Power up CRM Strategies With Customer Intelligence From the Contact Center to the Social Web

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Customer Service
Customer Service
Your customers are talking about your products and services every day. Are you listening?

Your customers are talkingthey are talking about you to your face, as well as behind your back. They are saying how much they like you, and how much they like your competition. They are describing what they expect from you, what's working well, where you can improve, and why they are taking their business elsewhere. They are calling your contact centers with this information, chatting with your agents about their needs, emailing you with their problems, and thanks to social media, are posting their thoughts via blogs, tweets, Facebook, and other public forums. The question isare you listening?

What's in it for your business to listen? You can learn how your business can improve from the wealth of information available from ongoing, multifaceted interactions and transactions between customers and organizations. Tune in to your customers to learn how to improve products, what services they want, where stumbling blocks exist in your operations, why customers consider competitors, and much more. This insight gives you the ability to not only hear, but act on the voice of the customer (VOC) with holistic CRM strategies to proactively address your customers' intent in real time.

Traditional CRM, with the goal of developing sales, marketing, and service strategies to acquire and grow customer relationships, was originally based around data and information collected through transactions and customer demographics. The missing link needed to augment CRM data with VOC is extracting key drivers that eventually lead to transactions directly from customer interactions, by capturing and analyzing content from all sources of customer contact, including calls, emails, surveys, Web-based chats, and social media sites, collectively - in other words, via "cross-channel interaction analytics." Today's technology has the capability to transform unstructured customer interaction data into a strategically useful form via speech and text mining techniques, and drive improved customer experience with better CRM strategies.

Use cases: With its flexibility to categorize and analyze root causes from a large number of interactions -- whether they are captured from your agent interactions (phone calls or emails) or from customers' tweets and Facebook messages -- interaction analytics can provide insightful information to such departments as contact centers, research and development, and sales and marketing. Theses team can then use that insight to improve business strategies, drive revenue, reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, and positively impact KPIs.

Getting Started: After understanding key benefits comes the challenge: How to get started? Following time tested and proven practices will get you started on your new social CRM and interaction analytics initiatives.

  • Prioritize initiatives based on ROI: Remember the 80/20 rule. Focusing on two to three objectives with clearly defined ROI will help set the direction.
  • Leverage existing processes and workflows: Put the technology in the hands of people who are already responsible for driving change. For example, help agents with real-time guidance, improve quality monitoring by providing direct access to calls with broken processes, or enhance VOC analysis with new data.
  • Combine intelligence from transactions and interactions: Get the power of numbers and their actual drivers in one view to see the results through your customers' eyes.
  • Focus on root causes and actionable insight: Quickly shift focus from data gathering to developing insights and solutions from volumes of interactions.
  • Demonstrate success quickly and build momentum: Target low-hanging fruit and complete a full improvement cycle: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC).

Conclusion: Customer service is transforming with advanced analytics and adapting to the needs of the customers' changing expectations by adopting social CRM. To see the full spectrum of what's impacting your business, combine real-time social sentiment with real-time contact center insights and transactional metrics. The power of correlating insights from these historical silos will undoubtedly power your CRM efforts with end-to-end customer insights. Interaction analytics holds the promise of effectively reducing costs and improving revenue by offering much needed VOC information in a strategically useful format for successfully driving change. Many forward-thinking organizations have been realizing impressive results by extracting intelligence from customer interactions, thereby improving business processes. When executed properly, the long list of benefits includes higher revenues, lower costs, lower agent attrition, delighted customers, and higher lifetime value and Net Promoter scores.

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About the Authors: Shlomi Ziv is director of business consulting, and Vasudeva Akula, Ph.D. is a Six Sigma black belt, with NICE Systems. _________________________________________________

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION