COVID-19 Disrupted Our World of Work
The sudden global spread COVID-19 changed everything, disrupting business as usual and forcing organizations across industries to navigate a new landscape. In times of uncertainty, first-line workers, customers, and citizens reach out in higher volumes seeking guidance, reassurance, and clarity. The speed at which companies are being asked to respond may expose a lack of structure for on-boarding large quantities of new support agents and service technicians.
- Inability to scale crisis response: Escalations on customer service calls increased due in part to the loss of infrastructure and support reps once had at the contact center but are missing when working from home.
- Lack of modern, efficient tooling for front line workers: The percentage of customers ranked call support as their initial channel preference for flexible communication, wanting an opportunity to ask, explain, reason or negotiate with customer service.
- Customers experience disconnected and siloed experiences: In a recent study conducted, low-performing reps were more likely to use “redirect” language on COVID-19 related calls than high performers were, requiring customers to wait and then explain their problem again.
- Decentralized customer service teams: By 2023, a large extent of the customer service workload will be done through crowd sourcing, telecommuting, work-at-home agents and gig-economy workers. With more support staff working outside the traditionally centralized contact center model, organizations need processes and technology to enable service teams to ensure a quality, consistent experience for customers and service employees. (Gartner, 2019)
Creating New Challenges for Service Organizations
As technologists, to provide the innovation that will enable solutions around functional concerns like the following:
- Inability to scale operations to meet changes in customer demand: Businesses may have difficulty adjusting to unprecedented changes in business environment. Organizations are finding themselves with an unprecedented need to shift to virtual engagements and operations to avoid serious disruption to their bottom line.
- Disconnected, siloed customer engagements across teams make for a poor customer experience: Companies now lack the ability to engage directly with customers in person. For many organizations that rely on face-to-face interaction, sellers and front-line workers now lack direct engagement in person with customers, with an inability to travel for business.
- Inefficient resource visibility and scheduling: Maintaining SLAs and ensuring every customer is heard and responded to is challenging if there is no resource management system in place.
- Lack of modern, efficient tooling for first-line workers: Use of legacy systems that may hinder employees’ ability to work remotely and may not be able to connect into the primary customer data source, which leaves support teams referencing inaccurate or potentially outdated information.
Enable Always-ON Service With Real-Time Support Anytime, Anywhere
- Always on service is scalable: it can extend to flawlessly support increases or decreases in customer volume
- Always on service is integrated: It provides all service and support employees with a single 360-degree view of the customer, so that the customer in turn receives one consistent experience, regardless of how many agents or technicians they need to work with.
- Always on service is optimized: it allows for visibility into opportunities to optimize resources and supports IoT integration for proactive service.
- Always-on service is efficient: it ensures your employees have access to the modern, intelligent tools they need to minimize the amount of time required to click through different apps or search for knowledge and to maximize the amount of time spent supporting customers toward issue resolution.
Deliver World-Class Customer Care
By investing in self-service, omnichannel engagement, agent productivity, proactive service, resource scheduling, and technician success, service organizations can enable an exceptional end-to-end customer experience and leverage customer insights to evolve.
It’s difficult to provide effective customer service with gaps in information. Relying on basic demographic data or purchase history is no longer enough—making it necessary to supplement basic information with more details. Be sure to ask the following questions:
- Are companies able to connect all service processes?
- Are the technologies used today supporting business needs?
- How analytics being used to predict issues and proactively provide solutions?
- Does systems improve technician efficiency and enable monetizing new business models?
Functions Enabling Always-On Service
- Customer communication channels – These are the ways in which companies engage with customers. These communication channels push data about customer requests and information into the omnichannel engagement interface so customer service agents can view consistent customer information regardless of the channel they went through.
- Agent productivity – Agents can view and manage relevant information from the agent interface including cases, contracts and agreement, SLAs, Knowledge Base, Next Best Action, and surveys.
- Cases that cannot be resolved remotely get pushed through to scheduling and dispatch. The case is converted to a work order and dispatchers can optimize resources and personnel assignment to the right work order. Agents and technicians can maintain a consistent customer record when the case becomes a work order. Agents can leverage case management dashboards and easily manage queues and routing. They can also glean customer sentiment to personalize and improve their service.
