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How to Untangle: Customer Service Communications

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Customer service can be a key differentiator for most companies today, and every customer, whether a person or a company, amounts to a mountain of good will—not to mention the revenue!

But providing a level of customer care that will distinguish your company from the competition can be tricky.

Today, the number of customer communication channels continues to proliferate: phone, email, Web site, instant messaging, and faxes. And customer information can reside in multiple locations—CRM systems, SQL databases, and Excel spreadsheets.

Meanwhile, most customers don’t have the patience to wait while harried representatives track down their account information and look for the right resource to handle the issue.

Customers expect fast, professional service, and if they don’t get it, they are likely to start considering your competition.

If it’s time for you to start providing the best customer service in your industry, here are the key questions to ask:

  • Can you start with a flexible phone system today and grow into a large, enterprise-wide call center in the future?

  • Can you incorporate new communications channels and types of media into a universal queue as they become important to your business?

  • Can you locate agents anywhere—at headquarters, in remote offices around the world, or in home offices—while creating a single face to customers and easily routing each call or message to the appropriate agent?

  • Can you integrate your communications and call center systems into other systems, such as your CRM system, and build custom applications that meet the needs of your industry and type of customer?

  • Can you provide managers and your executive team with the insight they need to make decisions based on the most current information?

  • Does the system support a full range of routing options, including skills-based, agent priority-based and service level-based routing, as well as routing by caller ID or CRM, ANI or geography, DNIS, type of day, time of day, and overflow or interflow on wait?

  • Is the system easy to learn, so you can minimize the time and cost of training new users?

  • Is the system open and based on a fully distributed IP-based unified communications system, so it can be integrated with legacy communications systems and be deployed incrementally in order to control costs?

  • Is the system functionality centrally managed, so one person or a small group of people can manage the system across the entire enterprise?

  • Does the system eliminate a single point of failure and offer N+1 redundancy to ensure availability?

If you’d like to learn more about how ShoreTel can help untangle your customer services capabilities contact your local ShoreTel reseller.