Improve first contact resolution, increase your bottom line

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1 Improve first contact resolution, increase your bottom line With customer contacts, the third time isn t a charm...it s a service failure. Reaching out over and over again in search of resolution is a major source of customer dissatisfaction and defection. And it s definitely a drain on your resources. According to Cornell University research, the percentage of interactions that are fully resolved during the first contact varies from a low of 58 percent (for contact centers engaged in problem solving work such as technical support), to a high of 80 percent for centers engaged in basic query-response calls (such as taking orders, upgrading services, and answering billing questions). Overall, approximately percent of contacts require multiple touches to resolve. This translates into high operating costs and low satisfaction. Contact volumes rise. volumes increase. Customers tempers flare. The floodgates are opened for negative word of mouth to spread. Good money is thrown after bad. Everyone loses. page 1

2 The advantages to increasing first contact resolution (FCR) are clear, but for most companies, it s not a simple fix. There are many factors at play, including: High staff turnover and inexperience. New and inexperienced agents lack the skill, knowledge and training to resolve issues or locate the right resources. Increasing volumes of rapidly-changing information. Agents must support a large and growing number of ever-changing product and service specifications. They can t stay on top of all of the information, even with frequent training. Inability to find and access the right information. Agents struggle to find, access, and leverage the company s existing documentation and resources when attempting to help a customer. Expanding interaction channels and systems to support them. Companies are supporting a growing number of and chat interactions, but the service quality and information delivered is either inconsistent, or in direct conflict with their voice channels. Ineffective self-service channels. Providing customers a long list of links or FAQs in response to their questions doesn t resolve most issues especially personal ones. These challenges are frustrating both for agents and customers. At minimum, they increase handling times. When an agent lacks the ability or authority to resolve the issue, escalations increase to senior level reps and managers. This is annoying for the customer, and it drives up contact center costs and leads to agent burnout. In many cases, agents deliver inaccurate or ambiguous information. This becomes a source of repeat calls, defections or, most likely, both. Over time, the ramifications of lost revenues, brand damage, new customer acquisition costs, and high turnover can amount to millions. And then there s self-service. Executed poorly, it not only causes dissatisfaction but also increases the overall cost and volume of and phone calls. When customers receive answers that are too generic, inaccurate, or inconsistent, they may follow-up with an , phone call or both, adding $10-$40 to the original interaction cost. Addressing these factors and improving resolution rates can have an immediate impact: Repeat contacts sharply decline, which leads to reduced call volumes and labor requirements. Improvements in first contact resolution alone typically improves customer retention by as much as 15% to 30% (combined with several elements, retention rates can reach 50%). Greater success with cross-sells and up-sells. Positive word of mouth and mouse, which drives referrals and reduces customer acquisition costs. So how can you achieve all of this? page 2

3 We can help With our solutions, you deliver highly effective service that improves first contact resolution, while increasing customer retention and reducing costs. Around the world, leading companies rely on Astute Solutions technology to: Simplify interaction handling across channels, so agents work smarter not harder Deliver accurate answers and guidance directly to the agent desktop at the moment they need it Route customers to the individual best fit to address their needs through integrated telephony capabilities Automate numerous processes to ensure they are executed quickly and flawlessly Enable highly effective and personalized self-service interactions Continuously monitor and improve agent effectiveness through reporting and recording Simplify interaction handling across channels, so agents work smarter not harder Known for its exceptionally user-friendly interface, our epowercenter solution provides your agents with a single, intuitive application for managing all customer interactions. With immediate access to a consumer s complete interaction history, your agent is free to focus on addressing the issue at hand and on building the relationship. Minimizing applications, steps and barriers. Within epowercenter s workbench, agents can initiate and search for cases, view customer interaction histories, access relevant customer data from other systems, get answers and help, send letters and compensation, and much more. Your agents move seamlessly between handling inbound and outbound calls, responding to customer s, and engaging in Web chats. Numerous keyboard shortcuts and accelerators (hot keys, text keywords, toolbars, and wildcard searches) save your agents steps and time. They minimize the number of applications, windows, mouse clicks, and keystrokes required. Agents significantly reduce redundancies, and maintain focus on quickly resolving issues. Equipping agents with comprehensive customer details. With immediate access to a consumer s complete interaction history, your agent is free to focus on addressing the issue at hand and on building the relationship. Your customers are not taxed with recounting their previous and open issues. Our system automatically performs a multi-tiered, intelligent search on different variations of the customer s name and contact information reaching databases within and outside of the contact center. When a correct match is identified, the system automatically populates customer data fields. Cross-channel interaction details are available to the agent, including phone calls, faxes, , scanned letters, call recordings, and more. page 3

