Just a few decades ago, good customer service consisted of a handshake and a smile. But that’s not enough for customers today who have many options on how, when, and where to shop and can make those decisions on the fly.
As customers become savvier and more connected, they are relying less on in-store sales associates but still want an excellent experience each and every time. Businesses also must change with the times and shift away from customer service as it once was—driven by the company—to delivering the experience customers are asking for.
Customer Service on the Customer’s Terms
Personalizing the digital experience should be first and foremost in any customer service strategy. While many purchases and interactions occur online—through PCs, tablets, or smartphones—and businesses may never physically see their customers, there’s no reason not to give them the same personal treatment customers might receive in a brick-and-mortar retail environment through a call center setting.
Customers are clamoring for a high level of personalization and are demanding that companies cater to them with extremely sophisticated features, such as:
- Connect My Way: Allow customers to communicate with your business the way they want to. Whether it’s through voice, chat, email, text or even a fax, providing a variety of means to stay in touch with customers is critical.
- Know Me: Make sure customer service representatives have accurate information on a customer when they make contact. This could be through screen pops that draw information straight from the customer relationship management (CRM) system.
- Give Me Control: Self-service is all the rage, and with good reason. Empowering customers to look up information or reach out to a customer service rep (CSR) using IVR capabilities gives them the control they want and the help when they need it.
- Keep Me Engaged: Instead of dumping a customer on hold with the same tired music everyone has been hearing for years, let them choose their hold music or select other messaging and prompts while they wait for a live CSR.
- Send Me to the Right Agent: Use business rules and skills-based routing to ensure customers speak with the person that can best address their concerns and issues.
- Give Me Great Service: Multi-channel and multi-interactions, when used simultaneously, can help deliver top-notch customer care. An integrated system makes it possible to add email, social media, SMS and web chats to traditional phone calls to create a single view of all customer interactions.
- Always Improve: Through real-time monitoring as well as historical reporting, businesses can get a clear picture of their customer service success and, if needed, revamp and rethink their processes.
- Stay in Touch: By conducting follow-up surveys and offers and sending friendly reminders, companies can keep the dialog with their customers going to let them know they are still at the top of their priority list.
The Customer’s Call Center
The key to delivering the kind of service and care that customers really want is to have a contact center that is flexible enough to anticipate the various methods of communications, robust enough to include the tools businesses need to customize how calls and interactions are handled, and scalable enough to handle future growth and integration with other infrastructure.
ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center helps businesses simplify their customer communications with an all-in-one solution built on a strong foundation of ShoreTel’s unified communications system. With this platform, enterprises can tailor the contact center to their requirements and take advantage of advanced features such as CRM integration, multimedia routing, an IVR script engine, real-time management and much more.
It’s exactly the kind of tool enterprises need to keep their finger on the pulse of their customers and keep them coming back.