Our new blog series highlights “4 Reasons to Use Speech Self-Service in Your Help Desk”. The second volume examines calls that go to the wrong agent in the Help Desk − decreasing agent availability and increasing caller effort.

4 Reasons to Use Speech Self-Service in Your Help Desk

The latest article in our “Parlance Perspective” series looks at common Help Desk challenges, and demonstrates 4 ways speech self-service technology can improve caller experiences and increase agent availability.

Put yourself in a customer’s shoes. You need assistance with some aspect of a company/hospital/university’s services. You take the time to research the Help Desk number, dial in, and receive the following greeting “Thank you for calling the (insert company name) Help Desk. Please listen carefully, as our options have changed…”.

Meanwhile, the dog is barking to come back in the house, the oven timer just went off for the lasagna, and you’re wondering how to juggle all of the coming weekend’s activities. You say to yourself ‘I don’t have time to listen to this’, so you press 0 or 1 to bypass the annoying IVR menu. Your selection connects you to the support queue for either the default agent pool (0) or the skills pool for a specific issue (1). After waiting on hold you finally reach an agent, and carefully explain your problem. Unfortunately the agent you reached is an IT technical support specialist, and can’t help you with a billing question. The agent transfers you to the billing skills pool, where you once again wait on hold, once again have to explain your problem, and then are finally able to begin resolving your issue.

In this scenario, that lengthy IVR menu is contributing to misrouting of calls (and probably call abandonment and associated lost revenue as well). Callers are no longer willing in engage with 30 year old call management technology, and will try to bypass the system to speed interactions. The repercussions of this affect the caller, agents, and the business in several ways. The caller must repeat themselves, potentially sit in several hold queues, and endure multiple transfers until they reach the right agent. Agents must triage the call to determine their need, and then figure out which skills pool the caller really needs to speak with while other calls stack up in the support queue. The business suffers from poor service levels at the Help Desk, and subsequent impact on customer satisfaction, net promoter, and customer effort scores.

Speech self-service can help alleviate these issues in one fell swoop by leveraging Skills Based Routing applications to quickly and easily get callers to the right agent with a high degree of success. Replacing the IVR with a more natural and simple caller interface greatly increases caller engagement. No more menus, no more frustration for the caller. They can make their request in their own words to be promptly connected to the appropriate skill pool or agent to solve their problem on the first try. They don’t have to repeat themselves or suffer multiple transfers. Agents are made more available, as they are no longer burdened with the triage and transfer of misrouted calls. They’re able to handle more calls that require their specific expertise and can spend more time patiently servicing each caller − reducing support queue hold times and increasing First Call Resolution rates. The business reaps the benefits of faster and easier Help Desk interactions, which boosts customer satisfaction and turns the Help Desk from a brand liability to a brand asset.

The benefits of speech self-service and Skills Based Routing for the Help Desk are difficult to dismiss. Faster and easier caller experiences. More available and more effective agents. Greater customer satisfaction and lower operational costs. Callers win, agents win, and the business wins.