Robert Zoch, Marketing, NICE
Co-authored by Yogev Krife
Root-Cause Analysis Helps Immunize Businesses to Customer Ills
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” On a very basic level, the contact center is much like a medical clinic. Customers make contact because they have an issue (symptoms), with the expectation an agent (doctor/nurse) will address the problem (make a diagnosis) and provide an agreeable solution (cure). When the doctor provides a cure, the patient is relieved—and yet, wouldn’t the patient have preferred not to be sick in the first place?
He shouldn’t have to keep calling
Imagine this scenario. A telecommunications provider receives the following customer comment via one of its surveys, pertaining to the billing department (actual verbatim comment received by a NICE client):
“A paper bill is the method of payment I want to go with. I was told ‘they’ could not issue one from that ‘office.’ I know all about printing one from the e-mail, because these are the first words coming from your operative’s mouth. No thank you; I want a paper bill!”
For argument’s sake, let’s suppose this customer is an older business owner, who isn’t comfortable with online billing. It’s not easy for him to print and file these bills, and he would rather just receive a paper bill in the mail, as he has for decades—a routine to which he is accustomed. Each month, he calls the provider and receives capable service from their dedicated local account manager.
Each and every month, to make the same request.
In the context of each interaction, the agent would appear to be doing quite well. He provides good service, and his KPIs look strong, and yet an opportunity clearly exists to improve this customer’s experience. The customer is displeased about having to call repeatedly, and while the agent performs well when needed, his organization fully understands that unnecessary voice interactions are a drain on valuable resources.
Discernable trends yield actionable insights
As you might expect, this customer uses his survey to make explicit his wish to receive paper bills via traditional (postal) mail.
As you might not have foreseen, this turns out to be a common sentiment among elderly customers in specific regions. The organization’s voice of the customer (VOC) analyst uses comprehensive VOC technology to monitor “hot topics” among customer feedback, and is able to pinpoint such trends; a dedicated category for tracking these comments uncovers multiple comments reflecting a desire to receive postal-mail bills.
On the basis of this insight, the analyst is able to pursue a process change, thus supporting reduced operational costs (due to fewer incoming calls) and increased NPS®/CSAT scores (due to these customers not having the same issue arise repeatedly).
In this circumstance, pinpointing the root cause of certain customer service calls leads to improved efficiency, while a robust VOC program will enable consistent tracking of the effectiveness of such changes.
If your organization could not only treat that which ills your customer experiences, but actively prevent it from recurring, wouldn’t you stand to benefit?