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5 steps to transform support services

Michael Runda, Senior Vice President and President, Avaya Client Services | June 8, 2015
Here are five key steps to becoming a higher-performing support organization.

* Make it fast and easy for customers with new issues to collaboratively access qualified live agents via the support website.

Customers across industries are using automated solutions to resolve issues. Sometimes, though, they need an agent — immediately. The transformation from a phone-oriented support organization to a truly automated system includes making it simple for customers to reach a live agent when they need one and providing them easy access to published answers.

Though in its infancy today, live video support accessed through the website has the potential to dramatically alter the support dynamic. Video can foster rapport and understanding between customers and support personnel quickly and convincingly.

Customers want the ability to access support the way they want, whether it's via Web-based chat, voice or video. A support website should be easy to log into and provide a fast connection to the right live resources.

* Provide emergency escalation procedures and outage buttons on the website.

Establishing a system to automate escalations can accelerate problem resolution. Escalation schemes can be established for various issues, such as comments on agent performance or sales department queries regarding pricing and quotes.

For example, a "Total Service Outage" button can provide immediate restoration assistance. On-call emergency recovery teams tackle issues, with technical talent swarming problems if needed.

Transforming the escalation process also discourages customers from going around the system and contacting senior executives. Such circumvention can prolong issue resolution as the executive seeks the appropriate personnel to address the problem.

Sustaining the effort

Achieving the Holy Grail of increased margins, improved customer satisfaction and reduced agent attrition through support services transformation is a major undertaking, and keeping customers and employees engaged throughout the process is crucial.

While new technologies should be a core part of the transformation, keep the broader strategy in view. Understand the building blocks, including knowledge management, instant resolution publishing and rapid escalation processes, and maintain measurable objectives all along.

Finally, demonstrating the value of transformation in real-time can sustain the momentum for change and position the support organization to meet growing customer and employee needs.

 

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