Customer experience (or CX) is on the lime light. Customer experiences remain top priority for most companies, which are actively seeking for the ultimate strategies and technologies to leverage client-centric initiatives and improve service delivery
Nowadays companies are more and more concentrated on “speaking their customer’s language” realizing all benefits of that. So what does it actually mean? In general it means to stay connected and develop trust-based relations bearing in mind the information about an exact customer and adapting your dialogue according to the customer’s particular qualities. In other words it means to consider all customer preferences, and have clear and coherent methodology and technology to recognize and capture all these preferences (needs, values, interests, habits etc.). This knowledge should be used to “tune” service processes, tools and interactions and head them in the right direction.
For this purpose ‘humanized’ and spontaneous dialogues become acceptable and expected – both businesses and customers are tired of script-based and robot-like communications.
However, there is a constant clash between regulations, recommendations and scripts from one hand and spontaneous and non-prescriptive communication with a client on another. Providing total freedom for service agent and engineers might cause a risk of price increase, poor quality and facing all other challenges caused by ‘human factor’. While continuing to work according to strictly standardized model can often hamper good service.
So how to balance between adaptive service scenarios and standardized management model? That’s where skill-based dialogue practice could help.
The principal idea of skill-based dialogue and process is to identify differences in customers’ skills and group them according to these criteria. Improving customer experience and general business KPIs becomes possible if to develop the right tools and processes to service these determined customer groups. This approach could be more suitable for companies that provide complex solutions (products or services), which require additional knowledge and skills for using them (telecommunications, finance, equipment supply, software development – these are just a few examples). Approach could be used in both B2B and B2C spheres.
Here are the steps:
1. Skills matter
Obviously, all of your customers have different backgrounds and interaction history. Some of them might even already know everything about products and services you provide when others are just newcomers with lots of questions
Taking into account these differences you might want to form several (3 to 5) groups using simple criteria — Ability (skills) to work with your products or services. Basing on our experience, fewer than 3 groups might not be enough to personalize customers when 6 is too many.
As a very simple example, you could form the groups of:
- A – Experts
- B – Advanced users
- C – Average users
- D – Beginners
- E – Newcomers
2. Identify customer’s skills and assign to the relevant group
After having specified these groups we will have to identify the skills of each customer so that we could assign him to the relevant group
The easiest way to shed light on the level of knowledge and experience of each contact is to ask specific questions upon (or during) the resolution of incident (you might want to provide your service engineers with clear questions and criteria for identification of each group). Alternatively, you can analyze registered incidents, the natures of the questions posed and make necessary conclusions or use more complicated data knowledge discovery strategies.
3. Customize processes according to the level of skills and knowledge
Whether you want to increase the value of your own organization, or those that uses your services (products), in any case, you will have to adapt your communication style to each of the customer groups.
In particular within the scope of the same process (i.e. incident management or service request management process) you must introduce different communication templates and different relevant tips for agents.
Here is the list of appropriate tools:
- Knowledge base articles (including those available on Self-Service Portal)
- Self-Service Interfaces and terms
- Emails/text messages templates
- Conversation tips and hints
For instance, if a customer belongs to Experts group, email should be written in technical language, avoiding unnecessary details, when newcomer needs a more detailed explanations and instructions written in accessible language (without technical terms)
Moreover you could engage Experts and Advanced users to help using crowdsourcing strategies and community platforms.
4. Execute and streamline processes
By uniting different templates for each group in a single process you can execute and monitor this process.
Once new process is introduced you can then measure the impact on outcomes. Scrutinizing results of the process, execution speed and outcomes, you can modify and improve process so that it meets your business objectives and exceeds customer’s expectations.
If you want this ‘skill-based dialogue’ to have a meaningful positive impact on your services, you need to live and breathe it. While your CRM or Service Management application stores complete customer data, the merger of this technologies with BPM engine enables your business to optimize processes by using specific customer information and taking into account individual factors.
That ensures both, that business objectives are met and the customer experience from interaction with the company is positive and remarkable.