It s Time to Revisit your Complaint Management System. January 2014

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1 It s Time to Revisit your Complaint Management System January 2014 Sponsored by: DMG Consulting LLC

2 Table of Contents Servicing Applications Make a Difference... 1 Delivering Outstanding Customer Service Requires the Right Infrastructure... 1 Characteristics of an Outstanding Complaint Management System... 2 Decision Framework: Determining if it s Time to Replace your Servicing Application... 5 Final Thoughts... 6 About Respond... 7 About DMG Consulting i - DMG Consulting LLC

3 Servicing Applications Make a Difference If you re like most companies, you built a home-grown servicing or complaint management system, or installed a Siebel (or similar customer relationship management (CRM)) application 10 to 15 years ago, and have not revisited the decision. During this time, the underlying technology has improved substantially, the cost of computing and storage has dropped precipitously, and network capacity has increased dramatically, changing the entire servicing paradigm. At the same time, customer service philosophies have evolved, and government regulations have become onerous. Despite the changing technical, regulatory and business landscape, organizations still face the same servicing challenge: to efficiently and cost effectively deliver an outstanding and differentiated customer experience. To achieve this goal, organizations need a flexible customer service and support application that can rapidly evolve with the changing needs of their business. While today s challenges are handling regulatory requirements, such as Dodd Frank, and incorporating social media into the servicing framework, tomorrow s issues will be the adoption of predictive customer service and applying advanced analytics. It s time for organizations to implement a complaint management system that enables them to provide outstanding service instead of being an impediment to change. Delivering Outstanding Customer Service Requires the Right Infrastructure Delivering an outstanding service experience requires the right blend of people, process and technology. The most important element in the service equation is the agents who interact with customers and prospects; they are what the public remembers most. But agents need enabling technology to efficiently and productively perform their jobs. When a customer calls, s or sends an SMS, they are looking for help. They may be requesting information, looking to process a transaction, making a complaint or simply placing an order. Enterprises must be able to respond to all of these issues rapidly and effectively or they will disappoint their customers. In an era where outstanding customer service is often the primary differentiator between products and services that are otherwise similar or commoditized, building a strong and efficient servicing infrastructure is a necessity. The essential systems in a servicing environment are the automatic call distributor (ACD) for capturing, queuing and routing work to the most appropriate agent; and the servicing application for managing the customer s relationship with the organization and tracking the resolution of inquiries. While as many as 45 different systems and applications may be used in contact centers, these two are mission-critical DMG Consulting LLC

4 The pace of innovation in the servicing arena during the past years has been impressive. If your company is limited by an inflexible servicing system that requires IT resources for even the simplest of changes; if agents have to visit multiple screens to obtain or input basic customer data; if it takes seconds to retrieve information; if agents require substantial training to use the application; and if system reports fail to provide the information needed to effectively manage the operating environment, it s time to update your infrastructure. In recent years, managers have shied away from replacing their customer relationship management, customer service and support, and complaint management applications, because of legitimate concerns that the project would not realize the promised payback or even succeed. The new generation of servicing applications is designed to address many of these issues. These systems are built to handle a specific challenge (or set of issues) and not to conquer all customer-facing needs with a single database. The good ones are designed from the ground up using a services oriented architecture (SOA) that allows organizations to successfully implement one module at a time. These new applications come with pre-built Web Services and application programming interfaces to facilitate integration to other contact center, customer service and enterprise applications. As importantly, they are supported by customer service subject matter experts who have vertical knowledge and implementation experience. Characteristics of an Outstanding Complaint Management System Building an effective complaint management application has proved to be challenging. To do it right, the developer must have deep knowledge about handling customer issues and complaints along with the specific requirements of each vertical. The solution s framework must be compatible with the process flow of the organizations that are going to use it. This means, that the applications should be verticalized and come out-of-the-box with 80% of the functionality that organizations require. Below is a detailed list of capabilities that should be standard components in a complaint management system. (See Figure 1.) 1. Good user interface friendly and flexible user interface (UI) that comes with built-in intelligence and logic checks to ensure that the data entered is correct 2. Multi-channel support for multiple channels: phone, , chat, SMS and social media; additionally, the application should allow companies to add new channels as needed, without a substantial investment 3. Skill-based routing routing of interactions to the most appropriate resources inside and outside of the department DMG Consulting LLC

5 4. Scripting support for the use of basic and intelligent scripts that can be turned on and off depending on agents skills 5. Computer telephony integration facilitating integration from the ACD into the servicing application; allows for everything from basic screen-pop to advanced look-up and routing 6. Case collaboration ability for multiple people to work on a case at the same time 7. Knowledge management (KM) a library of content required to address customer issues; the servicing application should be content-sensitive and automatically display information 8. Next-best action a list of steps provided for agents to follow in order to fully resolve inquiries 9. Sales environment recommendation engine and sales screens that are easy to access 10. Regulatory compliance helping organizations adhere to government regulations 11. Dashboards management and agent widget-based dashboards that are fully customizable without requiring IT support; the dashboard should display both real-time and historical data 12. Reporting standard out-of-the-box reporting templates that can be filtered, scheduled, rendered in many formats and are downloadable; should also include an ad hoc reporting environment where managers can easily customize reports using both system and external data 13. Analytics identification, categorizing and reporting on the root cause of inquiries and problems 14. Workflow automated resolution of inquiries using embedded logic, and routing of interactions to appropriate people and departments while maintaining control and oversight of the issues 15. Web-based allowing customers to self-report and to follow the status of their inquiries online 16. Mobile capabilities a mobile application that allows customers to submit inquiries, and the ability for managers to see the status of work via their cell phones DMG Consulting LLC

