What is shift-left?
“Shift-left” is a phrase that is commonly used when speaking about service and support management. As companies are under pressure to reduce the cost of support and improve end-user satisfaction the conversation around shifting left is becoming more mainstream. The shift-left approach refers to moving service actions or steps closer to the end-user for more immediate results, and lowered costs. By moving information and service functions closer to the customer, unnecessary steps are eliminated and the dependency on higher-cost resources is reduced. By eliminating tickets through improved user self-service that boosts first contact resolution so the entire organization wins.
Here are 3 ways you are sure to benefit from a shift left approach:
Effective self-service leads to improved user satisfaction.
In modern times, customers are increasingly wanting fast and simple problem resolution. Embracing a shift-left approach when implementing self-service benefits everyone. When the information and tools are available and convenient to end-users, studies show they will use them, since it saves them time and the inconvenience of waiting for a ticket to be worked. Further, it saves tier 1 agents from being overwhelmed with mundane repetitive work, and overall, improves their job satisfaction. Customer satisfaction or CSAT is directly tied to First Contact Resolution (FCR) thus embracing the Shift Left strategy improves CSAT by improving FCR.
Exposing knowledge leads to quicker ticket resolution.
The findability of relevant knowledge articles and common FAQs is critical for any self-service approach. Key to the shift-left strategy is ensuring end-users have first-hand access to the tools and information required to resolve their issue. This can effectively eliminate (or deflect) a large volume of tickets coming into the service organization. You want to start with a knowledge-centered service (KCS) methodology to optimize access, creation, reuse, and improvement of information across the enterprise. With a thought-out KCS approach, you can create a self-service environment with limited manual intervention. Fewer tickets flooding the system means only the more complex information requests require handling. Key metrics to review include first contact resolution (FCR) and mean time to resolve (MTTR). Both metrics will improve with this approach.
Save big on costs with a “zero-level” tier.
As described above, a self-service interface (such as a virtual agent) combined with an intelligent network of information sources (federated knowledge strategy or hub) and automated services exposed from your back-end applications, enables an effective self-service or zero-level tier support. Cutting out the number of level 1 tier agents significantly cuts costs, however having a zero tier also causes a cascade effect through the upper tiers of support. Level 1 support techs are now able to add more skills and perform tasks from the next level up, in turn allowing each tier to take on higher-level tasks. The net result is to shift all work to lower-cost tiers.
Overall, a shift-left implementation with an effective self-service tool is key in realizing the benefits of increased speed of resolution/provisioning and cost reduction. You will see your metrics quickly improve over time. And you will provide an enhanced customer experience. In summary, a shift-left strategy should be on your plan for 2022.