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Closing the Gap Between Customer Service and
the Rest of Your Company

Lessons from a Scorned Coffee Lover

It's a coffee lover's nightmare. You need more specialty java for your custom coffee maker and suddenly find that you have no way to get it. It happened to Susan Payton, president of Egg Marketing & Communications and an avid coffee drinker. The scorned Payton recently shared her experience in a Small Business Trends column, entitled Customer Service is Not a Silo.DialAmerica Dialogue

Items being out of stock is not a rare occurrence, but what cost the coffee maker Ms. Payton's business was the disconnect between the customer service department and the sales department. After placing her order online, Payton received an email from customer service that some of her items were out of stock. The problem: customer service could not tell her which items were out of stock, nor did they suggest other items and then, when she logged into her account, there was no record of her order. After two more failed attempts to re-order coffee, the frustrated Payton severed her relationship with the coffee maker.

Customer service agents are always on the front line connecting directly with consumers. If they cannot help customers make purchases and get support then you are losing business.

Whether in-house or outsourced, companies need to move beyond siloed customer service contact center skill sets and metrics. When outsourcing, consider a third-party service that can provide a fully integrated, highly transparent, customized business solution. Through this collaborative approach customer service agents are absorbed in the goals, strategies, culture and brand essence of its client's business. This includes a flawless integration with the contact center and the company's IT system which enables agents to operate indistinguishably from the company. In this capacity, agents have access to all necessary data and avoid time-consuming delays that result from toggling between multiple programs or screens. Additionally, they can carry on unscripted conversations that build rapport with customers, communicate product benefits, answer objections, ask for the order and confirm details verbatim - all within a federal- and state-regulated environment that requires detailed compliance.

Today's customers demand a high level of service. As companies look to improve their operational effciency, serve customers more effectively, reduce costs and compete aggressively, a fully integrated third party contact center represents a powerful, growing solution – one that will likely be embraced by savvy businesses.

We hope you found this month's Dialogue informative.

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