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Leading the Customer Service Commitments (Part-1)

Guest post by
Saurabh Dwivedi, Consultant, Infosys

 

One fine morning, I got a call from car service center reminding me of due car service.  I was aware of the due service but appreciated this initiative. I checked with the service agent for the availability of dashboard glove box which my 3 year old champ has accidentally pulled off. The line went quite for some time and then service agent responded that the parts are available and I can visit for service and also get it replaced same time.

Expecting to get the part fixed along with the due service, I got an appointment for weekend, travelled to another corner of the city and finally landed up at the center. I was received well but to my shock and surprise when I checked for the part, the assigned technician updated that the particular part is out of stock. The whole customer experience journey came crashing down upon hearing this. Since, I had travelled to another corner of city, I didn't have many options. I got my service done and returned with bad experience.

The Real Culprit

All of us may be in some point of time would have landed in such situations when we would have been overcommitted or under committed by the service agents/field technicians about the service schedules, stock availability, part choices, delivery schedules, etc.

In such interactions, we may identify service agent or technician as a culprit; however in reality the culprit is the lack of updated information with the agent to commit accurately and also the inability to pass on the same service commitments to the assigned field technician. At least when the service was scheduled, the technician could have checked the availability and updated in advance.

Losing the Grip

These days organizations spend much effort to achieve customer service excellence however in process they tend to forget, that to provide service excellence, apart from other imperatives, they also need to have the tight linkage of information flowing from procurement/inventory end to the customer service agent and ensure that the field technician has all the logistics to fulfill the service commitments.

To service a customer up to his expectations or beyond, it is imperative for service agents on the call to have the access to the updated operational information from vendors or inventory locations to brief the customers about the parts availability, discounts, offers, and accordingly schedule the site/technician visits. It is also must for the organizations to ensure that service committed by the agent shall flow to the field technician to avoid any disconnect at the time of service delivery.

Bridging the Gap

The big challenge here could be for a CRM system to bridge this gap and ensure adherence to service commitments. In the next series, I will try exploring the features of a Siebel CRM, a proven system for its service capabilities. We will study the vanilla features, which can be leveraged to lead the service commitments of an organization.

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