The Irish sports journalist, David Walsh, documented a team meeting that played out during the 2013 Tour de France when he was embedded within the SKY professional cycling team. The tour was not going well for Team Sky; they had lost a rider, two others were underperforming and they’d had a bad day or two on the road. Sir David Brailsford the team principal was “taking reality and reshaping it for his riders.” He couldn’t change the course or the competitors. He couldn’t change or add team members or suddenly make them fitter or stronger. He could however, adjust the plan, reassign duties within the team and adapt the tactics that played out in each day’s stage. At the end of the 3-week race, team leader Chris Froome won the race overall, the second successive victory for Team Sky.
As I think about customer service agents at CSPs, I am often reminded of the “reshaping reality” story. CSPs can’t change the course or the competition; they must compete for the business of well-informed customers who have high expectations. They can’t easily change the team; they have legacy systems, used by large populations of service agents, supporting complex product and service portfolios. They can however, make the team fitter and stronger.
First step: Employ case management software to manage customer service actions from end-to-end. Next, extend customer service processes via deeper data integration, increased automation of service actions and the addition of more interaction channels such as web self-service, retail stores, IVR and mobile self-service. CSPs can reshape the reality of their CSRs and indeed, of their customers.
Business, technology and organisational constraints affect every team in the competition; even the new upstarts. The winners take those constraints and adapt to them in the same time it takes the other competitors to throw in the towel and hope that everything turns out alright. Doing so requires CSPs to reject the notion that they are limited by their technology and to put customers first; delivering customer service on customer terms.
I wrote an eBook in which I propose four key principles that can make winning the race for loyal and happy customers easier and more efficient. Don’t just take my word for it though; listen to what Jim Bush from AMEX has to say about how they reshaped their reality for customer service success.
Explore four key principles that can make the journey to customer service health easier and more effective. Download The CSP Journey to Customer Service Health today.