| By Denise Holland
Lessons from the Field: Customer Successes Show How Call Centers Benefit from CRM
Customer Relationship Management software vendors claim their CRM products will benefit customers in a number of strategic ways. But as the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. What have real customers actually experienced? Has CRM software made their call centers more efficient, cost-effective or profitable?
Fortunately, there are plenty of customer success stories out there that document the tangible benefits of customer facing strategies and software solutions. A number of these apply directly to call centers. Following are a few examples of CRM-driven enhancements culled from “real-world” implementations.
Easier access to customer data. One of the prime benefits of CRM software solutions is that it gives call center reps easy access to a wide variety of information about customers. One international telecommunications company opened a new customer contact center that’s responsible for handling inquiries from more than 400,000 customers, and the CRM system installed gives employees working at the center instant access to a database containing an array of helpful customer data. This 360 degree customer view allows the call center reps to answer customer queries more quickly and better meet their needs. It also enables the company to document customer requests as they’re being processed. With the aid of the new customer relationship management software system, the company has increased both agent and customer satisfaction to new levels.
Another company, a global energy provider, implemented a Customer Relationship Management solution and provided its call center agents with immediate access to all customer data, including records of previous contacts and historical information related to electricity service. With this capability and on-demand data, reps have real time information concerning customer inquiries, allowing them to provide more timely and personalized service. The results have been increased first call resolution, improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, and more opportunities to promote additional products and services.
Increased productivity and efficiency. A provider of comparison shopping services deployed an integrated Sales Force Automation (SFA) and customer support system to replace an old, paper-based system, and linked the business software systems with its telephony and order-entry systems. The application software enables contact center agents in the call center to properly brand incoming calls, read required disclosures and review customer orders for quicker and more consistent order fulfillment and customer service. By using and integrated SFA system and customer support application, the company increased up-sell and cross-sell orders by 12% in the first six months and improved call center agent productivity by 15% within 60 days.
In another example, a provider of financial services information wanted to improve the efficiency of its call centers and enable customer service representatives to upsell or cross-sell financial products and services. With a new on-demand CRM solution, integrated with the company’s back-office Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, the firm now provides reps with customer purchase history for more effective renewals processing as well as monitors and measures the performance of its call center based on the types of calls addressed, bottlenecks and other factors. First-call resolution rates increased significantly. And with enhanced customer insight, the firm has developed more effective and less costly marketing campaigns while increasing up selling and cross selling over 5%.
Cost savings. A municipal government agency in Europe opened a contact center to bring together multiple toll-free numbers that were dedicated to various public services offered by the city. The contact center, which handles an average 7,000 calls per weekday, implemented a public sector CRM system. Among the benefits are improved constituent relationship management, as evidenced by survey responses, and better management of peak demand for services, which has saved the city money by more efficiently allocating resources and optimizing work hours.
Enhanced customer service and retention. In order to keep up with growing competition in its retail banking market, a regional bank needed to improve its level of customer service and retention. Specifically, the bank had to deal with a growing volume of multichannel customer interactions, deploy a telesales campaign through its call center, and adopt a more efficient complaint management procedure. The bank implemented a financial services CRM system in its call center, and has transformed the facility into a modern contact center with multi-channel support and streamlined processes for increased efficiency. Customer service representatives have improved interactions with customers and can respond to them more quickly, improving the level of customer satisfaction. Increased financial services product referrals are up over 10% from the prior year.
A government entity was struggling to handle a large volume of calls that was coming in every day. Many callers were put on hold for long periods while contact center reps searched for information. In addition, the contact center couldn’t accurately track the status of ongoing cases or follow up timely on complaints. The public sector provider implemented a software as a service (SaaS) customer support application in its call center to increase the responsiveness of agents, and was able to reduce caller wait times by nearly 100%. The business software application enables the call center to gather, find and use caller information easily, increase efficiencies and better serve customers. With the on-demand CRM software, the call center can manage a broader range of information queries from more callers without the need to increase staff.
These are just a few representative examples of how call centers are actually benefiting from the use of CRM solutions. These real world case studies show that the software technology can have a tangible impact on call center operations, resulting in measurable and sustained bottom-line improvements.
Categories: Call Centers
Tags: CRM Success, Case Studies
Author: Denise Holland
||— Comments for this page are closed —
||Your points are valid, but stress an over-reliance on software technology. If your customer relationships are unhealthy before you implement CRM software, the new technology will not magically remedy the situation. CRM software cannot in itself fix poor customer strategy or bad business processes. The combination of near equal parts of business strategy, process support and CRM software can be the winning mixture, but its much easier said than done.
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The integrated SFA and customer service applications enable contact center agents to properly brand incoming calls, read required disclosures and review customer orders for quicker and more consistent order fulfillment and customer service. With the integrated CRM suite, the company increased up-sell and cross-sell orders by 12% in the first six months and improved call center agent productivity by 15% within 60 days.
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