Guest Post: Get to Know Your Customers Better with This All-In-One Tool

Whether you’re a business owner or marketing expert, you understand the importance of knowing your audience inside and out is key to attracting prospects and retaining existing customers. Fortunately, there are a number of tools on the market that can help you do just that.

Through cloud call center software available from companies like Aspect, you’re able to get a more complete picture and understanding of your customers, from their search behavior and purchase patterns to their history of interactions with your company.

Here are several ways this tool can help you achieve that highly-desired, 360-degree view of your customers.

Personalization

Aspect’s cloud call center allows for businesses to get a more personalized look at each and every customer. In particular, the software can provide insights into customers’ purchase and spending history, as well as the frequency with which they do business with your company. Indeed, gaining these insights will allow you to retarget specific customers — based on their specific desires — with similar products or must-have accessories, which will keep them coming back time and time again.

Furthermore, call center software in the cloud gives you the ability to recall every customer’s recent interaction history with your company. For example, when a specific customer calls your support line more than once, your live agents will already have a number of tools at their fingertips — this may include who the customer initially spoke with and the details of their previous conversations — to more seamlessly resolve any outstanding issues.

Based on this information, your live agents will be able to determine the customer’s needs and anticipate any problems or questions they may have.

Convenience

Another great customer-focused aspect of cloud call center software is its omnichannel capabilities. Of course, not all customers prefer the same methods of communication. But by providing omnichannel options, customers can reach your live agents through a number of different mediums, including voice, email, text messaging, live chat and social media.

For example, if a customer prefers to be contacted via text and requests a status update on their most recent purchase, your live agents can text them in real time with the requested information, allowing the customer to respond when it’s most convenient for them.

But perhaps one reason why employing omnichannel options can be valuable to your company is the ability for customers to reach support agents 24/7. No matter the time of day, employing a cloud contact center gives you the ability to offer live chat support via your website, where customers can ask questions at any time from virtually anywhere.

Ultimately, this allows your company to fit the individual needs of a variety of different customers around the clock, even outside of normal business hours.

Satisfaction

Last but not least, cloud call center software allows your company to track customer satisfaction scores by deploying surveys to gather important feedback. Simply tailor your questions to your liking and specific needs in order to gain crucial customer insights and gauge which areas of your business need some fine-tuning.

Cloud call center software can help you achieve this through both stand-alone and post-call surveys that can be deployed after a voice call or via text message. For example, you can deploy a post-call survey to use for training purposes or to simply gain additional feedback from your customers.

You can also deploy an in-app survey to gauge user experience, mobile-friendliness and overall satisfaction with your company. Gaining these types of insights are valuable, as the feedback comes directly from the customer, which can then help you make the best business decisions with their interests in mind.

Capturing a More Complete Picture

By using cloud call center software to aggregate customer data, your company will be able to gather a more complete picture of each and every customer. In the end, better understanding your customers’ desires will help your company in future retargeting strategies and, in turn, help retain this clientele.

 

About the Author

Andrea Rodriguez is a freelance writer and digital marketing expert

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Guest Post: Friendly Employees & Happy Customers: Gain a Competitive Edge

A woman's hand is drawing a cloud with business icons on the glass screen. A concept of new digital business opportunities.

Whether your business is booming or you’re experiencing a lull in consumer spending, it is important to defend your position in the market and remain competitive. Here are two key customer service trends that can help your company gain an edge over the other guys.

Treat employees well

Perhaps the easiest, yet most overlooked, way to be competitive is to simply treat your employees well. Employees are the face of any company and often the first interaction with customers. Happy, appreciated employees are more likely to feel invested in the company, thus willing to go the extra mile.

Experts indicate that treating your staff as if they were your most loyal customers is essential. Famed entrepreneur Richard Branson agrees, noting that if you meet the needs of your employees, they will “make the magic happen.”

The bottom line: Happy, satisfied employees are more hardworking, productive, effective and efficient. They don’t call in sick as much and they tend to be loyal to the company — in turn, allowing companies to spend less on recruitment and training. (Added bonus: happy employees are more likely to refer other talented individuals to the company for jobs.)

Providing great benefits and other perks (say, free gym memberships, extra vacation days for a job well done or even free office snacks and bottled water), a positive working environment and regularly showing appreciation can go a long way in your employees’ customer service efforts.

