Careless communication costs business: how to improve customer & client communication

Written by Michael Smith on the 29th of October, 2014

Having spent a number of years working with Asda Walmart, I understand the value of being ‘Happy to Help’. How you deal with your customers or clients can have a very positive impact on your business = growth; or, a very negative impact = churn. Retailers and e-commerce operators are acutely aware of this and invest in Customer Service Departments or Help Desks to deal with this with varying degrees of success.

For businesses in the SME sector, there is growing recognition that keeping customers and growing their value is far more effective than continually finding new customers. Countering churn is of paramount importance and therefore the biggest challenge is keeping the existing base. For the SME business that cannot afford a specific department focused on customer care, every single employee has to be able fulfil a customer service role by ensuring that any inbound or outbound interaction with a customer of client is managed in a way that maximises satisfaction.

Making every employee exceed expectation in this way is major challenge for many reasons, not just the fact that they have their own goals, roles and responsibilities within a defined role. With the right technology and integration of a businesses channels of communication and customer data (e.g. CRM), it becomes a lot easier to manage and automate communication in a way which makes customers feel loved.

We have taken Zendesk and stitched a contact management solution into its fabric to provide an entirely customer or client-focused solution that can help an SME business manage communication in a way that not only will make the punter feel special but will also track, document and retain vital information that will ensure employees can perform effectively and that hiccups do not arise through ‘crossed-wires’:

  1. Know your customer by name before you pick up their call: by integrating your inbound calls into Zendesk , whoever picks up the call will know who the customer is before they speak and have their history in front of them, ensuring that they can be addressed by name and by having access to records, be in an immediate position to help.
  2. Capture the call and attach to the customer ‘ticket’: every inbound call creates a record or ticket on the customer’s account and even records the call. Any call recording is automatically available to the owner of the account whether they took that call or not.
  3. Click to dial from the Zendesk account: you can very quickly access a customer’s details and respond; simply go into the customer account in Zendesk and you can make a call out to a telephone or mobile number, or even send an SMS. Even if the account owner is not available, a colleague can easily help out.
  4. Taking messages: to avoid sending your customers around an expensive IVR, its easy for the customer to confidently leave messages knowing that a ticket has been created, sent to the correct recipient (s) and that it will be responded to in due course. All this is taken care of by an automated message to both customer and recipient (s) alike.
  5. Any which way you can: being multi-channel, customers can also communicate by email, chat or social media - any which way they do this will create a ticket and attach it to their account.
  6. Communicate from PC, tablet or mobile: being cloud-based, it’s a simple and cost-effective process to set up softphones so employees can manage all communication from desktop or mobile device. This removes the requirement for expensive deskphones and maintenance costs.
  7. Build a knowledge-base: how many customer or client conversations are the same? If you are an accountant it could be a question about a rate of tax or process for submitting a return. You can use Zendesk to start to build a knowledge-base whereby people can start to look themselves which for many is a preferred option.

For a professional services business, this type of approach is extremely valuable insofar as it can improve the process of client or customer management: removing the requirement for post-it notes, stopping voice-mails on handsets going unanswered and responded to for days, avoiding witch-hunts around what was said to customers by whom on inbound calls, ensuring customers don’t take umbrage simply because the person who answers the phone doesn’t know who they are. The list is endless!

So if you want to put some love back into your customers, then why not get in touch with us to arrange demo. It won’t take long but it will make you realise that you could be doing things better with the right technology.

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