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Inside the Barrel

The Proactive Service Center vs. the Reactive Contact Center

The Proactive Service Center vs. the Reactive Contact Center

HOW TO SEE THE FUTURE

If you’re an employee at a contact center, everyday life can sometimes feel like a roller coaster.  You’ll have moments of calm, followed by a sudden influx of calls and emails that catches everyone off guard. And, just when you think your day is done, someone will call to ask for help about a product you didn’t know your company even offered.  Yes, every day can bring new challenges at your company’s call center. At Cask, we focus on using metrics and data to help your organization better anticipate the week, month and quarters ahead.
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FIRST THINGS FIRST

To generate those metrics, we need to first collect some info. Every interaction with your customer - whether it’s by phone, chat or email - is a great opportunity to gather key information that can be helpful in making your day-to-day more proactive. How that information is collected is vital for your success in anticipating workload.  

SHOW ME THE METRICS

When we’re collecting metrics, our worst enemy (and the one we combat the most with our customers) is the free text field, also known as unstructured data in our Case Management platform.  After generating a new Case from an interaction, we use structured data fields in order to make those metrics reportable right away.  In other words, we think more along the lines of “fill-in-the-blank” than “essay question” by designing relevant and easy to identify fields for key information. If you’re really fancy, the more technical terms for these fields may be: dropdown, reference, and/or look up. 

NOT ALL INFO IS CREATED EQUAL

As you develop your Case Management platform, think about the types of information you want to capture, and ensure that it aligns to your overall business and customer service strategy.  Remember, one of our key objectives is to capture the right information so we can report on it immediately, and begin acting on it by making fact and metric-based decisions. Some key data elements to get us there include: 

  • Customer location
  • Product name/model number
  • Time/Date of interaction
  • Geographic region of the customer
  • Service levels impacted
  • Time to resolve the Case
  • Team that resolved the Case
  • Modality used to initiate the Case
  • Knowledge article used to resolve the Case 

MOVING FORWARD

Begin capturing this data for every interaction, and your organization will be on its way to predicting when calls will occur in high volume, what products are causing more pain than others and whether your customer care teams are properly enabled to resolve cases in a timely manner. 

Written byMark Smiley, Principal Advisor

Mark is a Senior Advisor at Cask, Service Desk organizational expert, and has 12+ years of hand-on Service Management, Service Desk, IT Operations, Service Delivery and Consulting experience. Mark partners with customers across Technology, Financial Services, Energy, and Government industries to develop services and supporting world class processes.