Making Technology Work

Customer Service

In a market where products are similar, it is often the quality of customer service that separates the winners from the losers.

In an increasingly competitive world, new technology could give you the edge with your customer – providing a quicker, more efficient, customised service.

Customer help lines

A customer will often judge a company on how well it handles their enquires. By linking all information into a central database, everything a customer might want to know can be available instantly. The database can include the customer’s background details and transactions – and be updated every time the customer calls.

Put the database on a network and anyone in your company could provide an informed and helpful response.

Better customer information

You can use technology to give your customers direct access to company information.

A company Web site on the Internet keeps your customers up-to-date with your latest product, prices and special offers. Web sites can be updated much more frequently than printed brochures.

CD-ROMs can tailor information and services to your customer’s specific needs. That is why CD-Rom based point of information (POI) or point of sale (POS) kiosks are growing in popularity. They offer new sales opportunities and can already be found in estate agents and as in-store catalogues and guides.

Improved after-sales service

The most profitable business is often repeat business – a good after sales service is essential. E-mail and the Internet can take away some of the administrative burden that comes with processing queries, maintaining customer records and keeping customers informed.

E-mail facilities on your Web site lets your customers e-mail you questions or customer-satisfaction questionnaires, even purchase goods. E-mail your customers regular automated newsletters or let them know about special offers – cheaper and easier than traditional mail.

Questions & Answers

Q. Our staff are wasting a lot of time answering the same technical queries from customers.
A. Why not publish a list of ‘frequently asked questions’ – and the answers – on your Web site. It will make it easier for customers to find the solution they need themselves.

Q. Because they’re on the road, our sales reps often give customers out-of-date information. How do we stop this?
A. By equipping your reps with laptop computers, modems and mobile phones. The staff can then tap into your company network to check the availability of stock on the spot, suggest alternatives if necessary, and even invoice the customer there and then.

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