Evolving your Customer Service with Customer Relationship Management
In today’s ever changing customer service environment, it is critical to stay on top of current customer needs while anticipating their future requests and requirements. Without the ability to pre-emptively guide your customer service towards future customer expectations while maintaining high customer service standards your business can suffer stunted growth as well as hinder customer retention. With the most important tool in your business being the people you employ, the second is that system your people use to track and capture customer service requests, issues, and service types. Having a system that not only is friendly to use while capturing significant data points but also allows you to grow and customize your business processes as the vast aspects of customer needs evolve is the biggest challenge businesses face today. Customer needs are changing on a daily basis and the ability to keep pace is taking a toll on businesses. Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a tool that allows for a business to invest in resolving immediate needs while setting the solid foundation needed for continued grown and business process development.
Business needs are defined and achieved by taking care of the customer and as we have discussed these needs are always evolving. As an organization it is imperative that the core definition of customer service highlights and expands the importance of having a clear customer experience strategy throughout the organization. Whether it is sales, customer service, production, or a business analyst – each role within the organization impacts the customer experience and can enhance or be detrimental to a customer being satisfied, disappointed, upset, or walking away with an exceptional experience. This relationship is started from the first moment a customer interacts with your business and as an organization how you determine to track and manage that contact is the start of the customer’s experience. Tools within CRM allow you to track when a customer contacted you, how they reached out to your organization, and with a clearly defined process it will allow you to see what stage the interaction is at. Time tracking from initial contact and throughout the process to when your customer’s request has been satisfied allows you to be able to have data that shows time spent with the customer, if there are trends forming, and employee accountability.
Successful businesses are not successful because of one great CEO, that one dedicated customer service rep, or because their reporting is spectacular. A business is successful because they have achieved the ability to capture a 360 degree view of their business and customers. Having an all-encompassing view allows an organization to see where their needs are and to place the appropriate people with the necessary skills in the right position. It is imperative for a business that wants to maintain and grow to have the correct people in the correct role within their organization. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM a company is able to see where their needs are, often times forecasting that need before it becomes a critical issue. With the correct people in place it easily provides the opportunities necessary to develop your team, motivate them, and continually enhance their processes creating that balance of professional need and customer satisfaction.
Customers realize that businesses are not perfect; however it is the action and reaction of your business and employees that determine a customer’s future relationship with you. Without effective business processes, no matter how friendly your staff is, customers will leave you for a company that get things done quickly and accurately the first time. Retaining customers is achieved thru having established service delivery processes that meet and exceed your customer’s expectations. You could think you have the best process in place but if you are not tracking and reporting on critical points within that process how you can validate that it is truly effective and meeting your customer needs. CRM allows you to put in those tracking points so at any time you can see what service requests are outstanding within your organization, your team’s response time, as well as if you were able to meet, exceed, or fail at meeting your customers’ expectations.
By Brandi Bozek, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant at OTT, Inc.