Percentage of Respondents Customer Support Agent Ability / Reporting In Place Access to: Best-in-Class All OthersBasic customer information (address, product usage etc.) 86% 73%Customer service history 86% 69%Basic troubleshooting steps 69% 40%Instantly connect customer to higher level of support 60% 47%Complex troubleshooting steps / Product schematics 49% 28%Resolution steps / decision trees as determined by experts or past product history 40% 31%Customized sale offers based on service history 39% 23%Add / remove features to products/services leveraged by customers 26% 23% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010Looking ahead, Best-in-Class companies are also looking to empower theirsupport agents with increased access to past customer feedback or theability to direct customers to take post-service feedback surveysimmediately after a service interaction. More than a quarter (26%) of Best-in-Class organizations are prioritizing the increased access to customerfeedback history for front line service agents.In support of the increased information available to support agents, Best-in-Class organizations are actively supporting training programs to enable theiragents to actually use the enhanced information and capabilities that areafforded to them. Two-thirds of leading organizations, compared to 48% ofall others, periodically train their customers on leveraging available serviceinformation to improve diagnosis and resolution rates or to understand therequired escalation procedures to ensure that a service issue that cant be Solution Selection Attributeshandled at the front lines gets guided to the appropriate agent with a (Percentage of respondents,minimal number of transfers. n=172) √ 40% IntegrationTechnology √ 35% Total cost of ownershipThe organizational focus on developing a true multi-channel service √ 33% Configurability ofinfrastructure, as reflected in the focus on knowledge management, training, solutionescalation processes, and feedback capture and management, is alsoreflected in the investments made by leading organizations in service and √ 30% Out-of-the-boxcustomer management tools and applications. functionality providedWith regard to the backbone of knowledge management, 43% of leading √ 26% Scalability of applicationorganizations are currently leveraging a knowledge management application Note: Respondents were askedin support of their service environments, when compared to 30% of all to select their top four answerother organizations. As a result, these organizations have a more structured choices© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 21. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 21focus on automating the capture, storage and distribution of data asopposed to more unstructured and paper-based knowledge transfersystems of non-Best-in-Class organizations.This knowledge in turn needs to be integrated with customer managementsystems that allow for the lifecycle management of a service customer. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Best-in-Class organizations reveal the use of broadercustomer relationship management solutions when compared to 37% of allother organizations. These solutions allow for an integrated view of thecustomer while supporting the multiple support environments tied to thecontact center, email, chat etc. described earlier in Chapter One. Specificallyin the context of the contact center, 34% of Best-in-Class companies reportthe use of stand-alone contact center management solutions. These firmsare also nearly 1.5 times as likely as all others to use contact-center relatedInteractive Voice Response (IVR) and Computer Telephony Integration(CTI) technologies that enable the more intelligent routing of customerqueries once made through the contact center.Table 9: Tools to Build a Multi-Channel Roadmap Percentage of Firms Reporting Solution in Solution Place Best-in-Class All OthersCRM Solution with Contact Center Management Functionality 51% 37%Web-Based Self-Service Solution 49% 39%Service or Contact Center Analytics 43% 35%Knowledge Management Solution 43% 30%Customer Feedback Management Solution 37% 25%CTI / IVR and Customer Routing Solutions 34% 24%Stand-Alone Contact Center Management Solution 34% 16%Contact Center Workforce Optimization / Shift Planning 31% 19% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010Best-in-Class organizations are also more likely (54% vs. 37% for all others)to optimize the schedules of their service agents to match the variability inthe service demands. Thirty-one percent (31%) leverage workforceoptimization solutions in the contact center (not all support agents) whencompared to 19% of all other organizations. In fact, 30% of all other "Our Case Managementorganizations indicate that they leverage static service schedules for their System is the most criticalsupport agents regardless of level of service demand, compared to 17% of element, because it tiesBest-in-Class organizations. Optimized schedules that take service demand everything together.”peaks and dips into account, help Best-in-Class organizations ensure theadequate utilization of their support agents by reducing underutilized ~ John Meaney, EVP/SVP, Businessworkers in times of low demand and by eliminating overburdened agents in Development,times of peak demand. Not only does this optimization increase the Digitalrep, LLC.utilization of workers, but it also helps eliminate labor-related costs tied to© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 22. