The key to maximizing customer engagement is personalization.....and the best way to deliver personalization is having your agents being to instantly access appropriate information from throughout your enterprise. Delivering this requires preparation.
Preparation is key
Outside sales people meticulously plan for their customer calls in advance, shouldn't inside sales and customer service personnel be just as prepared?
When a salesperson prepares to call on a customer or a prospect, what do they do? They start with research and try to learn everything possible about them. Salespeople want to know what the customer's background is and anticipate what kind of issues they are having so some common ground can be found to establish a relationship.
Contact Center Agents also need to be properly prepared when handling customers. So, how do you prepare when the Agent doesn't know who will be calling and what they need? The answer is to have all relevant customer information instantly available. You need the customer history so that you understand your customers' experience with your organization. This includes which products or services they buy, when they buy these, and how often they make purchases.
The better prepared and the more accessible this information is to your agents, the better prepared they will be to address your customers' needs. One of the most important things to know is what occurred with their recent transaction, as there is a strong likelihood that this is why they are calling. Was their item in stock? Did it ship on time? Does this customer usually call in? Can you tell if an item has shipped, or left the warehouse, etc.? Immediate access to all relevant customer information from all of your systems, Financial (ERP) and CRM, will be necessary. If you really want to make customers happy, this information should be immediately available to the agent so you can really speed up response times.
Personalized Answering and Eliminating IVR Menus
Tightly integrate your Contact Center with Your CRM and ERP Customer databases
One of the ways you can expedite customer call handling (which also lowers your staffing and network costs) is to tightly integrate your telephony systems with your CRM and ERP customer databases so you can eliminate or minimize routing your customers into IVR queues. Calls can be routed automatically to agents by reading the Automatic Number Identification (ANI) or other identifying information that travels with the call. Your customer relationship management database should contain all of this information. When that is not possible, there is no reason a customer should ever have to input information more than one time. All of your systems should be sufficiently integrated so all of your tools can access this information.