In a slow-growth economy, companies continue to battle for a piece of the pie that is just not growing. While attracting and securing new business is critical, the nurturing of existing client relationships has never been more vital. Collecting and analyzing customer data mined through telephone communications can give a company unlimited insight into customer demographics, psychographics, preferences, and trends. But when systems are not integrated, it’s difficult to analyze this data in meaningful ways. Cloud-based communications systems; however, can be easily integrated with other online software to help organizations collect valuable customer information.
Why Consider the Cloud?
The biggest benefit for any cloud-based application is accessibility. Users can access data from any computer, anywhere in the world. Data is stored securely and remotely, reducing the need (and the cost) to operate bulky and expensive on-site servers. When an organization needs more storage, they can simply buy it. The cloud eliminates the logistical headaches associated with adding server rooms, securing the data, and enacting a disaster recovery plan. The cloud can provide virtually unlimited space in which to store information.
But the cloud is about more than just convenience and cost. It has given companies a secure way to store more data than ever before, allowing them to organize and analyze massive amounts of information to help improve customer relationships.
Customer Contact Centers: A Data Goldmine
Cloud-hosted phone systems and their web-based administration tools can be seamlessly integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) systems to provide organizations with robust customer profiles. CRM systems allow users to store basic customer data, which is typically entered manually by customer contact and sales agents. With each telephone or email communication, these agents can enter critical information about individual customers. But when online, cloud-based phone systems are in play, even more data can be captured without the need for manual entry. This reduces the chances an agent will miss important details, and allows them to focus on the interaction, rather than data collection.
Cloud-based phone systems can provide data on:
Call metrics – Cloud-based online phone systems will record the exact time an inbound or outbound call is placed. It will also record the exact length of the phone call. This allows analysts to determine whether agents are spending too much time with customers or, conversely, not enough time. It will also give an indication of first-call resolution rates, and can determine which agents are hitting their call targets. This data can be used to improve customer service interactions.
Staffing and workflow – Through integrated call reporting, analysts can provide managers with data that will aid in staffing and workflow planning. During predicted periods of high call volume, more agents will be required to be manning the lines. With business call forwarding, calls can be easily routed through a few simple clicks to other call centers or remote agents in order to handle overflow without sacrificing quality customer service. But during periods of lower call volume, staffing can be adjusted accordingly to help keep costs in line.
Speech analytics – Call recordings collected through online phone systems can be digitized and analyzed in order to mine data. Software scans the calls, looking for specific keywords and then categorizes those calls based on pre-defined criteria. For example, a business may wish to track customer response to its new billing procedure. Through speech analytics, they can quickly identify callers with specific billing concerns, and can instantly deliver customized follow-up communications tailored to their issue.
Call transcripts – Recorded calls can be transcribed in order to help managers determine the strengths and weaknesses of each customer contact agent. Rather than listening to each call, supervisors can pull transcripts based on defined criteria, to help them isolate problem areas and capitalize on strengths.
Personalized experiences – Cloud based communications systems can help personalize the customer experience. By using the data collected from each contact with a customer, predictive analysis can help tailor future contacts. When a customer calls, she can be presented with a menu of options based on her specific history. If she never call about a billing issue, billing options will be revealed later in the menu. If she typically call to place a new order, the first option she hears will be “press one to place a new order.”
Personalized service delivery – And just as the customer experience can be personalized, so, too can service delivery. Data mined from cloud-based telephone systems will help analysts determine the strengths and weaknesses of each agent and each call center. Business call forwarding can be utilized to match the caller’s need with the agent’s strengths. If there is a call center with a staff that is very adept at resolving delivery issues, for example, calls regarding those issues can be forwarded to that center first. Utilizing business call forwarding in this manner increases the chances the customer will be happy with the interaction.
Working in the cloud is about more than convenience. It’s also about collecting and storing critical data to help improve the customer experience and nurture strong relationships. Through the use of cloud-based communications systems, organizations can access more data than ever before, helping them meet the needs of their customers and exceed those customers’ expectations, ensuring growth even in a stagnant economy.