Customer Support Megatrends And Next Practices

5356 words - 22 pages

An eGain White Paper

Customer Support Megatrends and Next Practices
2010 Update

© 2010 eGain Communications Corporation. All rights reserved.

“May you live in interesting times!”

The popular Chinese saying invokes both a

blessing and a curse—depending on what you make of it. These are interesting times for customer support executives. As the rise of the Internet (and now, mobile Internet) and social networks collide with forces of globalization, support organizations find themselves in the eye of the storm. They are buffeted by powerful winds of change, ranging from the dramatic migration of most phone business to the Web to the high-profile outsourcing of agent positions to ...view middle of the document...

As a leading provider of customer service solutions, eGain works with large as well as midsized support operations. In this paper, we share our unique ringside view of these trends and proven ways of benefiting from them. We show how innovative solutions used

with proven best practices can help you rise through your organization while enabling sustainable competitive advantage for your business.

Megatrend 1: Customer is royalty; her wish must be your command
This is the age of the customer! The asymmetric information advantage that businesses have traditionally relied on to acquire and retain customers is gone. The more pervasive the Web becomes, the more informed is your customer. The Internet and global competition have virtually eliminated all search costs and barriers to switching. So, what do most customers want? It’s not that they have become unreasonable all of a sudden; they are simply more aware of their choices and less tolerant of poor service. They want easy and multiple ways of finding information and solving problems. They need both an online presence that is available 24x7 and the option to call or visit. They would like to receive quick, consistent, accurate service through all these interaction channels in a way that makes them come back for more. They want you to “recognize” them at every contact point—they hate being the “glue” that repeatedly provides context for the interaction. And, they’d like you to tell them how they can get more value out of products they’ve bought, how to troubleshoot, and even what else they could buy! What makes this shift in power from business to customers particularly hard to maneuver for you, the customer support executive? It’s the need to do more with less—you have to meet increasing customer expectations in a time of shrinking budgets and resources. To provide better service at lower costs, executives often resort to the traditional option of driving agents harder. In most such cases, agent attrition goes up and customer experience suffers due to inexperienced or unhappy agents, resulting in customer defections and higher customer retention costs.

Next practices
 Think like your customers: This is the first simple, and often overlooked, step to creating a customer-centered support organization. Think like your customers and design service processes and scenarios from their perspective. What would make it easy for your customers to do business with you? What kind of help do they need in various phases of the support life cycle? What would be “excellent service” in each interaction scenario? An easy way to find out is to just ask your customers! One of our clients, a leading financial services institution, embarked on a customer service initiative by first surveying customers. When it realized customers wanted interaction choice more than anything else, the company implemented a customer interaction hub (CIH) to power a customer portal
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with a range of interaction...

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