Managing a large customer service operation can be a tricky and complex task, especially if an organisation is having to juggle multiple CRM platforms that can’t share information effectively.

This impacts customer service agents, making it hard for them to deliver great Customer Experience. There is a real need to manage this complexity and to help agents use fewer resources but provide a better and faster CX.

Optimising customer data

Out of the four most common types of CRM on the market – sales, commerce, marketing, and service – service CRMs have seen the fastest growth. This is unsurprising when you look at how many organisations are prioritising  Customer Experience. What is surprising however, is that 60 percent of that market is still filled with homegrown solutions, of which many are only capable of providing simple case-logging abilities, which is causing all sorts of headaches for those trying to achieve fantastic experiences for their customers.

What’s needed is a solution that brings together core capabilities such as omnichannel, case-management, and self-service features and uses digital workflows to easily connect the customer with the right information or agent via their channel of choice. This creates an end-to-end experience that for many customers, means the difference between a frustrating and slow experience and one that gets to root causes and solves problems faster and more effectively.

For example, by connecting the customer service agent with the back-end operations team or the engineering team that built the product customer service, employees can identify the issue more accurately and fix the issue once and for all.

Because great service means more than just engaging your customer, it’s also connecting customer service with other teams to resolve issues quicker and proactively.

Adopting a single platform model

A single platform approach enables users to access a single data model rather than having to navigate and integrate a myriad of data models from different platforms into their customer service workflows.

The result is that you are able to take full advantage of capabilities that are either missing or difficult to manage in legacy platforms such as machine learning, native mobile experiences, and self-service portals – all features that customers are coming to expect from every brand.

Such a platform is also built to grow and evolve alongside the enterprise. Third-party capabilities can be added, or new different data sources integrated if the business requires it. Or a virtual data source capability can be added, which allows customer service agents to access external information, such as account records, that aren’t native in other customer service management tools.

Creating a Customer Experience that drives loyalty

A great example of how customer service can be improved with this approach is ServiceNow customer, NICE Software, a leading analytics software company.

NICE was handling 70,000-plus customer cases a year, with 1,000 cases a month that required individual attention. However, they lacked the capabilities to assign cases to the most appropriate agent based on their skill set, so many were allocated to the wrong people. When a case finally reached an engineer with the right skills, often they’d in fact not come across many of the issues before and lacked access to a knowledge base that could help resolve the issue. As a result, it was taking an average of 24 days to resolve a case.

By implementing a single platform model, NICE was able to automate and accelerate case management. Within a week of implementation the volume of assignments had reduced by identifying the required skills during case creation and automating routing enquiries to the right agent straight away. Thanks to these intuitive processes and a more engaging user interface, NICE reduced back-end case volume by 72 percent, saving $450,000 a year.

Another success story is Vodafone, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. Prior to the implementation of ServiceNow, the customer service team were dealing with siloed systems across multiple platforms, meaning it was a very complex environment with a lack of unified data. Often a customer would know about a problem before the business did.

By streamlining all of this data into one platform, Vodafone can now be proactive and notify a customer that there’s an issue and that its being rectified, thanks to a single 360 degree view of them, with one application that is simple, intuitive and streamlined to clearly see their journey. Customer satisfaction is now up by over 25 NPS points and customer agent productivity levels have increased by 45 percent.

Start delivering a better customer service today

In today’s competitive environment, the kind of customer service you provide may mean the difference between you and a competitor. And today’s customer expectations go far beyond what traditional CRM systems deliver.

The modern customer service organisation must connect with every corner of the enterprise to diagnose, fix and prevent issues. This multidepartment functionality resolves problems at once, meaning agents can respond faster and provide real solutions, as well as free them up to deliver proactive strategies that drive business improvement and growth.

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