April 2, 2020
Gartner | Improving Digital and Self Service Capabilities to Sail Through Covid-19
Companies are employing digital tools to help with triaging the increased request volume.
Covid-19 has created major shifts in our society – non-essential services are shut down, air travel is suspended, millions are working from home, and millions are newly unemployed. It has caused major shifts for organizations, and many companies and public sector organizations are attempting to keep up with larger volumes of requests despite having to shut down contact centers.
Gartner Research Director Olive Huang works with companies on customer support, contact centers, CRM vendors and service providers, and CRM strategy. In her article, Customer Service Leaders Need To Quickly Improve Organization’s Digital and Self Service Capabilities to Sail Through Covid-19, she lists some of the challenges that companies are facing and offers some recommendations. She says “over a dozen Gartner clients” have come to her seeking guidance on customer service strategies. Here are a couple of her recommendations:
- “Develop a strategy on how to deliver information and updates to your customers, employees and partners proactively. Situation changes on a daily sometimes hourly basis. A good plan on use of channels and types of media is important. Make sure messages are clear, fact based, warm and doesn’t create confusion and panic.”
- “Deploy automations technologies – IVR, chatbot, and process automation/guidance to as the first line of response to reduce call waiting time. Enable a team of experts – in house or from partners who can help you to quickly change the automation path and scenarios before the call volume hits the contact center agents.”
- “Offer new virtual mechanisms that reduce in-person contact, such as advisory, lessons, meetings or health visits. As fast as you can, increase online self service capabilities for transactional requests.”
For a full breakdown of Huang’s recommendations, read the article.
Huang believes that organizations that have higher maturity in their digital and self service are better poised to handle the increased request volume. She says, “This pandemic is going to have a long term impact in customer’s perceptions and expectation on digital and self service, and will continue to drive organizations into more mature digital customer service operations.”
Companies are stepping it up to employ digital tools to help with triaging the massive influx of people reaching out. As part of the OneReach.ai response to healthcare companies reaching out for help, we created a new template, IDW-5 – an Intelligent Digital Worker that within one hour can be operational and ready to start triaging portions of inbound requests 24/7, over phone, SMS, rich web chat, mobile app, and email.
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