Take These Proven Actions to Scale Support Delivery

Take These Proven Actions to Scale Support Delivery

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Take These Proven Actions to Scale Support Delivery

The future success of your Customer Support organization relies on your ability to scale Support delivery. By taking these five actions, you can effectively scale Support delivery to not only meet the expected demand growth, but also fulfill an expanded, Success-focused mission.

When you can scale Support delivery, your team can add more value.

I have blogged previously about my POV regarding Support demand in 2021 and beyond (spoiler alert: Support demand will increase). While increased demand presents an opportunity for Support to take on more high-value customer engagement activities, it first requires increases investment in diversified, targeted actions that will enable Support delivery at scale. Focus on these four action areas that have been proven to drive results.

  1. Prevention – Support must take the lead in identifying the root causes of support demand and aggressively advocate for mitigation of these circumstances. Support must work with Engineering groups to improve product performance and usability issues and work across the company to promote effective customer onboarding and skills development activities. Read more about 7 Strategies to Prevent Support Cases.
  2. Self-Help – Support teams represent a repository of product expertise and must work to make their knowledge available to customers. Many new support cases can be avoided if customers are able to access the knowledge and expertise of Support. Transferring knowledge to customers to help them become more self-sufficient should be high on the list of strategic imperatives for all Support organizations. Read more about 9 Best Practices to Help Customers Help Themselves and Maximizing the Return on Your Support Knowledgebase.
  3. Proficiency – Companies need to look beyond just helping customers help themselves and consider how they can build customers expertise so they can use and apply products more competently. Proficiency will require companies to move beyond a reliance on self-help-focused strategies and invest in building the foundational technical and business skills customers need to apply products successfully. Read more about 10 Strategies to Build Customer Proficiency to speed product adoption and descrease demand on Support.
  4. Automation – Support has always been a labor-intensive function that relies on the skills of product experts. Support cannot scale based solely on human power. Read more about 5 Ways to Automate Service Delivery.

 

 

Want to better understand Support demand trends? Download our research.

Are you ready for the challenges your Support organization will face in the year ahead?  Are you ready to capitalize on new opportunities?  How will you scale and transform Support?

For insights about how Support is changing and the opportunities and imperatives for 2021, download ServiceXRG’s latest study: Support Transformation: The Guide to Essential Practices and Metrics. It examines current trends in Support delivery and offers tangible guidance for Support, Success and Service professionals to meet growing expectations of both customers and company executives. Download your copy now.

Make your plan to meet the Support demand in your organization—we can help.

ServiceXRG provides coaching and guidance to help companies maximize customer value through better Support performance. Contact us anytime to set up an initial assessment of your Support planning needs. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time.

 

Support demand is on the rise. What’s your response plan?

Download the ServiceXRG Whitepaper:

Four Imperatives for Scaling Support

Download Four Imperatives for Scaling Support and discover:

  • The most effective approaches to scaling support — proven in high-volume support organizations.
  • The 4 top strategies to scale support and reduce demand.
  • The best practices that make these strategies effective.
  • The metrics that enable precise tracking of your efforts to scale support.
Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

Five Ways to Automate Service Delivery

Five Ways to Automate Service Delivery

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Five Ways to Automate Service Delivery

Automation plays an increasingly important role in support case deflection and management activities. Let’s explore some ways you can automate service delivery and help scale your Support operation.

Service automation can provide intelligent answers to customer questions or perform simple, repetitive, yet important tasks. The more we can automate service tasks the less time skilled support staff need to be involved in lower value activities.

Use these 5 proven strategies to automate service delivery and free up your skilled support staff for higher value activities:

  1. Introduce conversational chatbots to assist with issue triage and preliminary diagnostics.
  2. Enable chatbots to answer customer questions when possible or route cases to the best qualified resource for resolution.
  3. Match and present available solutions as new cases are created via web or submitted by e-mail.
  4. Use AI-enabled automation to discover “at risk” customers and alert necessary Customer Success or Technical Account Management.
  5. Automate simple and repeatable case management activities.

Learn more about Automation Metrics that gauge the impact of issue prevention initiatives – Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper:
Four Imperatives for Scaling Support.

