Help Desk 2.0 : How You Can Empower A Paradigm Shift In Customer Care


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Worldwide, across industries, customer care is one of the top concerns. In the telecoms sector, next to network quality, customer service is rapidly becoming a key success factor to ensure best-in-class service. In spite of its importance, operators continue to care for their customers through legacy CRM systems, which are inadequate in meeting the demands of today’s customers.

Operators need a paradigm shift in their style of customer care to protect the interest of both subscribers and the operator themselves.

This paper (part 1 of a 3-paper series) introduces Help Desk 2.0, the next generation help desk system that revolutionizes current practices through automated and proactive customer care mechanisms to ensure service excellence, enhanced top line and sustained bottom line. In the upcoming paper, we will focus on the business advantage of employing Help Desk 2.0 focusing on cost control, revenue enhancement and retention. This will be followed by a technical interworking paper, centered on how to implement Help Desk 2.0.

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Help Desk 2.0 : How You Can Empower A Paradigm Shift In Customer Care

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  2. 2. AbstractWorldwide, across industries, customer care is one of the top concerns. In the telecoms sector, nextto network quality, customer service is rapidly becoming a key success factor to ensurebest-in-class service. In spite of its importance, operators continue to care for their customersthrough legacy CRM systems, which are inadequate in meeting the demands of today’s customers.Operators need a paradigm shift in their style of customer care to protect the interest of bothsubscribers and the operator themselves.This paper (part 1 of a 3-paper series) introduces Help Desk 2.0, the next generation help desksystem that revolutionizes current practices through automated and proactive customer caremechanisms to ensure service excellence, enhanced top line and sustained bottom line. In theupcoming paper, we will focus on the business advantage of employing Help Desk 2.0 focusing oncost control, revenue enhancement and retention. This will be followed by a technical interworkingpaper, centered on how to implement Help Desk 2.0.WHITEPAPER
  3. 3. ContentsCustomer Service – The Need for a Paradigm Shift 01Getting to Know Help Desk 2.0 03Empowering the Paradigm Shift in Customer Care – Help Desk 2.0 05Revolutionize Your Customer Care Efforts throughGreenpacket’s Help Desk 2.0 Solution 08WHITEPAPER
  4. 4. Customer Service – The Need for a Paradigm ShiftRecently, a blog piece was written by a very frustrated customer, lashing out at his WiMAX Operator’s inefficiency inhandling his complaint of slow connection. To relate his ordeal, he utilized various channels/applications, ranging fromTwitter, customer service hotline and speed test utility.In short, after four complaints to customer service agents, two visits from the technical team and 11 days later, the issuepersisted. As a result, this subscriber was on the verge of attrition and his annoyance is made known worldwide!So what went wrong ? Here are some insights:1. Absence of automation – the operator does not have any automated mechanisms to proactively test connectivity and alert user/operator regarding slow connection for remedial action.2. Unable to diagnose effectively – no automated tools to detect potential cause of slow connectivity. Instead, the user is required to engage in tedious manual processes to help in troubleshooting efforts.3. No reporting intelligence – the operator is not given timely reports on connectivity issues faced by users. Such reports will help the operator to identify potential churners and immediately execute retention programs.4. Wasted time, effort and money – as the issue prolonged without any solution inspite of four complaints to the customer service agent and two visits from technical team, precious time, effort and money were wasted.5. High possibility of churn – as this user’s issue remained unresolved despite of frequent contact with customer service, frustration level is high and this user is at the high possibility of terminating the service and transferring business to another competitor.Are operators not bothered ? Yes, they are. According to Davide Teroso Tess, Senior Manager and Max Parry, Consultantof Value Partner, customer care is becoming a strategic priority for telecom operators. In their recent perspective paper(Customer care for Telecom operators: from management headache to source of competitive advantage) raised two keypoints:a. Customer satisfaction and loyalty are critical to enhance the top lineb. Maximum efficiency in cost-to-serve is vital to sustain the bottom lineIn other words, customer care is imperative to the business as it impacts the top and bottom line. However, traditionalCRM systems are labour intensive and demands extensive input from the user. There is a constant trade-off betweenquality and efficiency which makes traditional system inadequate to address concerns on the top and bottom line. Overrecent years, Value Partners are supporting operators to take on a paradigm shift in their customer care practices toensure satisfactory revenue and cost patterns. 01WHITEPAPER
