We have entered a nasty recession, and no one knows how deep or long it will be.
Retaining existing customers is never more valuable than in an economic slowdown,
when it is really hard to acquire new ones. The customer retention imperative,
combined with cost reduction pressure, will drive customer service and knowledge
management adoption trends in 2009.
Most business leaders in global enterprises are pulling together long lists
of action items to reduce costs to balance lower revenue or stalled growth.
At the same time, they want to keep customers happy and preserve their long-term
business value. In customer care groups and contact center operations, this
pressure to reduce costs will translate into the following drivers:
- Reduced contact center inquiry volume
- Enhanced agent productivity/cost
- Improved first-time-resolution
- Customer satisfaction monitoring
- Reduced infrastructure costs
Cost cutting does not have to be boring -- it can be done innovatively. The
opportunity to meet these challenges with proven technology solutions, in our
opinion, has never been better! We predict increased adoption of the following
eight technologies and approaches in 2009 for customer service CRM:
1. Multi-modal web self-service for new levels of adoption
Web self-service has been touted as a quick fix for reducing contact center
volumes for a very long time. Unfortunately, poorly executed self-service strategies
can do much more harm than good. Customers are known to vote with their wallet
when they get stuck with poor self-service. Therefore, it is important to opt
for flexible tools that offer multi-modal self-service capability.
For instance, industry research shows that search, while a popular access method
for finding content on the internet, does not do a good job when it comes to
customer service content. Best practice suggests that businesses use solutions
that support a Swiss Army knife multi-modal access approach, including FAQ,
search, browse, guide help, and chatbot as options to improve information findability
in a knowledge base. Appropriate access methods can be exposed to customers
depending on their profile and inquiry type.