This is for a very large company with offices around the world. They're dealing with a lot of issues when it comes to Customer Support, and so far they have identified some of the effects, and some very common user behaviors (where users are both Customer Support representatives and Clients requesting support), being the main behavior as follows:
- client requests support filling a web form
- support representative is assigned to the issue
- the first reaction of customer representative is to ask again for the same info the client already filled
- client sends info again, this time filling a follow up form or by mail (automatically appended to the follow up form)
- customer representative gets form then
- takes care of the issue or
- if customer support representative is unable to provide help, the support request is transferred to another customer support representative. And if 5.2 is true, then the entire process happens again.
While I think the mentioned scenario isn't uncommon at all, and as a matter of fact is probably the norm (no real research here, just my own experience), I find that in this company's case, it's really overboard, and the company itself recognizes it as a problem since they've conducted surveys on people cancelling the service and customer support issues are the main reason. So basically they're having a lot of frustrated customers who are leaving ship, with all the problems that situation causes.
To add up to the problem: they can't just "fire bad customer support" since they have 400+ representatives in 6 different countries and because they know that new people they hire automatically gets into this behavior. So the obvious answer to the problem is the company's culture and management middle/upper layers.
All this leads to the company asking us for a proposal of solution to this problem based on an UX redesign of their current process, with no possibility of human resources changes other than training. Specifically: web tools that "guide" the users
In my mind, I already have manuals re-writing, supervisor's training and some re-write of their current system's logic (for example, letting the representative now the client has submitted the info and double check it, and some improvements on client's side so the question and the problem can be easily spotted), and this last part is where I need some ideas:
- are there any tested tools or UX procedures to prevent this behavior or at least minimize its impact?
- are there any examples I can take a look at where both customers and representatives have an improved experience by means of UX redesign?
(I know better customer support means better businesses, but I want to know specifically in terms of usability, not culture change or company reorganization, basically aiming to tool's development tips, existing research and/or guidance)