It’s no secret that over the past few years there has been massive technological advances throughout all areas of society and organizations have been capitalizing on these advances to improve their business. Throughout this technology boom, one area of business has become increasingly important; customer service. Good customer service leads to increased consumer loyalty and trust and as a result, higher customer retention. So which new technologies can be used to improve customer service and how do businesses go about implementing this?
Cloud Based Software
The advent of cloud based software has been very useful in improving customer care as it has led to what is known as virtual contact centres. Cloud software allows companies to operate call centres without an actual centre. Instead of having hundreds of agents in a building connected to a physical server, cloud allows agents to work anywhere; all that they need is a computer and a headset. This means that businesses do not have to pay running costs for a centre and agents can enjoy a more convenient working life. Employees are happier working from home than sitting on site answering phones. The CIPD ranks contact centres among the highest sectors in terms of employee turnover; however as virtual contact centres have become more popular, this turnover rate has decreased. The knock-on effect of happier employees means that they are going to be more helpful and friendlier to querying customers or more likely to make a sale to prospects, who will be more satisfied with the agent and the company as a whole.
Customer Relationship Management
Another piece of software that has had a positive impact on customer service is CRM or customer relationship management. This software is installed on a company’s server and is accessed through a browser. CRM acts as an all-encompassing database that can be integrated to other aspects of the business. Looking back at contact centres again, an agent would dial up a potential customer and any information that the agent inputs into the dialler software would automatically be stored into the CRM. This is a great, time saving device for businesses as it allows customer information to be stored into and accessed from one place. Sales staff can then contact customers and use the information to tailor offers to the individual. This form of direct marketing allows customers to develop relationships with the company.
This brings me to the next technological advance; predictive dialler software. In traditional call centres, agents have to manually dial the contacts and monitor which numbers are working, who doesn’t want to be contacted again and who is interested. Predictive dialler automatically calls numbers and arranges them, saving agents and companies a huge amount of time. In terms of customer service, the predictive dialler allows agents to arrange a time that suits the customer for call backs and automatically calls at that time. By giving the customer more control, the software once again increases satisfaction and satisfaction leads to retention.
Guest post by Zintro expert Graeme McDowall
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