Keeping Customer Experience the Center of Customer Support
The high-tech industry has been going through turbulent times over the last few years. Industry leaders compete against both old rivals and new start-ups, complex supply chains and the need to provision for high capital expenditures.
High-tech organizations are consistently innovating and rapidly launching new products and services to stay ahead of competition and drive profitability and growth. As they launch new products and services, it becomes imperative that the customer and technical support personnel, as well as the associated support processes, deliver a significantly better post-sales customer experience to the consumer.
A customer-centric approach to transform support
Today’s digital technologies provide significant potential to transform customer and technical support operations through technological evolution. However, in order to holistically transform the customer experience, organizations should begin by reimagining the needs of customer and support personnel through user journeys and only then leverage digital technologies to enable these reimagined journeys. This process is comprised of three key phases:
- Understanding the user and agent habits, wants and needs – This phase is composed of gathering experience research and insights, current-state analysis and commercial and technology factors. At the end of this phase, organizations will develop a clear understanding of how clients and end-users view customer support, and what motivates or inhibits behaviors from both an end-user and support personnel perspective
- Reimagining the user experience – The next phase will focus on creative concepts: ideation, exploration and the development of future-state scenarios. The output of this phase will be the establishment of key future-state concepts that will be relevant to users and the associated support eco-system during their moments of need. This phase also includes concept validation.
- Designing product experiences to deliver the reimagined user journeys – Finally, organizations will document the requirements, design services and use case flows. The output of this phase will be the design blueprint to extend this functionality into a future care platform.
Customer-first vs. Technology-first approach
Very often, the high-tech industry tries to improve the customer and technical support experience by identifying technology-centric solutions. In this approach, organizations typically build on their existing platforms and toolsets without spending significant time on really understanding how customers view their support experience and the potential to use digital technology to complement the customer and agent experiences. As part of Wipro’s (News - Alert) recent initiative to better understand customer and agent needs in the digital age, we uncovered several insights that could form the key guiding principles toward transforming the customer support experience:
- Emphasis on simple and quick self-service solutions - Connected customers would rather avoid calling technical support personnel; they prefer to fix issues themselves. However, the key to driving self-service is to ensure that customers are provided fast and simple solutions to resolve their issues.
- Leverage insights from online forums & social media support channels - Social customers are increasingly using social media support channels; however, organizations should not view online communities and social networks as merely an easy and inexpensive customer care channel. There is significant potential in using these channels to provide insights into product design, technology, operations and marketing.
- Up-selling and cross-selling opportunities through omnichannels - Organizations and the support personnel/agents often focus on revenue generation during a support motion. However, no customer who goes to a technical support center is inclined toward making a purchase: When they reach the contact center, their sole focus is to resolve their issue quickly. Organizations would be better served capturing customer intelligence and then using the omnichannel for cross-sell and upsell.
- Use BOTs and AI to augment -- not completely replace -- the empowered agent - Customer service is being disrupted through cognitive technologies. Most organizations are using conversational interfaces and cognitive computing platforms to lower the physical and cognitive barrier toward enabling self-service for their end customers. However, organizations should also focus on using these technologies to augment and enhance the productivity of their agents.
Organizations that embark on a customer-first support transformation will drive better customer adoption of self-service solutions and capture insights from multiple support channels to develop superior products and services. Many will finally enable the support organization to become a profit center instead of a cost center.
As customers migrate to self-service systems to solve simpler issues by themselves, support centers will receive fewer but more complex issues. And by complementing agents with digital technologies, they will in turn improve customer experience through faster resolution of more complex issues.
About the Author: David Ranjit William has over 20 years of experience in the IT Industry. He is responsible for managing and growing Wipro's Digital business across a set of clients the Hi-Tech Industry. He is the point of contact for clients for solution development, requirements to delivery assurance and business development for all accounts under him. In addition, he is also responsible for demand generation, competency building, solution enablement and brand building initiatives for the Digital business within the Hi-Tech vertical.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz