A fundamental requirement in customer service solutions is the ability to track the conversation with the customer. When a customer has called or emailed, it is important for the front and back office Customer Services Representative (CSR) to be able to quickly see who has previously spoken to the customer, when those interactions happened, what information was given or captured and what activities are currently in flight for that customer.
The next priority is to ensure the customer enquiry, request or issue is handled in the most effective and efficient way. Historically, customer service systems have focused on the management of repeatable and predictable processes for example, account enquiries or requests for service change. However, the story for less predictable processes such as faults or even complaints, where the CSR must practice analytical and diagnostic skills, requires a more unstructured, supportive system approach.
Case Management, with its roots in medical, social and legal services, offers an approach for predictable and unpredictable processes. With this capability, the organisation can deal with the high frequency, simple query types, as well as dealing with the unexpected.
In addition, it should allow you to identify efficiencies from past experiences, and by this means, you will be able to evolve the service in order to provide the best possible resolutions for your customers.
Case Management will allow your business to categorise, process and track a customer’s request or enquiry in a structured and timely fashion. In order to process a particular case, a worker or team of workers may be assigned to it to collaborate in the provision of a resolution. New cases may be related to existing cases to provide greater insight to the case currently being handled.
Cases may be escalated to senior management when a resolution hasn’t been provided within a given time period. Case Management provides the ability to segment the data captured and provide subsequent actions on it; for example ‘tell me how many cases have been marked as incomplete in the last 24 hours by the Payments team and then escalate these to the Investigations team’.
Measuring the success of these cases is critical. You may choose to ask the customer to rate their experience in a short survey or success may be measured through an indicator such as time or value to the business. Reports will then be able to show which cases had the greatest success and importantly, which tasks and actions were run to achieve this success.
The way in which future cases are handled can be modified by learning from previously executed cases which have had the greatest success. New case types can be quickly created that have a different set of tasks or actions available in order to cater for newly identified scenarios. New data fields can be added and new case states can be defined. An adaptive Case Management system, which is designed for change, will be able to quickly modify its behaviour to improve customer service and to react to new, unplanned scenarios. An intuitive approach to handling a case can quickly be transformed into a structured case for similar situations in the future.
WHERE TO START
When looking for customer service solution, it can be difficult to discern which type of software system to choose given the range of possible options. There is a plethora of vendors who provide customer service solutions in varying forms – Business Process Management (BPM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Customer Experience Management (CEM) are just some of these.
Traditional CRM systems often have strong capabilities in handling sales and marketing scenarios such as tracking leads and campaigns over multiple channels but struggle to provide flexibility in Case Management. Where these traditional systems often fall short, is in providing the means to learn and quickly change over time.
It is difficult to design any system up front which will cater for every possible type of customer request. However, if you have a Case Management solution which can evolve alongside your ever changing business environment and customers’ needs you are a step ahead of the competition.