While there are many factors to consider when building a support model, the most critical elements of a successful customer experience strategy are found within the people, process, and platforms groups.
If you’re considering, or are in the process of building, a support team and platform, make sure to address the questions below before you start. If you aren’t able to build your team, partnering with a quality outsourced contact center is a cost-effective option.
These questions help define the right people for your project:
- Which skills are required for staff to excel in your program? Does the program require staff to sell or is support strictly for post-sale inquiries?
- What is the customer profile? What processes will you use to vet the proper staff to serve this audience?
- What training is required for staff to fully absorb your brand? What are the support staff job responsibilities and how will they navigate platforms used? Who will administer training?
- What technical aptitude is required to support your customers?
- Where will staff work? In-office, virtually, or a combination of both?
- Which language(s) will be supported?
- What qualifications will managers of your program need to have and what responsibilities will they own?
These questions establish how your support staff will serve customers:
- Which contact channels will be offered? Will all agents serve customers across all channels, or will certain channels be restricted to specific agents?
- What business rules will apply to the program?
- What levels of empowerment are the agents afforded?
- How will escalations be handled and by whom?
- What steps will you take to make it easy for customers to reach and do business with you?
- Are stakeholder responsibilities clearly defined?
- Which metrics will be tracked and reported to measure success?
- Is there an opportunity to derive additional value, or revenue, while addressing customers’ concerns? Are up-selling and cross-selling part of the strategy?
- How often will quality assurance efforts be applied? What will be measured and what is your quality assurance process?
- What state, federal, and/or international compliance considerations apply to the program?
These questions relate to the technology employed on the program:
- Which systems will be utilized to process orders, access order history, and provide insight into customers’ buying patterns? Order Management System (OMS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, and APIs between them must be considered.
- What knowledge-based reference tools will be available to agents?
- Which contact center software will be employed to manage customer interactions, and will the system be all-encompassing (provide all the tools necessary to service all contact channels), or will multiple systems be required?
- Is your preferred platform easy for customers and support staff to use? If not, what additional systems can be implemented to improve processes?
- How does automation factor in on your program? Will self-service solutions like IVR, or chatbots, RPA, or AI be applied to the program? If so, how will they be deployed and managed?
- Will the platform provide access to metrics on the campaign and how will data be accessed? Is there a dashboard to provide real-time insight into the results of the program?
- What telephony platform will be used? How will calls, emails, chats, SMS, etc. be routed to staff?
- If remote staff is employed, what systems and broadband requirements apply? What tests will be administered to ensure platforms work properly from remote locations and are also secure and compliant?
The above “Three Critical Ps” of a successful support campaign can prompt many helpful discussions and keep efforts focused during the design of a new program. The questions outlined, while not all-inclusive, represent a solid starting point for your research and determining the best approach to providing expert support to customers.
If your company is developing a new support program or revisiting an existing program to elevate your customer experience strategy, contact Telecom, Inc. to complement your team and help apply best-in-class practices to your campaign and strategy.