When T-Mobile introduced the Team of Experts (TEX) model, in 2018, the customer services industry snapped to attention. The TEX model could reverse the years-long slide in CSAT scores? Improve agent satisfaction? And lower costs? How?
By ending contact center runaround. A traditional call center might randomly route customers to reps who either specialize in solving one kind of issue or are insufficiently schooled in too broad a range of issues. Such agents are likely evaluated on their Average Handle Time, so their goal is to see how fast they can make customers go away. Customers bounce from department to department and repeat themselves over and over. Or they get a quick patch when what they really need is a thought-out long-term solution.
Contrast that with a Team of Experts—a self-sufficient, resource-rich business team dedicated to handling all the issues (products, services, industry, region) affecting a specific client population. TEX members work closely together and, because turnover is low, they get to know one another’s strengths over time. Heck, they get to know one another, period, which is essential to creating highly functioning teams.
Most important, it’s easy for a stymied agent to simply ask someone else on the Team for help. This cross-fertilization speeds resolution and enhances agent skills. It also means there's a decent chance, when a customer recontacts a company, that the agent already knows the customer and their issues. Conversely, there’s virtually no chance an agent will transfer a customer outside the Team.
This reliable, efficient, expert, satisfying solution had been hiding in plain sight all along. Of course, customers want to deal directly with the people best equipped to solve their issues on the spot. Of course, agents are more productive and less likely to quit when they feel they’re being effective. Of course, the better your customer service the happier your customers, and the more inclined they are to stay loyal to your brand. And so on.
The TEX model works only if agents have enough time to fully research and resolve the issues. Asynchronous business messaging gives them that time.
Crucially, customers are familiar with messaging; it’s how most of them already communicate with their friends and family. They know messaging threads don’t time out or disappear, and that pauses are natural. So they don’t mind when an agent takes up to three times longer (compared to chat) to respond.
TEX agents use this time allowance to develop a broader, more personalized, even forward-looking solution. On an asynchronous business messaging platform, TEX agents aren’t pressured to address an issue while a customer is waiting. Instead, they work on it, and involve their Team as needed, until they arrive at the best resolution.
Learn more about asynchronous business messaging.
Not surprisingly, one of our telecom clients approached us, in early 2019, to pilot a Team of Experts program using 7.ai agents. We jumped in with both feet.
Working with our client, we determined how many agents to draw from each business unit, then identified the 7.ai agents with the right skills. To learn about the ideal characteristics of a business messaging agent, see The Right Agents for Messaging blog.
Prior to launch, we trained each of the nearly 50 Team members in the following TEX principles:
To stay high performing, Team members undergo a monthly skills assessment and receive additional training. The community manager leads daily stand-up meetings to share key updates, recognize outstanding performance, and keep the focus on hitting the company KPIs.
Today, virtually all of this client’s 7.ai agents operate in the TEX model. The company’s NPS is up 11 percent, reaching an all-time high.
We’ve got everything you need—from top-quality agents to the automation and operational capabilities for running CX on a business messaging platform at scale—to bring your Team of Experts to life.
To learn more, please write us at [email protected].