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 22overtime in peak times or excessive service representation in low-demandtimes. It also helps improve the customer experience by reducing wait orhold times particularly during high demand service periods. Aberdeens pastresearch (Advanced Scheduling Execution, December 2009) has indicated howoptimized scheduling of field workforces drives overall productivity andutilization. The same principles of optimization also apply to call center-based or other support agents. Aberdeen Insights — Self Service Best-in-Class organizations are also distancing themselves from their counterparts through investments in self-service platforms and portals (49% vs. 39% for all others). As seen in Figure 3, the increased focus on self-service is a major step towards the elimination of unnecessary service costs while enhancing the speed of service delivery, particularly for basic troubleshooting and information needs. As this stage most of the self-service information afforded to customers is in the form of FAQs and downloadable product information (Table 10). Best-in-Class companies are actively taking the lead in the provision of all described self-service capabilities, primarily as they relate to customized customer portals with product service and customer account information. Table 10: Giving Customers What they Need Percentage of Self-Service Capabilities Available respondents, n=172 Frequently asked questions 65% Downloadable manuals / drivers 56% Keyword search box 52% Customer-specific portal with product service 35% information Customer-specific portal with customer account 30% information Product forums 25% Resolution videos 16% Natural language search 13% Virtual assistant / conversational agent 7% Resolution decision trees 6% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010Performance ManagementIn addition to the above mentioned investments in self-service, customermanagement and knowledge management solutions, Best-in-Class companiesare also investing in contact center and other service analytics to accurately© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 23. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 23track the performance of their multi-channel service environments. Forty- "Our overall customerthree percent (43%) of leading organizations currently have analytical tools satisfaction scores havein place when compared to 35% of all other organizations. The real-time increased three points sincecapture and presentation of service data to executives enables the prompt implementing a multi-channel CRM system. [We have]evaluation of investments in processes or technology and allows for increased leads by 172% toimproved planning and forecasting of parameters such as service demand, cross-sell and up-sell productsresource availability, service resource costs, and overall service resulting from the ability toperformance. Executives at Best-in-Class organizations are most concerned data mine information collectedwith visibility into customer satisfaction and efficiency metrics to evaluate through multiple channels.the performance of their service organizations which link directly to the top [There has also been an]pressures being faced by these organizations in todays service environment. increase in speed of service through automatic populating of customer information asFigure 4: Measuring Service Success - KPIs Tracked contacts are made." ~ Don McNair, Customer satisfaction 83% Senior Director - Customer Interaction, First-call resolution 69% Yaskawa America Inc. SLA compliance 37% Customer retention 34% Total service and 26% support costs 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Percentage of Best-in-Class Note: Respondents were asked to select their top five answer choices Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010 Aberdeen Insights — Social Media and Service Performance As noted earlier, Best-in-Class organizations are also taking a greater interest in capturing customer feedback to get a true customer view of the performance of the service organization. Nearly 50% of Best-in-Class organizations currently have processes in place to immediately capture feedback after a service interaction. However, for these organizations, the customer feedback capture and management strategy goes beyond post-interaction feedback, as 43% of Best-in-Class organizations are currently proactively tracking and monitoring customer feedback and customer sentiment regarding their organizations on the web, compared to 25% of all other organizations. continued© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 24. