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Customer Still No.1 in Call Centers

May 20, 2014

Since customers are at the heart of every successful business, maintaining and growing a customer base is vital, as is managing the interaction with it.

A post on the Info Entrepreneurs’ website suggests that one of the most effective ways in dealing with customers efficiently may be to use customer relationship management (CRM); the article mentions that “CRM helps a business to recognize the value of its customers and to capitalize on improved customer relations.”


A successful CRM system, which relies on the use of technology, not only helps promote company growth, but also aims to improve the service the business provides, the post explains. Using tools like key performance indicators (KPIs), which are a great way to evaluate the relationship with clients, a business can devise ways to make sure customers keep coming back after their initial experience with the business.

As Real Business mentions in a recent post, “customer service is widely recognized as being the number one business priority with a proven link between customer satisfaction, retention and profitability.” As the post conveys, it is not only about incorporating more innovative strategies to separate themselves from competitors, but also about establishing a customer-centric enterprise that values the people who support it, using the latest technology.

When it comes to customer support, call center services needed to accomplish day-to-day and strategic objectives should not be taken lightly; one should not forget about the importance of good customer relations, as it could influence the service organization’s own profitability. With CRM in the call center, a business can “gain an insight into the behavior of their customers and modify their business operations to ensure that customers are served in the best possible way,” the Info Entrepreneur post affirms.

Aberdeen (News - Alert) Group, which conducts research studies focused on helping business leaders across seventeen different B2B technology disciplines improve their performance, recently reported key trends in regards to customer relationship with service excellence. The study brings to light the following data:

Organizations that reached a 90 percent plus customer satisfaction rate achieved an annual 6.1 percent in service growth; they also enjoyed a 3.7 per cent growth in overall revenue and an 89 percent level of customer retention.

Findings showed approximately 78 percent of UK GDP derive from the services sector, so customer service is definitely a strategic issue.

According to the Institute of Customer Service, agents ought to have the right skills; in addition, business owners must utilize the necessary equipment and technology to provide apt cross-channel service capabilities designed to deliver unprecedented response times that will enhance customers’ experience and meet their needs. The most common customer complaint, normally, is the inability of a field service operative to resolve the customer’s issue on first trial. Who, then, is at fault? The operative who has yet to develop the skills needed to excel in any customer service position, or the lack of time to complete the job; or the business not employing a host of new technologies to support pre-sales and post-sales services?

Jo Causon from the Institute of Customer Service mentions the following five things that matters most to customers:

Importance of having only dedicated and well-trained agents onboard that can provide the highest quality of customer service. Call center agents who are hired should be genuinely empowered to do their jobs, as interactions with customers plays a crucial role and affects the business’ customer count. The agents need to ensure the highest quality and that every customer’s interaction come across as welcoming, perceptive and empathetic to build trust and brand loyalty.

Measure of customer effectiveness determines whether the person will come back again: Key Attitudinal Indicators (KAI) is a good way to know how a customer feels after each call. Companies need to stay on top of their CRM practices and focus their centers on customer happiness across all channels (utilizing call routing, recording and/or Voice/Data Transfer and intelligent answering services to increase the level of service given to a customer).

Product and service quality: Is the product or service doing what is expected? At the end of the day, the success of a business could depend on it. Therefore, what is offered by the company has to fulfill customers' expectations and needs.

Problem resolution: How are any issues resolved? It’s important to adhere to daily call center management to ensure the quality of service does not deteriorate over time.

Timeliness: Customers are expecting rapid responses to their queries and complaints. Agents ought to fulfill their demands. To make certain they do, monitoring is important; it can be done in real-time or through recording. Monitoring is fundamental to understanding the customer experience and capture the agent-customer call-handling process, acts, behaviors, or compliance with a given script.

Overall, customer service should be about customers. Therefore, “it is absolutely critical to match and manage customer expectations,” the Real Business post mentions, because service relationships and interactions with customers are key to the company’s success. CEOs need to be responsible for providing overall strategic direction and driving key initiatives that support customer service excellence.

 



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