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How empowered are your sales and service teams?

Very recently, I got to taste 3 variants of customer service that made me wonder in these tough times too are organizations doing the needful to empower their sales and service teams to continue to deliver promises and services that we as customers are used to. 

The first variant was about repair of the water filter which had been newly purchased. During the purchase, the high-end model was sold with assurance of a robust, quick and smooth service experience. To my dismay even after a week's follow up, multiple re-assignments, unnecessary call backs, repeat telecast of my needs, the repair had to be done by a local plumber than the registered service technician.

·         Expression at the end of the service -

       Disconnected sales and service experience

       Inefficient services 

The second variant was about the wall color services. While the organization had a self- service portal feature with the call center actively reaching out against the submitted query, the actual execution of the service was exasperating as the dealer had no idea about my requirement nor the muscle to address it. To add to the woes, the engineer who took the measurements never reverted as he left the organization with no hand over to the next available person.

·         Expression at the end of the service -

       Lack of handshake between contact center and dealer

       Broken communication 

The third variant of the service was about the makeover of my study which was brilliantly executed by the firm. Right from the proactive call based on the search history, to the remote design consultancy to sending the right engineer who was an expert in his subject, the whole service was executed stupendously.

·         Expression at the end of the service -

       An experience worth sharing 

These examples tickle some thoughts like how empowered today's sales and service teams are to deliver the usual tastes and flavors of engaging CX or how much are organizations investing into workforce and work transformation to land up with improved CX and UX.

In this blog, let us browse through some of the work and workforce transformation techniques that can be adopted by organizations to empower employees and conquer customers.

Current Challenges- 

While CX has walked past through its own share of hurdles and challenges, the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have added few more to the list such as -

  • Contact less engagement - Ironical as it sounds the new definition of engagement is offline interaction
  • Workload balance - With staff migration, quits as well as downsizing, there is a pressure to deliver more with fewer staff which has skewed the workload distribution graphs
  • Stress of social distancing - The demons of social distancing seem to be saddling us, leaving little thoughts for innovation or efficiency improvements
  • Pressure of innovation - With larger loads, downsized staff there is continuous pressure to innovate, automate and deliver 
  • Reduce operational cost In view of the reduced onsite transactions, there is a continuous need to show better returns. Hence the axe on operational costs.

Amongst these hurdles, organizations must not only keep their employees sane, healthy and safe but also provide them the needed guidance and ammunition to continue to empower them to excel, pushing the CX bars higher.

While the podium is up for innovations and transformative solutions, here is my pick of few of the workforce and work transformation solutions -  

Workplace Transformation

  • Collaboration - If these tough times have taught me anything, the first in the list would be 'Collaboration'. Rather than working in siloed workspace, organizations should invest into good collaboration platforms and software to help their sales and service teams stay connected with each other, peers, managers and customers. Some of these platforms bring in virtual workplace arrangements along with features like knowledge sharing, virtual conference rooms, team event orchestration etc. impacting overall productivity and outcomes.
  • Safe Return-to-Work solutions - As we learn to coexist with Covid-19 demons, part of the workforce will gradually start heading to office. Organizations should have a Return-to-Work solution strategy as well as the required logistics to make it work. Right from scanning to providing distanced workplaces to ensuring pandemic compliance adherence, the plan should have elements to cover the safety of workplace and workforce.
  • Digital Academies - While this concept is not new, it got re-christened during these tough times. To remotely equip employees while working from homes, investment into in house digital academies would go a long way in addressing digital on-boarding for new joiners, best practices and experience sharing, skill refactoring, faster on-boarding due to short notice attrition etc.   

Work Transformation 

  • Customer Sentiment Analysis - Social feedback analysis has always been there but who would have known the real power of it until 2020. In these times of offline customer engagement, organizations should invest into sentiment capture solutions to read the pulse of the customer either during an on call transaction or an offline message on Facebook/Twitter. These should be fed to the sales as well as service teams to not only comprehend the customer interest levels but also to bring in relevant interventions.
  • Bring in a melange of old and new channels of communication - We have been singing hymns of the concept 'Go Digital'. While accelerating the use of digital channels, as easy wins conventional channels of communication can be explored for both CX and UX purposes. For example; text channel can be used to send in reminders for an upcoming customer meeting to sales agent, reminders for upcoming service appointments to engineers are few of the easy UX empowerment scenarios.
  • Customer Analytics - Organizations can harness the power of data to not only expand the revenue footprints but also to bring in operational efficiency. Be it shaping the customer conversations or rightfully channelizing the efforts of the sales and service teams, a read of the 360 degree view of the customer data would enable sales team to sell better while equipping the service team to service intelligently.
  • Intelligent Automation - Imbibe intelligent automation into the organizational DNA to bring in productivity improvements. Automate the repetitive tasks and communications, bring in the power of bots and declutter UX.
  • Dealer Solutions - Along with the mission of empowering in house employees, dealers/distributors or service contractors should also be wrapped into the game. They being the face of the organization in front of the customer, should be fortified enough to make the kill. Organizations can bring in dealer management solutions to share the organizational knowledge as well as track their day-to-day operations to bring in needed interventions.
  • Be Agile - A great CX story lies in the agility of organizations to bring in all the above points together to help its employees provide a stellar customer experience. Agility aided with strategy will help armor.

While times are tough, but the expectations of a seamless customer experience still score high. The knights delivering CX would need improved UX to be able to do the job each time and every time. At Infosys we help organizations empower their CX teams with workplace and work transformation solutions. Be it our Return-to-Work solution or the bundle of work transforming solutions like industry oriented POV, preconfigured CX catalogs and solutions, best practice based learning, we are ready to empower your sales and service teams to deliver the usual tastes and flavors of engaging CX. Are you ready to take the plunge?  

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