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 24 Aberdeen Insights — Social Media and Service Performance Social media tools and applications afford service organizations with increased opportunities to track customer sentiment. While most organizations have yet to develop an overall social media strategy around customer service (72% report not having a strategy in place), or leverage social media extensively for the creation of service requests, 25% of organizations indicate that they currently leverage social media to monitor customer sentiment with another 12% indicating the use of these tools to monitor the health of the organizations brand. Currently, most use of social media tools for customer service is for directly responding to customer queries or general customer feedback (Table 11). Very few organizations are successful in leveraging captured feedback to improve service performance or quality as survey respondents rate themselves a 2.9 (on a scale of 5.0) in being able to actively synthesize and use feedback data to improve performance. Service organizations need to be more proactive in leveraging customer feedback to improve their service and customer management processes. Along the lines of being more proactive, organizations would be well served to use the extensive network afforded by social media tools to proactively lead service discussions or notify customers regarding service updates. Table 11: Getting Social with Service Percentage of Use of Social Media for Customer Service respondents, n=172 Respond to direct customer inquiry 40% Promote upcoming product / services 35% Respond to general customer feedback (e.g., customer 29% posts comment regarding organization) Monitor customer sentiment 25% Proactively reach out to customer regarding updates 16% Monitor the health of organizations brand(s) 12% Proactively lead and moderate discussions 9% Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 25. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 25 Chapter Three: Required ActionsWhether a company is trying to move its performance in service delivery Fast Factsand customer satisfaction from Laggard to Industry Average, or Industry √ 33% of Laggards do notAverage to Best-in-Class, the following summarized actions structured measure or are unaware ofaround the development of a multi-channel service delivery framework, will their customer servicehelp spur the necessary performance improvements. performance √ 5:1 ratio of incomingLaggard Steps to Success requests via the contact center to non-contact centerWhen evaluating the performance of Laggard organizations in key service- channels for Laggardsrelated performance indicators (Table 4), it is found that they significantly compared to a 2:1 ration fortrail both the Best-in-Class and Industry Average in all metrics tied to Best-in-Class organizationscustomer satisfaction, cost control, and overall workforce productivity. Toprogress down the path to Industry Average and ultimately the Best-in- √ 55% of Industry AverageClass, these organizations can take steps to: organizations capture and store service information in • Understand how customers rate service performance. In an real-time compared to 71% effort to improve customer service performance, it is vital for of Best-in-Class Laggard organizations to first understand where they stand in terms organizations of key metrics such as customer service and retention. Thirty-three √ 49% of Best-in-Class percent (33%) currently don’t know or dont measure their organizations are looking to performance in a customer service-specific metric compared to 8% increase investments in of Industry Average organizations. These organizations show a educating their customers similar lack of visibility into other financial, operational, and around the existence of non- customer-facing metrics. Prior to making any investments in contact center-based processes or technology to improve performance, it is imperative support channels that these organizations develop a clear line of sight into their performance in basic customer satisfaction metrics. • Capture customer feedback. Some insight into customer service performance can be gleaned from the proactive tracking and measurement of customer feedback. Only 15% of Laggards indicate that they immediately capture customer feedback after a service session compared to 41% of Industry Average organizations. Immediate feedback on a service interaction is a simple way to poll customer sentiment without requiring a significant investment from both parties in a follow-on customer feedback appointment. • Support multi-channel delivery with cross channel agents. Laggards report a 5:1 ratio of requests that come in via the contact center as opposed to non contact-center-related channels. This proportion is similar for Industry Average organizations but a far cry from the 2:1 ratio seen by Best-in-Class organizations. To support the broader acceptance of multiple service delivery channels, Laggard organizations can start by increasing the use of non-contact center channels for basic issue / request notification needs.© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 26. