The holiday season is a busy time for every team, but the unsung heroes of the holiday season are without a doubt the service organization. While everyone else is spending time with family and friends, service teams are hard at work making sure their customer’s holiday plans aren’t interrupted by long wait times or service disruptions. Especially in the consumer sector, demand for service grows as customers begin setting up and using their new purchases and holiday presents.
While service leaders try to provide their agents with the flexibility to spend the holidays with their friends and family, there are a number of key steps they can take in advance of the holiday season to ensure peak performance at this critical time. Special thanks to our global customer success team for their help in compiling these best practices from across the world’s largest and most innovative service teams.
5 Tips for Ensuring Peak Holiday Season Service Performance
Review Your Technology Usage Policy with Your Teams
In the rush of the day-to-day, we all sometimes forget about some of the tools at our disposal. November is a great time to review many tools available to your support team, as well as when and where they are most helpful to agents. If possible, print out a short card or “cheatsheet” that agents can attach to their desks or monitors, reminding them of the technologies available to them, and when they should use them.
Prepare Your Teams for Remote Video Work
Over the last six months, many remote service teams have returned to the office full-time. However, many organizations will allow their agents to return to remote work this holiday season. In order to ensure peak agent productivity and customer experience, use the next few weeks to reiterate the best practices for remote work. For example, agents taking phone calls should ensure they are in a quiet location with a reliable internet connection. Similarly, agents taking video calls should ensure their workspace is visually prepared based on clear guidelines. For example, taking a video call from a “family room” decked out for the holidays may be acceptable to your organization, but taking a video call from an unfinished basement may not send the right message.
Prepare Open Lines of Communication and Collaboration
There is nothing as isolating or frustrating as trying to calm a frustrated customer while waiting for an answer from an unresponsive Tier 2 expert. Service and support teams operate as an organic, connected ecosystem, and unresponsiveness from any team or team member will stress the rest of the organization. Set expectations for modes of communication, hours of availability, and even a “catch-all” channel for emergency escalations to ensure that all agents have the support they need when they need it.
Similarly, set expectations for when and how agents are expected to communicate and collaborate internally. For example, are they expected to join all team meetings? Will there be an email wrap-up of all updates following the weekly standup? How can they stay up to date with the latest software releases and fixes? When, where, and how can they ask questions or get clarification? What is the procedure should a disaster strike – such as a major service outage? The more you can prepare and set expectations in advance, the smoother things will run while your teams are remote or otherwise outside of their normal work cadence.
Shortcut New Product Support by Pre-Loading New Product Visuals
By now, your teams have likely been trained on your newest products. Take this training to the next level and further improve your agent productivity by pre-loading product images and even product guidance (instructions) into your library on TechSee Live. This will make it easier and faster for agents to provide instructions and guidance to customers.
Supercharge Your Phone Support with Visual Screening
Typically, agents spend the first few minutes of support phone calls collecting basic information such as the customer ID or device model number and getting an understanding of the customer issue. One easy way to improve your contact center efficiency is to collect this information before the agent even gets on the line. Simply invite customers waiting on hold to upload their information for faster service.
The flow here is quite simple, but the impact on efficiency is really incredible. While the customer waits on hold, send them an SMS with a link to a Visual Journey. This web-based flow can be set up in just minutes, and will automatically and intelligently collect any required information – saving the agent and customer valuable time. For example, you can ask the customer to enter their account information, select their issue from a menu, or even upload a photo – and all of this information will be sent to the agent when they get on the line.
This photo capability is quite potent. Want to know the exact make and model of the user’s device? Ask the customer to upload a photo of their device label, and our system will automatically “read” it to identify the exact make and model. Want to confirm that their cables are properly plugged in, or want to see which LEDs are lit up? Ask them to upload a photo. This information is automatically stored and associated with the call, so when an agent becomes available, they can jump straight to resolving the customer’s issue.
But wait, it gets even better. Now that you have this basic flow set up, you can start utilizing computer vision to guide the customer to full resolution – no agent required with TechSee VI. For example, a customer calling with a router connectivity issue can be visually shown how to reset their router. If they are able to resolve their own issue, great, one less call for your agents! If this doesn’t resolve their issue, customized computer vision models can automatically determine if the cables are properly connected, and guide the user to reposition any cables not properly connected. Should they need further assistance, this entire troubleshooting flow, including all steps taken by the customer will be automatically transferred to the support agent, so they can pick up right where the customer left off. It’s a win for the customer, a win for the agent and a win for operational performance efficiency.
The holiday season is an important time for your business and your team, both personally and professionally. We hope you found these tips helpful. As always, if you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our visual service experts, please feel free to reach out for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.