How A Single View of Your Customer Helps You Better Manage your Customer Service (Part Two)

Earlier in the week we talked about the first steps to “How A Single View of Your Customer Helps You Better Manage your Customer Service”

Now we will be continuing our steps by taking you from point of delivering your product/service all the way through to renewal/returns.

Stage 3 – Delivery

The next stage in our customer and data journey involves another aspect of tracking; the delivery of your service, both location-wise and time-wise. You’ve collected and checked your information on location and the product the customer is purchasing.  At this point, tracking its delivery is part of ensuring your customer is getting what they asked for and will result in their overall satisfaction with your service. Having all this information in a shared location for your sales and customer service reps or engineers to view will ensure that everyone who is involved in the delivery process works together to guarantee the overall satisfaction of your customer and the successful delivery of service.

There are multiple areas where MDM will ensure a smooth delivery process. If your business relies on delivery in physical locations, why risk incorrect or out of date address details being entered into your Salesforce/delivery system? Using Address Validation, you can ensure that whatever postcode is entered, it’s standardised and validated against a worldwide database of addresses.

Stage 4 – Use and Aftercare

So, your customer has purchased and received the service or the product and it’s now in full use. What about your aftercare? Building your business on a model where things don’t go wrong is a very risky approach. In your data journey this is where you make sure the information that your support or customer service people need is reachable, in a timely manner.

How often do you call a customer service department only to be put through a long wait? Once your call is finally connected you realise why this wait was so long: because you’re about to experience a long and painful verification process and even then somehow they still have no idea what it is you’ve bought!

For the customer, this is a painful experience that can make a bad situation even worse (it’s rare to start in in a good mood when you need to call customer service/support).  To top this painful situation, if the information your service reps or support team need isn’t to hand simply adds to the gloom. Thinking on your feet when you have an angry customer on the other end of the line is hard enough, without the added misery of missing data or having to search for the information in multiple locations.

You can demonstrate extra credibility by linking up to date information on the purchase and delivery of service information that your support and customer service reps need to ensure a happy customer.

Does your search engine in Salesforce factor in misspellings or fuzzy searching for different ways of saying the same name?  Google’s fuzzy search options where “Did you mean…?” which opens up a larger scope of search has spoilt us and has created high expectations from any searching solution we use. How do you know the Bill Smith you just searched for in Salesforce isn’t in fact a William Smith? How do you keep Bill/William patient enough on the other end of the phone while you figure this out? Having a robust fuzzy matching solution built into your Salesforce org can help save you time and eliminate this issue.

And then of course there are the customers who don’t complain directly to you. With the growth of social media, have you been tracking tweets and blogs on the services you’re offering?  What if your sales rep or customer service rep could contact these customers directly because they’ve spotted an update in their Salesforce Account? How powerful would that be, accompanied by all the information you need to make that call on one easy to access UI (User Interface)?

Stage 5 – Renewal/Upsell/Return/Crediting

Now we’re reaching the end of the customer service cycle. Will your customer come back and purchase more from you? Will they renew their license? Or are you looking at a return or a move to your competitors? The first step in ensuring renewals is by getting steps 1 to 4 right.  Statistics show that “91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again”. Source: Lee Resource Inc.

Getting customers to renew or buy more of your products is the low hanging fruit that’s simply too valuable an opportunity to allow to pass. It’s been estimated that it can cost up to five times more to win new customers than retain existing ones.  So why wouldn’t you try to ensure your existing customers continue to use your service?

Making sure all the information you need to find for cross selling and upselling opportunities is available in Salesforce will make all the difference.

Most businesses look to existing customers for additional revenue before trying to bring in new ones.  Part of that process for a sales person involves collecting everything there is to know about an existing customer to enable them to put a plan together for the next steps. Having all the information in one place means your sales people spend less time searching and more time planning the best strategy.

But let’s face it; you can’t keep all customers forever, for a whole number of reasons.  Some products mightn’t be quite what they wanted (a problem often experienced in a B2C environment) or for whatever reason, they have decided to return their purchase. Whatever the scenario, good or bad, tracking this information and maintaining it in the right environment will give you clarification for forecasting.  If your sales people are aware soon enough that there is a return and this could mean they don’t hit their targets, then they’re likely to work that bit harder to close the next sale to fill the gap.

Wherever you are in your customer service cycle, getting the right information to the right people at the right time, will give you enhanced credibility in the eyes of your prospects/customers.

When they’re a prospect you want to be marketing the right message to the right people that will lead them nicely through a seamless service that shows that their purchase is being tracked and everyone is working together to deliver them the right aftercare.

Showing your customer that you’re one step ahead and you actually know what’s happening with their service will make the difference between a happy customer, who will come back to your business and an unhappy customer who’s headed for one of your competitors.

Look at it this way; your customer service reps have a hard job as it is dealing with people at their unhappiest, so why not make their jobs easier (and more effective) by arming them with the information they need to make you money!  Seems logical enough, no?

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