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Tag Archives: Customer relationship management

Does a Help Desk Software Application Provide Help?

In Customer Relationship Management, one of the critical elements of a business is customer service, the key aspect of which is to provide timely assistance to the customer when required. When a customer calls for help, the help desk representatives and customer service personnel will be able to help the customer by providing quick and accurate solutions with the use of an efficient held desk software application.

Typical Functioning of a Help Desk

Help desk representatives mostly rely on databases and spreadsheets to access customer information. When a customer calls for help, the representative usually locates the customer’s purchases, contact information, and order history. The representative may have to take note of the information provided by the customer, and then open the database and spreadsheet containing the customer’s history. This process may take up to five minutes, depending on the speed of the computer in use. The representative may have to fetch information from another department, during which time the customer is placed on hold. After nearly 10-15 minutes, the representative may have to inform the customer that further investigation is, and that the representative will have to call the customer at a later stage.

Wasting the customer’s time in this manner may be detrimental to the company. The customer may decide to search elsewhere for friendlier and less time-consuming service. Losing a customer may be the last thing that a business needs when trying to deliver efficient customer service.

How Help Desk Software Helps?

With proper help desk software, a help desk representative can easily and promptly attend to the customer’s query. It allows the representative to pull up organized information about a specific customer immediately. Help desk software programs that offer self-service options are available, which may reduce the total number of representatives required in a company. Such programs help businesses by providing problem resolution options to the customer, knowledge management, call tracking, and call management. Some help desk software applications can be integrated with several popular business applications and phone systems. These programs can be used to augment a company’s existing customer service strategies and help desk applications.

Retain Your Customers

Help desk software is considerably helpful when dealing with customer relationship management. Not only does the software help to manage user data and information, but it also helps to route inquiries and calls to the appropriate people, who can make the relevant decisions. By streamlining the customer service experience, help desk software makes the operation more efficient for both the customer as well as the business. This helps to retain customers, thereby making the business more cost effective.

Helping an existing customer is considerably more cost-effective than seeking a new customer. All businesses may not equally benefit from help desk software; however, there is no doubt that the software provides companies with improved methods of helping their customers. Sustaining customer relationships and supporting your business can be simpler by using technology that enhances the customers’ experience when they contact a company for assistance.

Jacob Jackson works for one of the leading developers of online CRM – WebCRM. He also blogs a lot about this topic at the official WebCRM Blog.

 

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Who Says You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks About Service?

When it’s time to teach a long term employee who has been around since the early days how to handle new customer service challenges and tools many managers decide that it’s time to let the individual go. After years of hard work and service the assumption that an old dog can’t learn a few new service tricks costs them their security. And with that you may find much dissention among the remaining employees. An older employee can still learn all of the software implemented tools and the new ways of providing customer service that are much more effective than some of the old ways.

Don’t discount experience. Experience gives a representative a depth of knowledge that can’t be learned in any other fashion. This is knowledge that can be drawn upon in an urgent or taxing situation that can save the day. It’s important to give the reps a chance to grow into the idea of using software programs, chat windows, and other alternative forms of communication to deal with customers.

When you begin your training remember that the software program you have for customer service is complex in what it can do. It should not be complex to look at or to follow. Your new reps will probably pick it up faster than your older reps but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be totally blown away by the older reps’ performance over the next few months. Allow each their own space and time and help them see the advantages of the program. Once the connection between doing their job easier and doing their job better comes together they are likely to take off with it and run.

Your older long term reps are naturally going to be a little nervous about using the customer support software. Most of them have been using an old phone and email based system that may have them believing that it only gets harder from here. Make it fun when possible. Make it lighthearted enough that you help set the reps who are learning at ease. This way they will be much more open to listening and understanding while putting forth the effort they need to in order to relearn their job.

After fun, of course, comes lots of practice. Of course, every time you bring out the role playing techniques you get a few eye roles and groans, but it actually helps. These exercises are still used today because they work. Whenever possible have the reps use the customer support software during the role playing so that not only do they get to practice brushing up on their skills with customer relationships but the also get a chance to see that the customer support software really isn’t a big scary monster hiding in the closet. Hands on approaches are almost always more effective than lecture approaches for teaching nearly anything.

Your customer service reps are there to learn as are you. If you make a mistake within the class or the training session let your reps see and hear that it happens to everyone and you fix it and move on. That is all there is to it. Hopefully, there won’t be many mistakes but alleviating the pressure from the very first training will help them perform better under real circumstances.

Steve Davidson is President of Cynergy Corporation, a software development company formed in 1998 to develop and support Help Desk Support Software and CRM relationship software to improve help desks, customer relationship building, and general communication between business to business.  He is also President of U.S. Infotel Corporation.  U.S. Infotel provides and supports corporate telephone systems and call center applications geared towards improved productivity through technology.  Contact Cynergy Corporation  for more information

 

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Some Tips on How to Successfully Incorporate a CRM System Into Your Business

by Lyuben Georgiev

Some of the most important things about a CRM system are both its connection to the computer technology and the collection of data from all the areas of your business.  The last decade has made it popular for the companies to incorporate different applications to help them manage their finances and improve the services they offer. If your company uses such applications the transition to a new system might lead to some serious problems. The employees will first need to be trained to work with it properly. Therefore, it is good to keep the changes to a minimum. This will ensure the understanding of the staff and the easier incorporation of the innovations.

If you are having troubles incorporating a CRM system then you need to revise your product-oriented policy because it is more commonly responsible for problems than the client-oriented policy. If this is the case for you then your policies might need a dramatic change in order to make them work better for you.

What does a CRM system look like?

