How much does poor customer service cost your business? Too much…at any cost.

By: Juhi McClelland

Your customer service department—the one that you expect to resolve customer issues—may now be an issue itself. IBM research has revealed that more than $1 trillion is spent on 265 billion customer service calls industry-wide each year. But in 50 percent of those calls, the customer’s issue remains unresolved. So, unless your call center is performing well above average, half the customers you’re trying to serve aren’t getting the help they need. And you can be certain that their negative experience will ultimately diminish the value of your brand, and affect your bottom line.

This problem is so prevalent that a recent customer service report revealed that poor customer service is costing businesses more than $75 billion a year—up $13 billion since 2016.

The problem is that problems are difficult to solve

Information overload is a huge issue. Customer service support agents are constantly inundated with technical documentation, details about new product releases, updated technical information, machine data, service history, and client-specific instructions. They’re expected to sort through this deluge of information on the spot to diagnose and answer questions quickly and move on to support the next customer in the queue.

This leaves you with a problem: How do you help your agents resolve issues quickly, and improve your customers’ experiences?  Seek out professionals who can help you evolve your call center so it delivers better quality and more predictable support, more quickly and for less investment.

One organization that’s decided to take this positive action is Lenovo. They were determined to enhance the commercial customer experience in their North America, EMEA, and Latin America markets. So they reached out to IBM to provide global supply field services and remote call center solutions.

Lenovo signed a $240M agreement with IBM Services

The $240M USD multi-year agreement will take customer care to the next level. Now, when one of Lenovo’s enterprise customers connects with an agent for Lenovo Think-branded PCs and monitors, the agent will already know who they’re talking to and the issue they are calling about. That’s because the agent will have the benefit of AI through the power of IBM Watson.

IBM Virtual Assistant for Technical Support uses its natural language capabilities and contextual recognition to personalize conversations. Watson asks the right questions about service issues and helps in obtaining solution advice while also accessing key customer information. By the time a customer speaks to a customer, the agent is prepared by Watson to provide personal, accurate assistance. This AI-augmented approach is being utilized by IBM as part of the global managed maintenance solution for Lenovo x86 servers.

Imagine the improvements in your call center if every agent were fully prepared for every call they received! You’d accelerate response time, increase accuracy, and generally improve the performance of your support staff. Best of all, you could provide consistent customer service that enhances your brand image while reducing your customer service costs.

Don’t let poor customer support affect your bottom line. Find out how IBM Technology Support Services solution can help you delight customers.

About The Author

Juhi McClelland

General Manager, Technology Support Services – North America

As General Manager of IBM’s Technology Support Services (TSS) business in North America, Juhi leads a multi-billion dollar P&L directly teams across Sales, Delivery, Offerings and Business Operations. She spends much of her time with clients building strategic partnerships to deliver compelling support solutions. She’s passionate about enabling technologies like Predictive Maintenance, Cognitive Support, Augmented... Read more