Tag: Customer Service

Webinar: Creating meaningful Customer Experience with Unified CX Solutions

FREE WEBINAR: Creating Meaningful Customer Experience

                  Tuesday, October 22, 2013 − 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM MDT

Desired CX Solutions
Creating meaningful Customer Experience with Unified CX Solutions

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One of the key elements of any CRM plan is integration, the unification of all your company’s data sources and silo systems to create a single, holistic view of each customer.. Whether they are, business organization or system-based silos, they all conspire to make customer journeys fragmented, painful and costly.

A typical customer journey includes interactions via contact center, corporate portals and conventional emails. Yes every call, every click, every message counts. Enabling these journey points is paramount and Oracle is privileged to assist you in the strategic components to this journey via this webinar.

Join us for a webinar on

“Creating meaningful Customer Experience with Unified CX Solutions”
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM MDT
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New Age Customer Self Service Portals for CRM

Traditionally, CRM self service portals used to be the web support channel for customers. Some companies extended this concept and used such portals for employee management, dealer management etc. However, such use cases are very minimal.

Even today, majority of the self service portals in the market focus on these standard functions only:

  • Register / Login
  • Search / View Knowledgebase published by the company
  • Create Service Requests

While these basic features are required, modern web support (whether it is self service or assisted) wants to go a step beyond this. For example, let us take an example of a college, deploying their own self service portal for students.

  • College students get a login (or can register) in the portal
  • They can login, see the college knowledge base / download documents
  • In case they have a support requirement, they can create a service request

Wait a minute, when you say “Service request” what do you mean?

For a student, it may mean many things: Requesting for a mark sheet, Requesting for an attendance certificate, Requesting for a change in the profile phone number etc.

While all these are service requests, their nature is not the same. For example, when requesting for a mark sheet, they may have to provide additional details such as their examination number, year of exam etc. When requesting for an attendance certificate, they may have to say this certificate is required for what purpose, from which date to which date etc.

This means, even though portals call it with a single term “Service Request”, it actually means many things. You can’t have a single form and expect that to serve every possible service request case. Either that form will be too generic not serving the purpose, or it will be too long and users will run away.

Customer Service Management

To take care of such problems, CRMIT’s CRM++ Self Service Portal is moving in the direction of dynamic SR Types Management feature. This means, companies implementing CRM++ SSP can design their own types of Service Requests, and design unique forms for each one of them, with specific fields, labels they are looking for. Customers will love this because only targeted questions are asked, Agents will love this because all the information they need to solve a particular problem is right in their hands.

Stay tuned for our next SSP release.

How Call Centers Use Technology to Improve Customer Service

Whether we receive a call from a telemarketer, or have a problem with a product or service, chances are we will all have an encounter with a call center. How the call center representative responds to us helps determine our loyalty to the brand they represent. One negative experience can taint our opinion and even affect future purchases and decisions.

Call Center solutions
Call Center solutions

I have a friend who was very loyal to one of the most popular brands today. She not only purchased several products under this brand, but was saving money to purchase a new tablet and computer manufactured by this same company. She ran into an issue with one of her current products, which was still under warranty.  To make a long story short, the “call center” representative provided misinformation on how to return the product and receive a replacement. Thus, a two-day process took over two weeks. She has since decided not to make any future purchases from this company. And, she made sure to discuss this experience in online reviews and across Social Media outlets. This bad experience cost the company future business and a loyal customer. What went wrong? Most likely, there was a break down in communication and training at the call center.

Consumers expect quick solutions and exceptional customer service. Whether a company has their own in-house call center or chooses to outsource these services, it is imperative for call center representatives to be provided with the latest technology and armed with correct information to accurately and effectively represent the brand. A call center with outdated technology is like trying to make an antiquated computer operating MS-DOS run like Windows 8!

Below are some ways call centers are using technology to boost performance and improve customer service:

Cloud

Even call centers are catching on to the cloud! Not only can cloud services improve functionality, they can drastically cut costs. Most cloud platforms can be easily integrated and updated, eliminating the need for costly hardware and software upgrades. Cloud systems tend to perform faster and are often more reliable than physical networks. New components can be added easily at any time, and maintenance costs are virtually eliminated. There are plenty of cloud providers to choose from; research which one offers the services which best fit your needs.

Online Training

Keeping call center representatives up to date with the latest policies, offerings, technical support tools and procedures is imperative. Giving outdated or incorrect information reflects badly on the brand and may cause a significant decrease in customer loyalty. Call centers can keep agents up-to-date using online training modules. This convenient and effective form of training does not require participants to sit in a class and can be completed at any time from anywhere.