 

How successful are your efforts to scale Support?

We’re here to help you do better.

Reach out anytime to get answers and insights about proven, measurable ways for your Support function to run at greater scale. Use the chat button at bottom right, send an e-mail, or click on my calendar to schedule a specific time to talk.

 

Support demand is on the rise. What’s your response plan?

Download the ServiceXRG Whitepaper:

Four Imperatives for Scaling Support

Download Four Imperatives for Scaling Support and discover:

  • The most effective approaches to scaling support — proven in high-volume support organizations.
  • The 4 top strategies to scale support and reduce demand.
  • The best practices that make these strategies effective.
  • The metrics that enable precise tracking of your efforts to scale support.
Download the ServiceXRG whitepaper, "Ensuring a Successful Journey to Customer Success"

Related Articles

Five Ways to Automate Service Delivery

Automation plays an increasingly important role in support case deflection and management activities. Leverage these 5 service automation strategies to free up your skilled support staff for higher value activities:

read more

Seven Strategies to Prevent Support Cases

Identifying and alleviating performance and usability issues can go a long way toward preventing demand for Support. Leverage these 7 strategies for issue prevention to help lessen Support demand:

read more

Maximizing the Return on Your Support Knowledge Base

The Support organization encompasses extensive experience and expertise about how to use and apply products. Access to this Support knowledge is the primary reason customers contact Support. This article explains how companies can maximize the return on the creation and distribution of Support knowledge.

read more

Seven Critical Steps for Successful Service Delivery Automation

Seven Critical Steps for Successful Service Delivery Automation

Automation of Technical Support or Customer Success functions may yield great returns, yet some service activities can be difficult to replicate with systems. Automate what you can, but don’t over automate.

Cost Efficiency and Effectiveness Through Automation

The goal of any service organization must be to achieve the optimal balance between cost efficient service transactions and comprehensive customer engagement that drives customer success.  Automation of Technical Support or Customer Success functions may yield great returns, yet some service activities can be difficult to replicate with systems.

The key to achieving this balance is in the approach a service organization takes to truly understand customer needs and formulating the most cost-effective ways to respond.  Effective customer engagement may require a high rate of live assistance (personal-touch). Over time as the knowledge of customer issues is captured and the tools to help customers express their needs are available, service transactions can become increasingly automated (tech-touch).

Seven Critical Steps for Successful Service Delivery Automation

Here are 7 steps to consider for successful service automation:

1.    Define and document key service delivery processes.

Establish which processes are conducive to automation.

2.    Establish the Appropriate Level of Automation

Establish how much automation is appropriate for customer interactions. Factors should include the level of intimacy desired for customer transactions, they ability for customer to use automated systems and the availability of tools to successfully support automation.

3.    Evaluate Available Technologies

Technology is the enabler of service automation. Identify the technologies that can provide the capabilities necessary to deliver a satisfying customer experience.

4.    Focus on Content

Service automation is about understanding what customers need and providing them with an effective solution. Service automation relies on the technologies that facilitate the service delivery processes as well as the underlying knowledge and expertise that customers seek. Content development is a critical factor in service automation success.

5.    Define and Measure Success

Determine how successful automation will be measured.  Are you seeking cost efficiencies, revenue growth, service level performance or a target customer satisfaction rate?  Be clear about your desired outcomes with careful attention to optimizing the right balance between multiple performance objectives.

6.    Treat this as a Journey

Service automation and the creation of self-service offerings is an ongoing effort to identify ways to provide customers with the resources they need quickly and efficiently. An ongoing commitment to analyze performance and allocate resources is essential to maximizing the benefits of automating the service experience.

7.    Don’t Over Automate

Automate service transactions and processes but do not try to use automation as a surrogate for sustaining a customer relationship.  Sometimes direct personal interaction is essential.

Automating Service Delivery

This topic is explored in further detail in the report titled Automating Service Delivery. Log-in to download your copy of this 26-page report.

