Traditional phone support is a relic of the pre-digital age when the only other alternative was face-to-face customer service. But while clients today can opt for other communication channels, companies still consider call centers indispensable to their CRM strategy. The problem is that many continue to rely on out-of-date approaches to identify customer needs, document interactions, and solve a variety of queries. This leads to customers having to deal with overloaded agents who are unable to offer adequate service. However, the blame for inept phone support service shouldn’t be on the agents, their team leaders, or even managers—the problem lies in inefficient systems.
Luckily, Zendesk CTI changes the way a contact center manages customer relationships. Essentially, all support interactions over the phone are coordinated on computers, which allows agents to be more productive.
To help businesses decide if Zendesk’s offering is suited to their needs, here’s a closer look at product features.
A Consolidated CRM System
Zendesk integrations provide a consolidated customer communication system. This gives an agent instant visible access to a customer’s activities across all communication channels without needing to switch between different systems. He can quickly obtain a specific customer’s history that includes every kind of contact that was made with the company.
Non-integrated systems hinder productivity because it takes some time to scan different channels, e.g., phone, live chat, SMS, e-mail, or self-service. Doing so might seem like a negligible few seconds, but in customer service, speed is of the essence. The faster each call gets settled, the more efficient the team becomes. Plus, agents have other tasks aside from taking and making phone calls. Incidentally, even when a company does have a dedicated call center, that team can better serve the firm if they have the time to perform other duties. A consolidated CRM will cut down on hours wasted performing low-level tasks; agents can instead concentrate on delivering optimal customer service.
Ease of Use
Zendesk CTI is easy to use and was designed with the knowledge that call center teams will rely on it for several hours every day. It can be understood by users with no advanced technical backgrounds. Additionally, the system is simple to set up right out of the box. Hiring an I.T. specialist or getting employees trained for the job isn’t necessary.
The system is customizable to improve the user experience. For example, there are apps that can be added to the system to help agents work better. A Support Answer Suggestion app evaluates a ticket and searches the customer service Help Center for relevant content. The agent will not only see the ticket but a suggested answer along with it. Functionalities that are incompatible with the workflow or unsuitable to the needs of the users can be disabled.
Callers hate being put on hold so the agent can first clarify facts with the department concerned. Even worse, calls are sometimes transferred from team to team until the customer finds someone who can provide a satisfactory response. This comes across as unprofessional. Most of the time, customers just give up on the call and their issues remain unresolved.
In business practice, customer service doesn’t function separately from other departments. Hence, a great CRM system should be able to take into account collaboration between teams like sales, marketing, product development, and billing. By working together, they are not only able to smooth out inconsistencies in the services they provide, but it also improves internal relations.
Zendesk integration is able to capture customer interactions on one cloud-based platform, so important information is always available to any department that needs it. This is especially valuable to the contact center reps who are often limited by the data they have at hand.
Managers rely on performance measurements to make decisions and improve processes. However, sorting through a vast amount of data from customers across multiple channels is complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, the Zendesk phone support system merges different record systems to give managers an overview of the robustness of the customer service department.
For instance, an integrated telephony system can reveal information about support tickets made through calls. This can then be compared to the number and kind of tickets logged via other channels. If the manager has this data, he can strategize how customer service can handle different types of calls and promote the use of other channels to maximize resources. The information also provides insight when training agents to provide better service.
Analytics makes it possible to monitor the productivity of individual agents by generating not just historical data but also real-time reports of call activity. A round robin call distribution is implemented to evenly distribute calls among all the reps. Calls in the queue can be redirected to other agents to eliminate bottlenecks.
Zendesk CRM integration provides a CTI system that is built into the existing customer service platform. A company can simply combine Zendesk Support with the contact center software and the IVR/ACD/PBX systems they are currently using. Zendesk technology partners can just integrate their phone support hardware and software with Zendesk Support. Thus, they only need to work with one vendor for multiple channels.
As such, there is no need for additional equipment or software to be installed on agents’ computers. The benefits are reduced costs, less equipment, and flexibility as the company grows. Also, agents only require minimal training at the outset since they are already familiar with the underlying system. This brings about a seamless and rapid adoption of the new technology.
The product is especially ideal for large call centers that have already processed thousands of tickets and are continuously creating more. They can’t just do a complete overhaul of their systems as it would be impractical and lead to losses.
Advanced Automated Functions
Zendesk CTI facilitates the automation of the phone support system including automatic ticket creation that instantaneously tracks calls, voice messages, and other channels. It works for both inbound and outbound calls. Moreover, tickets mechanically solicit customer feedback that aids in quality assurance. This feature replaces manual data entry and conventional approaches to gathering customer evaluations.
Other automated functions include recorded responses to customers’ frequently asked questions. It’s a form of self-service that also acts as a filter for the inbound calls. The simpler and repetitive requests can be resolved by the customers themselves without needing to talk to an agent.
All of the aforementioned functionalities are accessed in one place so that reps can always contextualize the customer service they provide. An advantage of this is that it comes across as personalized, which makes customers feel they’re being treated like humans. This balances out the automated nature of a CTI system that can sound robotic and detached.
Inbound calls will trigger the advanced caller ID to immediately identify the customer on the line. Meanwhile, a screen pop-up alert provides the contact’s record in the system. So, the agent doesn’t have to spend time verifying the identity of the caller (except when dealing with more sensitive information). The customer also doesn’t have to suffer through a tedious recap of all of his past requests just to raise a new issue or ask for a follow-up. The customer history is already right there on the screen.
This way, the agent can learn to anticipate the exact issue that will be raised before the call has even started. Even better, analytics can pinpoint concerns that customers are not yet aware of, which will dramatically lessen the number of inbound calls. Predictive, rather than reactive, customer service like this is the next frontier. It will only be possible with an up-to-date, digitized system.
In the end, Zendesk CTI benefits three different stakeholders: the agents, the company itself, and the customers. Agents are able to improve their productivity through an integrated system that consolidates different functionalities into one easy-to-use platform and allows for inter-department collaboration. So, the company will enjoy better performance monitoring and system modernization without additional costs, equipment, manpower, or software. Lastly, customers can experience personalized support with the speed and accuracy of automated service across multiple channels.
Firms that rely heavily on phone support must consider computer telephony integration. Because a significant number of customers still prefer this communication channel, it should suit a fast-paced, modern world. Zendesk, an industry leader in cloud-based customer service platforms, has a competitive CTI product that can accomplish exactly that.
FREE WHITE PAPER: Moving the CX Needle: Ways to Measure Success in Customer Experience
How do you measure customer experience?
Latest posts by Matt Goldman (see all)
- How Enterprises Are Adopting Social Selling - September 19, 2017
- What Every Business Person Should Know About IT Sales & Marketing Tools - July 31, 2017
- What is Sales Channel Marketing Management and Strategy? - July 30, 2017