Happy Employees Make Happy Customers
How Better Revenue Management Tools Can Enhance Customer Service
When customers reach out with a question or complaint, they’re not necessarily interested in what a service rep has to do to get the job done. They just want their issue resolved. Help your customer support team be more successful and fulfilled in their roles.
Start by evaluating your current systems, and identify where your customer service reps are spending too much time on manual processes. Are there practices or technologies that can make customer service more dynamic and data-driven?
Many customer service agents are tasked with answering various service interactions from customers (whether it is phone calls, e-mails, chat, or social media) who need assistance or clarification about a payment they’ve made. Once a customer service representative connects with a customer, often the rep must ask for information that the customer feels the company should already know, such as detailed information about their transaction.
Addressing a Complaint
A customer may need help with questions such as:
- Has my payment gone through? My account still says it’s unpaid.
- I accidentally paid my bill twice. Can I get a reimbursement?
- I have a transaction on my credit card statement; can you tell me what it’s for?
- I lost my receipt and need it for my records. Can you send me it again?
Typically a customer service rep has to deal with the following to address an issue:
- Different source systems
- Different funding timelines
- Multiple steps to find a payment and resolve a related issue
Upgrade to a Simplified Tool Set
Upgrade your team to a single tool that allows staff to find all transaction data and address issues from the same software. Tools like CityBase Revenue Management can provide staff with an easy-to-use dashboard with powerful functionality. For example, if a customer service rep is looking into a complaint filed by a customer who recently overpaid their bill in error and is expecting an adjustment, a better software solution can simplify the steps:
1.) First, your rep can locate the payment, using whatever information a customer has handy
2.) The rep can see the whole story of the transaction from auth > settlement > funding > possible void / refund
3.) Once the correct transaction has been identified, it’s time to take action
4.) Issue a refund immediately or escalate it to the appropriate person within minutes
5.) Now that the refund has been issued, a customer service rep can send the receipt to the customer
Look for Technology with Real-Time Integrations
Customers may need assistance immediately after making a transaction. But many financial software systems have a lag in the data that’s available. If someone calls a customer service line minutes after paying a bill, they’d be frustrated to hear that there’s no record of the transaction, or that they need to call back later. By using software with real-time data available, you can eliminate these time-wasting calls and improve the service you’re able to deliver customers.
Find Supplements for Call Centers
Many complex customer service issues need your skilled staff to problem-solve and assure customers they are in good hands. But there are some issues that are easier to handle and may not necessitate that human touch. Advancements in automated technology like chatbots and IVR offer self-service alternatives for your clients when they have simple billing questions. These can supplement your customer service team, so they have more time to focus on more high-touch issues.
Use Data to Improve Your Customer Service
Another important consideration is the operations of your overall customer service team. To see how the customer service team is performing, a manager needs to be able to pull:
- The number of interactions managed during a given period
- The average time to resolve problems based on the nature of the problem, product and service category, or other variable
- Volume of service interactions based on channel (including phone calls, e-mails, chat or social media) and other trends that stand out
This quantitative look at where the team is at could be complemented by a more qualitative conversation. Managers can ask reps what they are hearing in terms of common or unexpected issues, lessons learned from particularly challenging interactions, or potential areas of improvement (including improving metrics like customer satisfaction [CSAT] or Net Promoter Score [NPS]).
An Investment in Your Customer Service Team is Always Wise
It’s important to remember that the staff who take care of customer service issues are people, too. They’ll have good days and bad days just like anyone else. They need their employers to notice what’s happening either way, and to be there to support them with the right technology and strategy.
Also published on Medium.