Service Cloud & Business Continuity
What can Service Cloud with the right tools mean for your business continuity?
Did it happen to your company too? That when you launched a new product, there were too many requests towards your contact centre and you did not manage to respond to them in the standard time, even though these were simple questions such as where to buy it, etc?
Or did you have a supply outage due to an unforeseen event and you were overwhelmed by the number of reporting complaints and requests for information?
And you are fully aware that this can have an impact on the customer experience, but are you struggling with insufficient staffing or high operating costs?
And how can you predict the unpredictable?
The customer support department (contact centre) may face various threats and challenges during its operations. These are based on failure to meet the requirements of the customer or the company itself.
So what does the customer wants?
- Availability at different times and in different ways, as it suits them (social networks, phone, live chat, online chatbot or own portal, e-mail, SMS, video call)
- Professionalism and expertise (with a good knowledge base, any agent can be an expert)
- Personalization and information (if the company collects and keeps the data about the customer, it should at least use it to quickly identify the customer with up-to-date and essential data about them)
- Interest (the customer must feel that the company cares about him, the company should prefer to choose agents with a human approach and communication skills and expertise will provide with a knowledge database)
- Up-to-date customer data and its disponibility across departments
- Fast case resolution
- Company to act as one (integration and timeliness of information in one place, service centre above other departments, all departments must have access to other customer information as well as to the knowledge database)
- Improving (continually looking for ways to improve processes and change based on customer feedback).
And what does the company want?
- Flexibility in terms of human resources (a combination of exceptional SW with a knowledge database, good internet connection and cloud storage can make an excellent contact centre agent from any person sitting at their computer at home.
- Flexibility in providing information (changes in databases are immediately available to everyone)
All these demands must be satisfied by a modern customer support department and, also, it should be able to handle them even in situations, when you get a large number of requests over short periods.
Business continuity – or the continuation of a company’s activities is a term used in connection with the planning of setting up or creating systems to prevent and manage potential threats to the company so that they can carry out its business without severe consequences.
In terms of the mentioned business continuity, there are two areas that I advise to focus on, to ensure company activities, but not only in emergency situations:
- Self-service, self-portal, community – a space where customers can find the necessary information without the need to contact an agent. The customer would contact the agent only if they did not find the required information. However, the agent is already waiting with complete information about what the customer is interested in, so there is no loss of context. 91% of customers say they would use an online knowledgebase if it was available and tailored to their needs.
- Intelligent Chatbot (Einstein Bot in Salesforce) to deal with simple and often recurring requests (the agent can handle more complex cases) or to obtain basic information before entering the live agent.
Both tools must be intuitive, well-structured, differentiated and tailored to a specific customer group or area of interest, at the same time connectable to the knowledge database.
Then it is possible to replace and relieve real (living) agents of the workload, on the other hand, not to lose the ability to meet customer requirements and significantly improve the overall monitored parameters (KPIs) of the company.
You may not be able to predict everything, even with these tools. Still, as soon as you add currently required information to the knowledge base, it will be immediately accessible to all users.
And all this with the use of artificial intelligence (AI):
- AI helps to select relevant resources from the knowledge base.
- AI rules the background process of the chatbot decision.
- AI helps with omni routing of requests to agents.
- AI makes suggestions for the following steps, recommendations based on customer history or statistical average = increasing the likelihood of successfully closing cases.
- AI can assess sentiment to set up communication.
- AI predicts trends based on historical data.
- AI analysts can help to maintain the knowledge base.
Demands for the correct and efficient functioning of the contact centre increase significantly in extreme situations. But if the company has the right automation tools, a knowledge database to handle requests and empowered with artificial intelligence, it can face those increased demands.
Regardless of whether it is an extraordinary accidental situation or a consequence of planned activity (e.g. a marketing campaign when launching a new product), the company does not have to quickly look for and train new agents and thus avoid a negative customer experience.
I will cover both of these areas in separate articles.
Martina Romanová, Salesforce CRM Consultant