Remember when you had a customer service need and you could just pick up the phone and talk to someone live who could resolve your issue? In those simpler times, companies were all on the same playing field. They had some user FAQs they followed and knowledge databases to help their representatives resolve your issue while on the line. In the customer service field, the major differentiator at the time was the soft skills of the customer service reps and the time it took to close out an issue. This reduced call backs and the minutes the customer had to sit on the phone to get a resolution.
Fast forward to today’s world and we have a very different picture in customer service. The constant change in technology has provided companies endless operational efficiency options, varying cost models and a better customer management process to maintain a competitive advantage. Companies including Salesforce, NetSuite and ServiceNow are changing the game for organizations. Some companies succeed while others do not. So what makes the difference? Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios we can all relate to.
Company A – Voicemail and Customer Service Looping. You call the company, go through their endless loop of automated selections and enter your information. When the customer service representative finally answers, they then ask you the same information only to tell you that you have the wrong department and they are happy to transfer you. Then, of course, you start the cycle again with another person and possibly again with a third person. It’s so frustrating and a waste of your time.
Company B – Customer Service Utopia. You call a company and within a short time frame, you are speaking to someone who seems to know you and can help you with your specific situation. Quickly they get your issue resolved and you couldn’t be happier and off the phone back onto your daily activities. Happy Customer!
It seems like a no brainer that you’d want to be Company B, so why do so many companies struggle with this? Lack of a customer service strategy, key talent, systems to maintain the knowledge, FAQs and your customer lifecycle. A key component to this is a well designed and executed Software as a Service (SaaS) strategy which leverages best in breed solutions that are integrated and share data. This provides a 360 view of your customer and the ability to make better business decisions with data for your company. Todays companies can use a variety of applications, integration tools, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. Just a few years ago, only companies with high investment could even consider taking this on. SaaS has changed the landscape allowing virtually any business the ability to operate in a ‘utopia’ state with little upfront investment while minimizing risk.
There are many Customer Service Management (CSM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Service Systems (CSS) in the industry. Some of our favorites at 5P Consulting are Salesforce, ServiceNow and NetSuite. The platforms are flexible and don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ approach. They can grow with your business. They also have numerous add on modules and 3rd party plugins which result in solutions that are more efficient than ever. The key to running top-notch customer service is an integrated approach in your business process and your SaaS design. These tools have matured drastically in the last few years and with the support of Zapier, Celigo, DellBoomi and DBSync data provides an easier customer journey and business decisions.
At one of our clients, we designed and delivered a state-of-the-art customer sales and service solution that gets the customer to the right person right out of the gate with all the relevant information at that moment. As the customer is nurtured through the sales cycle they are then taken through a streamlined contract solution that integrates into their billing. The end results are improved customer satisfaction but also increased revenue by having very targeted prospect client comparisons of similar business lines to make immediate suggestions to prospects. By leveraging best in breed solutions and integrating them they are able to do this and succeed.
Here are a couple of examples to show you what this looks like. Each organization has a custom approach, however, we include best practices in the business system design.
How to use them and which SaaS offerings often remains a daunting undertaking. A solid system strategy and architecture is the foundation for this. At 5P, we specialize in aligning your strategic goals with your system strategy to do just this. To learn more reach out to us!
Randy Jasinski | President | [email protected]
Y’vonne Ormond | CEO | [email protected]
We do business smarter through People, Process, Products, P&L with priorities
https://www.5pconsulting.biz | O: (760) 652-9127