The fast lane to boost customer experience

Lukas Hebeisen, Head of Solution Development and Digital Transformation, Swiss Post Solutions

It has been widely reported that we are now operating in the “expectation economy”. What was considered exceptional service only a few years ago has now become standard, and the bar keeps getting raised. As a result, there is a growing gap between customer expectations and company capabilities. For example, the average business takes 12 hours to respond to a customer request. Yet today, 90 per cent of customers expect an email to be answered within an hour – and less than one minute if they have sent an SMS message.

Swiss Post Solutions believes that the solution to close this gap lies in the huge volumes of unstructured data that companies have to deal with on a daily basis. The term unstructured data refers to information from emails, images, social media and other digital and non-digital sources, which cannot be easily managed by transaction-processing applications.

Intelligent Automation (IA) is an effective way to manage the data challenge. It can take unstructured information from almost any source and transform it into a useable format that is ready to be processed. IA combines people, processes and technology to complete high-volume business tasks at maximum efficiency.

A typical IA system includes components such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can “read” customer communications and extract and classify the most important parts. It will also leverage Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to move information between different spreadsheets and systems within fractions of a second. The final element involves using skilled workers, on- or offshore, to handle queries that are too complex to automate. After all, people remain more efficient than computers for many tasks.

Let’s have a look at a real-life example. An SPS client was struggling with sorting and managing all their incoming email communication. While customers were unsatisfied with the long handling time of their request, the inefficient manual sorting and handling processes strained the agents. SPS’s implemented IA solution categorised the requests across multiple languages and directly sent them to the responsible agents. The software automatically collected additional information on the customer from back-end systems and created an answer template. Customer agents checked the template, added extra details where necessary and sent back the response. Previously, employees had to find and collect all of this information manually, cutting and pasting it from different spreadsheets and systems.

The SPS solution reduced the average handling time per email by 35 to 50 per cent, which has significantly boosted customer satisfaction. SPS was also able to provide detailed analytics on response times, first contact resolution rate and the performance of individual agents, allowing further improvements.

Winning the race for customer experience is the key to business success. Intelligent Automation helps companies take the fast lane.


Speak to an expert at SPS to find out more about Intelligent Automation and its potential for your business.


References:

SuperOffice. ‘New Study: 62% of Companies Ignore Customer Service Emails.’ Available at:  https://www.superoffice.com/blog/customer-service-benchmark-report/. Accessed February 2020.

AstuteSolutions.‘9 Important Call Center Industry Standards & How to Beat Them.’ Available at: https://www.astutesolutions.com/blog/articles/9-important-call-center-industry-standards-how-to-beat-them. Accessed February 2020.

AstuteSolutions.‘9 Important Call Center Industry Standards & How to Beat Them.’ Available at: https://www.astutesolutions.com/blog/articles/9-important-call-center-industry-standards-how-to-beat-them. Accessed February 2020.

© Business Reporter 2020