Seamless Customer Data Leads to Efficient Customer Service

December 2, 2014

Posted by Chad Goldsmith, Solutions Consultant, Retail and Ecommerce, NetSuite

We’ve all placed an order on our favorite ecommerce(opens in new tab) site at some point and wound up on hold with customer service and, all too often, spent even more time as we wait for the agent to validate who we are. Worse yet are the times we find ourselves being transferred to another agent who asks us to restate our personal information and why we called all over again.

The problem is that many customer service representatives are unable to access and share real time information about customers across the entire organization, let alone integrate important data about that customer that might have been gathered from multiple interactions with the retailer such as via an ecommerce site, an in-store transaction, emails, web chats or social media. The convenience customers gain by having multiple channels to interact with the brand, works against itself when channels aren’t integrated to provide retail organizations with a complete record of the customer from one central location.

A customer service representative who has a 360-degree view of the customer and their relationship with the retailer is empowered to offer a more personalized and efficient shopping experience. Beyond customer service representatives, department managers, business analysts and top executives also need access to that same customer data to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

Lack of integration between contact channels is one challenge. Additionally, the sales and service teams themselves are often running on different CRM systems(opens in new tab) and unable to share data. In order for retailers to be successful, they must be able to leverage real-time, integrated customer and product information that anyone in the organization can access at any time.

With all data available from within one real-time dashboard, managers and analysts can make meaning out of the minutiae. Customer complaints coming from multiple contact channels can be grouped by origin and by topic as they occur. Tracking changes in sales-to-service contact ratios can help identify an emerging problem. Tracking agent adherence to service levels and escalation percentages can help improve training procedures.

At the upper management level, executives need the big picture of how the ups and downs of customer service and sales numbers affect other aspects of the business. With real-time data and analysis tools, management can keep tabs on profits and revenues, as well as product defects, costs, inventory and other important data points. Unstructured information, like customer comments and product reviews, can also be searched and analyzed more quickly.

A cloud-based ecommerce platform combined with a back office financial system makes it possible for everyone from front-line customer service representatives all the way to the CEO to explore integrated customer data on their own, seeking and extracting a quicker answer to their own complex questions. Better-informed agents, managers, and executives can respond more accurately and efficiently to a customer service situation, before it becomes a bigger problem. And that is the best customer service guarantee any company can have.

Additional Reading:
Leveraging Omnichannel Data to Revolutionize the Customer Experience(opens in new tab)
Leveraging Omnichannel Data to Create Personal Customer Experiences – Part 2(opens in new tab)
The Convergence of CRM with the Ecommerce Platform(opens in new tab)

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