Cloud-based customer service

Savvy companies and business owners know that their call centers are their first line of defense in customer service and gaining customer trust and loyalty. In fact, three-quarters of companies out there say customer service is a customer differentiator. In light of this, many smart companies are migrating to the cloud to provide excellent customer service. Why? Businesses recognize the advantages of shifting contact centers to the cloud as a means of competitive advantage, as well as to see financial savings and an increase in customer satisfaction.

Just what is the cloud?

The cloud is a network of servers, each of which serve a unique purpose. Some servers use the cloud to run an application or provide a service.

Why should companies use technology like the cloud for customer service?

Cloud-based call centers allow companies to offer on-demand support to their customers, anywhere and anytime.

Companies that shift to the cloud are more agile and better positioned to react to customer issues quicker, in turn, gaining a competitive edge. Further, companies who move call centers to the cloud also cut down on sales representatives and on-site technology. Working with cloud software companies can streamline processes and also reduce your company’s vulnerability to cyber attacks.

A cloud-hosted contact center is fast and easy to set up with no equipment required — only a computer and a Wi-Fi connection. Most cloud-based contact centers also don’t require any money up front, but rather are based on a fee that you pay as you go. As a result, companies cut down on IT costs they’d otherwise have to pay for.

Cloud-based call center software also allows staff members to work from anywhere just as efficiently as if they were in an onsite office, easily making, receiving and transferring calls, as well as directing calls to the right company department.

Truth be told, anything companies can integrate to provide excellent customer service should be considered. But those that allow you the operational advantage of leveraging cutting-edge solutions without monumental costs are often the best to implement first.

About the Author

Sheryl Coonan is a seasoned journalist, writer, proofreader, content creator and PR professional. She has had experience in print, digital and broadcast media in a variety of industries, including entertainment, human resources, beauty, fashion, health, lifestyle, social media marketing, tech and more.

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NICE Wins Four Prestigious Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

NICE Systems announced that it has received four prestigious Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service. NICE won three Silver Stevie® Awards in the Contact Center Solution New Version category for the following:

  • NICE Engage Platform – The NICE Engage Platform provides comprehensive omni–channel interaction recording. Designed for flexibility, it easily adapts to the unique operational requirements of any call center. In a single platform, organizations have support for thousands of concurrent IP streams: capturing, forwarding streams in real time, recording and archiving.
  • Journey Voice of the Customer – NICE’s Journey Voice of the Customer maps customer journeys across multiple channels and lets firms know how satisfied customers are at each touchpoint. This helps businesses prioritize which areas they should address to maximize the customer experience and their return on investment.
  • Robotic Automation – NICE’s solution automates routine back office processes that do not require human thought or involvement. From start to finish, it automates all of the steps needed to perform any task, eliminating the need for manual intervention. By automating desktop activities, employees are freed up to focus on more sophisticated processes.

NICE’s Sales Performance Management Suite also took home a Bronze Stevie® in the Incentive Management Solution category. The suite provides the end-to-end ability to create, manage and distribute all aspects of a commissions program. It automates the process of commission, bonus, and incentive administration in support of any type of variable pay strategy to deliver a pay-for-performance system that rewards employees for achieving targets that align with business strategy.

The 10th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top sales awards, business development awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards. Finalists were determined by the average scores of 115 professionals worldwide, acting as preliminary judges. More than 60 members of several specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging earlier this month.

“Entries to the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service continue to grow every year, further validating the essential roles that business development, customer service, and sales play in business success,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie® Awards. “The widespread support of this program made the 2016 competition that much more intense among finalists. The judges were deeply impressed by the winner’s accomplishments and we congratulate all of the winners on their commitment to excellence and innovation.”

“We are honored to have received four Stevie Awards in recognition of our leading customer engagement solutions,” said Miki Migdal, President of the NICE Enterprise Product Group. “NICE is committed to providing organizations with all the tools and information they need to create outstanding customer experiences and to make sure their employees are fully engaged, informed and prepared for every interaction. The innovation of our solutions is grounded in this mission.”

Details about the Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Stevie® winners in all categories are available at www.StevieAwards.com/sales.

@drnatalie petouhoff, Constellation Research

Covering Customer Service, Customer Experience and Digital Transformation

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Genesys G Force: Integrating Customer Service and Social Media

At this conference I talked about the strategy to take traditional customer service and contact center channels and integrate them with social media. This provides companies with many advantages but it also presents many, many challenges. These short clips give you some insight into what Customer Experience and Customer Service Professionals face:

History Can Give Perspective on Where Social Media and Customer Service All Started: Dell Hell

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