Rapid innovation to repurpose existing tech
Many companies are currently experiencing an increase in the number of customer contacts. At the same time, lockdowns and higher absenteeism causes a lack of resources to handle the incoming traffic and particular volume peaks. Even though we’ve been working to increase productivity and customer experience by creating a seamless tango between people and technology, we still had to ask ourselves how to better help both end users and companies cope in the current situation? In the middle of the crisis, when countries and regions initiated lockdowns and social distancing restrictions, we brought the team together to discuss the impact this could have on our client’s business and their customer service. Over a weekend, we came up with a map of the situation and complications.
Situation: Availability will be the single top priority for companies and customers. Work from home will be the first go-to solution. The challenge will be to operationalize 100% of your workforce in a virtual environment considering quality governance, compliance, process adherence, engagement, and collaboration with your employees, team leaders, trainers, and coaches. The common change management challenge is workforce management in a virtual set-up. Adding to the complexity is the fact that in many companies, the workforce handles up to 90% real-time interactions, meaning that we need to manage the workforce in real-time. But, what if we can move real-time interactions to asynchronous communication including conversational self-service and still maintain or even improve the Customer Experience?
Complication: Legacy systems and technology, equipment, logistics, agents' work environment will slow down the transition. The end state of the transition will not be 100% capacity. Companies will therefore have difficulties to handle real-time channels like phone and live-chat. And, as a confirmation of our assessment, we have already been approached by clients who couldn't handle their live channels asking for help. Some even had to disable voice and chat completely due to hours of queues.
Solution: We created two teams and kicked off a hackathon for rapid innovation. Both teams had to come up with a solution and demo. Three days later they delivered!. We call the solution MITx (Multi-channel Interactive Triage). Using existing tech, we bypass the initial channel division and, instead of giving the customer a default set of contacts, try to answer their question up front (FAQ/bot) and if the issue is not solved, route them to an available and suitable agent in the most convenient channel both for the customer and company. Doing this, we solve both the availability issue and ensure CX.
However the real beauty about the solution is that it's a stand-alone solution that requires no integrations, it’s deployed before entering your existing systems. It’s connected to your existing channels and most importantly on your web, seamless and effortless. The secret success of the solution is not about technology but the design of HOW to connect WHAT technology, but equally important, WHEN should it be used for WHAT intent in a specific customer journey.
Innovation is not always coming up with shiny new toys. It’s about using what is already available in new, INNOVATIVE ways.