Centralized Customer Information: Get Your Stuff Together Customer Support

When customers call or request a live chat, they expect customer service to be able to quickly look up their particular information:

  • name
  • phone number
  • address
  • email
  • products
  • parts for products
  • purchase and support history
  • complaint log

As far as customers are concerned, this is information already given in the past and they shouldn’t have to repeat it. Not only is it annoying, it wastes time.

They also expect all of this information to be readily accessible so they aren’t waiting for the customer support representative (CSR) to look up each individual piece of information in a different application (apparently known as the two-fingered salute due to the ALT-TAB actions required).

Just think if you could keep track of all the time it takes to ALT-TAB your way through a customer call and added it up for just a week. How much time do you think it takes up? I mean, it will depend on how quickly you can manage the salute, how often you accidently hit the wrong screen, how familiar you are with the system, and other variables. But wouldn’t the potential time savings pay for a centralized customer support system over time?

Plus, this isn’t the only savings. Your CSR’s would appreciate getting rid of the salute and having only one software package to deal with. Even more importantly, your customers would appreciate knowing their call or chat is actually connected to someone. (Really, haven’t you ever thought the CSR had hung up because it took them 15 to 20 seconds just to call up your customer record?)

The more obstacles that are thrown between the customer and quick service, the higher the risk the customer will take their business somewhere else. Keeping all those customers who defect for this reason will probably pay for that centralized system even faster.

Quite a bit of customer information winds up in silos in other departments where it cannot easily be accessed by customer service. It isn’t in anybody’s best interest to have the customer insist he reported a problem and it cannot be found in the record. This can happen when different support channels keep their own customer database or don’t follow the same documentation policies. 

Bottom line (which we are seeking to improve): It’s time to put all those eggs in one basket. Centralize customer information and plug all those who need access into a common customer database. You will be saving time, money, IT headaches, and customer business.

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