4 Your agent can review and acknowledge the details of the customers prior issues, and can focus on moving ahead. In addition, epowercenter can pull data from multiple back-end systems into one coherent view. Agents don t need to take the time and effort required to launch the source applications individually it s all right there. Deliver accurate answers and guidance directly to the agent desktop at the moment they need it With our solutions, your agents have the precise information needed to answer questions, resolve complex issues, and deliver high quality, relevant information to your customers via , phone, and chat. It s all at their fingertips. With our solutions, your agents have the precise information needed to answer questions, resolve complex issues, and deliver high quality, relevant information to your customers via , phone, and chat. It s all at their fingertips. Providing an integrated, proactive knowledgebase. epowercenter s built-in knowledge base gives your agents access to scripted answers, graphic images, and multimedia files. It can be configured to provide agents information automatically, based on data they enter, or to be accessed on demand. It can even give them direct access to key information sources within and outside of the enterprise, including billing, service information, loyalty information, purchase history, and more. Providing direct access to accurate and concise answers. Integration between epowercenter and our RealDialog knowledge management solution known as RealDialog Agent Assist provides your agents with a virtual expert that helps them answer questions and resolve issues. Agents simply type in a customer s question as they ask it or select a question submitted via or chat to receive a rapid, concise and accurate answer. RealDialog delivers a direct response, and when applicable, points to any type of existing enterprise content (documents, sound and video files, customer data, etc.) that supports/ enhances that response. Your voice, , and chat interactions take on a new level of value. Unlike their experiences with other knowledge base tools, your agents get what they need with ours. The days of searching through long lists of irrelevant or generic FAQs or links, or within long documents for an answer, are over. Providing guidance and real time decision assistance. Sometimes a customer s initial question doesn t provide enough information. RealDialog recognizes this and guides your agent through a conversation with the customer, prompting them with specific questions and responses to get to the heart of the issue and its resolution. With RealDialog, your agent is never left hanging. It retrieves and incorporates userand product-specific information (from epowercenter, customer databases, order and warranty systems, and more) into the responses it delivers to your agents. This provides your agents and customers with accurate and relevant details that thoroughly address their needs, while ensuring response accuracy and consistency. All of these capabilities serve to reduce hold times, transfers and escalations. Even your new agents are equipped to give your customers exactly what they need. Rampup is minimal. And all of your agents are free to focus on higher-value tasks without the pressure of delivering faulty information that can lead to bigger problems down the road. page 4

