Triage matters. You can have the best doctors and nurses in the world but if they’re treating grazes while someone in a critical condition is kept waiting outcomes will suffer. Equally, your world-class oncology specialist will struggle to make an impact if she only sees patients with broken arms. Triage definitely matters.
It’s an important part of any customer support function too. How you prioritise and allocate cases has a direct impact on outcomes. You can have the best trained and motivated agents cheerfully ticking off straightforward queries, but if people with serious issues are being ignored your customer satisfaction scores will suffer. Equally, routing cases to agents best equipped to deal with them can transform speed and quality of issue resolution.
While hospital triage teams tend to deal only with people walking in through the door, the omnichannel nature of today’s support centre makes case allocation far more complex (albeit rarely a matter of life or death). Queries can come in through any channel – website, phone, email, webchat, face-to-face, and so on – and the support team needs to optimise the allocation of these tickets seamlessly.
Get it right, and you have the right people dealing with the right queries at the right time. It has a positive impact on both agent and customer satisfaction. But it’s hard to get right. These are complex, time-consuming calculations. A growing number of support teams are finding that the best solution is to automate it through their CRM platform.
This immediately reduces human error – for example, when tickets get escalated to the technical team but then drop out of the system. It also allows you to customise holding messages you send customers. These are important as they show you are on the case, but they can alienate if they’re too formulaic and impersonal. A CRM system stops this happening.
Most importantly a CRM platform makes the triage function far more efficient. It pulls in factors from across the business to inform priorities, balancing workload across the team, getting cases to the agents best suited to dealing with them, and ensuring cases are progressed appropriately. No longer do the customers who jump up and down get the most attention; instead the CRM system allocates and prioritises on objective criteria.
Finally, it stops agents cherrypicking easier cases. They do this so they can show a high number of closed cases – who wouldn’t? But it means more difficult, complex cases get left unresolved for too long. The CRM platform presents cases to the right agents at the right time.
In our recent whitepaper CRM for Customer Service, we outline the practical steps you can take to make this happen. Why not take this opportunity to look into it and see how it could help take your customer service to the next level?