Using Knowledge to Fix Customer Service Centers

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 05-11-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Top Three Pain Points
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    Top Three Pain Points

    Asked to pick things they dislike most about customer service centers, respondents picked the following: Different customer service agents giving different answers: 41%, Customer service agents not knowing the answer: 34%, An answer was not on a company's Website: 31%
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    Complaints by Sector
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    Complaints by Sector

    According to respondents, the worst performers in this area were: Government: 56%, Tech-oriented sector: 47%, Cell phones: 46%, Communications providers: 45%, Online retailers: 33%
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    Agents' Ignorance
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    Agents' Ignorance

    The customer complaint breakout for lack of agents' knowledge is as follows: Offline retail: 47%, Technology sectors: 47%, Property, casualty and life insurance: 25%
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    Knowledge Management Systems Needed
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    Knowledge Management Systems Needed

    According to the report, because self-service handles the simple questions, the solution is smarter knowledge management systems.
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    Finding Answers on Websites
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    Finding Answers on Websites

    Online retail and banks perform the worst, according to 40% and 36% of respondents. 27% of consumers think this is a major pain point even in technology, the best-performing sector.
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    Young Consumers Are Less Forgiving
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    Young Consumers Are Less Forgiving

    40% of Gen Y consumers find agents not knowledgeable enough, compared to 23% of seniors.
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    More on the Generation Gap
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    More on the Generation Gap

    9% of Gen Y consumers found lack of knowledge the main road block to service, compared to 35% of seniors. This may be because younger consumers know more and are more demanding.
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    Opportunity for Knowledge-Powered Self-Service
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    Opportunity for Knowledge-Powered Self-Service

    There is a "huge opportunity" across industries to reduce Website abandonment and differentiate services through knowledge-powered self-service, according to the report.
 

A new study reveals what customers dislike the most about customer service agents, such as when different agents give different answers, or they simply don't know the answer. Customers are also frustrated that they cannot find answers on companies' Websites, a problem IT leaders need to address. The online survey of 5,000 customers in the United States was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of eGain, a cloud customer engagement solution provider. "The only viable solution to this challenge is smarter knowledge that can guide (agents) quickly and accurately to answers answer processes," said eGain CEO Ashu Roy. Two previous studies by Forrester analysts Ian Jacobs, Kate Leggett and Art Schoeller back the new findings. In their February 2015 report, "TechRadar for AD&D Pros," the authors write: "Done correctly, knowledge can be used to personalize the interaction, increase customer satisfaction, reduce call handle time, and make operations more efficient." In the second study, "Contact Centers Must Go Digital or Die,” the authors said 44 percent of center decision-makers report that agents cannot easily access the content they need to reliably answer complex customer questions, putting the quality of service at risk.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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