  5. 5. Problem StatementThough many operators know and understand the increasing importance of customer service, they fail to understandthat legacy CRM systems are not as effective and efficient to provide service excellence that goes beyond expectations.Imagine the irony – on one hand, operators are extending cutting-edge connectivity services, but on the other hand, theirsubscribers are served through legacy and manual CRM systems. It is important that operators realize that traditionalcustomer care methods, though legacy CRM systems are no longer in trend. A paradigm shift in the customer care styleis required for the best interest of subscribers and operators, particularly to enhance the top line and sustain the bottomline. Additionally, with end user devices and modems growing more in importance in the everyday life of users, operatorsneed to revolutionize their CRM systems to provide best-in-class customer care services. Telecoms – The Big Spender Once upon a time, the telecoms industry was known to be a lucrative industry. While to a certain extend it still remains so, a couple of factors have lead to increased spending and threatening profit margins. • Intense competition – In every country, the telecoms sector is getting crowded. To gain an edge over competition and make themselves heard, operators are spending more on advertising. Additionally, they are reducing tariffs and throwing in more freebies to create more attractive packages to lure new subscribers. • Increasing network costs – Due to massive growth in data consumption by users, operators are forced to execute various mechanisms to easen network load and ensure acceptable user experience. These mechanisms, regardless straight-forward network optimization effort or complex infrastructure upgrades are making operators dig deeper into their pockets. • Emphasis on customer care – Customer care has grown by heaps and bounds since its inception, such that it is no longer just a service. Instead, the level of customer care is a deciding factor for many users when choosing a telecoms service. Meanwhile, excellent customer care plays an important role in retaining existing subscribers, forcing operators to spend huge amounts on customer care. Figure 1 shows a typical carrier’s opex distribution. Highest spend is on network services at 28% followed by customer services at 15%. This concludes that next to network quality, customer service is rapidly becoming a key success factor and operators do not hesitate in spending to ensure best-in-class service. On the other hand, Figure 2 details a breakdown on the reasons for engaging customer service, based on data gathered from a leading mobile operator in APAC. Complaints on connectivity top the chart at 41%. Typical Carrier’s Opex Distribution Customer services 2% General Enquiry 7% 18% Administrative Fault / Network Trouble Issue 28% 15% Request on Credit Depreciated CAPEX Operations, planning Change of Service 6% Advertising Sales & Marketing 41% Complaint Bill Charges Land, building transport Enquiry on Bill Charges 14% Network services 7% Follow Up / Complaints 6% Activation 9% 8% Error Calls ( Prank ) 14% 2% 7% 8% 8% Figure 1: Typical Carrier’s Opex Distribution Figure 2: Categories of Complaints to Customer Service 02WHITEPAPER
  6. 6. Getting to Know Help Desk 2.0Customer experience transformation is rapidly becoming a key business differentiator in the battle to retain customersand grow revenues and wallet share. But many operators have yet to rise to this challenge due to mixed reasons, rangingfrom unwilling to invest, resistance to change or simply ignorant that state-of-the-art CRM systems are available.The way forward is through Help Desk 2.0. Help Desk 2.0 is a relatively new term in the industry. For the telecomsindustry, it is the next generation of help desk system, providing digital, automated and personalized troubleshooting aswell as problem solving methods through the channels of social media, websites and digital assistants. Among thesechannels, digital assistant is most appealing and helpful to subscribers. Through the advantages of artificial intelligenceand information systems, operators can offer digital assistants to each subscriber for the purpose of proactive diagnosisand problem-solving from the subscriber’s end. The digital assistant will be in the form of a software which can beinstalled on subscriber’s PC or mobile devices – it is an on premise solution for subscribers. Through this solution,subscribers can launch the software for troubleshooting assistance and resolution without having to get in touch with thecall center.In short, with Help Desk 2.0, operators are transferring the help desk to subscribers’ PCs and empowering them with theright technology to solve connectivity problems. In addition, in being a software, Help Desk 2.0 can be programmed tohandle different device behaviours and its corresponding solution. This means, Help Desk 2.0 as a single solution cansupport a wide range of device offered by the operator and provide device relevant troubleshooting. This is an almostimpossible feat for a single human personnel, as such, the operator would need to train more customer service agentsand specialize them in different devices.Legacy CRM Systems versus Help Desk 2.0It would be helpful to understand the difference between the legacy CRM system and Help Desk 2.0. Definition / Scope Channels Impact Two key things about legacy CRM systems • Telephone • Often a connectivity issue is not Legacy CRM System are that it is designed to be reactive and (Customer Service Hotline) resolved at first contact leading to manual. subscriber frustration • Email The operator-subscriber relationship here is • Labour intensive initiated when subscriber stumbles upon a • Physical visit to CRM centres problem (reactive) and the operator • High cost – labour, training efforts responds through a CRM system managed by a human resource (manual). • Risks losing knowledge when agents leave Help Desk 2.0 proclaims automation and • Social Media • Encourages subscribers to help proactive help. This CRM system automates themselves problem identification for proactive trouble- • Web-based channels such as shooting. • Knowledge is stored in a system Help Desk 2.0 live chat Subscribers are also encouraged to help • Knowledge models proactively and • Digital assistants/software themselves through provided channels. automatically provide intelligent (installed on subscriber’s device) solutions anytime, anywhere The objectives of this system are automa- tion, proactiveness and self-help. • Analytics for decision making and churn management • Improves customer loyalty and retention 03WHITEPAPER
