Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Swarming to Better Customer Service

Great customer service will require a new kind of process that conjures the right experience, knowledge and behaviors that please. This means two things in my opinion. One is the customer only needs to know what they want to do and not have to understand or traverse your organizational division of labor. The other is that your organizations interface with the customer will be sensitive to the individuality of the customer. This means that there can't be a completely planned process, but there will have to be a real time configuration of resources to service the customer acting in a swarming fashion. See the following posts for more information on the division of labor and swarming

Better Customer Interface Experiences:

It matters not if your interface with the customer is over a mobile phone or through a living representative, your organizations welcome mat is the process that you aim at helping the customer. If a digital experience is the choice of your customer, the experience must be eye pleasing and pleasant. If you can engage your customer with gaming and rewards, so much the better, but bread and butter ease to service must be present. It would be great if you had a profile on your customer with preferences and even customer established rules, but most organizations are lagging here.It would also be great if your organization had a way to sense the mood and personality of the person, but that is a rare goal today.  It is important to get this piece right as most organizations are thinking that "mobile first" is the answer to better customer service. I would beg to differ, but this is important.

Better Customer Navigation Experiences:

Right now, customers are forced to navigate your organization, which is generally aimed at a specialty and you only can get one at a time. Imagine a swarming process that enables a generalist that has great people skills to have the knowledge of a billing professional and a sales representative available on demand from cognitive assists (cogs) from the cloud from internal or external knowledge. You could service and up/cross sell in one seamless conversation. Imagine having an opportunity to services a customer on any topic from one person who is knowledge enabled by these cogs.

Better Customer Feedback Mechanisms:

Today most customer satisfaction is measured by surveys designed by masochists who gain pleasure in getting all the information regardless of respect for the customers time. Imagine saving some of the answers from the last survey and allowing customers to alter the results and submit a feedback survey quickly. I think this is better than a simple opt out that most customers will take anyways.

Net; Net: 

Swarming the right history, knowledge, preferences and scripts based on the customers mood and work needed in real time is the customer service of the future. Organizations may have to take this transformation in steps, but targeting the proper service model will be crucial. Starting with real customer journeys that look at a wider picture than just your organizations roles is a great first step.

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