Untitled Document 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.

Business drivers



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.

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