- Technician Enablement – Technicians can access all relevant work order information on mobile device. If needed, expert guidance can be also leveraged while on-the-job to get remote training and assistance from experts. Both customer service and field service employees can collaborate and communicate across a shared platform.
- Administration – With a single, integrated platform, organization can build and consume end-to-end solutions, taking advantage of value from a robust platform that offers competent IT and management capabilities.
Microsoft Ecosystem Supports Always-On Service
- Agents can seamlessly interact with customers in real time using chat (enabled by Chat for Dynamics 365), SMS, video (enabled by Channel Integration Framework), co-browse (enabled by Channel Integration Framework), via email (enabled by Microsoft 365), or with Power Virtual Agents.
- Agents can so access community resources and knowledge articles via self-service portals that track telemetry data shared when an agent or virtual agent is engaged.
- Microsoft offers different interfaces to address the preferences of service organizations and agents. The Unified Service Desk handles multiple cases, is curated for call centers, and offers omnichannel delivery, while the Customer Service Hub manages singular, standard customer service workloads.
- The Omnichannel for Customer Service UI offers a new, immersive experience that supports concurrent cross-channel conversation and case management, as well as out-of-the-box queue optimization and routing.
- Customer Service Insights and Customer Insights empower agents and scheduling and dispatch to better understand customer needs and maintain a consistent customer record from cases to work orders.
- Dynamics 365 Field Service Mobile enables scheduling and dispatch to easily service assets, optimize resources, manage SLAs/routing/assignments, and set up automatic scheduling from their mobile devices. Universal Resource Scheduling enables SLA management/routing/assignment and Resource Scheduling Optimization enables automatic scheduling.
- With Dynamics 365 Field Service Mobile, technicians can effectively complete all aspects of job from their device – from inspections to inventory and device monitoring to remote commands. Technicians on-site can leverage Remote Assist for expert support or take advantage of Guides for continuous learning anywhere, anytime.
- Customer service and field service workers can easily communicate and collaborate across a shared platform with Microsoft Teams.
- The Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Dynamics 365 Admin Center, and Azure Active Directory can be used for application management. Dynamics 365 Admin Center and Omnichannel Administration enable app management. Azure Active Directory enables resource management.
- Power Automate and Azure Logic Apps can be used for automation and robotic process automation.
- Dynamics 365, F&O, Windows SDK, Dynamics 365 Channel Integration Framework, Azure IoT Central, Azure Logic Apps, Power Automate and AppSource can help manage integration.
- Central to Dynamics 365 is its Common Data Service (CDS). This platform also comes with Power Apps and can be used to create data-driven applications that connect back to core Dynamics 365 applications.
- Data can be enabled and captured in Power Apps, acted on and automated by Power Automate, and its actionable insights visualized by Power BI.
- Asset Management for Dynamics 365 enables user to effectively manage their assets.
- Scale to meet customer demand anywhere, any time
- Deliver connected and empathetic customer experiences
- Drive action with proactive service and resource optimization
- Empower employees with the right tools at the right time
Scale To Meet Customer Demand Anywhere, Any Time
- Empower customers with self-service capabilities
- Unify customer and case details in one place
- Glean AI-driven insights and analytics
At The End
Covid-19 is worldwide pandemic, an enormously infectious virus may cause more human casualties. The transparency that is gained through current COVID-19 situation, that companies geared up for this pandemic situation. “The next pandemic is not a matter of “if it happens”, but “when it happens”, would we be prepared in advance against the pandemic at an individual and collective level”. What we actually need is preparedness. Indeed, the technology has advanced more and will continue to advance exponentially, but the human institutions and societies need to accelerate in adapting to it and continue investing in building the technology systems for the preparedness. After the COVID-19 outbreak, it is evident that, from AI to robotics, the technology innovations are helping to manage the epidemic and better equip to fight future public health emergency in a timely, systematic, and calm manner.