Customer Service: How to Succeed With Customers at Every Point of Contact
All businesses, including retailers, which offer and effectively manage a variety of contact channel choices stand to make huge gains in customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as revenue generation. Meeting the multichannel challenge means providing highly customer-focused strategies, applications and platforms, as well as call-center agents equipped with the training and tools they need to provide consistent service across all contact media.
For retailers (or any organization that combines contact centers with on-site locations such as stores, service delivery facilities, etc.), a multichannel strategy should ensure that every contact a consumer has with your organization is optimized for the customer experience — and for the business' strategic customer relationship management (CRM) goals. To that end, there are two areas where retailers can concentrate their focus: interactive voice response (IVR) and websites.
Revisit Your IVR
While IVR was probably the first tool in many organizations' multichannel strategy, it's become a hated (by consumers and businesses alike) necessity. Today's IVR technologies, however, have reached an astounding level of personalization. Inbound calls can now be segmented by customer account based on the number the customer is calling from or a telephone number account designation, offering information based on previous customer activity and preferences.
This offers a more intelligent and personalized experience for customers. For example, if they've recently placed an order with you, customers might be given an option or set of options related to tracking or changing that order. IVR can also be more proactive, with outbound messaging that keeps customers informed about order status and changes. It also can be used to administer customer satisfaction surveys regarding orders or customer experiences.
The takeaway is that IVR technology has advanced to the point that it can once again hold a primary place in your organization's multichannel strategy, showing customers that you know who they are, what their preferences are and that you value their continued patronage.
Treat Your Website
Like a Call Center
If your business has a multichannel strategy in place, you probably already use your website to capture customer data, and then use that information to provide highly personalized service during future transactions. Details about account histories, product and service preferences, past service problems, etc., are often already stored in powerful databases. This data enables call centers to create customized web pages for individual customers.