Couple of years ago, I began my investigation on the reason for low (if not poor) quality customer service. Product of that research, Perception Group started to develop a product that promised to be the key to the customer. Thus, Ukueri was born, an innovative platform that changes the way businesses and organizations communicate with their environment. It was a completely new tool to help people find answers, make claims or simply browse frequently asked questions (FAQs) and past experiences, all in a fast and intuitive interface connected to your desktop, mobile, also with social networking integration. But back then, we walked a long way to present the product to a large number of organizations where the main setback against this process of technological change for customers and employees alike was based on the lack of information organized internally. So, in simpler terms, the absence of portals, virtual libraries of digitized knowledge, the mere documentation of frequently asked questions regarding their products and services, amongst other things. Therefore, in this long and volatile road, the basic market response has been: “Come again later”. Our objective, to work in the industry’s innovation agenda, to have a timing for innovation, while installing the new customer service era would not be easy. The questions that arose from this were: when can we improve customer service? When will we be able to access to information that belongs to us as customers from lots of service companies, products, solutions, etc.? The answer came with the course of time. Instead of continuing to promote something that may come in the next few years, we continue to project by focusing on business productivity and sales productivity. This has led us to start from the beginning, to push for the following projects:
- Developing corporate portals that satisfy today’s needs.
- Centralizing internal information in an organized and accessible way to each of the areas of the company, with high-quality document management. In particular, customer service has been and will be a key for this area, not only for the need of instant information access and updated content but also for customers to get quick answers when calling. Self-management, another fundamental step of this procedure.
- Implementing projects to develop corporate social networks. The growth of tools such as Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, have shown to favor the exchange of information, the collaboration, discussion of ideas and the promotion and development of team projects. However, using such tools is appealing at a personal level. Organizations have begun to experiment on establishing private social networks that allow backup information and discussions on insurance and private environments without worrying about data protection. We talked about some examples, these are a fundamental step towards improving relations.
- Radically renewing of our conception of intra-corporate sites. We still live in the reign of obsolete corporate websites, the inability to propose a better search experience on the content, updated FAQ or better ways of interacting with specific information. Not to mention the absence of extranets for client access or lack of attractive tools for interaction with customers, even the absence of search engines.
Develop, centralize, implement, renew. For these four points we can say that we are on track, but with a long way to go. It is about time for companies to give us what we deserve: better customer service. We will continue working towards reshaping the concepts of customer service to get the handbrake that often prevents the industry from exhibiting the art of innovation and, as a consequence, giving us a better deal.