This month we turn our attention to customer service and inbound help desk operations, but not the ‘smile when you’re talking’ kind of advice. As we are a call center software provider, we are (as you might expect) going to identify the more critical capabilities that you can and should expect from 21st century customer service software. How should your technology be empowering your CSRs to deliver top class customer service?
We often speak to clients with legacy systems which have grown over some years. The common complaint is that the separate, discrete bundles of apps just don’t communicate well with each other. What is needed is ‘joined-up customer service’, where people, data and services all communicate freely and seamlessly throughout a customer interaction, providing a more satisfying and productive experience for both customer and CSR.
Here’s a list of 10 must-haves; see how you fare.
1. Send data with call transfer
“Can you send captured or MIS data to the receiving agent (CSR or IVR) when transferring a call?”
How many times have you gone through a long qualifying call with a first agent, and then been asked for the same data when you get transferred?
2. Integrated email/ text capability
“Can our CSRs easily send emails/ texts to the customer so that they are received by the customer immediately, while he is still on the line?”
Agents need a desktop with immediate access to other communication media.
3. Identify caller/ account by CLI lookup
“Do our CSRs have access to customer data before they say anything?”
Pretty mandatory these days.
4. Instant access to customer data
“Do CSRs have immediate access to service/purchase history?”
Think customer! Have all history available immediately and you are on your way to having a repeat customer and not just an old one who has gone elsewhere.
5. Instant update of customer data
“Can my CSRs easily make notes and update the customer’s record?”
Essential to capture the nuances that make ongoing customer relationships top quality.
6. Transfer to/ from IVR
“Can my CSRs switch a customer to a prerecorded message and can you then give the customer the option to come back to the same CSR if he wants, or to get another call booked, if that CSR is then busy?”
Be careful about leaving a customer stranded in a message or IVR session. He may actually want to talk to the CSR again and give you some business.
7. Response to emails
“Can you take any email, analyse it and give an instant response, based on level of importance?”
How many times do you get a response saying “we will get back to you within three days”!?
8. Integrated follow-up
“Can our CSRs easily schedule or initiate a variety of follow-up activities?”
e.g. set timed callback.
9. Queue management
“Do we get tight control over ‘Time-to-respond’ and other critical QA metrics?”
The ability to set thresholds, alarms and response targets is key to keeping quality high, not only for voice calls, but also for email, text and chat.
10. Efficient call blending to handle peak demand
“Can we take agents off outbound campaigns to handle peak inbound demand?”
To do it is a must; to do it automatically is a bonus.
Pretty simple and obvious, aren’t they? But how many of these things does your organisation actually support? If you are not joined up in all these areas, it’s time to be a little more demanding of your supplier.