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Scaling Support Delivery Through Digital Transformation

Scaling Support Delivery Through Digital Transformation

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Scaling Support Delivery Through Digital Transformation

Scaling Support Delivery requires the digital transformation of support and an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Digital transformation includes human-assisted, self-assisted and fully automated support transactions. This article defines and introduces key characteristics of the digital transformation to scale support delivery.

Support Digital Transformation

The digital transformation of support is enabled by customers desire to help themselves and their broad access to digital devices and platforms from which support may be requested and delivered.

The use of digital technologies in support is not new, but the rate of adoption by service providers and acceptance by customers has accelerated digitization.  Today most support transactions are digitally enabled, many do not involve direct support assistance or human interaction.

Support Digital Transformation

Support Digital Transformation

Some unique characteristics of Support Digital Transformation are noted below.

Support Delivery and Interaction

Support Digital Transformation enhances companies’ ability to engaged and interact with customers through assisted, automated and self-help service delivery channels.

Self-Help

Self-help tools and content allow customers to access information and resources they need to resolve their own issues.  Access to self-help is primarily facilitated through web support sites accessed from desktop computers and mobile devices.

Read more articles about self-help

https://www.servicexrg.com/blog/self-help/

Automated

Intelligent automation increasingly supplements delivery of some services freeing humans to focus on tasks not suitable to automation (yet).  Automated support includes unassisted transactions such as chat-bots, renewal notification, monitoring and alerting.

Read more articles about tools and support automation

https://www.servicexrg.com/blog/tools-and-automation/

Human Assisted

Digital support platforms enable humans to perform service and support transactions efficiently.  Ticket tracking and management, access to customer data and the ability to collaborate with customers through remote tools enhance assisted support transactions.

Technology Enabled

Support Digital Transformation leverages digital technologies to achieve predictable outcomes and enhanced efficiencies by leveraging customer data and organizational knowledge.

Process Efficiency

Vital support processes such as case submission, entitlement validation, escalation, and the interaction between support experts and customers are digitally enabled through, CRM, case tracking, escalation and bug tracking and customer success management platforms.  Support today cannot operate efficiently without extensive use of technology to enable core support processes.

Data Driven

Digitally enabled support processes assure that what is known about a customer and the products they use can help streamline, personalize and automate customer interactions.  Collection, storage and access to customer data including user preferences, usage behaviors, skill level, and previous interactions establishes a foundation to enhanced future interactions.

Customer data can be supplemented with product data including, configuration, health, and performance. Data access can help anticipate and respond to customer needs and monitor relationship health.

Knowledge Enabled

Customers have more options for access to support knowledge.  Well documented domain knowledge enables searchable knowledge access, just-in-time training, on-demand coaching and guided assistance (human and automated) delivering the answers customers need quickly.

Read more about support knowledge management

https://www.servicexrg.com/blog/self-help/

Additional Benefits

Support Digital Transformation offers the following additional benefits.

Expanded Channels

Digital technologies make access to support easier.  Customer can seek support assistance from mobile devices, the web, and directly though product interfaces.

New Service Value

Digital technologies extend support beyond its traditional boundaries.  Self-help, peer-to-peer communities, just-in-time learning, and ever-increasingly sophisticated automation assume a greater burden for overall support delivery.

Proactive

Digital capabilities introduce the means to deliver services before they are requested by customers.  Monitoring and analysis of data helps to anticipate customer needs and provide solutions before they are requested by customers.

The Digital Transformation of Support

The Digital Transformation of Support

The Digital Transformation of Support

The digital transformation of support is defined by an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Digital transformation includes human-assisted, self-assisted and fully automated support transactions.

Support Digital Transformation

The digital transformation of support is enabled by customers desire to help themselves and their broad access to digital devices and platforms from which support may be requested and delivered.

The use of digital technologies in support is not new, but the rate of adoption by service providers and acceptance by customers has accelerated digitization.  Today most support transactions are digitally enabled, many do not involve direct support assistance or human interaction.

Support Digital Transformation

Some unique characteristics of Support Digital Transformation are noted below.

Support Delivery and Interaction

Support Digital Transformation enhances companies’ ability to engaged and interact with customers through assisted, automated and self-help service delivery channels.