The answer to this question is not simple. There are many different kinds of CRM systems depending on the purpose they are designed to serve and the area they will be applied to. Therefore, you can have an abundance of different options in your CRM system and you need to choose the most suitable one for your business. Basically, you need to know that every CRM system is aimed at collecting as much data about your customers as possible and using it to improve the quality of the services you provide in order to increase profits. There are new strategies for effective gathering of this information that are constantly emerging and improving the work of the CRM systems.

How does a CRM system work?

When your customers want to make a purchase from you, they will contact you in one of the following ways – over the phone, over the Internet or will come in person to your office. After each purchase the CRM system keeps the information about the sale in a database. The process of collecting data never stops and the database can be used to improve all aspects of your business such as the structure of your shops, the warehouses and the services available for the customers. By reviewing the data, you can find out which products are selling better than others are and can stop manufacturing the useless ones. This will make your business more functional and will help you save time and efforts for useless causes. Moreover, if the department responsible for analyzing the data finds out that a certain customer has purchased a product and might want to buy another one related to it, they can offer it at a discounted price and make sure the client buys it. These and a lot of other tricks can help your business flourish in no time.

I strongly recommend at first trying a CRM demo, before you spend your money on any of the products available on the market. That way, you will make sure that the solution you had chose will meet all of your requirements.

 

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What would happen to the world of business if CRM suddenly disappeared?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a vital tool for many businesses today. It is invaluable in sales and marketing, both for attracting new customers and retaining those who already patronize the business. So what would happen to these businesses if Customer Relationship software was no longer available to them?

For many businesses, everything comes down to information. In order to market your product you need to know as much as possible about your customer base – what they want; what they need; how they make purchasing decisions; how quality, price and service contribute to their impressions of a company; what market segments are you not appealing to; why do you not appeal to these segments? During and after sales, successful businesses need to know what their customers have purchased, do they have any other needs, who is their primary contact, was the customer happy?

If CRM software were to disappear tomorrow, all the information that businesses store on it would disappear also. Many businesses would grind to a halt without it, and would have to divert many employees to the herculean task of trying to reassemble vast databases of knowledge. In the future, all of this information would have to be gathered by individual employees, taking their time away from other important tasks and incurring huge costs as further workers needed to be hired.

Even if this information remained when Customer Relationship Management Software was gone, the world would still not be rosy for companies. Information is nothing on its own. At best it is useless, and at worst stifling. In order to be useful to a company, information needs to be analysed and understood, with all the dots joined up and links made in order to make vital insights, develop strategies and implement those strategies. This is precisely what Customer Relationship Management Software allows companies to do, both in marketing and sales. Without it, countless man-hours would have to be spent in trying to analyse this information, and undoubtedly valuable insights and links would be lost due to human error.

Internal company improvement would also suffer without Customer Relationship Management software. One of the most valuable insights that this software gives is weak links in company procedures and personnel. Customer Relationship Management software enables analysis of every step of the marketing and sales chain, giving companies the information they need to refine and improve their service. Perhaps cold-calling to sales conversion rates have dipped, or a highly anticipated brochure has not reaped the success that was foreseen. Potentially, a particular branch is vastly outperforming other comparable branches, and would be an excellent case study in how to improve staff training. Without Customer Relationship Management software, these successes and failures would be much more difficult to critically appraise.

Clearly, were Customer Relationship Software to disappear tomorrow, many businesses would be devastated. Costs would increase, efficiency would decrease, and customers would receive vastly inferior service to what they had come to expect from these companies.

This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of web-based CRM software.

 

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How Not to do Customer Service

by @matt_seo

“The customer is the king.” “The customer is always right.” There are many such sayings in the world of customer service, but the extent to which we end up complaining about poor customer service shows that such advice is all too frequently overlooked. This article looks at some classic scenarios which demonstrate poor customer service and addresses how they can be prevented so that you can retain a loyal customer base and build your company’s reputation.

Bad attitudes towards customers
Perhaps the most frequent gripe experienced by customers is being on the receiving end of a bad attitude from an employee of a company. Being addressed in a surly fashion; being ignored; having a question answered unsatisfactorily; these are not only evidence of bad manners and unhappiness on the part of the employee, but also reflect poorly on the company as a whole. Bad news travels fast, so polite and friendly staff are vital for good customer service. If a particular employee is causing a problem, find out what is making them unhappy and address any underlying issues.

Not calling a customer back
You’ve said you’ll call a customer back at a particular time. But you’ve forgotten when you said you’d call them, and now they’ve sent a disgruntled email threatening to take their business elsewhere. This scenario could easily have been prevented with the use of CRM software, which allows you both to record conversations and correspondence with a customer and to schedule future contact. We all know how difficult it can be to stay on top of our workload, but diligent use of CRM software will make your life far easier as well as giving out a much better impression to customers.

Keeping the customer on hold
There are few things more frustrating for a customer than being kept on hold for what seems an infinite amount of time. If your phone lines tend to be busy, it would be wise to invest in some call-monitoring software to ensure that each member of your customer service team is pulling their weight. Advise your team that calls should be answered within three rings, and if you don’t have enough staff to handle the volume of calls you receive, consider hiring an extra member of staff – even if only temporarily to cover particularly busy periods or a team member being on holiday.

Getting into an argument with a customer
It can be very frustrating and upsetting when a customer bombards you with a barrage of complaints, treating you as though their (often unfounded) gripes with your company are your personal fault. But the last thing you should do is to argue back. Far from helping resolve the conflict, this will only worsen it. It will end with the customer hanging up on you – and you lose their business. Resist the temptation to give them an earful back, and instead take a step back and try to look at the situation from their point of view. Often, a customer may simply be having a bad day and taking it out on you; it’s not personal. Empathise with them; let them get whatever it is off their chest, and focus on what you can do to bring about a positive resolution to the situation.

 

This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of web-based CRM systems.

 

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