Versatile CommunicationsBy Bob Violino | Posted 2012-05-24 Print
Businesses have a huge opportunity to improve customer relationships, but failing to take a strategic approach to CRM can result in lost revenue and market share.
One of the most important things companies can do to enhance customer relationships is give clients the option of getting in touch with them by whatever means they prefer.
Companies have to be prepared to engage with clients by phone, email, instant messaging, Twitter, blogs and other tools.
“Today, consumers expect a multichannel experience,” Accenture’s Wollan says.
A majority of the consumers Accenture surveyed reported frustration when they
weren’t able to access company information or purchase a product through the
channels of their choice.
“We currently maintain contact with our customers through various
channels, depending on the mode by which they initiate [contact] with us,” reports
Rutherford of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? “For example, our call center manages inbound
live phone calls, as well as email, [Facebook] messaging and chats from our
public Website. We pride ourselves on providing world-class response rates
and customer service.”
As an early
adopter of many of these technologies and communication channels,
1-800-GOT-JUNK? has relied on a series of cobbled-together solutions to provide
this service. However, in March 2012, the company launched a contact center
management platform, based on Microsoft’s Lync 2010 and Aspect’s Unified IP 7 unified communications
offerings. The platform makes it easier to manage a variety of customer
communication channels. In addition, the company built a complaint resolution
that monitors communication channels, such as phone calls, emails,
social media, etc., for customer feedback, and enables agents to quickly take
action based on their comments.
“We use the data gathered from this system to train our franchisee partners how to better deliver an exceptional customer experience,” Falcon says.
the complaint resolution system, “we can now commit to timelines to resolve our
customers’ complaints,” Falcon says. “Our goal was 80 percent [of issues]
resolved within three business days, and we have achieved 90 percent resolved
within three business days. We have also been able to individually address
certain [issues] and reduce how often they affect our customers.”
customers becoming ever more discerning, demanding and tech-savvy, companies
will need to make these types of service improvements to hold onto their
clients and create even stronger relationships with them.
Tips for Strengthening Customer Relationships
Keep customer data clean, fresh and available to the people in the organization who need it. If you want all this data located in one place, be prepared to do the work necessary to achieve that.
Ensure that key stakeholders of customer touch points (call center, on-site, Website, etc.) are closely aligned and meet regularly to discuss customer experiences. By having better collaboration, systems and strategies, you’ll improve service to customers.
- Give customers benefits that matter to them. Today, customers want more than just a smooth experience—they want to be recognized and rewarded for loyalty.
- Provide meaningful ways for consumers to engage with the company, including via digital channels. Boosted by social media, customers crave personal interaction.—B.V.
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