Posted on Monday, April 27, 2015 in Uptime UniversityBlog written by Rob Swenson
Businesses have to work hard and smart to provide good customer service. Advances in technology are making the challenge easier, however.
“It’s made it easier because you have access to more data,” says Denise Esper, an expert in helping businesses take advantage of the tools of technology to provide better customer service. “But you have to be responsive and constantly evolve with that data. You’re constantly perfecting the system.”
Esper is the founder of Procentric, a consulting firm in the Austin, Texas, area. As the former chief revenue officer for the Lone Star Circle of Care, she is especially familiar with the health care industry. But her insights are applicable to other businesses that use or are considering using cloud technology to improve their customer service.
Register Now For The Free Event
UPTIME University is a periodic series of free, educational presentations designed to provide the latest information about the high-tech services and equipment to representatives of area businesses, commercial organizations and institutions.
The May 12 session of UPTIME will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown and last about two hours. The session is open to interested executives, IT staffers and other business representatives, but advance registration is requested.
In addition to Esper, Steve Rueschhoff, a sales engineer from SDN, will speak. Rueschhoff will demonstrate the SDN Cloud Contact Center, a communications service that allows organizations of any size to affordably access features formerly available mostly to large companies that had their own, on-site systems.
SDN Cloud Contact Center is offered by SDN as a hosted service. That means clients securely connect to off-premise equipment using dedicated lines or the Internet. Then, rather than having to buy and maintain their own call center equipment, client businesses pay a monthly subscription fee to SDN, which keeps the equipment up to date and running smoothly.
Keys to good service
SDN Cloud Contact Center is powered by technology from Enghouse Interactive, a subsidiary of the international software and service company Enghouse Systems Ltd. Enghouse Interactive helps serve more than 10,000 contact center customers around the world.
Interestingly, a client survey conducted by Enghouse Interactive in 2012 reported that 68 percent of IT decision-makers in the United States believed that delivering good customer service was more important than managing costs. That’s a still-relevant indication of the importance that businesses place on taking good care of customers.
Esper, who has experience working with Enghouse products, will talk at UPTIME University about the role modern technology plays in delivering good customer service.
“In my experience, the key to service excellence is well-trained, empowered, competent staff combined with the proper technology tools,” Esper says.
Having quick access to real-time data is a valuable, informational tool for customer-service workers. One mistake companies make is to spend generously on technology, then fail to adequately train employees to use the equipment effectively, Esper says. Providing initial and ongoing training of customer-service agents is crucial, she says.
Esper also says that front-line interaction with customers should not be left to entry-level employees. Career ladders can be created for contact center workers that can boost service as well as employee retention.
Another step businesses should take is to adequately define success, Esper says. Answering a telephone call, alone, should not define success. In businesses, success usually is linked to action that ultimately produces revenue for the organization, she says.
“Even if things are going well, you need to know why so you continue that trend,” Esper says.
Take a look at the agenda for the UPTIME University event or claim your spot for the free event on May 12 by using the button below.