Are You Losing Customers Because of Your Agent Desktop?

At the recent Customer 360 Summit, analyst firm Gartner stated that 83% of customers are likely to change service providers after a single failed service attempt. In other words, only 17% of customers will stay with your company when their issue is not resolved on the first attempt. Another customer of ours sees a 60% decline in service renewal unless first call resolution is met. Customers are unforgiving when their time and money are on the line. And who’s to blame them?

Given that, it is hard to understand why companies fail to give agents a fully consolidated desktop to help achieve an optimal first call resolution rate. Customer loyalty is affected by things that customers can’t see or influence – such as the agent desktop.

Here is an example of how the customer service process breaks down at the agent desktop level, and why it could be costing you customers. This recently happened to Joe, a friend of mine.

Joe called a customer service line to get help with a mobile phone account. After many layers of an automated IVR script and waiting on hold for several minutes, a polite, cheerful agent answered the phone with the standard intro, “Hi, this is Amy. How can I help you today?” She then proceeded to re-ask for all the data the IVR system already collected to identify Joe as one of the company’s account holders. Why the need to re-ask this information!? Joe had already entered his phone number in the IVR system, and was calling from the cell phone connected to his account.

Getting Lost in a Sea of Windows and Applications

Amy was working with an agent desktop that is not fully integrated with the IVR system. But, that’s not all. She was forced to struggle through multiple application interfaces on her desktop, each containing silos of critical data to assist Joe. She had to put Joe on hold multiple times so she could find a resolution across various systems and databases.

Joe was in a hurry. He had to address a billing dispute from an international trip, but he didn’t have a lot of time. He was asked for the same information and asked to sit on hold too many times. Joe reluctantly ended the call, frustrated that he didn’t get his answer, and that he’ll likely have to go through the entire process again.

Not only did the company not resolve Joe’s issue on the first attempt, but the company wasted the agent’s (Amy’s) time and increased the cost of service. Worse yet, companies that do this systematically damage their brand and customer base.

Stop Losing Customers Due to a Disjointed Agent Desktop

Fragmented desktops are solvable, and you don’t need to spend millions or take 9 months to solve them. In fact, you can solve these problems, even in very complex environments in as little as 3-4 months.

In a previous post, I highlighted the story of an airline customer service interaction that outlined the need to integrate systems to create better processes. Embracing a process-based approach to customer service requires flexible business process management and system integration tools (see RiverStar Studio) to enable an intelligent agent desktop.


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