Universal Reps Reduce Headcount, Improve Service
Your overall staffing requirement with universal reps will be 10-15 percent less than if you route calls to subject matter experts, say experts.
(Boonton, NJ, March 6, 2014) If your customer service operation handles multiple product lines, should your service staff be universal reps, trained to handle all products, or should calls be routed via an IVR to reps who specialize in specific products?
The answer, according to John Goodman, vice chairman of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting, is that in most cases having universal reps is the way to go.
The best model, says Goodman in the March issue of Customer Service Newsletter, is to have one universal rep handling basic after-sale calls on all product lines, rather than to have calls routed by product or issue to experts. The benefits include:
- A simpler interactive voice response system (IVR) is required, with fewer options and less need to capture as much information before routing the call.
- Fewer reps are needed overall, and peak call volumes are easier to cover.
- Reps are more engaged because they handle a greater variety of calls across product lines.
- If the customer has a simple question on another product, the rep can answer without a transfer.
- Its easier to cross-sell with universal reps.
- You can create a lateral career ladder and a sense of progression by certifying universal reps on advanced knowledge of specific categories of products.
Details on all aspects of training and working with universal reps appear in the March issue of Customer Service Newsletter.
About the Customer Service Group
For more than 20 years, the Customer Service Group has helped customer service, call center and help desk managers increase productivity, improve service quality and boost customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The Customer Service Group publishes Customer Service Newsletter and The Customer Communicator.