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A Review of Five Prevalent Customer Service-Related Topics

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A Review of Five Prevalent Customer Service-Related Topics

September 22, 2015
By Paula Bernier
Executive Editor, TMC

The five most powerful trends in customer service are alignment of marketing and service, cloud telephony, data-driven decisions, omni-channel, and self-service, according to an article written by Bluewolf on the Marketing magazine website.

The discussion around alignment, of course, has to do with the oft-repeated refrain that organizations’ marketing and service efforts need to get on the same page.

“Bluewolf’s State of Salesforce report found that 65 percent of marketers are measured on customer retention, and 57 percent are measured on cross-sell and upsell. Because of this, marketers need to work with their counterparts in service closer than ever before,” writes Bluewolf Managing Director Arlene Wherrett.

In terms of cloud telephony, Wherrett talks about how VoIP offers savings and the ability to integrate with other applications like email and instant messaging, as well as with social networks and Web browsers.

We all by now are aware of all the talk about big data and how today’s competitive marketplace would suggest that organizations can make more intelligent business decisions by using the internal and even external data available to them. Here’s what Wherrett has to say about the subject, particularly as it has to do with customer service: “The volume of data available on customers opens up a myriad of opportunities for enterprises. Those that are able to analyze data (for instance, handle time, first call resolution, or time to resolution), then act on it in order to address issues will certainly come out on top.”

Of course, call centers have long measured and analyzed such key performance indicators.

Image via Shutterstock

That takes us to the discussion about omni-channel, a term we’ve been hearing about for the past few years in the customer service arena. The idea here, if you’re not already aware, is that businesses need to enable their customers to reach out to them using the mediums and devices of their choice – be that to a call center via the telephone, a chat or IM, a mobile app, the Web, a social network, or whatever. (Wherrett says there are at least a dozen channels “vital to the success of a contact center.”)

It’s not mentioned in the Bluewolf piece, but there’s also talk – and rightly so – about the need for organizations to deliver seamlessness and consistency of experience across those different channels. As you are probably already aware, the delivering on the omni-channel promise is something that continues to elude more businesses today.

Then you have your self-service, which Wherrett says “is paramount for customer satisfaction.” Self-service, according to the piece, has become table stakes. Wherrett goes on to note the opportunity here for organizations to deliver emails to those who use self-service options in an effort to provide people with more information and get their feedback on the product or service for which they sought self-service resources.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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