5 A Jupiter Research study revealed that within knowledge-driven support sites, 83% had deployed knowledgebases, yet only 37% had the same knowledge available across all customer touch points. Unifed Knowledge Management, Jupiter Research, October, 2006 Route customers to the individual best fit to address their needs through integrated telephony capabilities With our all-in-one communications solution Customer Interaction Center (CIC) you gain sophisticated routing and presence capabilities that improve issue resolution, while reducing transfers and escalations. Routing with intelligence. Intelligent routing in CIC places customer interactions (phone, , and chat) into the hands of the agents and associates who are best suited to handle them. They receive the information they need prior to the contact transfer to eliminate repetition and facilitate faster issue resolution. Together or separately, CIC supports the following call routing processes to reduce costly transfers: Caller-directed call routing. CIC uses data entered by the caller via a touchtone pad (press 1 for sales, 2 for support, etc.) to route the call to the right resource. Data-directed call routing. Prompts callers to enter an account number, invoice number, contract number, etc. via a touch-tone phone. CIC uses these inputs to search your database(s) (integrated to CIC) for related customer or account information such as premier customer, language spoken, account overdue, products purchased, repeat customer, and so on. Skills-based routing. Our system can perform data dips by examining the database for the information needed to route the call. For example, if a specific technical skill is needed to resolve a particular issue, the system can look up HR records for skill sets, perform an availability query from the contact center, and then combine these two pieces of information to route the call to an available agent. Network-directed call routing. CIC uses information like the number dialed (DNIS) or the number the customer is calling from (ANI) to either route the call to the right resource, or to dictate which prompts a caller should hear. Providing numerous on-screen communications tools and controls. When integrated with CIC, epowercenter provides agents a complete range of telephony capabilities embedded right into user interface. This includes features like conferencing, workgroup directories and status indicators, call hold, transfers, escalations, voic , and recording. Delays and dropped calls due to complicated phone controls are greatly decreased. Getting online assistance via internal messaging. With epowercenter s internal messaging tool, agents easily locate and collaborate with peers, specialists and subject matter experts to obtain answers in real time as they handle the interaction. Using presence management to find the right assistance. Your agents can view workgroup directories and the status of individuals whether they are out of the office, on a call, away from their desk, etc. They can also transfer the call to the next available agent in an expertise queue. page 5

6 Our solutions capture and manage interactions in the contact center, and costeffectively communicate issues to your field personnel for resolution. Lag time disappears. Satisfaction improves at the hand of responsiveness. Resolving issues at the individual store, restaurant, or field location. Some aspects of customer service are more effectively addressed locally, such as at the store or restaurant level. Our solutions capture and manage interactions in the contact center, and cost-effectively communicate issues to your field personnel for resolution. Lag time disappears. Satisfaction improves at the hand of responsiveness. epowercenter can automatically send alerts to an individual store/restaurant location manager or franchise owner for certain types of issues. Upon receipt, they call into an IVR system, listen to a recording of the caller describing their issue, and receive information that enables them to contact the customer and take appropriate action. In addition, the system provides them a means to close the loop by updating the contact center on their interaction with the customer. Automate numerous processes to ensure they are executed quickly and flawlessly epowercenter offers numerous ways to automate processes for improved issue resolution. Define when and how the system: initiates screen pops, suggests surveys, pops images and documents, tracks how a call was handled/resolved, schedules a follow-up (inbound or outbound), transfers ownership of a case or issue to another user, or escalates cases without agent intervention. Automating workflow. You can automate an entire workflow in epowercenter. It provides a consistent means to perform workflow-specific functions on a case, playing a major role in optimizing issue resolution. The workflow in epowercenter is configured to your specific needs. You define when and how the system: initiates screen pops, suggests surveys, pops images and documents, tracks how a call was handled/resolved, schedules a follow-up (inbound or outbound), transfers ownership of a case or issue to another user, or escalates cases without agent intervention. Making intelligent suggestions. Your managers define suggested responses within letters, enclosures, or knowledge base entries that will automatically appear to the agent when specific criteria are met. This ensures the right response is issued for the situation. It helps your agents adhere to company and quality processes. Providing proactive guidance. epowercenter s Suggestions Rules ensure that your agents collect all the right information. They are prompted with pop-up windows, highlighted fields and codes indicating your company policies and procedures, and identifying the appropriate surveys, letters, enclosures, and compensation based on the reason for the contact. Your agents capture the right data for highly accurate reporting. Enable highly effective and personalized self-service interactions that customers want to use Our solutions act as virtual assistants for your customers, delivering the right answer and resolution with exceptional speed and accuracy. This leads to a better overall self-service experience and lower costs for you. Personalizing IVR interactions. Our integrated voice response (IVR) solution integrates your customer interaction and loyalty databases to ensure inquiries are routed and handled appropriately. Transforming online self-service. Our intelligent Web self-service solution, RealDialog, accepts questions in the users natural language, and delivers clear, accurate and specific answers to customer inquiries (rather than requiring them to sift through long lists of possible search and FAQ results). page 6

