How CRM Solutions Empower Customer Service Representatives to Match Customer Expectations



Optimizing customer experience is the ultimate goal of any CRM solution from this decade. In today's hi-tech market place much of the customer experience is online, when a customer chooses to interact directly with a company whose products or services they are using, they have several avenues through which they can communicate. Ultimately, the customer only wants to know one thing and that is “Did you receive my service request? What is the optimal solution?”.  With so many reasons driving a customer to interact with the company, most times what any customer wants is to know for sure is whether their requests are being handled and how much time will it take. A CRM solution integrates all of the customer information from across touch points (website, call center, branch, social network, etc.) and provides the tools to skilled customer service representatives to effectively handle all customer requests within specific target SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

In most cases, if a customer actually has to make a phone call to talk to somebody in person, it means that other attempts to communicate have either failed or the customer has not received an official response. So, when the fateful call happens and the customer is on the phone attempting to follow-up, it becomes the responsibility of the Customer Service Representative (CSR) to ensure customer satisfaction. Again, what is the customer really looking for? They just want a confirmation their request or complaint has been logged and that something is going to be done within a short span of time to match at leat their first level of expectations. This is where a CRM solution provides the CSR with the business tools needed to be able to respond accurately to customer queries. But, to understand the customer's needs and provide appropriate solutions, the company should enable access to the relevant information. An effective CRM software becomes the go-to system for customer facing representatives because of its centralized repository of solutions and workspaces for content libraries in these situations.

Real-time customer information
The CSR who handles the customer's call is facilitated with instant customer recognition through CTI integration to ensure positive customer experience through auto-populated screens. It falls on the shoulders of the CSR to be able to provide this optimized experience directly to the customer through the information accessible via the CRM's interface. A comprehensive CRM solution should provide the CSR with instant information regarding all communications that the customer has had with the company through activity management. To be able to say “Yes, we got your email” or “Yes, we saw your tweet” and “Yes, we will have that for you within a specific time frame,” is critical to the empowerment of the CSR in satisfying the customer's needs.

What enables the CSR to be able to confidently speak for the rest of the company is the pervasive information that goes into the CRM solution from all aspects of the business. An effective CRM software for customer services will be securely accessible from all levels of the business for input of critical information, so that a “Big Picture” can be maintained for access by everyone in the business. When a customer calls with a query, their experience will be optimal, regardless of which CSR ends up handling the inbound call. The representative will be empowered with updated information pertinent to the caller and provide adequate solutions to their needs, thus preserving the integrity of the customer relationship and enhancing the customer's perception.

Before I finish, let me answer an important question -Who uses the CRM? The answer - everybody in the organization does! From the President, CEO, CFO, CMO, sales representatives, marketing teams, supply chain staff, shipping and warehouse department, production and acquisitions all the way down to the CSR. The CFO and upper management staff can keep a birds eye view of what is happening to the business on a global scale and make key executive decisions based on real-time metrics and pipelines. Production and 
acquisitions can in turn gear themselves to meet the needs of the sales force. The CSR at any location can always speak with authority because of the completeness of the information in the CRM software and build better rapport too. Last but not least, the customers themselves will always have timely responses across geographies and products when they contact the company. Customer experience optimization is easily achievable and CRM solutions work behind the scenes and through user interfaces to support everybody so that everybody is working in conjunction to “Keep the customer happy”!

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