22 May

The Social Service Desk – The Future of Call Centers? (Part I)

By in Tips & Guides on May 22, 2013

There’s something of a revolution happening in the way organizations are using Yammer in call centers and help desks around the world today and it’s gathering momentum. Tech-savvy companies are finding that the “Social Service Desk” is playing an ever-important role in the way help desks are run and in the way they provide services to internal and external customers.

At Yammer we’re committed to helping organizations deliver customer satisfaction to employees, clients and partners. Through the innovative use of Yammer networks, a social service desk can come to fruition. Let’s take a closer look at how the social service desk is having a disruptive effect in call centers around the world.

Types of Service Desks & Today’s Current Challenges
Call centers and services desk are used by most organizations in some form or another: to resolve IT issues, to procure products and services and to get help.  There are two types of service desks. The first is a transactional type of service desk that focuses on high volume, non-technical requests. Typical examples are consumer services such as utilities, banking and telecommunications. The second type is a technical service desk that focuses on specialized software or services provided to other organizations. Both types will have underlying software in order to log, track and resolve any requests or tickets that are raised.

Due to the complexity and intricacies of call centers, staff members may frequently encounter challenges. Call center agents as well as customers may encounter some of the following problems:

  • Finding an expert who can help. In order to find an answer, calls are placed, tickets are logged and customers are passed from contact to contact until the right person is reached.
  • Call centers have to deliver quality service that meets customer satisfaction levels while working with a restricted or limited budget.
  • Customers often spend time waiting in queues with multiple menu options to get help, even when they require a quick answer to a simple request.
  • Agents may not have a way of easily tapping into similar requests that have been made. Information and knowledge needed may be difficult to find.
  • When call center agents move into a different role it is difficult to retain the knowledge of that individual to benefit the community in the future.

So where does Yammer fit into the picture and how do Enterprise Social Networks help?

How Yammer Helps
Yammer acts a social layer above your service desk software and allows call center agents to accelerate the way in which requests are processed and resolved. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways your Yammer network can help.

Agent Relationships: Traditional call center models are hierarchical, with a 1st line, 2nd and 3rd line type of setup. With Yammer, agents can connect directly with experts, allowing a request to be resolved faster than a traditional approach. In addition to quicker resolution timelines, this allows the team to have multiple relationships with the experts.

Expertise: Finding experts is easy in Yammer, as users can complete the expertise section in their personal profile section. If an agent is looking for a specialist in PCs or O365, they can quickly use the search function and find an expert. Finding experts that can help ultimately means getting to an answer sooner.

Knowledge Sharing: ESNs can be used to share information quickly and efficiently. This can mean sharing successes in resolving an issue or sharing strategies to manage customer interactions. By sharing stories, the rest of your team can learn and benefit from those experiences. Typically, sharing successes and information is missing from traditional call center systems today. With Yammer, your network becomes a knowledge hub that can easily tapped into by every call center agent.

What a Social Service Desk Can Do for You
It’s clear a social service desk can help to provide better service and give agents more tools to help customers. So what can you do to get started?

  • Crowdsource answers to customer questions: Using Yammer to draw on the knowledge of the whole team can improve the speed and accuracy with which customer calls are answered.
    • Ask questions and get answers, use search to find existing knowledge and avoid the need to escalate.
    • Set up YammerFall so employees can see what questions are being asked to gain ambient awareness of trending issues.
    • Increase your first call resolution targets and help meet your teams SLAs
  • Capture and share customer feedback: Customer feedback captured by call center operatives in Yammer can be quickly shared with sales, ,arketing and product development teams to improve the customer experience.
  • Improve engagement and productivity: Yammer gives everyone in the organization a voice to improve employee engagement, leading to higher motivation and productivity among call center operatives while also improving customer satisfaction.
  • Capture knowledge in a role with a high turnover: Call centers typically experience high turnover so capturing experiences in Yammer is a great way to retain knowledge and speed up the onboarding of new hires.
  • Connect team leaders: Connecting team leaders through Yammer enables them to share advice for getting the best from their teams and spot customer trends together.
  • Connect with employees in other departments: Through Yammer, call center operatives can connect with colleagues in different departments to get answers to technical questions.
  • Recognizing performance or leadership: Representatives are usually evaluated on call time and the number of calls attended to. Using Yammer Praise to recognize individuals helps to retain the best employees and increase morale.

So there you have it: the Social Service Desk in a nutshell! We’d like to hear your feedback on the future of social service desks. What’s your vision? How do you see the market evolving in the future?

Our next post, The Social Service Desk – The Future Of Call Centers? (Part II) focuses on customer stories.

This blog was created in collaboration with Marta Texidor & Yammer’s Customer Engagement team.

Photo Credit: nffcnnr via Compfight cc

9 Responses to The Social Service Desk – The Future of Call Centers? (Part I)

  1. There are certain critical call center metrics like FCR ( First Call Resolution), AHT ( Average Call Handle Time), After Call Work ( ACW) etc which determine the efficiency of a call center and directly impact customer delight. All these could be significantly be improved by locating right experts, knowledge sharing via crowd sourcing and encouraging agents to perform better ( through rewards & recognition in internal communities /gamification etc). Social engagement & collaboration is definitely the answer.

  2. […] Future of Call Centers? (Part II) Posted on May 23, 2013 by Jasvinder TweetIntroduction In our last post, we discussed the benefits of a social service desk. By serving customers socially, companies are […]

  3. Jasvinder says:

    Absolutely, fully agree Sanjay. It’s about helping people meet personal targets, finding expertise quicker & crowdsourcing ideas, which ultimately leads to improved customers satisfaction. Your Social Service Desk will help strengthen communities & recognize employees for their efforts!

  4. This is one area of customer focus that is still being written. I also agree that this is an emerging trend, and customers want to be able to gain access to the questions and expertise they are looking for as quickly as possible. What will be interesting is getting a good idea of the problems or obstacles the customers are currently facing and then addressing those needs. This is one area where there will be some interesting problem solving solutions.

    • Jasvinder says:

      Appreciate your feedback, in part 1 we looked at some of the key challenges that businesses face & part 2 looks at some of the ways which customers are using Yammer today, problems solved & how they are benefitting. Agree that looking at the obstacles that customers are seeing today will help construct a tailored solution for that client. We’re interested in finding out more about the key challenges that people in the industry are seeing today.

  5. Michael says:

    There needs to be some sort of integration with the service desk management tool. It is true that Yammer can help but currently it is a parallel system. If Yammer messages could be sent into the incident management system somehow and the conversation between the user and technician was via Yammer perhaps, but all correspondence was captured in the incident notes – then this might work. Until we have this integration Yammer can only be a helpful additional tool.

    • Jasvinder says:

      Great question Michael, if an organisation has a business need to link a Service Management system with Yammer, then your company can achieve this using the Yammer API. This would allow Yammer messages to be sent into the Service Management system in the way you describe.

      If you’re interested in finding out more you can refer to our Yammer Developer Network via developer.yammer.com & reach out to your Customer Success Manager

  6. The future of any customer service call center depends upon the quality of customer service it provides and the contact center software they use to manage the customer call. if the call center staff is highly knowledgeable regarding the service or product they provide, then the whole setup keeps on growing immensely.

  7. help desk it says:

    This is a so useful and interesting information. Service desk can help companies to manage calls, incidences and other managment tasks. Regards.

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