7 RealDialog delivers answers with an exceptional accuracy rate of up to 99 percent. When needed, it engages your customers in conversations to better understand their needs much like an online conversation with a knowledgeable, highly-skilled live agent. Using intelligent dialog to resolve personal and complex issues. The ability to understand the true intent of a question, and to uncover and address key details through conversation, make RealDialog highly effective at resolving personal and complex issues. A major cosmetics manufacturer reduced volume by 80% within days of launching RealDialog on their website. Much like a live agent, it asks specific, clarifying questions around virtually any topic, such as a customer s specific account information, product make and model, serial number, and more. RealDialog leverages these inputs to retrieve specific information from other systems (such as account information, loyalty and membership information, order tracking, warranty systems, and more) and incorporates it into a highly specific and personalized answer. In the past, this level of service would require a phone call to contact center agent. Reducing overall interaction costs by up to 33 percent. Through its ability to engage customers in a dialog, RealDialolg delivers answers in a wide variety of formats, and maintains an exceptional accuracy rate, so agents and the web self-service channel can effectively address specific, personal, and even complex issues. Reducing inbound inquiries by up to 80 percent. Companies using RealDialog on their websites have deflected up to 80 percent of their inbound inquiries. This is because RealDialog answers a majority of the questions customers typically ask via even those that involve specific product or account information. Rather than forcing customers to wait hours (or more) for an agent to respond, RealDialog instantly gives them what they need via the Web (for around 50 cents per interaction). This drives significant cost savings as compared to $4.50 for an , or $10 or more for a phone based interaction. Reducing repeat callers. In addition, RealDialog minimizes the cost of repeat callers who tried but failed to resolve their issues on the Web. It frees your agents to focus on more value-added activities that improve satisfaction, and reduce the hold or wait time for your customers. RealDialog can escalate the interaction to a live agent via phone, or chat. It sends the complete transcript of the self-service interaction to a live agent. Increasing self-service adoption. Because they ll get the right answer, every time, your customers will turn to self-service first when they have a question. Customers who won t typically contact your company via phone or will be encouraged to use self-service, giving you an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships. Seamlessly escalating customers to live agents. If a visitor needs additional assistance or clarification, RealDialog can escalate the interaction to a live agent via phone, or chat. It sends the complete transcript of the self-service interaction to a live agent, which enables them to understand the situation and pick up where self-service left off. Your agent is free to focus on resolving the issue as quickly as possible, instead of repeating steps that have already taken place on the Web. This lowers handling costs, speeds issue resolution, and improves customer satisfaction and retention. page 7

8 Continuously monitor and improve agent effectiveness through reporting and recording Our solutions offer you a full range of reporting and analytics capabilities to help you measure effectiveness. Fine-tuning performance through extensive reporting. Your managers can generate a wide variety of reports, including time on case and days to close reports. They can run multichannel reports to identify trends in usage (i.e. fewer consumers are calling and an increasing percentage are using chat or ). In addition, your managers can set up and configure reports to run automatically. Specified individuals across the organization can receive the exact report they want, at the desired level of detail, with no effort required from contact center personnel. Leveraging complete interaction recording. Our Record IQ solution provides flexible options and configurations for recording voice interactions, capturing on-screen activities, and tracking agent performance. It gives your supervisors a powerful tool for coaching and monitoring agents, helping them improve at a faster rate. Specific recordings can be distributed to your managers and business partners, when appropriate, adding much greater depth and detail for resolving issues. Managers across the enterprise can leverage specific recordings for quality assurance, compliance, risk management and training purposes. About Astute Solutions Astute Solutions delivers CRM, knowledge management, and multi-channel contact center software and services that enable companies to create significant value through customer interactions in the contact center, on the Web, and in the field. Our award-winning solutions enable you to: Build exceptional relationships with your customers through high-value, personalized interaction experiences Improve interaction efficiency and effectiveness by empowering representatives with the right information at the right time Reduce service costs and complexity Quickly identify and respond to critical issues Gain actionable insights that drive continuous improvement, profitability, and growth By partnering with us, leading companies across a variety of industries achieve exceptional ROI by reducing overall costs, improving productivity, retaining more customers, delivering market-leading products and services, and increasing revenue. Corporate Headquarters 2400 Corporate Exchange Drive Columbus, OH office toll free Astute Solutions. All rights reserved. page 8

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