This blog post focuses on how CommSoft’s Product Management team tackles new product design…from the “Business and Operations – User Experience – Product Suite” Perspective.
Melissa Frenyea: Manager of Product Management & Professional Services
If you ask someone who is the end user of our software?, you’ll get a bunch of different answers. But for me, I boil it down to one answer: our customer’s customers. Those folks buying and receiving services from our customers are the real end users. Our goal is to know what those customers want and need and to empower our clients to meet and exceed those needs and desires. In so doing, we help our customers achieve excellent customer satisfaction, acquire new customers and succeed. So how do we go about this? It boils down to understanding what our customers need to do to succeed.
What do our customers need? We can all take a minute to jot down our top five ways we’d answer that question and I’d bet a dollar that while the lists would vary, they’d all include something along the lines of “provide excellent customer service”. So let’s focus on that one. And to get even more specific, let’s look at what Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) need to do to provide excellent customer service.
What do Customer Service Representatives need to do to be successful? To answer that, we need to look at not only what customers are asking CSRs for assistance with but also understand what customers expect during those interactions.
Based on information collected from our world-class CommBI system and from input from our Focus Groups, we know precisely what kinds of customer-requested activities CSRs are doing every day. For simplicity sake, let’s reduce this side of the equation to three concepts: assist with account-related questions, process a request to change the account in some way and provide expert guidance and information.
And, based on many, many easily Google-able polls, surveys and articles on the subject (and because we’re all customers ourselves) we know what customers expect. Here are three key concepts on this side of the equation: easy-to-do-business with, personalized service, deliver what I need at the right price.
So we’ve got our information. Now what do we do with it? Can we create a solution tailor made for CSRs that empowers them to efficiently do what they need to do while exceeding their customers’ expectations? I bet we can. But how? Let’s hear from our Product Management team…
Andy Weeks: UX Designer
If you want to make life easy and interactions pleasant for the end customer, the subscriber, it starts with the CSR. But because of the unique role a CSR occupies, making their job easier isn’t so easy. The big design challenge with the CSR Portal is that a CSR is everyone at the company. Unlike a field tech or a dedicated sales person who have a primary focus, a CSR might have to handle any and every type of problem a subscriber could have. How do you know what the users’ goals and focuses are if they have a variety of goals and could be focused anywhere?
Our solution is to utilize the Main Dashboard in MyCommV and a new collection of widgets to give a CSR access to 90% of what they need on a day to day basis. From an easy way to look up information on a subscriber, to a quick way to enter their own time; if the thing they need can be offered up right away, the CSR can be more efficient, more effective and their lives can just be made easier. Using a dashboard, CSR’s can rearrange, add and remove widgets, and customize what they need to do their job the way that works best for them. Less clicks, less pondering where to go, less digging, and less confusion is the core of the user experience philosophy of the new CSR Portal. If the CSRs job gets easier, they can focus more on the subscriber and less on the software. Everyone’s happy!
Laura Knussman: Manager of Product Management
A crucial part of bringing Missy’s Vision and Andy’s Designs to fruition is the development process….it is the “how” of Product Management. From the conception of MyCommV it was important to those of us in the Product Management team (and CommSoft) that we both leverage the “tried and true” capabilities of our core systems while still creating something new. To accomplish this, we need to marry our core backend data and processing functions with our intuitive user interface to achieve the user experience excellence we strive for.
For our new CSR Portal we bring the key data and customer service processes to the forefront within optimized (and configurable) widgets. During design, we delved into how our users currently interact with iCommVergence Inquiry and Service Order to find the key areas to optimize using the design principles of MyCommV. We selected the tasks that would provide the biggest improvement in customer service by having them just a click (or tap) away. And as Andy said, no need for the user to dig into inquiry or create an order to perform these quick updates…they can do it all from our comprehensive quick actions.
Developing functionality like our CSR Portal involves having our veteran core development resources working with our new user experience experts to provide the most advanced products possible. Because of that, we are able to get the best of both worlds…innovation with experience. That winning formula is the basis of all our MyCommV solutions.
And so, let’s circle back to Missy’s question above: Can we create a solution tailor made for CSRs that empowers them to efficiently do what they need to do while exceeding their customers’ expectations? Of course we can! It’s called the MyCommV CSR Portal.