Have you implemented a CRM strategy yet? No? It’s one of the biggest call center mistakes. Put it at the top of your To-Do list. Customer relationship management is among the hottest call center trends around. That’s because it can turn a cost center into a profit center. And that’s driving more and more managers to implement CRM.
CRM has numerous benefits. Its biggest benefit might be that it can help you turn ordinary contacts into lifelong customers—the secret to thriving in today’s hotly contested environments.
But many companies that switch to CRM waste their potential. That’s because they fall prey to common call center mistakes when implementing the strategy.
One classic mistake is failing to integrate CRM into an overall inbound call center plan. Another is bringing in a CRM system that’s hard to reconfigure.
7 Common Call Center Mistakes:
Below are 7 other mistakes you need to avoid when implementing CRM. Read and heed.
1. Replacing Your Entire System
This is tempting. But why do it when upgrading can increase functionality and efficiency cost-effectively? Upgrade your existing system instead.
Better yet, bring in an interoperable solution. This can not only boost efficiency, but it can also preserve your investment in equipment and training. More important, it gives agents access to information stored in other enterprise applications.
2. Settling For Yesterday’s Technology
Once proprietary systems ruled inbound call centers. Back then, even the savviest of managers opted for a proprietary system when given the choice.
But open systems have come a long way since then. Many are superior to proprietary systems.
So why settle for yesterday’s technology when you can take advantage of the latest technology at substantially reduced costs.
3. Not Using Automation With Customers
Among customers’ biggest frustrations is having an agent ask for their account number after the customer has just entered it using their touch-tone phone. There’s no excuse for not eliminating this frustration.
The best way to do it is to integrate a legacy system with a new CRM system. This approach not only lowers the customer frustration level, but also increases your agents’ efficiency.
4. Underestimating The Internet’s Challenges
Make no mistake. The future of CRM is intertwined with the Internet. The common element they share is interactivity.
Any combination of the two—especially when enabled by CTI (computer telephony integration) and NLI (natural language interface)—boosts the customer contact experience to a higher level that benefits everyone.
5. Not Protecting Your Brand
Building a brand is expensive. But one bad customer experience can hurt a brand. So once you’ve built your brand, protect it. Make sure your brand is consistent across all media—including the Web.
6. Opting For Short-Term Solutions
CRM really works. And once you start using it, you can benefit from increasing its volume. In other words, plan ahead to accommodate growth.
It’s more economical and efficient when you plan for growth than when forced to deal with growth at the last minute. But it’s a long-term solution, not a short-term one.
7. Not Hiring Quality Agents
CRM is only as good as the agents involved. To get the most out of it, hire and train motivated agents. Hiring agents who are just order takers can’t provide the call center experience today’s customers expect and demand.
Every customer contact should be maximized for the customer’s benefit and yours. CRM can help you do that. But don’t let this opportunity slip away by committing the 7 mistakes discussed above.
Instead, use CRM to its fullest. Doing so helps you not only cut costs and eliminate customer frustrations, but it also boosts customer satisfaction and retention. That, in turn, boosts profits.
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