Multiple Contact Methods

A call center should run more like a contact center. Provide customers with multiple ways to make contact. This can include a traditional phone call, online chat, contact through Social Media or intelligent call back, where a customer can enter their telephone number and a representative will call back at a certain time. Some companies are even offering support via video. Offering a customer a variety of contact methods allows them to choose the option which makes them most comfortable.

Smart Agent Plug-Ins

Offering the wrong product at the wrong time can frustrate a customer. A number of companies offer Smart Agent desktop plug-ins to help agents determine when and if any product offerings are appropriate. They gather information from current and previous calls and make recommendations to agents. I recently called my cable/internet/telephone provider for technical support. Upon the end of the conversation they asked me if I was interested in their home monitoring package.  Their “Smart Agent” desktop knew from previous contact with me this would be a service that would perhaps interest me.

Customer Service Management

CRM++ is an example of a Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) product which

Computer Telephony Integration Framework

streamlines resources and helps maximize the customer experience. Its seamless integration with Oracle® Fusion CRM makes it easy to learn and use.  Inbound agents are provided with relevant information about each caller, adding to the ease of interaction. Over 3000 sales, marketing and service & support organizations are using this product to help generate an increased return-on-investment (ROI) and improve their bottom lines.

These are just a few of the many technologies available to call centers. Today, being in the game means staying ahead of the game. Quick, fast, efficient, reliable, and accurate information can make or break your brand!

Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications including Global Response. Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.

Customer Experience and Application Security – Requires a fine balancing act

There are people who are annoyed about poorly secured applications and equally good number of people annoyed about too many security measures in the applications leading to poor user experience. It is a common sense that neither security / nor experience has absolute limits and it is going to be a challenging job to achieve perfection on these measures and balance them too.

My experience with State Bank of India – Mobile banking application is a perfect example to discuss how unbalanced it is.

State Bank of India – Mobile banking application
State Bank of India – Mobile banking application

I am sure there are hardly few who know about State Bank of India mobile banking application and even if you are one among few, I am not sure how many of you are successful in installing and using the application. The primary issue over here is too many security measures at the expense of great user experience

Application Awareness …

First and foremost I am not sure why SBI doesn’t advertise / promote their mobile application in par with many of the private sector banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC etc. as mobile is seen as the way forward as a leading customer touch point and it no more seen as an optional service. May be they are not quiet sure about how well the application performs?

Knowing the general conservative perception about the bank, it could only be few technically savvy people who would have made attempts on their own (without any awareness) to search for SBI mobile application in Apple / Android market place and install the application.

First banks and organizations should not have second doubts about the acceptance of mobile applications and they should be aggressive in developing, deploying and promoting these applications to delight their customers

Activating the application ….

Assuming you are such a lucky person to do it (the application definitely offers great features at the tip of your fingers), your real issue starts in activating your mobile banking. There are three steps you have to do as a user to do this application

Step 1 – In first step of your activation after installing it from your application store, you get a cryptic alpha numeric username for your mobile banking application.

Step 2 – As step 2 you have to send another cryptic SMS containing the above username to a given phone number. This also returns you a 6 digit numeric password for application username your received in step 2.

Step 3 – Even after step 2 with a username and PIN, you can’t use the application as what you got is only a temporary PIN and to change the temporary PIN you have to visit one of the ATMs of SBI or Branch. In the ATM you have reconfirm your mobile number (It never worked for me)/ in the branch you have to let them know that this your current mobile number (I went three times in three consecutive weeks to remind the bank person to do it and meanwhile in three weeks time interval the username got expired and I have to go through the same process again….terrible experience)

If anyone after going through this thinks that it is reasonably acceptable to do all the above to ensure security, I believe he / she should be an outlier J

Can’t it be made lot more user friendly?

Why there is a need for a new user name? Why don’t it use by registered web banking user ID as the application User ID and Web banking password as the password to provide access to the application?

Knowing the bank already knows my mobile number (I have given at the time of account creation) if I key in my ATM PIN correctly in my mobile application, shouldn’t map the mobile number / PIN to my account and provide direct access to the application?

