By Marshall Shovein, Rulesware Vice President
I once met a client who had a large customer call center. The client was interested in using business process management (BPM) to improve their customer experience, and they requested my help in identifying exactly what BPM could do for their operation. I told them that the best way I would be able to help identify exactly how BPM could help would be for me to first see their operation. I wanted to see how the people were taking calls and doing their work.
So I was able to sit with a few call center representatives and with a headset on (and the microphone off). I listened and watched as they took calls.
Observations About Call Center Efficiency
I noticed that while the representatives took these calls, each would navigate through a number of various screens and application windows. At one point I counted 17 separate windows open at one representative’s work station. Every representative had some really nice hardware on their desks, including two large monitors. They needed two monitors just to support all the applications/windows they needed to have open. There was no wasted space on those screens!
Another thing I noticed was that answering questions seemed hard for the representatives. They would often ask the customer to give them a few moments to look up an answer to a question, or the information they needed. And as a result, the phone calls took longer than I would expect for what I came to discover was usually a fairly simply question. After listening and watching each representative, I would ask each of them one question. The question was: “If you could have anything you wanted to make your job easier, what would you ask for?”
The most common answer: A third monitor on their desk!
The representatives told me that they wanted to have more applications open so that they could see more information. They felt that it took that much information to provide their customers with answers, and that their jobs were complicated ones.
BPM Versus Three Monitors
I went back to the client with my feedback on how BPM would help them.
I suggested that we could not only make their customer service calls easier by reducing the time and effort spent by representatives on research, but that we could also enable those representatives to answering customer questions more quickly and more accurately by using BPM to consolidate the volumes of disparate information–all of those screens and boxes and sources–into a single place.
The best part? I told the client that once we were finished, every representative would be delighted to have a single monitor–rather than the two or three they thought they needed–on their desk.
BPM Wins on Customer Service
This is a story I’ve told a few times now, because it so simply explains what BPM can do for companies–and customers, both external and internal.
We often use BPM to figure out how to improve the bottom line for companies–but a lot of the time, that starts with improving customer experience. In this example, it’s easy to see how the call center representatives could get their job done a whole lot more efficiently by having the right information in one place–as well as how customers on the other end of the line benefitted by better, faster customer service.