Customer relationship management services are an important and burgeoning industry, and one that is at the forefront of technological development. Especially in this SaaS-driven, digital market and cloud computing environment of modern times, there are so many ways that CRM services can get it utterly right or utterly wrong.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 7 tips for designing or choosing customer relationship management services, and why they are so important in this environment. If you’re having CRM difficulties, hopefully this can clear some of the questions and challenges up for you as well.
#1 – Accessibility
Making a CRM platform accessible from any platform is important. Users will want to be able to contact you from their computer or their phone. A common mistake so many companies make is assuming that a customer will definitely have a mobile phone, telephone line or computer with which to contact them.
In fact, some people prefer strictly computer-based communication, or one of the others, and customers often get angry when companies make assumptions like that.
#2 – No Customer Account Needed
If designing or using a help desk system, try to avoid implementing or choosing a system which requires customers to have help desk logins. Customers may forget these logins and have to repeatedly sign up for accounts if they don’t have to use it very often, and this can be immensely frustrating.
Avoid this, but if it is necessary, try to tie it in with their account with the company website if such a thing exists, as it will greatly reduce the frustration and confusion. Avoid passwords requiring “at least one number”, customers hate this with a passion. Customer relationship management services are supposed to be painless.
#3 – No Phone Trees
Avoiding the choice or implementation of lengthy phone trees is a good idea. They are exasperating and time consuming, and customers really hate being led a merry chase trying to get a hold of a human being.
This may seem old fashioned, but having actual human beings answer the phone and redirect customers is still much preferred. However, if phone trees must be used, make them short and easy.
#4 – No Voice Software
Following the vein of reducing phone tree frustration, this is a short and to the point one. Avoid asking users to speak to machines. Voice recognition software is simply not ready for practical implementation yet, and users get frustrated with it rapidly. Use touch tone if a phone tree must exist.
#5 – Email Integration
Choosing or designing customer relationship management services that integrate email notifications is always a positive idea. Customers may want to receive an email back letting them know their issue has been heard, and that someone will get back to them.
They will also want an email copy of the response when a support professional does respond, so that they do not have to watch a help desk of forum for lengthy periods awaiting their issue to be addressed.
Be sure they can opt to not receive this email if they choose, though.
#6 – No Character Limits
Refrain from choosing or implementing forms in CRM that have character limits for how long a customer’s message may be. Customers may rant for long periods of time or be downright rude, but more often, this limit will just prevent them from getting their point across in an orderly fashion.
Sometimes issues and questions require verbosity in order to convey points, and limiting character counts is just going to hinder good communication.
#7 – Community Forum and Social Integration
Implementing a community forum is excellent, and despite the need for a moderator to keep them in line, it can save significant amounts of money and time for both customers and businesses if the customers can also help one another with routine and mundane questions or issues.
This has been proven to be viable, and also indicated the integration of social network functionality via Twitter or Facebook may also alleviate some wait times and routine hang ups as well.
These are just seven of the most important tips regarding the design or selection of customer relationship management services , and there are of course a thousand other variables to consider.
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