CHALLENGES

Inquiries are handled manually

“Similar cases often get different solutions.”

“Every customer is unique, but every customer inquiry is not: there are patterns. Still, we treat every inquiry, complaint or case on an individual basis. This is inconsistent and inefficient. It frustrates workers because they feel they are repeating themselves and don’t have time for more complex and interesting tasks.”

No room for more efficiency

“My process is too complex to further improve productivity.”

“To me, some tasks seem to be too complex for automation. These tasks still require judgment by a trained and experienced human being. Just making the process digital wouldn’t yield the required operational efficiencies.”

It’s hard to transfer expertise

“My process is highly dependent on experts and their ongoing exchange of expertise.”

“Despite many knowledge sharing tools, sharing expertise and experience amongst colleagues remains one of the biggest hurdles in making teams more efficient. Remote working and job-hopping make it even more difficult. Having an experienced colleague at a worker’s side is often the best way to transfer expertise.”

Dysfunctional knowledge library

“Workers don’t know where to look for information.”

“When a customer support script is not enough, workers go through document repositories: instructions, product descriptions and procedures. This often takes up to 80% of the total handling time. We do have a knowledge library, but it doesn’t suit their needs because everything changes so fast. So workers build their own, turn to Google, or don’t even bother to try and find answers anymore!”

Delays in finding the right expert

“Cases move from one team or person to the next.”

“A customer inquiry needs to reach the right support person. But all too often the inquiry goes through a number of hands before it gets there: First line becomes second line or even third line. We could create a ‘digital mailroom team’ to dispatch incoming inquiries, but we feel there are more efficient ways.”

Long and expensive training

“It takes days and weeks to train new colleagues, and the real growth happens on-the-job anyway.”

“To be able to deal with all of our challenges, our workers need lots of training and coaching. But despite of intensive and long training, we notice that the real gain in expertise and performance happens on-the-job. It just doesn’t seem like it’s the best use of our budget.”

Lack of human touch

“My people are overloaded and forget a ‘case’ is actually a customer.”

“In the pursuit for ultimate efficiency, we have reached the point where customer service employees handle customers as faceless cases. We realise that to stay competitive, we need to treat our customers more human — but we don’t see how with our current budgets.

Experts are overloaded with work

“I’d like my frontline employees to handle more cases.”

“When customer inquiries are too complex, they get transferred to the second or third line in the back-office: the people with the highest level of expertise. With the current tools, I don’t see how I can increase the capabilities of the front-line staff without significant investments.”