Howv a Solid Service Center Strategy contributes to your business goals | Customer & Marketing | Deloitte Netherlands


How a Solid Service Center Strategy Contributes to Your Business Goals

A well-organized contact center not only contributes to customer satisfaction, but it adds value to your business. But how do you design and build a center that handles all inbound and outbound customer communication while using this communication to improve processes, products and services? “Customer service is now truly customer service instead of just a center that distributes calls.”

An interview with Deloitte’s Service Center Specialist Steven Bruna and customer experience experts Sandra ten Ham and Fleur Vis from Dutch healthcare provider De Zorgcirkel.

Steven Bruna: "Organizations lacking a centralized service center will probably be familiar with this scenario: your website lists several phone numbers and email addresses where clients and/or customers can contact you. You likely have a chatbot, along with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram accounts, too. Yet not one person in your entire organization has a complete overview of what questions are being asked, what queries are being handled and what orders are being placed most frequently.”

“Deloitte’s service center team has helped many organizations with their service center strategy. While many perceive their service centers as cost driver, we think they can be a core attribute of your value proposition. Customers value good service, just as they value nice stores, fancy gift wrapping or a well-executed brand values campaign.”

When organizations centralize customer contacts to match their business strategy, service centers contribute to business goals. Successfully executing such strategies leads to better customer experience in every contact, strengthening your customer relationship. Also, because centralizing contacts makes it easier to extract useful information, every interaction can be a source of relevant information for product or business developers. With solid processes in your service center, this valuable information goes directly to the relevant people.”

Building a Service Center

“When an organization decides to centralize its service center, it should first map out the kinds of contacts it currently has with customers and make sure it has a firm grasp on customer expectation. The required channel strategy differs from organization to organization, depending on the content, complexity and diversity of customer queries. At a parcel company, for instance, the majority of questions will be about package arrival times. These questions can be answered through a chatbot or via a portal. If your queries are more nuanced or complex, such as when selling medical equipment, than the phone will remain an essential component of your strategy.”

“A service process is a very personal interaction, meaning those interacting with customers are crucial to the success of your service center strategy. Not only must they be kept abreast of desired outcomes, but you should mine their information for daily results. In knowledge-driven service centers, reducing employee turnover drives enhanced efficiency.”

“Processes and information flows are also important elements of a central service center. Information flow goes two ways: both towards the service center and towards the rest of the business. Customers expect to contact your company, not its service department. It is important that the service center has access to all the relevant information it needs while not burdening employees with unnecessary overload.”

“Your process should be designed to feed your company with the maximum amount of information. If you’re paying market research companies to analyze your customer experience, why not leverage the fact that many of them are contacting you on a daily basis for free?”

“Make sure you discern between customer experience, the root cause of the experience and any provided solutions. Then decide on an efficient strategy to distribute this information throughout your organization so it can be acted upon effectively.”

Your Service Center's digital environment

“The digital environment or digital platform is the engine powering your new service center. With well-designed systems, customers can be serviced faster and more effectively on all channels and the right information ends up in the right place faster. This system enables cooperation between different departments and helps your organization to both measure KPI’s and achieve your goals.”

Centralizing Customer contact at healthcare provider De Zorgcirkel

De Zorgcirkel is an organization for both in-home and residential care for the elderly, with 27 locations in the northwest of the Netherlands. Deloitte is helping De Zorgcirkel with its service center transformation, which is being driven by its digital platform.

“When I started working here, we had 14 locations,” says Sandra ten Ham, team leader of customer service at De Zorgcirkel. “Each location had its own telephone exchange where receptionists forwarded inbound calls, to physiotherapists, healthcare workers, the financial department or a board member. Those people were continuously interrupted in their work. If someone was not available, the contact center kept a record of who had to be called back. So, there was quite a bit of room for improvement, to say the least.”

The first step towards better and more effective customer service was centralizing inbound calls. But as the organization grew, the number of inbound calls also grew, which meant it was harder for employees to organize incoming calls and to service clients to the standards the organization felt they deserved. That led to Deloitte’s helping De Zorgcirkel with the implementation of CRM tool Salesforce. “In Salesforce, we record every customer contact”, says Vis, De Zorgcirkel’s project leader. “Thanks to this CRM system, customer service employees can either directly help our clients or easily direct them to the right person, who can then contact the customer at a convenient time.”

Building a 360-degree customer view

De Zorgcirkel’s goal is a 360-degree view of every customer who contacts it. “To this end, we now collect relevant customer information during every call,” says Vis. “This will benefit not only every individual caller, but also our organization. If we have enough data, we can analyze it and act upon the results. For example, if we get a lot of questions about physical revalidation at one of our locations, we know we need to do something to clarify the situation. The same goes for other specific questions we receive.”

Over the next few months, De Zorgcirkel and Deloitte will continue improving the 360-degree customer view. “We are now exploring links with other departments so that our customer service employees can help with other client questions, including financial ones,” says Ten Ham. And after having worked with Salesforce and transferring several processes into it, De Zorgcirkel now knows where improvements need to be made.

Until a few months ago, De Zorgcirkel had hardly any information available regarding the customers who were calling them. The organization also didn’t have a complete overview of the questions coming in. Much has improved. Says ten Ham: “Customer service is now truly customer service instead of just a call center that distributes calls. Our employees like their work a lot more, customer contact has intensified and customers are positively surprised at how fast and well we can help them. I am very happy with where we are now. I even ordered cake for the employees twice!”

De Zorgcirkel’s goal is to provide good healthcare to all its clients. That entails not only physical care from its professionals, but also the organizational side of care provision. Its service center now contributes to the optimal functioning of the latter.

The introduction of the service center and its software has helped improve delivered care. With improved registration came improved insights and the structuring of all care plans, services and history connected to a customer. It made a more personalized approach and tailored service towards customers possible. That’s a big improvement for both the customer and the employee who is able to focus on his or her main task: optimal service delivery.

Do you want your service center to contribute to your business? We are happy to help. Please contact Rogier Berger or Mirte van de Louw;

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