Creating the Ultimate Online Customer-Service Experience Choosing the proper level of Technology A look at some of your options Stefan Beeli, Vice President ESP Computer Services
Overview • Online Customer Service-benefits/concerns. • Create the ultimate site for you • Bronze - No Database Interaction • Silver- Simple Database Interaction • Gold – Sophisticated DB & tools • Tips and Tricks
Potential Benefits • Customer benefits: • 24/7 availability • Online access to account information • Immediate resolution • Customer self service and confirmation • Publisher benefits: • Satisfied customer • Sell more products/subscriptions and cross-sell • Gain more demographics • Analyze purchasing patterns • Reduce costs
Think about… • You have to offer online customer service. Know the answers before starting. • Does it matter if there are a few problems? • Isn’t something better than nothing? • Doesn’t your cousin do this stuff? • How do I know it’s working? • How do I maintain it?
Concerns • Stuff Happens - Downtime, Paypal, Google, anyone. • Poor Customer Service can result in: • Lost sales • Lost reputation/brand loyalty • Development costs can get out of hand • Ongoing maintenance/management • Difficult to test all environments • Security Risks – credit cards, customer data • Lack of visibility into what’s happening • System error notifications – real time is best… • Reporting of lost sales and transactions –incomplete transactions
Bronze Bronze - Features • Features • FAQ • Customer Service contact info • General inquiry forms • Basic Forms - New, COA, Renew, Pay Bill
Bronze Bronze Benefits • Benefits– Better Customer Service • Reduce confusion, inquiries, immediate answers • 24/7 Availability. • Self Service – maybe lower costs • Perception of your company
Bronze Bronze Concerns • Concerns– No Database interaction – can’t: • Customize renewal offers • Verify amount due • Automate transactions - more effort/same work • Maintenance of site
Silver Silver Features • Features – Database Interaction with site • Account overview • Tailor navigation to customer • Automation of transaction processing • Ability to share information across the web • Customized confirmation emails and letters
Silver Silver Benefits • Benefits • Personalize offers /navigation/messaging • Custom renewal/Correct amount due • Expose data in real-time (gate-keeping) • Easier to order additional products • Simple up-sell opportunities
Silver Silver Concerns • Concerns • Need to authenticate user • Expose current client data to others • Interaction is more expensive to maintain • More complex to develop new services • Testing and visibility become more difficult
Gold Gold Features • Features– Ultimate Online • XML Web Services • Integrated database Interaction • Additional self-service tools • Customized pop-ups and messaging • Custom pricing based on other purchases, demographics, etc.. • Management and reporting tools
Gold Gold Benefits • Benefits– Ultimate customer service • Tailored to customers perceived needs • Cross-up/selling logic based on complete account view • Open standard (XML) used to interact with sites/processes • Customer service for group accounts - Warner • Invoices generated from recent order; receipts generated from recent payment. Need a real-time database. • Real-time and summary reporting
Gold Gold Concerns • Concerns– • Interaction is more expensive to maintain • Additional security concerns • Additional complexity to manage • Works best with real-time integrated database
Tips and Tricks • Keep it Simple • If your goal is paid subscriptions, beware of: • Confusing offers/Discount codes • Trying to capture too many demographics • Required fields (phone, email, fax, etc) • Keep customer comfort level in mind. • Is web site secure ? • How easy is it to complete the transaction ? • Is there confirmation and follow-up?
Tips and Tricks • List customer service contacts on every page. • Always Test your site – Often • Use different browsers & computers • Develop a checklist for regression testing • Web server should trap errors and notify in real-time via email or pager • Monitor and collect data throughout the transaction process. Problems/Payup stats. • Use Analytics – Google Analytics is free! • Have someone outside your work test and evaluate
Conclusions Online Customer Service has great benefits and also costs. Take them into consideration and choose a model that works for you.
Thanks! Stefan Beeli, Vice President ESP Computer Services