As companies prepare for 2010 and what could be a bleak first quarter, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company has identified customer service strategy as the key area that will help businesses succeed in the year ahead.
In 2010, organisations should focus on enhancing company-wide operational performance to ensure that customers have an end-to-end experience. To achieve this, employees need to have the skills to engage dynamically with customers and the business should have in place more proactive customer engagement models better online communication will be of key importance.
Organisations that are able to offer customers the same 'shop experience' on the web as they would do if a customer visited its high street branch would not only differentiate themselves from their competitors, but also see significant changes in their customer base and demonstrable benefits to their bottom line. One such company who has achieved this is Vodafone Italy: a minimal investment in a proactive customer engagement model enabled it to bring a consumer's 'shop experience to the web' and deliver great results to its customers 68 percent of whom are 'very satisfied' with this new service and its bottom line a 25 per cent increase in sales.
Working closely with many leading organisations across Europe and particularly in the UK, the downturn of 2009 put in focus the importance of how valuable a loyal customer base is to businesses, said Lucille Jackson, UK Marketing Manager at Genesys. Lost customer relationships amount to millions of Pounds. Our global consumer survey which we undertook with Datamonitor found that poor customer service cost European countries a little under USD$100 billion a year, with UK businesses in particular losing a total of 15.3 billion a year. This not only highlights the importance of how vital meeting customers' expectations and fulfilling their demands is, but also how crucial these have become in determining the success and survival of businesses.
With constricted budgets a reality for many organisations in 2009, the Genesys Strategic Solutions Team helped organisations leverage their existing systems to get the most from their technology investments and deliver first class customer service. Weve worked closely with some of Europe's leading organisations to help drive performance improvement, both in their contact centre operations and across their entire enterprise, continued Lucille Jackson.
Genesys believes there is a simple, three-pronged strategy organisations can adopt to address such issues:
1) Adopt proactive customer engagement models to address the demands of the Millennial Generation (consumers born between 1982 and 2000), accustomed to using the Internet, web-chats, IM and email to communicate and who favour convenience over price as key driver in their purchasing decisions. Businesses should focus on taking care of existing and potential customers visiting their website potentially the biggest shop they have! and develop coherent strategies that straddle all channels of customer communication, with a crucial focus on the web
2) Ensure an adequately skilled 'Millennial' workforce that can respond effectively to 'modern' as well as traditional customer communication demands and meet consumers' single conversation, cross-channel expectations. Employees can engage with customers more dynamically and provide the new customer experience environment that businesses are increasingly expected to offer
3) Implement an end-to-end customer service delivery solution that optimises all processes within a company by combining best practices and capabilities from a broader set of business processes and resources. Such a solution would provide added flexibility and real-time orchestration of tasks and priorities within the service delivery chain, not only enhancing certain features within the organisation and integrating with existing solutions, but ensuring that all business processes are optimised across the board