In the recently-released article, “6 Developing Communications Services Trends to Watch in 2015,” trend No. 6 was:
“The high-accountability support model emerges. Individual support personnel will retain ownership of the customer experience and use techniques such as collaboration and 'swarming' to break down the barriers of the traditional 'tiered' support organization. This approach will drive a better experience for customers and ultimately make for more efficient resource utilization in support organizations.”
To elaborate on trend No. 6 and its likely impact on 2015 service trends, we asked guest blogger Dan Pratt, Avaya’s director of strategy and business transformation, to expand on that idea and how it relates to evolving the traditional contact center and support services model:
The High Accountability Support Model Emerges
By Dan Pratt
“I need fast answers… being on hold takes forever.”
“I have to re-explain my problem.”
“After handoff, the second tech re-did steps I did with the first tech… very frustrating.”
“I am so glad you finally got me to Jack who solved my problem right away. Why did I have to go through so many layers to get to the person who could answer my problem?”
These are just some of the comments and complaints that support agents have received for far too many years. And no wonder: Change requires a shift in the contact center culture embedded with certain characteristics defined long ago:
It’s time for change. It’s time to enhance the traditional, 4-tier help desk model and apply it to the types of customers who technical support cares for. To begin, there needs to be an understanding and appreciation of what problems traditional contact center support models face today:
To create an even better experience that engages customers, contact center reps and engineers alike, managers should consider transforming to a high-accountability, “concierge”-style service.
In a concierge model, one support individual retains ownership of the customer experience and when necessary, turns to skill area experts that can “swarm” to the customer’s needs. From the beginning, one person (the concierge) is designated as the primary point of contact and either quickly resolves the problem themselves or draws in experts while staying part of the conversation.
Participation in the new concierge model facilitates learning for all participants as collaborators share knowledge in the swarming process. Time is no longer wasted in passes, queuing, and re-communication.
The transformation to the concierge model needs constant reinforcement with continuous feedback from employees, customers, and partners alike. It requires a dramatic paradigm shift from “focus on the product” to “solution support” on the customer’s business problem. Handoffs in a tiered “waterfall” model need to transform to collaborative support and escalation resolution shifts to first-assignment resolution.
There are innumerable benefits to moving to a tierless model. Among the highlights:
To successfully move to a concierge-style, high accountability model, the following are required:
So what does it all mean? Better customer and business outcomes.
At Avaya, our High Accountability Support model is at the core of our recent customer support transformation. Focusing on the implementation of this new model–in conjunction with other support innovations–has led to the following customer- and business outcomes below:
What changes will you be making to your support service model in 2015?
How do your results this year compare to your expected results next year?
Global Services Marketing Leader, Avaya
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