Poor User Experiences WILL Kill Your Customer Service App


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There’s a huge graveyard of failed customer service software implementations, or those that are on life support for the basic fact that they are not usable. Think of the world that we live in with products and services from Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook….:

  • Intuitive user interfaces that don’t require training to be able to use them
  • Touch screens
  • 1-click processes
  • Predictive type-ahead where suggested topics are displayed in a drop-down menu to help users autocomplete their search terms
  • Aggregation of content from different sources, all linked together so that it adds value to the user

Consumer expectations for user experiences is are at an all-time high. We all demand accurate, easy, contextual, personalized, graphically-pleasing user experiences that are available on all the devices that we use.

Now, think about what your customer service agents use to deliver that company-mandated exceptional experience to their customers. They are probably using a tabbed, 2-colored UI on a PC; each tab being dedicated to a specific task. To a new agent, a tabbed structure is overwhelming as he may not know where to start to do his job, or what sequence of steps to follow to help his customers.

More than that, agents use tens, sometimes hundreds of disconnected tools during their workday that all contain different bits of information about for example, customers, products, policies, corporate knowledge. There tends to be a limited ability to search across all information – you can do a search for account information, or closed customer records, or products that the customer owns, but it is almost impossible to search across all these fields at once, and get back a full view of what your customer has purchased, what interactions he has had with you in the past, what cases are open and what knowledge makes sense for him to read.

These tools make it almost impossible to deliver personalized service that matches customer expectations. The tools are rigid, hard to use and ugly. Agents are just getting by trying to locate the information they need while meeting service levels. They don’t want to enter more data than they need to because its just plain hard to do. And this problem will only get worse as Millenials who are used to good user experiences in their private lives bring these expectations to the tools that they use on the job.

One easy step to move the needle on the quality of service delivered is to focus on the agent’s experience with the toolset used. To do this, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. We know what a good user experience is. Start by thinking through the service process that agents need to follow, and map screens to this process. make your screens visually pleasing, interactive and fun. Make sure that all the elements that an agent needs at a particular point in the process are displayed, such as the customer’s account information or purchase history. Push notifications, alerts, even cross-sells to the agent to help him personalize the interaction. Use modern UI design elements. Test the usability of your apps with your agents, and gather their feedback.


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.


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