According to the 2015 UK State of Multichannel Report, the top 3 preferred channels are email (33%), telephone (31%), and live chat (29%). While not a first stop for consumers, social media cannot be ignored: 33% of consumers have used social media to ask customer service questions, with the vast majority expecting a response within 24 hours. What's more, social media is where satisfied or dissatisfied customers are most visible, and organisations ignore this at their peril.
Is it a case of setting up social media accounts, and letting staff crack on? Unfortunately, this couldn't be further from the truth.
It's clear that in order to keep up with customer's expectations, organisations need to offer access to a number of channels - so is it a case of setting up social media accounts, and letting staff crack on? Unfortunately, this couldn't be further from the truth.
Importance of Functioning Channels
Think about your mobile phone. What communication capabilities does it have? Chances are it can make phone calls, send and receive texts and emails, as well as use a range of messaging functionality (for example, Whatsapp and Skype). However, just being able to communicate via these channels is not very useful by itself. These capabilities are useful because of how your phone organises the information moving through the channels.
Not only does your phone maintain records of outgoing and incoming communication, it will link these records to contacts. When your colleague sends you a text, you immediately know who is contacting you, and can check past texts you have exchanged. You can then tap on the contact, and choose from a number of different contact routes associated with that contact (phone number, email address, Skype and so on) to reply.
A phone which can use communication channels but can't organise information from them seems absurd: but many organisations operate along the same lines.
Imagine trying to use a phone without these features - you receive an email, and until you open it, you have no idea who it is from. You have no records of past emails to refer to, and no idea where else you can reach the sender. A phone which can use communication channels but can't organise information from seems absurd: but many organisations operate along the same lines. In these organisations, records of contact with customers are either non-existent, channel specific (for example, the emails sitting in your inbox), or manually created - entering information into a spreadsheet.
If records from every channel are not available to the customer-facing staff that need them, the customer will either have to repeat information, get transferred to someone who does have access, or be asked to try again over a different channel. All of these are prime sources of dissatisfaction, and will lead to even your most loyal customers deserting you. As with your mobile phone, channels are next to useless without a way of organising the information.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Dealing with this type of issue is the reason Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software exists. At its most basic level, Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers the ability to keep track of all of the information you need to survive in a world where multichannel is becoming more and more essential. You can associate contact details (including social media accounts) with your customers, organise your customers by categories, and plan and record all interactions with your customers across Sales, Service and Marketing: all in a way that can be tailored to match the unique processes of your business.
There is a dazzling number of extensions that enhance CRM's basic multichannel capabilities.
But CRM is about more than preventing customer dissatisfaction. Just like you can download apps from Google Play to enhance what your mobile can do, there is a dazzling number of extensions that enhance CRM's basic multichannel capabilities and help organisations to excel. The Dynamics CRM app for Outlook allows you to use the functionality of CRM from within your email, while the Social Listening module identifies social media trends and allows you to post on social media from within the application, putting you ahead of the curve in the relationship with your community of customers.
In call-centre scenarios, Unified Service Desk allows you to integrate CRM with your telephony and other systems, automatically displaying customer records when a call is started, while ADXstudio and Parature offer integration between CRM and your organisation's portal, as well as the ability to use live chat to communicate with your customers. Even employees visiting customers in the field can benefit, with Field One providing a total field service management solution tightly integrated with CRM - all of which is only beginning to scratch the surface of the possibilities of Dynamics CRM.
There is no reason why you should expect any less from your business.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM from HSO
In a multichannel world, CRM is not a luxury, but a necessity. You wouldn't accept a mobile phone which couldn’t keep track of and organise your contacts, texts, emails and phone calls. There is no reason why you should expect any less from your business. So here is the question: can your organisation do everything your mobile phone can?
Explore Microsoft Dynamics CRM from HSO, now.