What You Don’t Know about Case Management
Could be Hurting Your Business
By Paul Szemplinski, Co-Founder and CEO,
Today, only a mouse click separates you from a problem your customer may be experiencing. And usually that click is an email message – the preferred method of communicating.
A customer email is a signal for help and an opportunity to build your relationship. If your response exceeds expectations, chances are you have retained the customer and increased loyalty. If email messages are not responded to promptly, or in a way that exposes your company as inefficient, your reputation is at risk.
In an era where customer satisfaction is expressed on social media, how your business processes email must reflect this new reality.
Enter Case Management – something that exists at every company that interacts with customers over email – whether it’s called ‘case management,’ customer service or incident management.
Email systems by themselves are not an effective tool for managing customer service. Here’s why:
- Emails that go into one Inbox are only visible to the employee with access to that Inbox.
- Decision-makers may not know about the email and the issues contained within, how or if it was responded to.
“Case Management software acts as a workflow engine, automating cases more efficiently than emails.”
- A single employee or manager can’t get a holistic look at the totality of interactions the client might have had with the various segregated departments within the organization.
Senior managers now face the question of how to reconfigure the enterprise to efficiently and effectively respond to the growing volume of customer emails, and their service expectations. Increasing server capacity is a common solution. Yet the inherent open-ended nature of email requires more than adding capacity and better “managing” the Inbox.
The Case for Case Management Software
Case Management is a software module added on top of an existing enterprise content management (ECM) system that is also integrated with an organization’s main line of business system (such as SAP, JD Edwards, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.). It acts as a workflow engine that automates and moves each ‘case’ throughout an organization in a more efficient and effective manner than can be accomplished through individual emails.
Before the module is added, current steps taken by staff, and the systems for handling incoming emails, are reviewed in detail. These interactions are then mapped to the Case Management software:
- Who is responsible for various types of incoming ‘cases’ – this may be an Inbox, or a reply to a “Contact Us’” link on your website
- How your company is now managing these inputs
- How different issues are categorized
- What action staff members take for each category, such as a new order, a compliant; checking the status of an order, etc.
- How they are monitored, measured and held accountable to ensure proper handling
An important part of any ECM system, especially with a Case Management module, is how data and documents are captured. Most companies deal with multiple document types: Word, Excel, PDFs, and TIFF files. Disparate file types can, however, present a problem to ECM systems.
“Everything related to a case is automatically assembled, providing a complete, 360 degree view of the incident or case."
Some document capture systems, such as CAPSYS CAPTURE ONLINE, will ‘normalize’ or standardize the content into one consistent format (PDFs only, for example) as well as extract pertinent meta-data and content applicable to the case issuer. Having a standard format enables all data to be more easily handled.
Without normalizing content, you can imagine the inefficiencies: Say a customer sends multiple file formats with an email. Staff must either save or print out each file and tie them to a customer record, then pass all of this on to the appropriate person to handle. This process likely will also require users to log into other line of business systems to research transactions, such as order history, credit information, returns, purchase orders, packing slips, etc.
By contrast, with normalized content, the files move seamlessly to the Case Management module, and are ready to be acted upon. All the prior case history is automatically pre-fetched and assembled in a logical manner, giving the case manager a complete, 360 degree view of the incident or case.
Once all the files are standardized and the Case Management module is up and running:
- As soon as an email hits the Inbox, it is taken out of the email box and placed into the Case Management software
- A ticket or case management tracking number is automatically assigned, and used thereafter throughout the process
- The email and its associated attachments are automatically converted or normalized (into perhaps PDF form) so the ‘case’ and its associated attachments are completely visible to the entire group that handles inquiries
- The proper workflow for each type of ‘case’ is then initiated by the case management automation software
- Users can now easily access all the related data and any attachments, then interact with different internal systems (orders, credits, shipping, etc.) to take the appropriate action -- all with supervision and oversight to ensure quality customer service is maintained
Integration between internal systems in one place empowers staff to work smarter, providing a 360 degree view into all the information needed to make decisions.
“Unlike email, Case Management software gives management a dashboard tool with a graphical view of staff actions, processes, systems and outcomes.”
Email Can’t Provide Operational Metrics, and Other Benefits
Unlike email, Case Management software gives management a dashboard tool with a graphical view of staff actions, processes, systems and outcomes. For instance, the software can report how many complaints were received; the number of customer issues employees handled; and the metrics on completed cases.
Overall, the software becomes a performance measurement tool, enabling your company to offer the right level of service, targeted to the right areas, in the most cost-efficient manner.
Through an ECM system configured with document capture that normalizes all content and a Case Management module, business managers can create competitive advantage on a number of fronts:
- Simplified process for handling emails. Customers experience a speedy response by an empowered staff that says, “We care”
- Fast and easy access to all the documents, data and process events required for accurate decision making. It is all there on one screen, creating a truly holistic approach to customer service
- Faster incident resolution and more comprehensive investigation of complaints
- Rapidly resolve issues, track customer information and manage relationships
- Significant enhancement of customer satisfaction and your company’s reputation for service
All in all, adding Case Management software means you’ve got a better way to get work done. Integrated with other internal systems, it’s a fast and simple approach to enhancing service.
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Contact CAPSYS Technologies or Integrated Document Technologies, Inc. today to learn how Case Management solutions can help your business.
Learn more at www.capsystech.com or www.idt-inc.com