In every contact center, there’s at least one interaction that support agents tend to have over and over. It’s that issue the agents have handled so many times, they can essentially walk through it in their sleep. Typically, these issues are resolved one-by-one, addressing the symptoms alone – this is not effective. The only effective way to get rid of the interaction all together is to understand the truth behind what drives customers to contact support in the first place.
This is especially important for innovative hardware companies. A 2020 study conducted by Parks Associates confirms that consumers consistently abandon a brand’s products if the setup process is perceived to be difficult, or if the support options are not ideal. Addressing these potential problems before a product is released has a major impact on brand loyalty. By analyzing products prior to their release, you won’t just find the bugs; you will study, document, and ultimately improve the customer experience before there even is one.
There are three distinct approaches to take when attempting to reduce your product or service call volume in a systematic way: Process Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Self Help, and Communication & Transparency. These approaches help reduce contacts for all support channels, including phone calls, chats, emails, and social media posts.
1. Process Root Cause Analysis
Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a systematic process for identifying “root causes” of problems or events and an approach for responding to them. There are many different ways to approach this. Companies like Everise have adopted a proprietary method, called Systematic Insights®, a data-driven methodology for improving CX by helping businesses innovate their products and services. This methodology, when applied to contact center processes, definitively targets specific areas for improvement that impact first contact resolution (FCR). Through this process, you can uncover opportunities, assess risks, and provide solution strategies for agent training, knowledge and positioning, unexpected product or service behavior, and more.
Next, it is important to analyze the state of your self-help resources, and the customer experience surrounding them. This can include physical resources (product packaging & marketing materials), online resources (community forums, troubleshooting guides & FAQs), in-app resources, or any other place the user may seek guidance. By connecting customers to information that allows them to resolve their own issues or clarify their perceptions of expected behavior, you can significantly reduce support contacts and the costs associated with them.
Communication & Transparency
Finally, it’s vital that you promote a culture of transparency and knowledge transfer by effectively communicating the results of your analyses back to the client in a digestible and actionable format. By producing accessible real-time analysis of emerging issues to all appropriate lines of business, you can further reduce the risks associated with large-scale outages and other high-impact issues that would normally produce spikes in contact volume, seasonal or otherwise.
In fact, this approach can also be used to improve your own internal processes, such as quality assurance.
“We even have used it internally to apply on our own QA processes. The way that we evaluate how our contacts have changed. We used to look at the interactions themselves, but now what we’re looking at is that person as a whole and the behaviors that drive the way that the agents support customers,” says Peter Butler of Everise PX who leads the Systematic Insights team.
Utilizing data-driven root cause analysis to identify core truths behind customer contacts can lead you to uncover some incredibly insightful things about your products, services and people supporting them. These can then be put back into coaching tools to identify areas of opportunity and recognize top performers. Not to mention, perfect your products and services in the process.