Originally posted at Bluewolf.com
The holiday season is now behind us, and air travel likely took up a large chunk of your time off. It is also likely that the skies were not as friendly as they once were. Your experience was probably similar to mine. You made it to the airport only to discover your flight was delayed for hours, or that you needed to be rebooked on an entirely new flight. For most travelers, there were probably three options before them: wait in line at the airline’s ticket desk, dial the airline’s customer service line, or sit quietly at the airport bar in desperation.
In a perfect world, what would you have wanted to happen?
If you’re like me, you want your flight re-booked immediately with no hassle — no waiting in line, no pressing 1 to speak with a representative. Today’s service providers understand their customers’ evolving demands for seamless, more personalized service, via their channel of choice. For any customer service organization, embracing an omni-channel service philosophy should be at the top of your list.
How does your service organization rate on an omni-channel maturity scale? Consider the following questions:
If you’re looking to improve your omni-channel processes and your organization is already using Salesforce Service Cloud, tools like Case Feed and Omni-Channel can help your organization easily manage multiple channels in a single location. Case Feed allows agents to view all interactions related to an individual case in a single view; Omni-Channel lets managers automatically assign cases to agents based on an agent’s listed expertise, priority of cases, or agent’s presence, reducing the amount of time cases are sitting idle in a queue.
When defining your organization’s case management process, consider how each channel is different — and what you can leverage to create a consistent experience.Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP), a division of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, understood their customers’ needs and saw an opportunity to personalize and streamline their customers’ air travel experience. While the insurance industry handles highly personal information, it had been slow to adopt personalized, customer-focused technology solutions. BHTP’s goal was to design and launch a new consumer travel insurance product — a one-stop-shop travel insurance app — that would easily facilitate communication between the service agent and the customer. BHTP partnered with Bluewolf, and together we built AirCare.
AirCare is a cloud-based personal concierge service, with SMS and social media integrated into more traditional channels, like email and phone. To create mobile updates and communications delivered to the traveler through various social channels, Bluewolf integrated AirCare with Salesforce Marketing Cloud as well as the Salesforce Service Console, and implemented a robust agent interface that allowed agents to interact with customers through their channel of choice. Support of omni-channel service made all the difference to BHTP’s customers.
Today, BHTP processes a majority of their claims without any human intervention, allowing BHTP to focus their human resources on servicing customers rather than pushing paper. By embracing an omni-channel service philosophy, your organization could be next.
To learn more about how to improve your contact center, take our Customer Service Quiz and get a free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Case and Knowledge Management.
Originally Posted by DestinationCRM
As the availability of customer service contact channels increases, customers are engaging with nontraditional, digital service options as often, if not more so, as their service agent counterparts. Last year—for the first time ever--Web self-service surpassed telephone service as the No. 1 customer service channel among U.S. adults. As current consumers adapt to self-service and communication channels broaden further, self-service and customer communities will only increase as an avenue for customer resolution, especially among Millennials, whose desire to solve problems on their own will bolster self-service portals and brand loyalty.
In the contact center, a move to self-service can create growing pains. Customer service organizations accustomed to traditional service channels might balk a bit at a more informal, networked approach to serving their customers. The good news is the shift to self-service pays off: self-service and communities give customers greater access to information that is immediate, insightful and—in some cases--emotional, building connection and creating customer loyalty.
At Bluewolf, we've seen companies that leverage cloud-based communities as part of their self-service strategy reap huge benefits. Bluewolf's recent industry report showed that 42 percent of companies using communities reported cost reduction and 74 percent reported productivity gains, vastly outperforming those not utilizing it, who numbered 23 percent and 51 percent in the same categories.
Creating Better Service CommunitiesMaking the shift to a more agile, customer-obsessed enterprise with cloud-based communities starts with determining what drives your organization by asking questions like, what are the goals for the community you're creating? How will users interact with it?
Unlike service agents, who often have no choice but to work with complicated systems, consumer users will quickly abandon interactions that are confusing or don't provide immediate value. It's imperative that your portals and communities are easy-to-use, include accessible and accurate content, and are mobile-enabled. Below are four steps that will help you create sustainable and beneficial self-service portals and communities:
Social Customer Service continues to be a hot topic. We have all heard the reasons not to engage – from the“United Breaks Guitars” video with more than 13 million views to the stories about companies that have neglected to respond when a problem goes viral. This is not one of those articles. This article is about the positive aspects of Social Media – and how important it is that customer service has a seat at the Social Media table - to ensure they are helping drive strategy, as well supporting the tactical details.
Some 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind. Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying on to other platforms (Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites.
(Source: Social Media Update 2013 - Pew Research Center’s Internet Project)
We have all seen the negative impact of social media on company brands but what about the positive? Have you seen that new viral video about the Olympics Proctor and Gamble created to celebrate the impact of mothers on the success of our lives? The video was created for social media. It was created to make people think positively about the P&G brand. The first time I saw it, I thought, “Wow – that was cool…” and I posted for my friends to see also.
So, if the marketing team is going to spend the dollars to push positive brand awareness, then I think it is our job in customer service to ensure that the brand is seen through the same positive prism when a problem arises.
The “customer service” organization has traditionally been to solve problems and support the sales, services and products of the company. Our bigger vision is to provide a sincere, professional – and pleasant customer experience. In fact, in most cases the contact center owns the majority of the customer experience. So when someone talks negatively about the brand, it is our job to listen and respond. And with the right response – we cannot only affect the positive perspective of the specific situation – but we can positively impact the perspective of all of our customers who are connected to that person socially.
As we work with companies who are thinking about engaging socially, I find that they land in one of four categories when it comes to social:
I believe the playbook is the key to social service success. But it is not for the faint-of-heart. Developing a good playbook will take weeks of work – and focus. And once you complete it, it is probably time to revise it again. It should be a “living and breathing” document that changes as the company changes.
When describing the concept recently to a customer she asked, “why would I spend so much time with the details?” My answer was simple. Remember when you began handling emails for the first time? We were scared-to-death that an agent would type something wrong. We were scared that the information shared would be wrong and somehow legally binding. Social has some of the same fears. So, yes – we need to spend some time thinking about how to manage the channel. Not fear it – but manage it.
So – where to start? Here are some categories outlined in an effective playbook:
I look forward to exploring these concepts and more at ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference in May. Be sure to sign-up for my session “#goingsocial in the Contact Center”. And if you have questions you would like answered in the session, feel free to tweet them to @bobfurniss.
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