Make Your Business the Standard for Customer Service Excellence with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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Customer service horror stories – I have them, you have them, and I’m pretty sure any other person you ask off the street has one. There are the never-ending calls on hold, the representatives who don’t have a clue about either the product you purchased or your order history, and the ever-present feeling that you’re going around in circles trying to solve a seemingly easy and straightforward issue.

And when you have to deal with extremely frustrating, and sometimes useless, encounters with customer service representatives, it’s not very likely that you’ll hold that particular store in high regard, or that you’ll be in a hurry to return any time soon. And this can cause some serious problems for the business concerned.

According to a 2009 study conducted by Genesys, research firm Greenfield Online, and Datamonitor/Ovum analysts, poor customer service that results in abandoned purchases or defections to other companies costs U.S. companies an estimated $83 billion annually. People have no problem going elsewhere; in the U.S., 71% of consumers have ended a relationship due to a bad customer service experience, with survey participants stating that when they end a relationship, 61% of the time they will switch to a competitor.

These statistics show hard proof that good customer service isn’t just something that businesses should strive for – it is a business requirement. Given the importance of providing high quality customer service, companies need to look at any tool that enables them to more effectively work with, as well as manage, their customers. With the rich features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, companies offer their customers the premium service that results from having a comprehensive insight into customer activities and histories.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides an instant overview of customer accounts, enabling representatives to quickly identify customers and view past history.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the ability to instantly access crucial account information allows representatives to get a quick understanding of customer needs. Providing good customer service means getting the right information at the right time. For example, if a representative is scrambling to find a customer and that customers order history with a long hold time – you take a bad situation and make it worse by the time the conversation starts. By establishing a basic information framework on which a representative can build , Microsoft Dynamics CRM improves question and problem handling and offers the ability to address issues quickly.

A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows that the biggest obstacles to productivity growth are too much time spent on administrative tasks and lack of customer understanding (See graph below). By providing centralized information and a 360 degree view of the customer Microsoft Dynamics CRM drives up both agent productivity and customer satisfaction. The creation of different types of workflows enable specific service processes to be consolidated and executed across a company, and also allows customer service reps to manage their work more efficiently. By creating either personal, workgroup, departmental, or federated workflows, organizations reduce their reliance on IT and gain a clearer understanding of the tasks and assignments associated with different job roles within the company.

The top two indicators for customer satisfaction are First Contact Resolution (FCR) and Call Handling time/ Resolution time. Contact centers that have FCR of greater than 80% have a much higher degree of customer satisfaction than contact centers that have an FCR between 60 – 80%. Anything less than a 50% FCR is a recipe for customer churn. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s robust case and incident management functionality, a customer service representative can easily create, manage, and resolve cases through many different communication channels – such as by phone, email, chat, Web, or in-person contact. Dynamics CRM automates the assignment and supervision of customer issues by routing, queuing, and escalating support incidents based on the specified rules ensuring that cases get to the agents that are qualified to handle the issue. In addition functionality to get Export on Call assistance provides the ability for an agent to get help while online with the customer. With this automation, representatives speed up first call resolution and better serve their customers.

With the in-depth case management capabilities, representatives are able to get an at-a-glance view of each customer’s information, case history and service contracts and deliver appropriate service fast.

After planning and completing case activities, a representative can record in the customer account the issue raised by the customer and the representative’s actions in resolving the issue. By saving a record of the entire case resolution process, representatives have information that can be referenced in the future in case the same issue pops up, or if a similar one does. Keeping that information on-hand and using it when it’s needed shows a company’s commitment to maintaining and updating their clients’ data, which in turn proves to the customer that their needs are a first priority of both the representative and the company as a whole.

Scheduling services is also an easy process with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, enabling representatives to clearly define the resources and service offerings that the company provides to customers. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, representatives can specify the resources available within the company, and direct the necessary resources toward the resolution of customer issues. For example, resources can be defined as people, equipment, and facilities, and the resources that have similar skill sets or capabilities can also be gathered together into resource groups.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s all-encompassing customer service functionality, companies benefit from a system that delivers customer information, order and case history, sales information, case management, automated workflows for assignment and escalation quickly and efficiently. With this detailed knowledge right at their fingertips, customer service reps are better equipped to provide excellent support to clients by quickly and efficiently resolving any problems or issues.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, software solutions to banks, insurance and financial service institutions. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.

by Ignify

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