Assuming there is a catch here as there is a probability of you not having updated your mobile number and worst case the mobile number is recycled by your telephone operator to someone else, I understand there is a security issue, but still I believe it is ok as there is near zero probability of that person knowing by ATM PIN number. Worst case if required you can ask for your debit card number as well as ATM PIN number  as an additional security measure as that is exactly you do in the ATM except that you are not inserting your physical card in the ATM machine…which is ok…

Just thinking one step beyond wouldn’t be great if these mobile service providers provide a web-service that the mobile banking application can use to match and check whether it is the current mobile number for the user and provide seamless access to the application as the mobile service provides can provide by Name / Address to cross check and revalidate without any user intervention?

Application Usage Experience ….

Assuming you are all set and you are now ready to use the application, the second set of issue starts in application usage.

Every time it asks for the cryptic username it provided me. I don’t have an option to change it. Considering the fact that it is difficult to remember you don’t have an option that storing somewhere in your mobile.

Second it asks for the PIN for every transaction even if you haven’t switched to other applications. This is real nuisance. I am ok to re-key the PIN if I have switched to some other application or mobile went to idle state for some-time before I use it again but I believe it is too much if you have to key-in the PIN every-time for every request right from balance enquiry to funds transfer.

Customer Experience B/w Application Security
Customer Experience B/w Application Security

And the list doesn’t stop there. There are other issues like, it not able to fetch by linked accounts, payees etc by default. The synchronization doesn’t work and you may end up setting the duplicates again in your mobile though personally I expect everything I have already set up in my web banking made accessible in my mobile without any further steps / actions.

The funny thing on security side is it sends an SMS on every action I do and this SMS contains confidential details that are right in my SMS folder which can be accessed by others without any protection measures. I believe this is a flip-side on the security front and I am not sure why they do so.

Finally …

I believe as I stated in the opening balancing security and user experience is a fine act and unless you leverage technology / put your thoughts in have a secured but user friendly customer centric process, you might end developing a secured robust application but there may not be anyone to use it ….

Venkatesan Sundaram
Senior Director, CRMIT

Originally Published on Venky’s Blog

Why I stopped using BigBasket.com?

The excitement that I had when I used the Big Basket service first time, couple of months ago is all vanished now and hence this Blog …When I first came to know about Big Basket through one of my colleagues I am excited as well as sceptical about the whole business of ordering grocery over web in Indian Context. Nevertheless I decided to give a try to see how good their service is. When I made my first purchase in Big Basket site, being a person in IT space, I am pleasantly surprised by many of these interesting features that made a positive impact on customer experience.

  • Nicely organized product catalogues right from fruits & vegetables to  Meat section
  • A well performing website without any delay / latency in accessing any of the pages
  • Quicker search results with a real time list shown right at the bottom of the search box
  • A facility to do a quick add of the listed items to the shopping cart
  • Convenience of getting it delivered in one of the 4/5 available time slots
  • And more important acceptance of food vouchers / payment on delivery option

In net all it took is not more than 5 minutes to build my shopping list and place an order against going to the nearby convenience store to purchase these groceries ….

The above is all on my positive experience in placing an order and on I am equally delighted by the prompt delivery at the opted time slots, well mannered service personal, neatly packed groceries delivered without damages, acceptance to take back defective items and payment on delivery option

Now you may wonder whether there is a typo in the title of the blog article . Shouldn’t it be “Why I started using Big Basket” instead of “Why I stopped using Big Basket?” Not at all, the title is perfectly fine and would let you know why

First and foremost all the excitement of ordering groceries over web got vanished after my third order. I don’t know why but it just happened. I am not sure what Big Basket can do all about to solve this. May be to some extent they could have mitigated it by engaging with me in an interactive manner continuously. They know a lot about me. My profile information is there, my frequent shopping items are known, locality is shared and may be lot more info in my interactions with the website. But I hardly received any communication. Probably an engaging dialogue with me as a customer on basis of the above information via newsletters, emails, feedbacks and so on sharing some meaningful content / offers / activities etc could have retained my excitement in using the service. A company which does a fantastic job on that front is Club Mahindra ….

The next biggest issue is out of 10 items I intend to purchase in the website I miss at least 3. I am sure that I am not looking for anything crazy. It is as common as fresh fish of my choice, fruits / vegetable of my choice etc. The issue with this is ultimately I don’t have any other option than going to the nearby shop to buy these missing items which doesn’t make the whole experience interesting. It takes out the excitement of ordering everything from web….Also if I have to do that why I have to order via web and wait for one day to get delivered. I can very much go and get everything that I require immediately from the nearby store.