6 17. Integration ability to integrate easily with internal and third-party applications, without requiring substantial IT support Figure 1: Complaint Management System Core Components Good User Interface Multi-Channel Skill-Based Routing Scripting Computer Telephony Integration Case Collaboration Knowledge Management (KM) Next-Best Action Sales Environment Regulatory Compliance Dashboards Analytics Workflow Web-Based Mobile Capabilities Integration Reporting Source: DMG Consulting LLC, January 2014 The application should be supported by a proven implementation methodology and a professional services team with vertical expertise. The company should provide onsite and Web-based training and certification programs for IT, system administrators and agents. The vendor should offer a standard program where they are scheduled to visit users every 3 to 6 months to identify ways to improve system utilization and effectiveness. The vendor should use an agile development environment that delivers innovation on an ongoing basis. The development should be 30% to 50% user-driven and supported by an idea-sharing environment and user groups DMG Consulting LLC

7 Decision Framework: Determining if it s Time to Replace your Servicing Application The benefits of replacing an outdated complaint management system far exceed the risks, as long as the right solution and implementation partner are selected. Here is a decision framework for determining if the time is right for your organization to replace its current customer service and support application. Yes No Are you able to make changes to your system on a timely basis, and minimally at least twice per year? Can you update product information without requiring IT support? Does your servicing application support screen-pop from your ACD? Is it easy to integrate your servicing system with other enterprise and third-party applications? Do agents have one screen that provides them with the data and fields required to resolve 75% 80% of inquiries? Does your servicing system use intelligent workflows to automate the processing of customer inquiries and complaints? Does your servicing system have intelligence to improve or verify the quality of data entered by agents? Does your servicing system have a very rapid response time and retrieve data quickly? Can customers follow the progress of their inquiries via the Web or a mobile application? Does your servicing system provide actionable reports and allow managers to drill down to the underlying interactions? Do agents have access to real-time data so that they can self-manage their performance? Does your servicing system deliver alerts to notify managers when a case is not being addressed on a timely basis? Source: DMG Consulting LLC, January DMG Consulting LLC

8 If you answered no to 8 or more of the questions on this list, it s clear that a new complaint management system will provide substantial benefits to your organization. In today s business environment, justifying these types of investments requires a strong business case with quantifiable benefits and quality improvements. Look for vendors with good solutions, implementation experience, professional services, training, ongoing support, as well as a good return on investment model to help you build your business case. Final Thoughts Most organizations are using outdated and inflexible customer service and support and complaint management systems. These systems are costing companies millions of dollars in lost staff productivity due to their inefficient processing capabilities. Managers have figured out how to work around their limitations and failings, but many of these solutions are way past their prime and are too costly to innovate and maintain. Given the cost and effort required to implement CRM-type applications, it s understandable that companies are hesitant to replace them. But times, technology and best practices have changed. Many of these systems are turning into costly liabilities for enterprises, if only because they can t ensure compliance with internal and external regulations without system overhauls. Before investing in a major internal development project, take a look at the new servicing applications that are custom-built to address the handling of customer complaints. Many of the vendors who sell these products today have learned important lessons from the past. They are offering solutions that come with 60% to 80% of the required functionality, are designed for rapid implementation and integration, and can flexibly adapt to a changing business environment DMG Consulting LLC

9 About Respond Respond is a market-leading complaints and feedback management solution that gives businesses of all sizes a competitive edge by allowing them to gain valuable insights into their business opportunities using customer feedback data. Right out of the box, Respond provides a complaint management solution that is industry-aligned and built upon best practices derived from decades of experience in supporting some of the world s most reputable organizations including those in highly regulated environments - to deliver outstanding customer service. Are you ready to deliver on your promises? Respond is part of the Aptean enterprise software family. For more information, go to About DMG Consulting DMG Consulting LLC is an independent research, advisory and consulting firm that provides strategic and tactical advice to enterprise and contact center managers, vendors and the financial community. Our mission is to help clients build world-class contact center and back-office environments by leveraging technology, processes and people. We provide insight and guidance to assist management in optimizing performance by increasing operational efficiency, providing an outstanding customer experience, enhancing loyalty, and increasing sales and profits. DMG devotes more than 10,000 hours annually to researching various segments of the contact center, analytics and back-office markets, including vendors, technologies, best practices, solutions and their benefits and ROI. More information about DMG Consulting can be found at DMG Consulting LLC

10 2014 DMG Consulting LLC. All rights reserved. This Report is protected by United States copyright law. The reproduction, transmission or distribution of this Report in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of DMG Consulting LLC is strictly prohibited. You may not alter or remove any copyright, trademark or other notice from this Report. This Report contains data, materials, information and analysis that is proprietary to and the confidential information of DMG Consulting LLC and is provided solely to purchasers of this Report for their internal use. THIS REPORT AND ANY PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL DATA, MATERIALS, INFORMATION AND ANALYSIS CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE DISCLOSED TO OR USED BY ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF DMG CONSULTING LLC. Substantial effort went into verifying and validating the accuracy of the information contained within this Report, but we cannot guarantee that all information is complete, accurate, or current or that the recommendations contained within this Report are adequate or appropriate for your particular situation. DMG Consulting LLC shall not be liable for any errors or omissions in the information or recommendations contained in this Report or for any losses or damages arising from use hereof.

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