A recent study found that, on average, retailers only fully respond to customer help request emails 54% of the time. Yikes!!
If you’re unable to answer, have no fear! A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution can help you improve your customer service efforts and keep you from having to bury your head under a blanket:
1. Centrally manage and view all communications regarding an inquiry
A robust CRM will keep help requests from all contact channels together in one place. Some will even incorporate data from social media. Keeping this info in one place minimizes confusion and sets you up to succeed with the real task: providing stellar customer service.
2. Get requests to the right person
From the centralized list of open issues in your CRM, you can assign specific employees to resolve each issue where their expertise is most relevant. This speeds up the help process because it puts the right person on the job from the start. You can also re-assign issues easily through the system, which can prevent help “collisions” when two people are trying to solve the same problem at the same time.
3. Identify common problems and bugs
By centrally organizing and tracking customer requests and feedback, it’s easy to spot common issues and identify areas for improvement. This could mean fixing a bug, moving a hard-to-find button, or making other changes to improve usability and minimize the number of issues that require staff responses.
4. Don’t misplace or lose an issue
A CRM can help ensure that no customer issue gets left behind! Some systems can even automatically escalate issues that have remained unresolved for too long. This feature is key to improving response rates beyond that scary 54%.
5. Automatically communicate progress to customers
Many applications will automatically notify a customer when their request has been submitted and as it progresses on its way to resolution. This reassures the customer that you’re handling their inquiry promptly and are committed to resolving it.
6. Track an individual’s support history
Viewing what issues a customer has had in the past can help you identify patterns to preemptively assist them and prevent their frustration in the first place. This can also bring in revenue for your company. For example, if you see that a customer has had a number of issues regarding X-product, and your company happens to be releasing a new alternative to X, that customer represents a likely prospect for the new product.
Another way to use the history feature is to assign new issues to the same agents that worked with the customer in the past (as long as they’re appropriate for the task at hand). This helps provide a personal touch and let’s the customer know there’s an individual named Jen at the company who is trustworthy, helpful, and dedicated to helping them.
7. Monitor the effectiveness of help efforts
You might notice that the terribly frightening stat at the beginning of this piece included the word “fully.” This means that some of the 54% received partial answers, but not to everything they needed to know. Can you think of a bigger waste than employees spending time not answering customers’ questions?
CRM metrics can help you spot issues that were ignored, left open too long, or not fully resolved to help combat such waste in the future.
Want to know what “complete” looks like? According to the article mentioned above, an interaction with infamously service-centric company, Zappos, yielded these results:
“A STELLAService mystery shopper posed this question to Zappos.com via email: ‘I’m looking for the original royal blue snuggie but can’t find it on your site. Do you ever expect to sell these? Where can I find it elsewhere?’ The reply from Zappos.com answered both questions and included links to buy the product at another store”
Don’t be frightened if you’re not at Zappos-status yet. The important thing is that you do what you can to smooth the customer-support side of things. If you think a CRM solution might help you accomplish that goal, check out Capterra’s CRM Directory to compare your options.
Still scared? Contact one of our Software Experts for FREE guidance on choosing the best CRM for your needs.