So I see the depth of product catalogue is not quiet comprehensive and it will definitely puts you off from using the service. Interestingly before you place the order there is also a box which asks for information on whether are there any items that you are unable to order. Unfortunately though I have shared things that I miss regularly, I don’t see them made available in my next interaction after few days. In addition to it I am not sure whether they have technology to monitor the search results that doesn’t retrieve any items, track commonly used search phrases, track people don’t add any items to the cart after performing a search etc to actively expand their product portfolio to understand and keep in stock items the customers are looking for.

The other issue I felt was, though they made significant first step in proving multiple slots in a day to deliver the order, I don’t find an option to get my orders placed in the evening get delivered the next day morning time slot. Most of the times at the best I can get that delivered only on the next day evening. This doesn’t help me in ordering some of the quick grocery replenishments that I am looking for my next day’s use. I am sure this requires over night operations as well an expanded delivery capacity in the morning slot but ultimately that is what required to make some of the customers like me see a value in this service

Finally, I am sure there is benefit in cutting down their cost by not having any physical store but I never see the benefits in-turn passed on to the customers. Most of the times the offers in the site are not useful and they are never personalized to me as customer. I know any e-commerce website has to reach the scale to balance out the cost of customer acquisition against the life time value they get derived from customers but to achieve it they have to ensure they make some compelling offers available in the store on some of the commonly purchased items by customers but unfortunately I don’t find any of their offers / discounted products interesting.

Similarly the minimal order size of Rs 1000 to delivery it without shipping charges is annoying. I can understand they can’t completely do away with it but they should bring it down to as low as Rs 250 as many doesn’t prefer to order the vegetables / fish / meat etc. in bulk and refrigerate it for the week’s use.

On the whole though as a customer I really appreciate many factors like a well performing website, superb logistics, good quality of goods delivered and excellent customer service, on a long run to make me as a loyal customer, I believe they have to implement some of the above compelling suggestions …

I am sure this holds good for other e-retailers too and many are not even up to the mark of Big Basket. Good luck Big Basket …

Venkatesan Sundaram
Senior Director, CRMIT

Originally Published on Venky’s Blog

Enabling Customer Experience (CX) with email integration to Oracle Fusion CRM

CRM++ Email Workbench now leverages the extensibility of Oracle® Fusion CRM framework for delivering effective customer service in addition to its existing integration capability with Oracle® CRM On Demand

Email Integration for Oracle Fusion CRM

CRM++ Email Workbench provides a comprehensive solution to manage, capture, collate, respond and distribute important customer email activity all within the CRM system. Every update, development and opportunity is immediately shared with appropriate team members, without having to manually update or append any new information. One of the key features of the new CRM++ Email Workbench is the ability to link prospect and customers emails with your CRM data so you have better information about your interactions with customers. The seamless automation of service requests and one-stop email communication aids better visibility and accessibility to all customer information and emails within the system.

Customer experience is a set of perception, a customer has with a company throughout the buying and owning interactions. Positive Customer Experience (CX)s enable businesses to attract more, retain more, sell more, sell for more, and do more.

Click here to view the presentation

CRMIT Solutions, an Oracle® Platinum Partner with specialization in CRM On Demand & Fusion CRM announced this new release as a part of its continued efforts to add service management features to Oracle® Fusion CRM. The Service Management solution includes the CRM++ Self Service Portal, Computer Telephony Integration and the Email Workbench that compliment and bridge in as service side features for Oracle® Fusion CRM.

CRM++ Email Workbench provides customer centric organizations to link prospect and customers emails with the CRM data for a 360° view of customer interactions. The Email Workbench also eliminates the switching between email programs and CRM modules, which always has been a challenge.

While CX isn’t just about technology, enabling great Customer Experience (CX)s at scale does require a wide range of software solutions and Oracle® is one of the only Customer Experience (CX) vendor that can claim it has every capability mentioned within a comprehensive Customer Experience (CX) portfolio offering, including Oracle® CRM On Demand and Oracle® Fusion CRM. The CRM++ Email Workbench 2.0 integration support for these offerings showcases our focus and commitment to extend the Customer Experience (CX) expertise to our existing and potential customers

CRMIT is meeting the Customer Experience (CX) challenge continuously, by offering to our customers the knowledge, resources, and tools to identify their unique Customer Experience (CX) challenges and by helping to develop strategies to address those pain points. The CRM++ suite of products which include Self Service Portal, Computer Telephony Integration, Email WorkBench and Social CRM++ are some of initiatives in this area