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Blog

Jan 24, 2017

7 Deadly CRM Sins That Mean It's Time to Switch

customer support

[Estimated read time: 6 minutes]

With consumer expectations always changing, you need to make sure your brand stands out. The biggest way to distinguish yourself is by providing the best consumer experience possible. Need proof? According to a 2015 survey, 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them.

Having agents who are knowledgeable, professional, and well-trained is a step in the right direction. But consider a crucial element: your CRM system. The software you choose ultimately makes the difference in the consumer experience. Rather than simply collecting data, your CRM should help you build relationships with your customers.

Take note of your current contact center processes. Are all of your needs being met by your current CRM? Is it helping you build those relationships? If your current CRM is committing any of these seven deadly sins, it may be time to change your software.

1. Makes empathizing with consumers a struggle

The benefits of understanding who you are talking to are priceless. Think of when you talk to someone you know very well: you have history and context to move the conversation along. Otherwise, you have the challenge of talking to a stranger. No one likes to repeat themselves, especially people who call a contact center for help. According to Accenture, two-thirds of consumers become frustrated if they have to give the same information to multiple employees. 

Not being able to connect the dots from previous interactions is an issue. When more than half of consumers need to engage with companies on multiple channels to resolve an issue, it quickly becomes a requirement to provide agents with visibility across all channels. The key to better conversations and a lasting connection is in your CRM platform providing a better understanding of the consumer's concerns. 

2. Lacks an integrated knowledgebase

Whether you have one product or hundreds, expecting agents to memorize and stay updated on the potentially thousands of details is impossible. Asking agents to search through company resources, like product brochures or training manuals, for the information they need is equally unreasonable. When this happens, the customer has to wait longer and agent average handle time is affected. 

Most CRM solutions have the means to assist agents through a static FAQ. However, FAQs do not always provide information that is relevant or accurate to the consumer. In fact, according to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time. If a customer calls back about the same issue, you can ensure you are providing a consistent answer. It also becomes an issue if answers gathered from such searches cannot be saved automatically as part of the customer case for future reference. According to research, 91% of consumers expect to receive consistent information over multiple customer contact channels. 

The right CRM platform solves this issue by featuring an integrated knowledgebase that can help protect your brand from inaccurate, outdated, or inconsistent information. This tool provides the answers agents need, and will give them more confidence when responding to customer questions. 

3. Unable to handle unexpected scenarios

Customers reach out to brands for a number of different reasons. As such, your agents will need to be able to tailor the conversation to the situation and provide the right response. If that situation is something unexpected, like a product recall, your company will lose time to react while you wait for your CRM to be modified to handle the new scenario. Most CRM systems can be customized to the needs of the business, but this process costs both time and money.  

Your CRM should be able to "listen" and adapt to the interaction as it happens. If a recall happens, for example, a new set of required fields can be added to the software. The CRM tool should be able to guide the agent based on factors like reason code or location, and adjust depending on what is important or required. This takes away the burden of the agent having to memorize all the different scenarios, including what is required and when. 

4. Takes the focus off the customer

Most CRM systems include random messages as pop-ups to help agents along. For new agents, it is distracting as they have to click out of the popup to get back to their case management screen. Experienced agents likely don't need the information in the first place. In both scenarios, these messages can interrupt communication with the customer.

A smart CRM platform is able to put the focus back on the customer by providing in-context information that informs the agent without interrupting the conversation. Agents receive rich, relevant information at their fingertips, allowing for smoother communication that earns the consumers' trust and confidence. 

consumer insight

5. Fails to provide consumer insight

Understanding the behaviors and preferences of your customers allows you to improve products, services, and processes. Many companies are struggling in this regard and it is one of the biggest reasons they are implementing voice of customer (VOC) programs. It becomes difficult to figure out what areas need improvement when your CRM cannot track trends or delve into consumer behaviors and attitudes. 

The right CRM solution should give you a clear understanding of where you stand with customers by ensuring quality data is captured by your agents. Specifically consider how your current platform effectively processes unstructured consumer comments into coherent insights. If it cannot provide the necessary insights, it might be time for a change. 

6. Requires agents to switch applications

Multiple communication channels and different company resources mean too many applications on the agent's desktop. Software that makes the mistake of forcing agents to switch between applications negatively impacts key metrics. 

Your CRM solution should consolidate information from company resources and streamline your agents' workflow. Giving agents the ability to see all relevant information on one screen will make them more efficient and improve first contact resolution

7. Handles risk management poorly

Fifty-eight percent of Americans do online research about products and services they are considering purchasing. In today's social media enriched environment, a single bad review or interaction is all it takes to negatively impact your business. A CRM that cannot keep an audit of customer interactions in one place increases chances of damage to your brand.

The right tool should be able to detect issues early in order to prevent a potential crisis. In addition, tracking each customer's interaction in one place lets you record goodwill so you can identify possible abuse

Astute’s ePowerCenter has smart features to help you avoid committing these seven deadly sins. Interested in learning more? Contact us to schedule a demo.

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