Using Case Management to Boost Customer Service

4 minute read
Henrietta Akpata avatar

Customer Experience,Customer Service with Case Management
We've all had it happen -- the good customer experience that wins our loyalty and the bad, which makes us share with anyone who'll listen why they shouldn't patronize a company. What follows are two stories of customer service with two different outcomes -- and a way to keep your customer service on the good side of your customers.

When I’m asked for a great customer service story, I tell one about a recent personal experience with the company Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. I received an ellipse backpack bag as a gift in 1998 and fell in love with it. The handbag is great for travel because you can have both hands free while carrying it.

But in 2012, the inside stitching came undone in the bottom of the bag. We took it to the Louis Vuitton store fully expecting to pay for the repairs. The store certified its authenticity, took the handbag and shipped it back to the factory, where it was repaired free of charge. In the process of repairing the tear, they even refurbished it with an updated, improved zipper. That’s the good experience.

Getting the Brush-Off

Here’s the bad experience. We purchased a triple-play subscription service from a local phone company a few years ago and almost immediately lost the ability to navigate TV channels and volume with the remote control. We were informed that we should solve the problem by testing multiple codes ourselves to see which combination worked. No further help was offered by the company even after multiple calls to the customer service department. In short, we got the brush-off. Needless to say, I make it a point to steer people clear of that particular company if they have other options.

Bad customer service can also come in the form of vendor loyalty. A great many banks and utility companies routinely make pricing offers to potential new customers that they do not make available to existing, long-term customers. Some people may consider this a loyalty issue. I think it’s another case of bad customer service.

Boosting Customer Service with Case Management

Great customer service increases loyalty and revenue. And properly managing incidents such as customer complaints or disputes not only powers exceptional customer service but also helps protect the business. Let’s face it: organizations have to deliver quality customer service if they hope to attract and retain customers. But how do they do this in an age of tight resources?

Many organizations are considering a case-oriented approach that helps connect the right information to the right people at the right time to make the right decisions and increase customer satisfaction and engagement. A finding from a recent AIIM Survey, “Broadening the Scope for Advanced Case Management,” identified faster case resolution and higher quality of customer experience as top drivers for improved case handling capabilities within an organization.

Empowering the Knowledge Worker

Good customer service isn't just about the contact center or online self-service. To be effective, it has to include knowledge worker–driven activities for responding to customer inquiries and resolving issues -- activities that may be embedded in processes across the organization.

Learning Opportunities

Case management solutions help to empower the knowledge worker. These solutions can import content from practically any source (including enterprise content management systems, files, emails, call-center transcripts, images and more) and include it in a case file. Having customer information accessible in one central location enables knowledge workers to quickly respond to customer inquiries and resolve cases faster, based on a comprehensive 360-degree view of the customer.

Delighting the Customers: The Ultimate Goal

It’s true that business rules and back-end process management may help inform the knowledge worker, and certain steps of the process can be automated. But there are always key decisions that are the responsibility of the knowledge worker and reflect the particular circumstances of the case. The knowledge worker can use their judgment together with monitoring and analytics capabilities to make smarter decisions, improve service-level attainment results and delight customers through the resolution of cases.

It’s clear that intelligent case management helps workers handle customer service events more efficiently. By speeding interaction and investigation in the resolution of complex events, organizations can provide more timely and personalized service for their customers. Wouldn't that be great for us all?

Title image courtesy of katerha (Flickr) via a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

Editor's Note: Read more from Henrietta in Mobile Means Business

About the author

Henrietta Akpata

Henrietta Akpata is a worldwide Market Segment Manager for IBM Enterprise Content Management responsible for the marketing strategy, go-to-market development, planning and execution for one of IBM's leading software product families, including Social Content Management, IBM's Social Business for Social Content and Case Management, and the Enterprise Content Management Platform. Previously, she held positions in marketing, product management and software product development in key areas of the IBM business focusing on business process manager software and IBM Case Manager.

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