When you hear ‘advanced customer service features’, you may think of technology used by a large-scale call center to manage multiple agents, supervisors and a complex call flow. But customer service functionalities can be equally effective in transforming how small to mid-sized businesses support their clients. With the right tools in place, your client-facing team can be empowered to offer the exceptional, enterprise-grade support that keeps your client base loyal and drives revenue for your business.
In small and mid-sized organizations, customer service can take many forms:
Whether you have a single dedicated customer service team or tasks are shared between several departments, there are tools that you can use to improve your clients’ experience and, as a result, your bottom line. Here are a few ways technology traditionally used in call centers can give your customer service a boost.
One of the most basic characteristics of good customer service is that it’s reliably available. If your clients call you during normal business hours and their call goes repeatedly unanswered, your reputation and their loyalty to your business will be on the line. Setting up an Auto Attendant that transfers clients to the appropriate department when your front desk team is unavailable can go a long way in getting their questions answered in a timely manner. When they call after hours, the simple ability to leave a voicemail and a friendly message that they will get a call back can reassure them that their needs are important to you.
Giving your team the opportunity to work remotely on occasion can also boost the quality of your customer service. While you shouldn’t underestimate the impact of a happy team on the service they provide to your clients, remote work isn’t only about employee satisfaction. When your team can take client calls from home during bouts of bad weather or minor illness, your customer’s needs are met significantly sooner. Leading telecom providers, like S-NET, offer VoIP desktop and mobile applications connected straight to your company phone system that allow your staff to place and receive calls as if they were sitting at the office, no matter the circumstances. By using their company extension and caller ID, your team is able to present a professional image at all times.
Call Recording has long been used by call centers to train new employees. But it can be an equally useful tool for your business as well. Letting your new hires listen to examples of good and bad customer service gives them a clear idea of your expectations. It also enables them to learn the unique voice of your brand. Call Recording can be particularly useful when you don’t have the time or resources needed to give your staff extensive training. And it can also protect your business when disputes arise by keeping a record of all client conversations.
In addition to Call Recording, Call Monitoring and Whisper Coaching can go a long way in ensuring that every customer interaction is top-notch. By listening to your team’s calls to provide feedback (Call Monitoring) or guiding your staff through challenging conversations without the client hearing (Whisper Coaching), you can provide the more hands-on guidance that some of your employees need. With the Barge functionality, you can even jump in to save a conversation if needed.
Putting relevant client information at your team’s disposal is another simple way of ensuring that they can address customer needs quickly and successfully. Information collected across various departments in your organization can be particularly useful when clients call about complex issues. In addition, the more your customer service team already knows about their case, the more impressed your customers will be with the competent, attentive care they get.
CRM Integration can easily pull such customer data from a variety of CRM applications including Salesforce, Zoho, Zendesk and many others, and display it on your staff’s screen for inbound or outbound calls. Combined with Caller ID technology, CRM Integration ensures that your employees have all the information they need to address customer calls successfully and efficiently.
Distributing incoming client calls effectively is also key to good customer service, particularly in a small organization. By setting up Ring Groups, you can customize where each client call will go, in what order, and for how long will it ring on each device. For example, instead of routing billing-related client calls to one specific person, you can set up a Ring Group and have calls ring each Billing Team member’s phone simultaneously. This ensures that client calls get answered even when some of your employees are away from their desks.
Call Queues can provide additional functionality, such as checking which team members are already mid-conversation and routing calls only to employees who are currently available. Call queues also give your clients the option to wait on hold when none of your staff members are momentarily available. And with ‘overflow’ call queue settings, you can even route calls to a different department or a higher-level manager if all employees are busy.
Ensuring that you have enough staff members to answer all your client requests is also imperative for good customer service. When your team is overwhelmed with the sheer volume of calls, they may be less patient with your clients, calls may fall through the cracks, and you could be losing loyal customers.
Advanced Call Reporting provides critical insights into your operations and enables you to assess if your staffing levels are appropriate. When you notice indicators such as an increasing call volume, longer on-hold times or even abandoned client calls, you can stay ahead of the curve and augment your staff before they become overwhelmed. Real-Time and Historic Reports allow you to review statistics for each day of the week, week of the month and month of the year, so you can identify peak calling times, notice trends and staff appropriately.
Your business may not have a dedicated call center, but that is no reason to provide your customers with poor quality service. Introducing a few call center features can help ensure that your staff can handle each client call professionally and effectively, regardless of the size of your team.
If your team could use a bit of support in working with your customers, get in touch with our team. One of our Client Technology Advisors will be happy to assess your current communication needs and show you how we can help.