Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit of Customer Service

Wade Coady Chief Technology Officer, NSC Group
An apple sitting on top of a One Hundred Dollar Bill

As a business we want to keep improving. From a purely monetary perspective we need to increase our revenue and keep growing. But we also want to improve our customers’ experience, give them value, and hopefully earn their loyalty. The sweet spot is achieving both. Fortunately, low-cost, easy-entry revenue opportunities to achieve these two goals are plentiful—if you know where to look for them. Many are often overlooked, even among your existing customers.

For example, a customer registering his newly purchased laptop may be receptive to ordering accessories for it. A friendly prompt via Web chat while the customer is online or a one-time discount code sent via email or SMS may be just what he needs to make a further purchase. You have just improved your chances of converting a sale, but you have also just added value to the customer’s experience. He will certainly look upon you in a better light and likely share this information.

Another missed revenue opportunity involves unpaid invoices and late payments. People get busy, emergencies happen, and some people simply forget. Whatever the reason, it’s your company’s cash flow that suffers.

Other overlooked opportunities occur on social media all the time. Imagine this same customer a few days before he made his decision and placed his order. He might have sent a message via Twitter or Facebook asking for laptop suggestions or for help choosing between his top two picks. If your company sells laptops, wouldn’t you want to contribute to this conversation? Again, both boxes ticked.

Another missed revenue opportunity involves unpaid invoices and late payments. People get busy, paper bills and statements get lost, emergencies happen, and some people simply forget. Whatever the reason, it’s your company’s cash flow that suffers.

Identifying—and Taking Advantage

Several Avaya solutions allow contact centers to identify and act upon these revenue opportunities. For example, with social monitoring solutions, organizations can monitor social networks, blogs, and other sites for conversations related to their brands, product categories, and specific keywords.

In the example above, what if an electronics retailer had been monitoring social sites for phrases such as “which laptop should I buy” or “buy laptop”? With social media-monitoring technology, relevant conversations can be monitored and potential sales opportunities identified. From there, the system assigns the conversation to a contact center agent who then joins the conversation immediately, offering helpful advice or directing the shopper to relevant URLs such as product demo videos or the organization’s website.

Or imagine if the customer reviews different options available on the website but then has problems deciding between two different models. Being able to initiate an automated Web chat with the customer triggered by his idle shopping cart could advance the sale further. Similarly, if the automated Web chat fails to answer the customer’s questions, he or she can be routed through to an available agent, along with the customer’s relevant online activity. That creates an increased chance of sales conversion, coupled with improved customer experience.

Advance notification of payments coming due or even of overdue invoices can be addressed with an automated outbound solution that sends SMS, email or voicemail reminders directly to customers. Customers can then pay their bills with a click of a button.

Why Take a Proactive Approach?

Revenue opportunities are out there, waiting to be mined. Identifying them using efficient methods can let you:

  • Find new customers who are looking for products or services like yours.

  • Improve your customer relations and likely gain kudos and chatter in social media channels.

  • Increase revenues without launching costly marketing campaigns.

  • Sell additional and relevant products or services to new and existing customers.

  • Improve cash flow.

  • Write off fewer bad debts.

Wade Coady is Chief Technology Officer for Australia-based communications and contact center integrator NSC Group. NSC’s 230 employees support more than 650 corporate customers in the Asia-Pacific region.