Best Practices Your Path to World-class Direct Marketing
CUSTOMER SERVICE INQUIRIES
- change of address
- billing complaints
Best Practices: Web-supported Customer Service
While the term CRM (customer relationship management) has fallen out of vogue as of late, the new era of customer-focused business continues on.
A lackluster economic environment has forced some companies to re-evaluate the ways they serve customers. Enter the Web, which has become an efficient channel for many marketing activities, in addition to customer service.
It's true that the Web is a versatile tool for direct marketers, but it's just a tool. Customer service programs can fail on the Web just as easily as they do in other channels.
Based on trial and error with more than a thousand clients, Greg Gianforte, CEO and founder of RightNow Technologies, a provider of customer service solutions located in Bozeman, MT, has developed a list of best practices for customer service on the Web. We've provided the top six best practices here; for the rest, visit www.targetmarketingmag.com, and look for the section titled "Web Exclusive."
1. Customer service representatives are also content drivers.
Your customer service representatives (CSRs) do more than answer phones and e-mail queries. They are the first to encounter customer service issues that impact your company's reputation with customers and prospects. Often, a service issue with one customer becomes a pattern. Without the appropriate response processes in place, each successive query has to be handled as if it's the first occurrence.
A more effective solution is to empower CSRs to author new knowledge-base content for the Web site when they handle new service events. (A knowledge base is a system of organizing queries and answers so that each input can be used to answer future similar queries without the need of human interaction.) Beyond improving self-service rates, it allocates CSRs' time for queries that require personalized attention.