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From Product to Outcome: The Digital Transformation of Customer Engagement

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The digital transformation of the workplace is creating a new paradigm in customer service; an evolutionary tipping point that has created a new model of how businesses engage with their customers. Driven by the combination of digital literate customers and the digitalized workplace, leading organizations are transitioning from product-driven to outcome-focused support that delivers meaningful customer outcomes.  

On the front lines of this transitional battleground are the customer service and support organizations that are looking to deliver business outcomes that drive loyalty. Key to accomplishing this is injecting only the most contextually relevant, case-resolving information and expertise at the moment of need, whether it be to a support agent via their CRM interface or to customers via a support portal. We continue to see more and more customer turning to search-powered experiences in their customer service operations to support this transition for two key reasons: conquering the ecosystem of record and upskilling their customer support employees and their digitally literate customers.

Search, long a key component of knowledge management initiatives, offers both a solution and unique opportunity. It’s becoming the catalyst for unleashing the value of fragmented, disparate information within the customer-facing organizations of industries known for keeping their complex product and service information departmentalized and stored within an IT ecosystem of record.

At the same time, you have customer-facing employees and support agents, who are striving to acquire new skillsets to better understand their company’s diverse offerings while solving a customer’s unique challenges and goals. As a result, these customer-facing employees require the ability to pull relevant information from across the IT ecosystem (customer support, field service, sales, professional services) at the moment of interaction. Search provides these employees with the interface to proactively deliver the most contextually-relevant information and expertise into the flow of work. The result? Focusing on outcome-driven interactions while upskilling themselves.

A prime example is of this is Tokyo Electron America (TEA), a subsidiary of semiconductor and flat panel manufacturer Tokyo Electron Limited. Two years ago, TEA began the evolutionary process of transitioning its customer support group from a product to customer-outcome focused support organization.

TEA’s effort is multipronged and involves new product adoption and managed support services, improvements to contact center and field support processes and implementing supportive technologies. From the beginning, TEA management realized a key would be to hone and increase the skillsets of its field service group – a 500-strong team of field service engineers (FSEs) responsible for going onsite with customers to maintain an array of complex manufacturing equipment. The goal quickly became information and knowledge consumption at the point of customer interaction: upskill FSEs by giving them real-time access to contextually relevant customer, product and service information stored across TEA’s IT ecosystem at the moment of need, thus allowing them to better understand a customer’s business, TEL’s diverse products, and therefore achieve the customer’s desired outcome.

One catalyst supporting this transformation this is search. TEA gave their FSEs intuitive, real-time access to the exact information they need, from a myriad of equipment manuals, manufacturing portfolios, engineering schematics and service information via mobile devices while on service calls. As a result, the field service team has seen mean time to repair times and costs per service inquiry drop, reduced equipment downtime, customer satisfaction scores increase, customer outcomes were ensured, all the while FSEs became more proficient at their jobs.

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