I Already Told You My Name!
By the time you’ve called a company’s customer service department, you’re likely already in a bad mood. Something has gone wrong and you need it fixed…now. I recently had to call my residential cable company because my neighbor’s cable line was strung diagonally across my backyard. I dialed the local number, endured several menu options, typed in my phone number and waited for several minutes for a live operator. She asked me if I was calling about phone or cable, which I was pretty sure I already typed in through the menu. “Cable,” I said still calmly.
“What is your phone number?” Seriously?
A little frustrated but willing to repeat my information, I gave it to her and then explained my situation. I heard her taking notes and said they would send a technician to my home to evaluate the situation. Weeks went by and no one came. I called customer service again and had to go through the same process but this time, was asked to explain my situation again to someone who had no record of my calling previously. Again, a promise to send a rep to the house. No surprise – no one showed. I called a third time, and had to re-explain my situation to a representative who had no call history to reference. Poor guy got more than an earful and an angry request to speak to a manager, who of course, asked me to explain my situation yet again.
Your CRM Is Not Managing Our Relationship Too Well
Many companies have automated call routing systems that use customer-inputted information to direct the call to the appropriate department or person. Other companies prefer to answer their phones with a live representative. In either situation, however, it is common for the customer service representative to have the caller repeat their name and other information ad nauseum. This only exacerbates the customer’s frustration and the chances of appeasing the customer are more remote. So if customer service is said to be such a priority, what is happening?
If these companies haven’t integrated their phone system with their CRM application, their representatives can’t see who’s calling or anything about their account in advance. Notes from previous calls aren’t easily visible and many times, the representative will fill the silence while they’re searching multiple screens for account information. The customer gets angry and the situation escalates, often to the point of losing a customer over something that could easily have been handled much differently.
Make People Happy: Integrate The Call Center Software With The CRM
By simply integrating call center software with the CRM, users can quickly identify caller details even before the phone is answered. Logged call notes are automatically uploaded back into the CRM system, creating a visible customer history accessible for employees in any department to see, providing a better customer experience and increasing productivity of employees.
One company who has mastered the customer experience is Fieldpoint Private, a financial firm providing the highest degree of personalized, confidential wealth planning and private banking services. As Joseph Larizza, Chief Administrative Officer, said, “We make sophisticated use of Salesforce.com and access to it with a phone system gives us the ability to fulfill our promise to deliver superior customer service.”
As companies strive to retain customers, being available to customers, quickly answering their questions or addressing their issues, and making them feel appreciated is critical. Integrating the phones with the CRM application might just be the difference between a frustrated customer and a grateful one. I’m still waiting for someone to move the cable line, but I haven’t mustered up the energy to call again.