High-tech Customer Service
The Franklin Mint, Philadelphia, is another retailer for which NetXentry has created a WebForPhone application. The system accepts inbound calls from customers requesting their account balances and order and shipping status. “The calls typically cost $4 to $5 each,” says Senescu. “We’ve reduced that to 40 to 60 cents per call.”
The technology platform also can improve customer service by enabling live reps to concentrate on high-value calls. Specifically, it reduces queue times and frees agents to spend more time with callers who need special services. This has been helpful for The Franklin Mint, which receives upwards of 1,500 calls a day—even more during peak holiday seasons.
“We always get a surge of activity around the holidays and many customers just want to check the status of a shipment,” says Mike Figliuolo, director of customer service operations at The Franklin Mint. “With WebForPhone, those customers get their answers immediately, while others who are waiting for a live CSR are moved through the queue more quickly.”
According to Figliuolo, WebForPhone’s functions were seamlessly integrated into The Franklin Mint’s inbound menus, providing fewer options with multiple pieces of information. “Having too many different menus and levels tends to confuse and frustrate callers, so we decided to keep the system simple,” he says.
Share the Web
Another form of technology that catalogers might find useful is a real-time, Web-based, communications solution that complements a call center’s existing live telephone-based support and Web site knowledge bases. While the most common form of real-time communication is live chat, newer technologies that offer expanded capabilities are emerging.
One vendor offering this technology is WebEx, San Jose, CA (www.webex.com). Its Web-conferencing service enables customer support or help-desk agents to immediately connect to calling customers through their Web browsers to view any application running on customers’ systems.