Has Customer Service Become Over Automated?
What your Quality Assurance Program Can Tell You About Your Service Automation.
Automation and Efficiency
So many call center technology solution companies base their sales pitch on the efficiency gains through automation. There have been some fantastic strides forward in the development of tools allowing customers to interactive more easily and quickly with companies’ customer service representatives. From bots that answer questions and facilitate basic automated functions, to “Call me back” features allowing a customer not to lose their spot in the call center queue and elevate hold time by receiving a call back when an agent is available. As more pathways to service and interaction are open, additional and more complex queues, service and support workflows are created. Often referred to as “Omni Channel”, inbound customer contacts coming from a variety of sources are often use an automated triage for the most efficient routing. For the customer, some of this automation requires some know how and adoption on their part. Becoming familiar with an app interface, chat bot questions, new IVR prompts and the patience to deal with all of it. Yes, you likely have a great app and a great interface, and so do the other 30+ companies your customer interacts with on a monthly basis. Not that long ago, the standard customer update for IVR prompts was “Please listen as our menu options have changed”, now it’s a completely different graphical user interfaces (GUI) and layouts of apps and websites in addition to IVR updates.
Over Automation – I need to talk to someone now
Through the many quality assurance programs we manage for our client companies, we hear the impact of many technology rollouts on the customer as well as the literal voice of the customer. The bottom line, these new pathways are great for certain situations. However, when your customer has a more complex or pressing matter, you better have an option for them to utilize. Some of the biggest impacts to service quality and other common metrics such as Net Promotor Score (NPS) is the inability to reach a customer service representative in a timely manner. Second is that representative’s ability to resolve their more complex issue. Call center agents are being presented with more complex problems and have more technology and system they need to access to resolve customer problems. At the same time, customer patience has decreased in this click-to-buy now world. The buying experience as been made so easy you can accidently buy a product you didn’t intend to buy. However, the service side is not so slick, and in some cases its by design to cut costs. At some point, technology and all the self-service options don’t suffice, and your customer needs to talk to one of your representatives. Typically, after they have engaged or endured your self-service options.
What your Quality Assurance Program Can Tell You about Your Service Automation
Call center quality assurance or quality monitoring is a trove of business intelligence that can help you hone not only your service quality, it can help identify where to improve your automated service interaction points. Managing call center quality assurance programs, we also utilize technology such as AI, however it is a tool, not a substitute for proper critical analysis of what is occurring with a specific agent or the overall operation. Nothing should be “set it and forget it” when it comes to one your business’s most valuable assets, its customers. The complexity of human interactions and the varied lenses of perceptions that take part in forming a customers’ opinion of your service or related self-service automation will require human analysis for some time. Call center quality monitoring programs we manage extract valuable insights into service automation by capturing customer feedback provided to call center agents. This in turn is provided back to service automation managers to review and potentially enhance self-service or other interaction methods. The most well-run service organizations will strike the right balance of automation and direct interaction for their industry and unique business.
Call Center Agents – More Systems and Technology to Juggle
In addition to customer facing automation, we have seen growing complexity with procedural call center quality assurance guidelines related to more systems and complex processes. In short, more complexity for call center agents, and agents are becoming some of the most overwhelmed when it comes to the number and complexity of systems they use, all while interacting with your customer. We have seen a nearly 60% increase in technical procedural requirements for call center agents over the past three years. This is the increase in the number of technical elements evaluated as part of call quality monitoring or evaluations. When providing call center agents with feedback through evaluations, coaching on technical procedures and system utilization are also provided to help support agents and ensure proper utilization of technical tool.