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New Technology – Yay or Nay?

New Technology – Yay or Nay?

In order for new technology to be embraced by all age groups, it needs to meet this three essential criteria:

  • Secure
  • Accessible
  • Reliable

Don’t get obsessed with efficiency.

This is basically “New Technology 101”, do not impose the new technology on customers. It’s the most rookie mistake companies of all shapes and sizes make.

Remember, service and customer experience come first. Implementing new solutions, that will fix efficiency problems within your organizations is a great idea, but at the same time take customer service into consideration. If it will complicate the process for the customer or make them “jump through hoops” it’s a “NO GO”.

Staff and customers alike will cherish technology that speeds up the process and makes it almost unnoticeable.

Provide security.

Security is crucial, how many media outlets have reported security breaches, within the last year only? Especially when it comes down to the public sector.

Remember , if new technology is to be embraced it needs to be trusted by the customer and staff. Be aware of the fact, the more valuable and complex transaction or process is, the bigger the need for fast and successful resolution.

Fully automated systems can fail, just like humans.

Don’t expect a dramatic shift in customer preferences.

Plan for the future, implement new technology in order to “catch the wave”, don’t expect immediate change in customer behavior patterns. Keep the customers notified of any updates and changes concerning your communication channels.

Simply let them know in a non-intrusive way that they do have additional options, but leave the choice to them – do not impose methods.

Also it’s worth mentioning that some newer solutions have higher hardware and tech know-how requirements – keep that in mind, when considering abandoning some of the “outdated” systems.

Make the transition easy for the customer.

Gather feedback.

During the planning process, take notes of what customers and staff want and expect from the CRM technology. Don’t just rely on the IT Department or managers, they might think they do know what’s needed, but in reality they often don’t.

Equip agents with appropriate “tools of the trade” and create the ultimate customer experience.

Don’t implement new technologies just to reduce costs, you wont notice real gain in customer service. Make improvements an integral part of your CRM strategy, the long term goal is building a lasting relationship with customers.


CRM features that tend to fly under the radar.

CRM features that tend to fly under the radar.

When implementing new technologies or updating systems, it’s important to correctly notify the customer base about every new application and feature. The communication channel of choice does not matter – they simply need to know what are the capabilities of the tools they have at their disposal.

Sometimes, clients are so hyped for one particular feature they tend to overlook other, sometimes overshadowed by their counterparts capabilities.

Below you’ll find a list of the most common CRM features that tend to “sneak by the customers radar”.

Call Recording:

  • Exclude specific area codes from call logging parameters, or set custom tailored white-lists and black-lists
  • Notify personnel when calls aren’t being logged

Screen Capture:

  • Screen capture in real time while agents are watching a user in a VO desktop.
  • Trigger screen capture manually from within the software or by an API trigger.
  • Screen capture even in multi-display environment

Usability:

  • Convert any data stream into a widget on your real-time dashboard
  • Create custom dashboards
  • Save any event log, mark as a favorite, or even set as the default start-up view

Quality Monitoring:

  • Monitor agents and assist them during a live call
  • Manage feedback data for a single event

IT:

  • Divide certain groups and store them at separate storage locations
  • Various automated API triggers
  • Set different events and triggers for varying call types and agents groups.
  • Running applications in a virtual environment

Examine the process from the customer and staff view.

Examine the process from the customer and staff view.

Looking back at all the customer service complaints it’s quite easy to see that the group that fails at the process the most is the organization.

Many organizations are obsessed with process – procedures, mapping, systems. They focus on improving the process from the company stand point and are not taking the customer experience into consideration.

Example.

When a customer contacts customer service through a web-site, he’s forced to jump through hoops, even worse if the customer provides all the extensive details and the problem description and the agent can’t help him with the matter.

Or, when you encounter automated telephone systems with ridiculous menus and sub menus that don’t even make sense and by the time you navigate through them you get a automated scripted answer that is limited by company policy.

It can change.

Extensive call monitoring and speech recognition systems help with bottlenecks, highlight areas of aggro among customers and provide process improvement opportunities.

But If the managers that designed those systems were forced to use them themselves – there would be blood and we would see rapid changes in the customer service industry.

Agents know.

Listen to your agents concerns, the staff in the call center will always know before anyone else that there is a problem with the process, they are at the front lines – they have to deal with aggravated customers and defuse the situation at hand. Empower your agents, give them the right tools for the job. Getting front line agents on project teams will greatly improve the customer experience. Want to improve a poorly performing CRM at no extra cost? Get the IT department some help from your agents.

Your front line staff will bring great insight into your enterprise. It’s that simple.

Learn and adjust.

Making mistakes is not a crime, the crime is not learning from them and adjusting your process. Schedule weekly meetings with the front line staff, ask them what adjustments could be made to make the system agent and customer friendly.

Always put customer experience above all else.


Allowing Social CRM to mature.

Allowing Social CRM to mature.

Social CRM is on the rise, most people seem to forget the simple fact that while the medium as a whole is growing at a rapid pace it’s not maturing fast enough. Companies are slow when it comes to responding to change in market environment – you could say that the toolkit outgrew the user.

Social CRM has the potential to become the dominant “doctrine” but companies need to stop making the same mistakes.

Focus on the Customer.

Companies can’t ignore the fact that in order for social CRM to evolve they need to switch the focus from a traditional Company-Customer relationship to Customer-Customer interaction. Make sure that the customers can interact freely, don’t engage them, provide them a channel to express their opinions and listen. Gauge their interests, what sparks the most heated discussions and be subtle with product placement.

Influence and value.

Thanks to many Social Media analytics you can understand the flow of influence. But influence doesn’t equal value for the customer. In order for social CRM to advance the customer needs to be included in the process of value creation, it should not be acting as support for transactions.

It’s not a new concept.

CRM as a whole is not a new concept, so why is the industry approaching Social CRM as if it was? Oh so it’s different because you want to engage the customers at their “hang outs”. Well lets assume your enterprise manages to “hang out” with the customers and after the initial contact you “stop calling” – that’s the most common and biggest mistake, don’t leave them hanging. Those are the people that most of the time fail at the traditional touch-points (call center, company web-site).

Catching the wave and misinformation.

Enterprises need to step back and get a clear view on that types of value should the social media channels generate. If you try to catch that Social CRM “wave” without a solid plan you are bound to fail. Most are incorporating the platform without the slightest idea on what to do and what to expect, wasting resources and energy on just setting it up. To add insult to injury there are plenty of analyst companies that willingly spread misinformation which confuses and scares companies even more.

For Social CRM to mature the industry has to mature as well – embrace the customer-customer relationship.