Just one poor experience sends 33% of customers packing. Hence, putting your customers on hold even for a few minutes could mean a loss of $30 a day, $900 a month, and $11000 a year.
Pretty scary, right?
Successful support operations thrive on promptness, relevancy, and consistency. Businesses that perpetually render fast, on-point, and relevant support display higher customer satisfaction rates as opposed to those that provide delayed or inaccurate information and appear apathetic.
With the stakes so high, organizations can no longer use tiers to simply pawn off tickets to the next agent while customers wait in limbo. It not only degrades the quality of customer service by slowing resolution times but also prevents agents from upskilling. Under this archaic model, the first tier is usually earmarked for quick-fix problems, while subsequent tiers demand increasing expertise and knowledge.
This brings up a critical question – is there a better modus operandi that offers consistent and streamlined approach while subduing the shortcomings (ping-ponging) of the tier model?
Enter Intelligent SwarmingSM. It’s time to play catch.
First Things First – What is Intelligent Swarming?
Pared down to its core, Intelligent Swarming (IS) is a collaborative model that routes incoming tickets to the best-suited agents right off the bat. Should the agent get stuck at some point, the ticket is not thrown over the wall or escalated to the next tier. Instead, they sound experts out for guidance.
The framework revolves around two simple basics:
1. Applying their own skills or expertise to find an answer, or
2. Leveraging the specialized skill sets of service delegates
Let me explain with an example.
Mike is the go-to service rep for all things returns. Whereas, Jessica handles all the technical queries. A customer wishes to return a phone he recently bought. His ticket is automatically routed to Mike. However, he gets stuck in the technicalities and requires additional expertise.
Now, instead of forwarding the ticket to Jessica, he posts it in a swarm channel, tags Jessica, and fills out key details like the case number, the urgency level, along with the subject matter. Once Jessia notices the urgency, she quickly shares the resolution with Mike to ensure a speedy resolution. Fascinating, right?
Hero Culture Vs Collaborative Culture – Which is Better?
Undeniably, the tiered support model had some gaping holes and was sabotaging customer and agent experience. Along came Intelligent Swarming. It rescues the support service deliveries from the abyss they were slipping into. Let me explain how:
- Promotes Collaboration – Consortium for Service Innovation delineates the IS framework as ‘collaboration on steroids.’ The model enables a support organization to leverage the collective intelligence of the company and promote a collaborative culture where agents swarm with SMEs across departments to resolve tickets quickly.
- Upskills Agents – A big tenet of the Intelligent Swarming model is upskilling the support staff. Since a lot of knowledge is shared as a by-product of solving incoming cases, it not only diversifies the current skill set of agents but also keeps them engaged and motivated. In fact, 94% of employees would stay longer with a company if it simply invested in their learning.
- Augments Customer Satisfaction – New-age customers expect blazing fast responses to their queries. The going gets tough when your support agents ask customers to wait while they handover the case to the “correct person”. IS effectively routes cases to the right agent from the get-go. Additionally, it ropes in SMEs to troubleshoot issues that the agents aren’t familiar with, thus reducing the TTR and a lot of head-scratching.
- Curtails Agent Burnout – On average, 74% of agents are at a risk of burnout. Naturally, that can be detrimental to the success of an organization. But fret not, it’s preventable; thanks to Intelligent Swarming. The IS framework enables a skill multiplier effect and ensures the agents neither scramble for answers nor stay compartmentalized to only L1 queries, thus helping them feel fulfilled in their roles.
- Expedites Ticket Resolution – With IS, agents forego the ticket hand-off culture and put their heads together to come up with better, more creative, and faster resolutions. And when the tickets are not passed around like hot-potatoes, the overall MTTR and AHT is reduced to a minimum, thus expediting resolutions.
But don’t just take our word for it, these numbers from a recent TSIA study, validate our claims.
As apparent from the graph, the performance numbers for the collaborative support model are better in each case. So, what would you rather your customer receive? Delayed response or a consistent and quick response? See? It wasn’t that difficult to put two and two together.
Pick-Up, Collaborate, Solve, and Repeat
Intelligent Swarming gets the show on the road by facilitating effective triaging along with receiving real-time case insights from SMEs. Doing so ensures quick responses and resolutions while augmenting the skill set of agents. What’s more, it pushes swarm resolutions to your KBs as a by-product of the agent interaction. Win-win, right?
But for an intelligent swarming model to function at its peak, it must be underpinned by the right technology. For instance, cognitive technology evaluates and directs support tickets to the best agent on the said topic automatically. It also suggests top SMEs for incoming tickets to the support agents in real-time, thus catapulting intelligent swarming.
Like what you see? This is just the tip of the iceberg. Join Beth Coleman, Founder CATALYNK and Certified KCS®v6 and Intelligent Swarming Trainer and Brian Corcoran, Certified KCS Practitioner and Regional Sales Manager, SearchUnify as they discuss how cognitive tech enables support agents to incorporate IS in their workflow and ensure support operations are executed without any hiccups.
Intelligent Swarming℠ is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation™.