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Failed Service With Self Service Research

According to a 2008 research report by Forrester Research, Customer Relationship Management software and integrated self service applications are experiencing poor call routing, failed problem resolutions, and chaotic handoffs from self-service tools to contact center agents. Automated phone systems, coupled with interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony integration (CTI) and customer self service systems were help intended to improve simple issues and lessen the workload of customer service reps, however, according to nearly half of 5,000 participants surveyed, the self service systems are not working as planned and customers still prefer to speak with a live agent, according to the Forrester Research report titled “Why Talking to Customers Is Ruining Your Business."

“While the trend over the last 10 years has been to try to move customers to self-service channels to reduce costs, 45% of consumers still prefer to speak with a customer service agent on the phone for customer service,” writes Natalie Petouhoff, business analyst and lead author of the Forrester report. Survey respondents ranked self-service via automated telephone systems as their least preferred customer support option.

There was little difference among generational boundaries in terms of their preferred customer support methods. According to Natalie Petouhoff and the research report content, “Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers all prefer talking to an agent to get service more than any other channel.” Nor is it only the telephone that customers prefer to self-service channels; after the live agent response, the most preferred method of assistance (36%) among all generational customers is going to a store location for face-to-face assistance. Filling the gap between second and last were sending e-mail (6%), using the Internet to find information (5%) and using chat or IM with a live person (3%).

According to the report analysis, the reasons for dissatisfaction among survey participants were:

Self-service channels often do not resolve the support problem;
Poor channel integration produces customer frustration; and
Self-service systems often do not build trust.

Petouhoff writes in the report, “Consumers expect to speak with a human who is knowledgeable, patient, friendly, courteous, informed, easy to understand, and responsible for resolving issues .... Instead, consumers often encounter incorrect problem diagnosis, agent attitude issues, several transfers to so-called experts, long hold times, incomplete or contradictory answers, and a need to repeat information multiple times.”

Companies that use telephone customer self-service solutions are aware that they are not meeting customer expectations. “Not surprisingly, more than half of the 58 business and IT leaders we recently surveyed reported that their company’s adoption of customer service agent best practices was poor-below average to average,” Petuhoff writes. The problems they acknowledge include the following:

Routing calls to the wrong customer service representative;
Very poor knowledge management capabilities; and
Clumsy self-service to live service customer transition.

The worst customer service problems in these areas were failing to pass relevant information to a representative when a customer transitions to live service, and automatically displaying and ranking frequently asked question (FAQ) lists; 62% ranked each of these as average or worse. Other notable customer support problems included the support agents capability to review customer histories, products, and services (60%); and routing or escalating cases to the most skilled personnel (57%).


On Demand ERP Systems  

Self Service Research

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Failed customer support

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tags Tags:
erp questions
failed self service research, hosted call center software, on-demand customer support software, contact center self service, on-demand call center systems, poor customer support, saas crm, front office customer service software as a service applications, ivr systems

 

 

 

 

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