win in the back officeCustomer experience is a battle, and a very complex battle! In a time where many product offerings do not attract new customers, or keep existing ones, the quality of the customer service you deliver is absolutely a key differentiator.

When it comes to customer experience, there are many battles to fight across many different fields. But, there is one field that is absolutely strategic and many companies tend to forget it or underestimate it. It’s the “back office”.

Here are five tactical steps to make sure you will have a great chance to win your battle from the back office and contribute to the victory of the overall customer experience delivered by your company!

  1. Implement automated workload distribution – To reach a high level of efficiency and effectiveness you cannot just rely on manual distribution of tasks and work items. The distribution has to be streamlined and prioritized by an intelligent central platform and business rules engine that is able to take into account many variables, including the business value of the customer, the business value of the task, the service level agreement, the due date and so on – all in real time. If you do it right, you can deliver a great customer experience, reducing customer effort, while also improving costs. Even a moderate increase in efficiency can mean millions in cost savings.
  2. Get control of your backlog – Controlling backlogs is critical for customer service delivery. Backlogs need to be efficiently managed, since a customer task or request cannot just be left and forgotten about. Again, you need a centralized and intelligent engine to make sure that backlogs will be managed based on your business rules – no customers will be lost.
  3. Avoid cherry picking – Business value, priority, urgency, due dates are the key criteria that have to define what your employees should work on. Cherry picking might not be aligned to your strategy and you cannot accept this misalignment. Moreover, employees waste time selecting their next job and you cannot be sure they are working on the most important task for your company or customer.
  4. Leverage workforce skills and knowledge – Your employees are your best allies in winning this battle. Your workforce owns the knowledge to serve your customers in the best way. However, you have to be able to reach the right employee at the right time with the right task, in the right place. Moreover, if an employee cannot accept the work, it can be withdrawn and reassigned by priority to a new resource. Again, this activity has to be centralized and driven by an intelligent business rules and routing engine. Don’t forget: The way you organize your workload is important for your workforce morale and can enhance your employees’ engagement.
  5. Implement real and accurate reporting – Insights are critical for understanding what you are doing well and what can be improved. Insights are also critical for getting a precise picture of what’s going on and and how to build/adapt/re-tune your overall strategy. This is why you cannot trust manual reporting! Manual aggregation is time- consuming, inconsistent and often includes mistakes. This can leave managers frustrated because they are not able to do jobs like coaching employees and improving performance; instead they are busy expending significant effort to pull data from disparate systems for reporting.

You can be sure of one thing, the customer experience battle is going to be more and more strategic for your company in the future. And don’t forget the back office when trying to deliver a winning experience across the end to end customer journey. If you’d like to learn more, check out our whitepaper on how to Deliver on Customer Experience.