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 26 The move to a multi-channel environment can also be supported "From our customer with changes in the workforce structure of service agents. While satisfaction surveys we have 59% of Laggards indicate that they currently have an integrated found that there is a high workforce across service delivery channels, as opposed to channel- correlation to the accuracy of specific workforces, this proportion lags the 65% of Industry information provided not only Average and 86% of Best-in-Class groups that have integrated with overall satisfaction, but workforces. In an effort to expedite the success of a multi-channel also with loyalty and retention. environment, the use of a flexible cross-channel workforce can With tight integration between greatly assist in the delivery of a consistent service experience CRM, ERP and business across all channels. communication systems [we have] the ability to • Standardize escalation protocols and increase investments continuously cleanse and enrich in support agent training. Laggard organizations can also benefit the customer data. This from equipping their support agents with standard escalation information can not only be protocols to allow for the expedited handling of customer requests used to address the immediate by the right level of support. Currently 17% of Laggards have customer concerns, but through analytics we can assist standard steps communicated to their service teams when in the design of future service compared to 50% of Industry Average organizations. Forty-three offerings." percent (43%) of Laggards are prioritizing the investment in standard escalation protocols indicating a clear understanding of the ~ Don McNair, cost and customer satisfaction ramifications. Along the lines of Senior Director - Customer better visibility into protocols, Laggards can also increase the focus Interaction, Yaskawa America Inc. on training for service agents in the accurate diagnosis, resolution, or escalation of issues. Compared to 59% of Industry Average organizations, only 30% of Laggards have periodical training programs in place.Industry Average Steps to SuccessWhen compared to Best-in-Class performance, Industry Averageorganizations do reasonably well in customer service ratings and overallcustomer retention. However, the delivery of service comes at a price asthese organizations severely lag the Best-in-Class in terms of operationalefficiency and the ability to deliver exemplary service while controllingservice costs. To progress down the path to the Best-in-Class, theseorganizations can take steps to: • Empower support agents with information in real-time. Best-in-Class organizations report a 85% performance in first-call resolution compared to a 66% mark for Industry Average organizations. The additional cost associated with repeat service transactions adds a significant cost burden to the organization. Therefore these organizations can take significant steps in improving the capture and distribution of customer and service information in real-time. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Industry Average organizations currently capture and store service information in real-time compared to 71% of Best-in-Class organizations. More so, support agents at Industry Average organizations are less likely to have access to information such as past customer service history, basic© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 27. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 27 troubleshooting steps, complex troubleshooting scenarios, and product schematics. • Move away from static support agent schedules. In an effort to drive higher levels of productivity of support agents and to minimize instances of agent over- or underutilization, Industry Average organizations should transition away from the static scheduling of service agents on standard time increments. Currently, 40% of these organizations follow static schedules compared to 17% of Best-in-Class organizations which prefer a more optimized format of workforce scheduling that accounts for peaks and dips in service demand. • Increase self-service opportunities for customers. Industry "The end user in today’s world Average organizations indicate that 28% of service issues could have wants personalization and ease been resolved by a more cost-efficient available service channel over of use. In the service business the last 12 months, compared to 22% for the Best-in-Class. In our charter is to ease any pain addition, to focusing on the consistency and efficacy of information felt by customers due to available across all channels, Industry Average organizations should product issues and help keep them as loyal customers.” increase the amount of self-service information that is available to their customers. It isnt surprising to see 35% of these organizations ~ Manager, Customer evaluating self-service solutions in the next 12 to 24 months. Service/Support, Large Computer Equipment Hardware Organization.Best-in-Class Steps to Success • Continue investment in common knowledgebase and expand access across the organization. To make inroads into the 3.9/5.0 average customer satisfaction rating or to improve the 86% level of customer retention, Best-in-Class companies can benefit from a continued focus on knowledge management, particularly in the form of information availability across the entire organization. Sixty-three percent (63%) of the Best-in-Class indicate that the increased access to customer and service-specific information is a key strategy in their service roadmaps for the next 12 months. Beyond the bounds of the service organization 37% of leading organizations are also looking to enhance the sharing of service data with other teams such as sales, marketing, and product design in an effort to boost product quality, enhance service practices, and drive service revenue. • Make customers aware of non contact center support capabilities. While Best-in-Class companies do the best job of directing customers to the most appropriate service channel, there is significant room for improvement in making customers aware of non contact center-based support channels. Currently only 17% of these organizations have active education programs for their customers around these channels with 49% looking to implement and invest in outreach programs over the next 12 months.© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 28. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 28 Aberdeen Insights — Summary: Recognition is the First Step Increasing availability and use of newer communication channels is "On the contrary, we do not changing the landscape of customer service, both in ways that service is believe it is best for our requested and delivered. For the servicing organization, the cost business to migrate customers reduction incentive tied to the use of channels such as chat and social to inexpensive support media is lucrative, but shouldn’t be the only yardstick leveraged to channels. In fact, we believe that it is critical that we give measure if a specific service delivery channel is worth pursuing. If the our customers the channels service delivered on a more cost efficient channel doesnt provide an they prefer to utilize. Some effective customer experience, the cost incurred in retaining and cajoling want to speak to a human being a disgruntled customer can well exceed the initial money saved. live; some prefer live chat; others like email interaction; There is significant room for improvement for most service finally, some like to log a case organizations, not only in the delivery of customer service through and watch its progression.” multiple channels, but also in figuring out the true mix of channels to leverage while providing customer support (Table 12). Those that are ~ John Meaney, Best-in-Class arent necessarily the organizations that are using all EVP/SVP, Business available channels, but are those that have focused on the delivery of a Development, consistent, effective customer experience that ultimately results in issue Digitalrep, LLC. resolution while allowing for proactive improvement of service processes based on the continuous capture of customer insights. Table 12: Multi-Channel Report Card Average Performance Criteria (1-Poor, 5 - Excellent) Direct customer requests to appropriate channel / agent 3.3 Resolve customer issues on a first-touch basis 3.1 Ensure accuracy / validity of information on all channels 3.0 Provide support agents with appropriate tools to resolve 3.0 customer issues Provide support agents with standard escalation protocols 3.0 Act on customer feedback to improve service quality 2.9 Ensure consistency of information on all channels 2.8 Capture customer feedback 2.7 Proactively alert customers 2.6 Make customers aware of non-traditional support 2.4 channels Provide customers with sufficient self-service information 2.4 Leverage social media to deliver customer support 1.6 Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 29. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 29 Appendix A: Research MethodologyBetween May and June 2010, Aberdeen examined the experiences and Study Focusintentions of more than 170 service and manufacturing enterprises in theuse and selection of non-field based service delivery channels. Responding service executives completed an online surveyAberdeen supplemented this online survey effort with interviews with select that included questionssurvey respondents, gathering additional information on best practices in designed to determine thecustomer request and relationship management, identifying desired contact following:center and other support functionalities, and in understanding the resulting √ The degree to which variousbenefits of investments in improved customer management capabilities support channels arethrough a variety of service delivery channels. leveraged and the financial implications of reliance onResponding enterprises included the following: these channels • Job title / function: The research sample included respondents with √ The structure and the following job titles: C-Level executive (21%); Vice-President or effectiveness of existing Director (32%); and Manager (23%). customer support technology implementations • Industry: The following industries had the largest representation in the study: Software (13%); Manufacturing (11%); Office and √ Current and planned use of Computer Equipment (11%); IT Services (9%); High-Technology tools, functionalities and (8%); and Medical Devices (7%). applications to aid service processes • Geography: The majority of respondents (66%) were from North America. Remaining respondents were mostly from the Asia-Pacific √ The benefits, if any, that have region (12%) and from EMEA (18%). been derived improved customer service and • Company size: Twenty-four percent (24%) of respondents were from customer management large enterprises (annual revenues above US $1 billion); 28% were initiatives. from midsize enterprises (annual revenues between $50 million and The study aimed to identify $1 billion); and 48% of respondents were from small businesses emerging best practices in (annual revenues of $50 million or less). support of customer service in • Support Agent Headcount: Twenty-two percent (22%) of respondents a multi-channel delivery were from large service enterprises (support agent headcount environment, and to provide a framework by which readers greater than 500); 24% were from midsize service enterprises could assess and map their own (support agent headcount between 50 and 400); and 54% of customer service management respondents were from small businesses (support agent headcount capabilities. less than 50).© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 30. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 30Table 13: The PACE Framework Key Overview Aberdeen applies a methodology to benchmark research that evaluates the business pressures, actions, capabilities, and enablers (PACE) that indicate corporate behavior in specific business processes. These terms are defined as follows: Pressures — external forces that impact an organization’s market position, competitiveness, or business operations (e.g., economic, political and regulatory, technology, changing customer preferences, competitive) Actions — the strategic approaches that an organization takes in response to industry pressures (e.g., align the corporate business model to leverage industry opportunities, such as product / service strategy, target markets, financial strategy, go-to-market, and sales strategy) Capabilities — the business process competencies required to execute corporate strategy (e.g., skilled people, brand, market positioning, viable products / services, ecosystem partners, financing) Enablers — the key functionality of technology solutions required to support the organization’s enabling business practices (e.g., development platform, applications, network connectivity, user interface, training and support, partner interfaces, data cleansing, and management) Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010Table 14: The Competitive Framework Key OverviewThe Aberdeen Competitive Framework defines enterprises In the following categories:as falling into one of the following three levels of practices Process — What is the scope of processand performance: standardization? What is the efficiency andBest-in-Class (20%) — Practices that are the best effectiveness of this process?currently being employed and are significantly superior to Organization — How is your company currentlythe Industry Average, and result in the top industry organized to manage and optimize this particularperformance. process?Industry Average (50%) — Practices that represent the Knowledge — What visibility do you have into keyaverage or norm, and result in average industry data and intelligence required to manage this process?performance. Technology — What level of automation have youLaggards (30%) — Practices that are significantly behind used to support this process? How is this automationthe average of the industry, and result in below average integrated and aligned?performance. Performance — What do you measure? How frequently? What’s your actual performance? Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010Table 15: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework PACE and the Competitive Framework – How They InteractAberdeen research indicates that companies that identify the most influential pressures and take the mosttransformational and effective actions are most likely to achieve superior performance. The level of competitiveperformance that a company achieves is strongly determined by the PACE choices that they make and how well theyexecute those decisions. Source: Aberdeen Group, June 2010© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897
  • 31. Multi-Channel Service DeliveryPage 31 Appendix B: Related Aberdeen ResearchRelated Aberdeen research that forms a companion or reference to thisreport includes: • Unified Communications: Improve Customer Satisfaction and Workforce Productivity; May 2010 • Providing a 360-degree View of the Customer; March 2010 • The Chief Service Officers Guide to Service Revenue; January 2010 • Delivering Customer Service via the Contact Center and the Web; September 2009Information on these and any other Aberdeen publications can be found atwww.aberdeen.com. Authors: Service Management Research Sumair Dutta, Senior Research Analyst, (sumair.dutta@aberdeen.com) Aly Pinder, Jr., Research Associate, (aly.pinder@aberdeen.com)Since 1988, Aberdeens research has been helping corporations worldwide become Best-in-Class. Havingbenchmarked the performance of more than 644,000 companies, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to provideorganizations with the facts that matter — the facts that enable companies to get ahead and drive results. Thats whyour research is relied on by more than 2.2 million readers in over 40 countries, 90% of the Fortune 1,000, and 93% ofthe Technology 500.As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targetedmarketing company. Aberdeens analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information – Opportunity – Insight – Engagement – Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates thestrategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.comor call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Groups methodologiesprovide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unlessotherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not bereproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent byAberdeen Group, Inc. (071309b)© 2010 Aberdeen Group. Telephone: 617 854 5200www.aberdeen.com Fax: 617 723 7897

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