  7. 7. Device MonitoringOne of the key systems in an operator’s network is the network monitoring system (NMS), where it mainly focuses onobserving and administering the network inventory, overall health of the network as well as the status of network devices.When the network component experiences failure, the NMS alerts the network administrator.In many cases, NMS is connected to the CRM system such that when there is a network element failure that impactsnetwork performance, customer service agents are notified and prepared to front inquiries from subscribers.Unfortunately, though the function of the NMS is crucial to every operator, it is limited to the network infrastructure. Thesame form of monitoring is not extended to users’ devices. As such, an operator has no mechanism to monitor thehealth of end user devices, in particular, breakdown due to network issues.Help Desk 2.0 is an ideal solution to monitor users’ devices. Through built-in intelligence and proactive troubleshootingfeature, connectivity issues can be queried and detected right up to the users’ devices. Next, either corrective action canbe taken immediately (if possible) or customer service agents can be informed of the situation and advised on how tocounsel users regarding problem solving steps.Meanwhile, Help Desk 2.0’s reporting capabilities would give an overview of the health of users’ devices, causes forbreakdown and the solution. This gives the management team insight pertaining on user devices and nature of devicebreakdown which helps them to take necessary action to improve user experience. For example, if one of the connectiv-ity issues faced by a group of users at cell edge is due to an intermittent connection between two base stations, theoperator can issue a service pack to lock the user device to a designated base station to ensure stable connection. 04
  8. 8. Empowering the Paradigm Shift in Customer Care – HelpDesk 2.0Greenpacket is a strong advocate of Help Desk 2.0 to empower a paradigm shift in customer care in the telecomsindustry. Traditional customer care methods are initiated outbound by the user and is dependent on the customer careagents. The focus should change and encourage self-help methods that personal and becomes the onus of the user.In November 2009, Convergys released a paper¹ to highlight the changing trend of customer care and suggested fourstrategies to shape customer care. This topic was also discussed in TelecomsAsia² and TelecomsEurope³ whichdemonstrates its relevance throughout the world.While this paper is written from an industry-agnostic point of view, Greenpacket drills down into key points raised byConvergys from the context of the telecoms structure and needs. We recommend a 3-pronged approach to revolutionizecustomer care through the use of Help Desk 2.0.This approach is designed to help operators manage the following issues which are close to their heart: a. Balancing cost and service excellence b. Customer loyalty and retention c. Combating competition Self-service Get users to be their own customer care agent. Proactive Analytics Approach Continuously improve the Automatically heal system by aggregating issues for improved knowledge models and user experience. generate reports for decision making.Figure 6: Greenpacket’s 3-pronged Approach to Revolutionize Customer Care through Help Desk 2.0Self-serviceSelf-service is an accepted practice across many industries from food to oil and gas, and now the CRM sector. Self-helpchannels such as IVR and website FAQs sparked the trend of self-service in the customer care arena. The aim is toempower users (both existing subscribers and prospects) to help themselves to information or execute a transactionwithout involving direct contact with a customer service agent.¹ Succeeding with Customer Care in Challenging Times 05²³
  9. 9. According to Convergys, user preference for self-service has not only doubled since 2004, 65% people would prefer touse self-service rather than speak to an agent who could not solve the problem at first contact. Additionally, to the user,it is convenient and flexible. Hence, it is evident that users wouldn’t mind getting help on their own if the right resourcesare made available to them. For operators, it provides the means to conduct transactions more efficiently compared toa manual process.This is particular useful in the telecoms sector. Through self-service, connectivity issues faced by the user can bediagnosed at the epicentre ie from the user’s device for a more accurate troubleshooting. Step-by-step instructionsfurther assist usersOperators have a wealth of information about their users and commonly faced connectivity issues. From this availableinformation, knowledge models comprising of frequently faced connectivity issues and the corresponding solution canbe programmed to serve the needs of users.Legacy CRM system would require subscribers to relate the entire issue before any corrective action can be taken. Veryoften, the issue cannot be resolved upon first contact and needs the intervention of secondary customer support agentsor technical personnel. This risks frustrating users and possible churn. Meanwhile, operators have to train agents onpotential connectivity issues arising and equip them with the knowledge to advise users in solving the issue.How Do Operators Benefit Through Help Desk 2.0 ?