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Customer service is increasingly a point of contention for businesses that have barely differentiated products: banks, insurance firms, mobile and internet providers and many, many more. How well, or how poorly, an organisation acts on customer data and information can have a measurable effect on the business.
The intranet can be an excellent platform for hosting data and facilitating discussion on customer service insights, experiences and performance. Here are three examples.
Acting on sales data at Omron Europe
Omron Europe was a winner in the 2010 Intranet Innovation Awards. Its winning entry was the ‘Customer Ordering Indicator’ (COI) — a small, powerful utility that allows sales teams to keep track of client transactions throughout the business. The COI alerts relevant account managers each time their client attempts to purchase through another business division, has ordered a new product line and so on. Sales data, and corporate performance data, is presented right on the user’s homepage, allowing them at-a-glance information that’s absolutely critical to their own business performance.
Providing this data to the sales team has been hugely beneficial. One employee was able to reduce outstanding and overdue orders from 60 to just eight, because data on these areas was so much more accessible. Not only is this good news for sales figures, but for the customer it streamlines the ordering and supply process, which is good for satisfaction measures too.
Stakeholder blogging at Ziggo
A commended entrant in the 2010 Intranet Innovation Awards, Ziggo is a leading Dutch telecommunication firm.
The ZiggoNet ‘Stakeholders’ blog’ provides an opportunity for external stakeholders to write a post for Ziggo employees, which is then published on the intranet for discussion.
Contributing stakeholders are a mix of customers, industry specialists and industry journalists, and new posts are published every fortnight. The purpose is to expose employees to external insights and feedback relating to the organisation and its industry of telecommunications. While the stakeholder blog lacks the ability for the external contributor(s) to get directly involved in internal conversations (contributors cannot see the discussion that takes place), it provides an example of the increasingly varied and sophisticated ways social tools are being deployed within businesses. There is excellent potential with this idea.
Learning from customer experiences
Within a typical customer relationship management (CRM) system there are endless customer notes and references, explanations of complaints, directions on how requests and issues were solved and much more, incredibly rich information.
Unfortunately, this information is rarely capitalised on. Take the following example of a roadside services organisation.
A contact centre operator received a frantic call from a driver who had been flagged down by another, as petrol was leaking from her car. Not knowing what to do, or who to call, the driver had contacted roadside assistance.
Unfortunately, faced with such an unusual call, the operator was equally unsure how to respond. Should they call fire, police, ambulance, or all three? To make matters worse, the driver of the car was unfamiliar with the busy highway she was on and couldn’t offer a firm location. This added further pressure to the call.
To resolve the call, the operator called all three emergency services and the organisation’s own roadside assistance team. And yet, beyond capturing the notes of the call in the CRM system, this unusual scenario would rarely, if ever, be recalled. There was no capacity at the organisation to contribute examples to a knowledgebase, or share the experience in any sustainable way, but there’s obvious potential.
These are just three examples of how customer insights can be presented on the intranet, but there are many more. This type of information is often far more valuable than the typical, global news-oriented content on most intranet homepages, and the possibilities are endless.