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Better customer service through technology: Tips and techniques

This tip offers advice for the people side of technology initiatives. Many companies buy the best hardware and software, and spend thousands of dollars implementing technology only to find out that the employees resist the changes, and do not fully adopt the new, and possibly, improved processes. Browse through three chapters of this book "Integrating People with Process and Technology" and get information on calculating lifetime value, measuring people who provide service in a call center and benchmarking your organization for higher technology return on investment (ROI). You'll get advice on metrics, performance management, call center agent motivation and the streamlining of technology processes.

Integrating People with Process and Technology

Excerpted with permission from the third edition of "Integrating People with Process and Technology," authored by Jon Anton, Natalie L. Petouhoff and Lisa M. Schwartz, Copyright 2003. Published by The Anton Press, a division of BenchmarkPortal Inc. ISBN 0-9630464-3-8. For more information about this book and similar titles, please visit The College of Call Center Excellence.

In this excerpt you'll find:
Chapter 7: Customers are People, Too -- Calculating Customer Lifetime Value
Chapter 8: Measuring People Who Provide Service in a Call Center
Chapter 9: Benchmarking Your Organization for Higher Technology ROI

  • Employees who become more proficient at interacting with their co-workers use these same positive interaction skills when they serve your customers.
  • If you train your employees to focus on business objectives and the people factors, they will understand and appreciate the value of customer loyalty.
  • With no customers, you have no business.

    The employees who service your customers include everyone -- from the IT department to salespeople to the agents who will take customer service or help desk calls. Whether employees are directly providing service or are part of the infrastructure support, they all do work that directly affects the customer's perception of the company. Directly or indirectly, employees can affect whether the customer remains loyal to the company.

    The Value of Customer Satisfaction
    Corporations of all sizes are coming to understand that customer satisfaction:

  • is a strategic weapon that results in increased market share and profits
  • begins with the commitment of top management
  • involves the entire organization
  • can be quantified, measured, and tracked
  • has fundamental organizational structure implications

    Too many companies, however, still rely on outdated and unreliable measures of customer satisfaction. They watch sales volume. They listen to their sales reps and managers describe the state of mind of their customers. They track and count the frequency of complaints. They monitor accounts receivable reports recognizing that unhappy customers pay as late as possible, if at all. While these approaches are not completely without value, they are no substitute for a valid, well-designed program that formally and systematically measures customer satisfaction.

    Executives need to have a way to calculate the value of a customer. We have found that companies generally start with technology without understanding the precursors that make a system successful. To reap a sizeable ROI for a system, a company has to understand the financial correlations among:

  • customer satisfaction
  • customer retention
  • customer lifetime value (CLTV)
  • a company's profitability

    Read the rest of this excerpt and download Chapters 7, 8 and 9:
    Chapter 7: Customers are People, Too -- Calculating Customer Lifetime Value; Chapter 8: Measuring People Who Provide Service in a Call Center; and Chapter 9: Benchmarking Your Organization for Higher Technology ROI

    Read other excerpts and download more sample chapters from our CRM and call center bookshelf

    To purchase the book and similar titles, please visit The College of Call Center Excellence.

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