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Chapter 3: CRM and Customer Service. Customer Relationship Management. The Call Center and Customer Care. “ Companies have long known that customer support is critical to both existing customers and acquiring new ones.”

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Chapter 3: CRM and Customer Service

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chapter 3 crm and customer service

Chapter 3: CRM and Customer Service

Customer Relationship Management

the call center and customer care
The Call Center and Customer Care

“Companies have long known that customer support is critical to both existing customers and acquiring new ones.”

Call Centers: Organization in charge of direct customer support interactions. This term refers to the classic telephone support infrastructure. Other names include contact centers, customer interaction centers, customer care centers, or knowledge centers.

call centers
Call Centers

Purpose: Alleviate some of the repeat work and increase efficiencies in order to handle increasing volumes.

Positive Effects

  • Trouble Tickets (Record of Customer’s Call)
  • Unnecessary Repeat of Research

Products Remedy and Clarify (Software)

  • Run Statistics

categorize by call type, time-to-resolution, escalation

percentages, and average call duration.

  • Forecast Call Volumes
call centers4
Call Centers

Vendors Aid (Software)

  • Increase Agent Productivity
  • Decrease Turnover Rates
  • Expedite Training
  • Gauge Effectiveness of Solutions
  • Shorten Problem-Resolution Times
  • Reduce Cost

Call Centers also use statistics to evaluate performance of Customer Service Representatives (CSR)

automated call centers
Automated Call Centers

“Customer Relationships are only as good as the quality of their support”

Automation Software

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI): combining telephone systems with computer technology such as software applications and databases to automate functions.

Example: Using caller-id to provide customer information when distributing calls to CSRs.

call routing
Call Routing

Contact Centers Segregated Based On:

  • The location of company’s regional offices
  • Staff expertise or product specialization
  • Proximity to key research and development activities
  • The location of the firm outsourcing the company’s contact centers
  • Various escalation levels for trouble tickets

“Follow the Sun Concept”

call routing7
Call Routing
  • Load Balancing
  • Caller Identification
  • Precision Call Distribution
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems
  • Automated Speech Recognition Features

Important Note:

It is important to know customer’s preferred mode of interaction. Example: operator, e-mail, fax, or handheld device.

contact center sales support
Contact Center Sales Support

Opportunities That Arise

  • Screen Pop
  • Point of Sale
  • Mind Share

Examples: (page 58)

“That’s a great pair of shoes. Would you like a belt to match?

“Click here to learn more about today’s savings-of-the day!”


Must be trained on when to begin cross-selling (above opportunities) or when to refrain.

web based self service
Web-Based Self Service
  • Customers are both refreshed and annoyed by company websites re-intermediating the support process.
  • Redundancy of calls to customer support centers has initiated the automation of customer support processes
  • Increases support efficiencies and allows customers a greater degree of access web information anytime of the day, for a variety of questions
web based self service ctd
Web-Based Self Service Ctd.
  • Customer service also deals with general information.
  • FAQ’s
  • Where is the company headquartered?
  • How do I return an item?
  • I’ve moved- how do I update my profile?
  • How do I review my account?
web based self service ctd11
Web-Based Self Service Ctd.
  • The more choices customers have in how they can deal with the company, the more likely they will be satisfied with that company’s service.
  • Company email address on website
  • Call me button
  • Live person chat
  • Breakthrough technology capabilities alone won’t ensure stellar customer service
  • Online customer service reps must have excellent communication skills and must be good at multitasking.
customer satisfaction measurement
Customer Satisfaction Measurement
  • Survey mailings are the principal way for companies to monitor customer satisfaction
  • Detailed questions personalized to specific customers or customer segments
  • Responses are input into customer databases and included as part of individual customer profiles.
  • Track customer service over time and fine tune how it communicates with its customers according to their preferences
customer satisfaction measurement ctd
Customer Satisfaction Measurement Ctd.
  • E-businesses have pop-up surveys to discover:
  • What will make them return to web site
  • How they found the site
  • Why they did or did not purchase on the site
  • Online surveys are the equivalent of focus groups
call scripting
  • As customer contact centers become more automated, the infrastructure improves
  • Databases become richer and customer behavior and preferences can be predicted by comparing them to behaviors of similar customers over time.
  • With increasing customer intelligence, the capability to provide CSR’s with situation scripts is emerging as a must-have for many contact centers
call scripting ctd
Call-Scripting Ctd.
  • Scripts eliminate agent guesswork by providing the CSR with a logical series of talking points and guiding her through a dialogue with customer based on factors such as:
  • Reason for the contact
  • Customer’s value
  • Past due bills or accounts payable issues
call scripting ctd16
Call-Scripting Ctd.
  • Some products have natural language support; agent can enter a phrase and be supplied with appropriate responses
  • Others feature logging of transcripts allowing a company to retain a running text log of each customer’s chat
  • This allows call center reps to call up past chats in real time while customers are online
call scripting ctd17
Call-Scripting Ctd.
  • Helps present a uniform image of company, 2 customers get same response
  • Flip side is high value customers may deserve different answers than customers at large Figure 3-3
  • Includes marketing promotions received by customer, travel history, how he books his tickets, and meal preferences
  • Cyberagents – lifelike “representative” normally depicted on a company’s web site as a real person
  • Attempts to pull together the best of both personalization and advanced technology
  • Emerging as a viable means of providing basic customer support
workforce management
  • Staffing the contact center has traditionally been a matter of determining who can work when.
  • Workforce management tools specialize in staff planning and optimization, and several products are specific to contact center staffing.
  • Optimizing staff around high call volumes, different communication channels, and customer types is the surest means of guaranteeing that the right customers receive the appropriate levels of support.
products can combine operational contact center tasks planning
Products can combine operational contact center tasks—PLANNING
  • Ability to forecast contact volumes to predict busy periods.
  • Recommendations for the optimal number of CSRs for certain peak periods.
  • Performance tracking by customer value, customer satisfaction, priority level, or other metrics.
  • Employee scheduling based on skills, tenure, or preferred work hours.
  • Global monitoring of multiple contact centers, with the ability to combine findings into single reports for staff performance fine-tuning.
  • With staffing issues claiming up to 70% of a contact center’s operating budget, the ability to track performance against customer satisfaction levels and fine-tune staffing choices accordingly is the goal of customer support executives.
  • Increased customer satisfaction should be the overarching goal of every contact center employee.
customer service checklist
  • World-class customer service is a series of corporate policies that should be defined, refined, and repeated across the organization.
  • How do you respond to customers in the optimal way?
    • Choose technologies carefully, establish processes.
    • Provide CSRs with information about customers.
    • Agree on success metrics.
    • Understand the issue of service recovery.
    • Ensure proper training, staff at appropriate levels, pay.
    • Share key learnings, corporate personality.
case study juniper bank
CASE STUDY: Juniper Bank
  • Juniper Bank’s employees don’t concentrate on how to deliver customer relationship management, they just go about their everyday customer-centric business.
    • WHAT THEY DID: Richard Vague envisioned an online bank with a mission to simplify consumer banking and provide stellar service. Juniper Bank was launched in October 2000. They determined to have customer-focused business processes. Integration was key.
    • CHALLENGES: Juniper Bank has no branches. They have no real means of human intimacy.
    • ADVICE: Relationships between customer support & marketing is important. Monitor campaigns.
    • GOLDEN NUGGET: Focus on CRM has resulted in a “WOW” response!
the bottom line
  • Customer service is a set of business processes aided by new technologies, but fundamentally practiced by human beings.
  • Companies can retain their customers by simply giving them an unforgettable service experience.