Smarter Customer Service Leads to Greater Efficiency
Posted by: on Jul 31, 2012
In today’s competitive market, the use of smart devices and web portals – which engage your customers by allowing them to maintain and enhance services – are imperative in the hopes to retain your current customers, attract new customers and in some cases differentiate you from the competition.
The traditional approach for providing service is taking a call from the customer who is requesting assistance for making a payment with either a credit card or e-check. These requests typically come in throughout the month prior to disconnect date, with the day of cutoff being the most critical. Your customer service reps are frantically taking calls to address the needs of their customers to avoid losing service.
Other calls relate to reporting troubles with one of their services. The calls range from “no dial tone” to “noise on the line’ for phone service; “the internet is slow” to “I can’t connect to the internet” for internet service; and finally “channel 21 is fuzzy” to “I can’t get channel 25” for video service. Those same customers will inevitably call back asking for a status on their service interruption and when they can expect the service to be restored.
You also have those customers who are calling in to add a premium channel near the end of the business day with the hopes to have it activated yet that day so they can watch the fights on HBO or a movie with that special someone if he is a hopeless romantic. And finally several buddies plan a weekend of online gaming and call in requesting a higher tier for internet service to enhance their gaming experience.
Imagine, if you would, those same customers ready to make a payment with either a credit card or e-check and before they pick up the phone to call your office, they remember you just introduced an app for both the Apple and Android market. This app would allow the customer to make an immediate payment or schedule a recurring payment. It would also provide an alert if they were past due.
Imagine those customers requesting service having the ability to add a premium channel or increase their internet speed through the use of your website, provided their credit history was in good standing. In addition, your website would only display the internet speeds supported based on the service location of each customer. Having this check in place would eliminate your customer from trying to order services that are not supported at their service location.
When you embrace technology to address business problems we face every day in our industry, all of the examples above are possible. We not only engage our customers with these new found tools, we began to use them as another means for communicating with our customers. We are able to increase our level of customer service by enabling the customer to make a payment, view their bill or report trouble anytime and anywhere through the use of the internet or smart device. Efficiencies are realized within your organization with call volumes reduced thus allowing your staff to perform other critical tasks. And finally with the ability to perform service requests 24/7 along with soft selling capabilities on the web, you are more apt to retain those customers who expect instantaneous service outside of regular business hours. In the end you have enhanced the user experience for all of your customers and positioned yourself to effectively compete in this ever changing market we live in.
NISC’s SmartHub solution provides convenient account access and two-way communication online or via smart devices. Manage payments, notify customer service of account and service issues, check your usage and receive special messaging from your provider all at the touch of a button. SmartHub is available on Android and iOS smart phones and tablets as well as on the Web. Click here to learn more!
Mark Momerak is an Executive Product Line Manager for National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC). He can be reached at 1.866.WWW.NISC extension 6630 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.