• Optimize operations and save costs – By introducing a self-care mechanism to address connectivity issues, reliance on customer support is reduced. As a result, customer care OPEX costs can be lessened. Meanwhile, customer support efforts are reserved for more critical issues and a healthy support turnaround time is maintained. Additionally, with built-in knowledge models, common connectivity issues can be healed automatically without going through manual troubleshooting efforts. Automated technical support for the entire network is further improved via continuous updates of new knowledge models.• Instant solution – Through knowledge models and automation, potential device faults and the corresponding solution can be programmed. As such, whenever the problem occurs, there is an instant solution waiting. A user does not have to go through the tedious process of explaining the problem faced or call-in several times to follow up.Proactive ApproachEveryone loves a proactive behaviour and Help Desk 2.0 is a proactive system. Help Desk 2.0 supports proactivediagnostic and self-healing capabilities. Through the help of artificial intelligence and built-in diagnosis knowledge model,Help Desk 2.0 proactively detects and investigates connectivity problems faced by broadband devices andtroubleshoots instantly. Based on the diagnosis, connectivity issues are immediately resolved through a built-in problemresolution model.For telecoms, this feature is very much in need. In a legacy CRM system, when a user lodges a complaint, for exampleregarding an instable connection, it is very difficult to determine the cause. Could the problem be due to themodem/device, network or the user’s PC itself? With no clear direction, troubleshooting efforts will circle all 06three possibilities which is time consuming and delays the solution.WHITEPAPER
  10. 10. With Help Desk 2.0, automated knowledge models proactively diagnoses the problem for a focused troubleshootingeffort and shorter resolution period.How Do Operators Benefit Through Help Desk 2.0 ?• Improved user experience – A proactive problem solving means the problem is solved even before the user has a change to notice something is amiss. This improves the general user experience and gives an impression to the user that the service has no connectivity issues!• Customer retention – When there is a positive user experience, users are happy and satisfied with the service received. As a result, they stay loyal.AnalyticsAnalytics forms the foundation for the two approaches mentioned earlier, Self-service and Proactive Approach.There are two aspects of analytics in Help Desk 2.0. Firstly, Help Desk 2.0 contains predefined knowledge models forintelligent diagnostics and troubleshooting. Built on a self-learning engine, Help Desk 2.0 aggregates knowledge modelsfrom all users within the operator’s network to update the system continuously to ensure better diagnostics andtroubleshooting all the time.By aggregating knowledge models, operators are able to monitor and identify common faults to take preventivemeasures. For example, if a frequently occurring issue is poor device performance due to weak antenna reception, theoperator can alert the device vendor and demand that the performance is improved for future devices. This way, thesimilar problem is prevented for future subscribers.Secondly, Help Desk 2.0 gathers and generates statistics on users’ connection usage and issues faced to equip theCRM team with information on severity of connectivity issues experienced by users. This reporting feature providesoperators with a wealth of data in their tasks of churn prediction management.How Do Operators Benefit Through Help Desk 2.0 ?• Continuous improvement – Help Desk 2.0 is a system that improves itself everyday, automatically by simply collating knowledge models from across the network. This timely update keeps the system current and eliminates the need for support personnel to manually maintain the system.• Minimizes the risk of human error – As intelligence is stored within the system, inaccurate troubleshooting due to poor communication or human error can be minimized. Additionally, since knowledge is circulated within the system, there is no dependency or risk when a customer service agent leaves.• Churn management – Based on reports generated, management is informed of customers on the verge of churn. As a result, constructive campaigns can be developed to retain and farm valuable customers, after all it costs much more to attract new subscribers as opposed to maintaining existing ones. 07WHITEPAPER
  11. 11. Revolutionize Your Customer Care Efforts throughGreenpacket’s Help Desk 2.0 Solution!All around the world, operators are looking for better and more creative ways to support their subscribers better andreduce costs at the same time. At Greenpacket, we understand the demands placed on operators. That is why, weempower you to offer subscribers more than just high-speed connectivity, our innovation will provide you with endlessways to engage with subscribers and enhance relationships.With Greenpacket, limitless freedom begins now !Free ConsultationIf you would like a free consultation on how you can implement your Help Desk 2.0 system, please contact us (kindly quote the reference code, WP0910 when you contact us). 08WHITEPAPER
  12. 12. References1. Succeeding with Customer Care in Challenging Times by Convergys.2. Customer care for Telecom operators: from management headache to source of competitive advantage by Davide Tesoro Tess (Senior Manager) & Max Parry (Consultant) of Value Partners.3. The Challenge of Customer Self-Service in Telecom by Bharat M.Gupta, Robert Johnson and Sailaja Pramidi of Infosys.4. The Power of Context and Persistence in Voice Self-Service by Genesys. 09WHITEPAPER