Self-Help

Self-help tools and content allow customers to access information and resources they need to resolve their own issues.  Access to self-help is primarily facilitated through web support sites accessed from desktop computers and mobile devices.

Read more articles about self-help

Automated

Intelligent automation increasingly supplements delivery of some services freeing humans to focus on tasks not suitable to automation (yet).  Automated support includes unassisted transactions such as chat-bots, renewal notification, monitoring and alerting.

Read more articles about tools and support automation

Human Assisted

Digital support platforms enable humans to perform service and support transactions efficiently.  Ticket tracking and management, access to customer data and the ability to collaborate with customers through remote tools enhance assisted support transactions.

Technology Enabled

Support Digital Transformation leverages digital technologies to achieve predictable outcomes and enhanced efficiencies by leveraging customer data and organizational knowledge.

Process Efficiency

Vital support processes such as case submission, entitlement validation, escalation, and the interaction between support experts and customers are digitally enabled through, CRM, case tracking, escalation and bug tracking and customer success management platforms.  Support today cannot operate efficiently without extensive use of technology to enable core support processes.

Data Driven

Digitally enabled support processes assure that what is known about a customer and the products they use can help streamline, personalize and automate customer interactions.  Collection, storage and access to customer data including user preferences, usage behaviors, skill level, and previous interactions establishes a foundation to enhanced future interactions.

Customer data can be supplemented with product data including, configuration, health, and performance. Data access can help anticipate and respond to customer needs and monitor relationship health.

Knowledge Enabled

Customers have more options for access to support knowledge.  Well documented domain knowledge enables searchable knowledge access, just-in-time training, on-demand coaching and guided assistance (human and automated) delivering the answers customers need quickly.

Read more about support knowledge management

Additional Benefits

Support Digital Transformation offers the following additional benefits.

Expanded Channels

Digital technologies make access to support easier.  Customer can seek support assistance from mobile devices, the web, and directly though product interfaces.

New Service Value

Digital technologies extend support beyond its traditional boundaries.  Self-help, peer-to-peer communities, just-in-time learning, and ever-increasingly sophisticated automation assume a greater burden for overall support delivery.

Proactive

Digital capabilities introduce the means to deliver services before they are requested by customers.  Monitoring and analysis of data helps to anticipate customer needs and provide solutions before they are requested by customers.

Featured: Featured: Digital Transformation Through Support Web Site Design

The digital transformation of support is defined by an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Self-help tools and content provided through the web are fundamental to support’s successful digital transformation.  This Playbook outlines the five elements of well-designed support web sites.

Log-in to get your copy.

Related Articles

Five Ways to Automate Service Delivery

Automation plays an increasingly important role in support case deflection and management activities. Leverage these 5 service automation strategies to free up your skilled support staff for higher value activities:

read more

Seven Strategies to Prevent Support Cases

Identifying and alleviating performance and usability issues can go a long way toward preventing demand for Support. Leverage these 7 strategies for issue prevention to help lessen Support demand:

read more

Maximizing the Return on Your Support Knowledge Base

The Support organization encompasses extensive experience and expertise about how to use and apply products. Access to this Support knowledge is the primary reason customers contact Support. This article explains how companies can maximize the return on the creation and distribution of Support knowledge.

read more

Is Assisted Support Demand on the Rise – Shift Demand to Self-Help and Automation

Is Assisted Support Demand on the Rise – Shift Demand to Self-Help and Automation

Is Assisted Support Demand on the Rise – Shift Demand to Self-Help and Automation

The primary objective of self-help and service automation is to help customers find the information and resources they need quickly and intuitively. Well-designed support web sites, and intuitive automation provide viable alternatives to assisted support.

Self-Help and Automation

Self-help and automated services provide a means for companies to continue to engage with their customers in a low-cost manner. However, self-service is not simply a means to save money.

Although there’s a significant temptation to undertake self-help and automated services as a low-cost alternative to customer engagement through interactive channels, it must not come at the expense of delivering an experience that strengthens relationships with customers.

Self-service and support automation are not simply a means to save money – each interaction is an opportunity to reinforce the relationship and sustain customer loyalty.

Best Practices and Resources

The following articles provide strategies and guidance to implement effective self-help and automation service initiatives.

