Buyer expectations are higher than ever, and providing fast, effortless, and personalized support is no longer an advantage — it’s a necessity. According to research by PwC, 73% of consumers consider customer experience an important factor in purchasing decisions. Yet, only 49% believe companies provide a good customer experience, and one in three (32%) will walk away from a brand they love after just one negative experience.
With the increased pressure to maximize speed and efficiency and deliver seamless self-service, CX organizations will need to empower their agents with better tools and processes. In the future, agents will go beyond providing support — they will assume a new role as trusted consultants who drive satisfaction, long-term loyalty and revenue, by building relationships and delivering radically personal support.
Today, we’re excited to introduce two new features: Dedicated Agent and Live Mode, that help brands thrive in this new CX landscape. Available for both Enterprise and Ultimate plans, these features add transparency into support operations while enabling hyper-personalized support.
The Kustomer platform is built on the premise of providing agents with as much context as possible to support them through their handling of customer inquiries, all with the goal of increasing the likelihood that those inquiries are handled efficiently and effectively. Half of that battle is getting the right agent matched with the right customer at the right time. Queues and Routing was the first step in this matching process, but what if an organization wanted to take this a step further and do their best to match a particular customer with the same agent every time they reach out to your team? This level of white-glove service is where Dedicated Agent comes in.
Through the function of explicitly linking a customer and agent, we believe that Dedicated Agent has the power to strengthen the relationships you’re trying to build with your customers. By routing customers to the same agent on every inquiry, agents can establish continuity in care and the type of consultative support that truly feels like an ongoing dialogue with your business, boosting satisfaction and loyalty as a result.
How It Works
Dedicated Agent sits in front of your Queues and Routing configuration and acts as the first gateway when determining where to send an inbound conversation. Before we begin evaluating against your Queue rule criteria, we’ll first check to see if the customer requesting support has a dedicated agent. If they do, we’ll then check to see the status of that dedicated agent, who will fall into one of the three buckets outlined below. The first two are straightforward, while the third has some additional configuration to ensure it best suits your business’ needs.
- If the dedicated agent is online with capacity: The dedicated agent is routed the conversation.
- If the dedicated agent is offline: The conversation continues down the standard routing path and routes to the next available agent.
- If the dedicated agent is online but without capacity: This is where things get a little bit more interesting.
While we know there are benefits to metrics like handle time, resolution time, and satisfaction when routing all of a customer’s inquiries to the same agent, there are also risks on the agent and customer side that we wanted to account for. For agents, we did not want to ignore capacity and force assignment or these interactions as they could quickly overwhelm an agent and degrade the support experience. For customers, we know that there is likely only a certain amount of time that they’d be willing to wait for their dedicated agent to become available.
To solve for these, we’ve added what we call Reroute Timers. These per-channel configurations determine how long (from 5 seconds up to 60 minutes) a conversation should await capacity from the dedicated agent.
So, when a dedicated agent doesn’t have capacity, the conversation will sit in a holding pen of sorts, waiting for the agent to gain capacity, for the duration of the reroute timer.
- If capacity opens, we’ll route to the dedicated agent.
- If the reroute timer expires, the conversation will fall back to standard Queues and Routing rules.
Setting Dedicated Agent up is incredibly simple:
- Dedicated Agent can be activated from the General tab in the Queues and Routing settings page.
- There you’ll find the configuration for your per-channel reroute timers. These values, from 5 seconds to 60 minutes, determine how long to wait for capacity from an online dedicated agent before falling back to normal routing rules.
- Once the feature is enabled, the Dedicated Agent field will populate in the edit customer modal and can be added to insights panel views.
- Users with the appropriate permissions can edit this field to choose which team member they want to set as the dedicated agent for this customer.
This addition to your routing configuration gives you the power to encourage an intimate, high quality support experience even as you dramatically scale your support center.
Preventing Agent Turnover
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Adaptability — adjusting on the fly to meet your customers where they are or in service of improving one of your KPI’s — is a hallmark of a successful support center. In order to truly be adaptable, an organization needs to keep their finger on the pulse of both individual interactions as well as macro-level changes that happen throughout their workday.
As the last year forced many of us to pivot to remote or hybrid workforce models, we knew it would become important to provide our customers with new ways to monitor what was happening across their support center in real-time. No longer could we intuit that the phone volume was up based on the increased volume of all of our team members in the room around us.
We’re excited to introduce Live Mode for Custom Reports. This allows you to convert any custom report into a full-screen dashboard that refreshes its data every 30 seconds. You can now set up monitoring on inbound volume by queue so that you can make adjustments on the fly to ensure as short a wait time as possible for your customers. Or, add a chart that tracks messages sent per user per hour, to understand how each team member is contributing to the team’s goals.
Live Mode can be accessed by clicking on the Live Mode button in the header of any custom report.
Upon entering Live Mode:
- Your date range will be updated to Current Day – so midnight to 11:59pm in your timezone.
- All histogram charts will have their intervals overridden to hourly.
- We’ll hide the majority of the user interface to maximize the space dedicated to your charts.
- Data will refresh automatically every 30 seconds (you’ll see the timestamp update underneath your report name).
- Data refreshes will pause when you move to a different tab within the same window but will continue in an unfocused window — so running a dashboard on an external monitor is a-ok.
- We’ve added an interval picker as seen on all of our Standard Report charts so that you can get the granularity you’re looking for from hourly all the way down to per minute.
- We also offer the ability to quickly swap from today to past hour for high volume organizations that want to focus on micro-trends.
Expectations in the support center space are only going up from here. The support center of the future (and frankly, the present) needs to be nimble and staffed with empathetic and resourceful agents to succeed. We believe that Dedicated Agent will allow your team members to focus on what they’re best at, building relationships with your customers by providing meaningful, efficient resolutions that take advantage of their expertise. And with Live Mode, monitoring intra-day trends and making adjustments on the go has never been easier.
We’re looking forward to seeing how you leverage these tools to take your team’s performance to the next level.