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,
Customer Service is Not a Silo.
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
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.