Customer Service Agent Collaboration Helps Move The Needle On FCR and Customer Satisfaction


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In customer service organizations, collaboration should take place around cases and content, and should involve not only customer-customer service agent collaboration, but internal collaboration within the enterprise. Internal collaboration has quantifiable benefits as measured by increased organizational productivity and efficiency. For cases, collaboration helps increase first contact resolution, decrease handle times and increase customer satisfaction. For content, collaboration helps evolve content to be more relevant, accurate, complete, and in-line with customer demand.

Some of the technologies that help foster collaboration around cases and content include:

For cases:

  • Presence indicators, instant messaging and video chat – to allow customer service agents to connect in real-time with subject matter experts, supervisors, managers or other agents having the necessary skills to help resolve a question.
  • Collaborative workspaces – to allow agents and subject matter experts to share documents and logs about the customer issue, the troubleshooting process and results in real time.
  • Activity streams – To allow agents and subject matter experts to subscribe to a case and receive notifications of all changes and additions to a case.
  • Remote support – To allow customer service agents to invite subject matter experts and specialty agents to troubleshoot software or hardware with a customer.

For content:

  • Content ratings so that poorly rated content can be flagged to be reworked and highly rated content can be promoted.
  • Feedback on content – to flag gaps, inaccuracies andsuggestions to make content more relevant
  • Collaborative authoring workflows – to allow agents to evolve content in real time, with the customer’s language in mind. This can take the form of collaborative authoring processes like KCS or providing agents with wiki-like access to their content and empoweing agents to make changes as needed.
  • Activity streams – to easily synthesize all comments on a piece of content so that it can be evolved by an editor with complete visibility of suggestions for improvement.

However, technology is not the only part of the equation to make customer service organizations more collaborative. These organizations are notoriously structured, where issues are captured by tier 1 agents, and formally escalated to higher tiered, and specialized agents according to pre-established processes conforming to rigid SLAs.

Becoming more collaborative is a hard process, and involves organization transformation where agents are measured and motivated using a different set of metrics than tiered customer service organizations. In collaborative organizations, the focus becomes on customer satisfaction and first contact resolution (FCR) and the importance of speed of answers and handle times is lessened. Collaboration also means that agents take collective responsibility for the accurate and complete resolution of cases, and the health of the content that they use, typically yielding better customer loyalty results.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kate Leggett
Kate serves Business Process Professionals. She is a leading expert on customer service strategies. Her research focuses on helping organizations establish and validate customer service strategies strategies, prioritize and focus customer service projects, facilitate customer service vendor selection, and plan for project success.


  1. Customer service entails more than knowledge in the product or service that is being introduced but it also involves a lot of empathy and compassion.

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