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How to improve CX – going beyond silos of service

16th Mar 2018
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For IT professionals, the difference between what people do and what they say they do is all too common. While “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” is an IT support cliché, it demonstrates one of the simple rules of customer service – how to create a script that agents can follow, and how to make sure customers are following those steps.

For those of us involved in trying to improve customer experience around support, listening to customer calls and what they describe can be a valuable way to find out how to improve service. However, it is not the only way to see opportunities to improve service. Other departments within your business – marketing in particular – will have their own information on what customers do when they consume a service.

So how can helpdesk teams, marketers and customer service professionals all work together more effectively?

Getting more insights

As an example, many companies will track user behaviour on their websites using heatmap software. Being able to see individual user activities, from where they clicked through to what mouse pointer activity took place – can be aggregated to show what customers did on a site. This can show where services are poorly designed or where elements can be quickly improved. However, this information will normally be used for increasing response rates and customer journeys from an e-commerce perspective, rather than for improving the service as a whole.

Similarly, customer support professionals may take calls from customers in order to deal with issues around using websites or products. On their own, these issues might be one-off problems or simple anecdotes. However, taken in aggregate, they can start to provide more insight into what customers think about the service they receive.

At the same time, new self-service options like chatbots, portals and web content can all be used to help customers help themselves. Providing this information to people can help solve simple problems, but it can also be expanded in response to customer demand. However, using all these different channels alongside each other can run the risk of creating silos between channels.

Improving collaboration between teams

Getting more information on where customers have problems is therefore essential. To help your teams collaborate on these areas, it’s worth looking at how you share insight and get everyone working together around customer experience.

To do this effectively, it’s worth looking at the following areas:

1. Get all your customer data in one place

It should go without saying that you should have a single source of information around customer issues – not only does this make it easier for customer support staff to see previous issues, it also makes it quicker for others to get up to speed.

More importantly, this can make it easier to check that issues are being dealt with as there are no silos of information on different channels. This can be supported through integrating any Customer Relationship Management application you run with your helpdesk or IT Service Management products.

2. Analyse your responses for wider patterns

Once you have all your customer data centralised, you should be able to pick out patterns. For example, are there similar issues that are driving multiple tickets? If you can find the root cause of a problem, this can fix issues for many customers in one go.

However, problem management is only half the battle. Once you have identified and fixed a problem, make sure you share that fix so it can be used automatically for future reference across each channel. By making it simple for service staff or chatbots to share FAQ forms, you can help customers get what they need faster.

3. Improve your collaboration between marketing and service teams

Marketers should have additional sources of data that can help your service levels. Equally, helpdesk teams should have the experience and anecdotal evidence that can help improve new product efforts. Collaborating can be formal through sharing data and insights, or it can be as simple as chatting through what you are seeing.

Spending a day with the helpdesk team can be extremely enlightening for marketers, as they can see what customers really think about services. It can also help you understand how new service offerings like chatbots can represent your brand in appropriate ways – or where they need to be updated.

4. Look at your data and your experience together

Analytics can play a powerful role in customer experience, showing up new opportunities and providing insight into how your business is performing. However, you can improve this by combining analytics from multiple sources into one place.

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