The Aberdeen Group published a framework of strategies for best-in-class performance using multiple channels. They called it PACE:
PACE is not a technology. It is a map or system of behaviors and activities that improve customer service while keeping costs down.
Pressures come from customer demand and expectations for service. For example, customers demand a high percentage of their calls be fixed the first time (First Call Resolution). Or they expect access to issue tracking to watch the progression of an incident.
Actions include accuracy and consistency across all channels, feedback monitoring, and increased access to information through better data integration. These actions both decrease the handling time of customer contacts and increase First Call Resolution.
Capabilities for best in class service call for executive level oversight of customer service operations. It also means capturing and storing data and feedback in real time. A standard escalation process, company-wide access to searchable, online databases full of customer and service information, and efforts to educate customers in other means of solutions that do not require interaction with the call center are additional capabilities to offer.
Enablers of best in class service are often technological in nature. These are the tools used by customer support to streamline service:
- Online searchable database of information about issue resolution, escalation procedures, SLA information, and field service scheduling
- Web-based solutions databases with troubleshooting trees, videos, forums, and the ability for field service scheduling
- SMS or email customer updating
- Customer service and support solution or CRM solution
- Web-based self-service
- Knowledge management solution
- SLA management solution
This framework helps define the expectations for the system and how to meet them. Then it offers a way to determine the needed components of a viable solution.
Thoughts? Please leave a comment with your feedback.
And stay tuned for more Multichannel Madness!
 Delivering Customer Service via the Contact Center and the Web. Aberdeen Group, September 2009.