Best Practices for Support Web Site Design

The primary objective of a support web site is to help customers find the information and resources they need quickly and intuitively.   Well-designed support web sites encourage customers to invest their time to explore and discover the information they need.  This article introduces the elements and practices for effective web support site design.

Read More

The Digital Transformation of Support

The digital transformation of support is defined by an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities.   Digital transformation includes human-assisted, self-assisted and fully automated support transactions.  This article defines and introduces key characteristics of the digital transformation of support.

Read More

CX Implications for the Digital Transformation of Support

With the increased reliance and expanded use of web self-service and automation, customer experiences are increasingly shaped digitally. The ability to influence customer behaviors and maintain mindshare in a crowded digital world requires a commitment to providing the right tools and content.  This article highlights the customer experience implications related to the digital transformation of support.

Read More

Service Automation – 7 Essential Practices for Success

Automation of Technical Support or Customer Success functions can yield great returns, yet service and support activities can be difficult to replicate with technology. 

To effectively automate services, it is critical that the underlying processes be fully understood and analyzed to determine their appropriateness for automation. Effective service automation requires a combination of enabling technologies, robust content, and a willingness by customers to use these systems.

Read More

Digital Customer Experiences (dCX)

Many customer touchpoints with your company are conducted digitally through web self-service and automated tools. It is imperative to consider how customer experiences are impacted by services delivered through digital channels.  This article introduces how to define and measure Digital Customer Experiences (dCX).

Read More

Self-Help and Automation – Risks and Rewards

Companies that apply self-service and support automation can yield significant benefits, but not without risks.  This article examines the risk and rewards associated with Self-service and support automation initiatives.

Read More

The Three Most Important Characteristics of a Support Web Site

The primary objective of a support web site is to help customers find the information and resources they need quickly and intuitively.   Well-designed support web sites encourage customers to invest their time to explore and discover the information they need.  This article introduces the three most important characteristics of a web support site.

Read More

Knowledge Management – Defining the Business Need

Successful knowledge management is not achieved by chance, rather it is a function of understanding the scope of the required effort, establishing a clear vision of the expected benefits, and securing the support and resources necessary to execute.  The formulation of a successful knowledge management strategy is based on providing answers to five fundamental questions.

Read More

Beyond Deflection – What to Do with Your “Savings”

Self-help and service automation (e.g. chatbots) provide a means to save money and lower the overall costs of service delivery.  Consider however that savings from deflection represents an opportunity to reinvest to improve service outcomes by reallocating staff to high value activities (e.g. onboarding, adoption, retention, expansion, etc.).  This article introduces the top opportunities to reinvest in service.

Read More

How to Define and Measure Deflection

Using an accurate measure of deflection is imperative.  If not measured correctly it is easy to overstate the impact of self-help and service automation on assisted support demand.

The average rate of case deflection within the technology industry is 23%.  For some companies deflecting 23% of the assisted support demand is extraordinary, while for other companies there is considerable room for improvement. 

This article defines deflection and provides a step by step guide to implement a reliable deflection metric.

Read More

 

SEE ALL ARTICLES RELATED TO SELF-HELP AND AUTOMATION

Featured: Featured: Digital Transformation Through Support Web Site Design

The digital transformation of support is defined by an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Self-help tools and content provided through the web are fundamental to support’s successful digital transformation.  This Playbook outlines the five elements of well-designed support web sites.

Log-in to get your copy.

Related Articles

Five Ways to Automate Service Delivery

Automation plays an increasingly important role in support case deflection and management activities. Leverage these 5 service automation strategies to free up your skilled support staff for higher value activities:

read more

Seven Strategies to Prevent Support Cases

Identifying and alleviating performance and usability issues can go a long way toward preventing demand for Support. Leverage these 7 strategies for issue prevention to help lessen Support demand:

read more

Maximizing the Return on Your Support Knowledge Base

The Support organization encompasses extensive experience and expertise about how to use and apply products. Access to this Support knowledge is the primary reason customers contact Support. This article explains how companies can maximize the return on the creation and distribution of Support knowledge.

read more

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