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Is Improperly Used CRM Dragging Your Customer Support Down?

February 14, 2012

While companies have been adopting ever more technology to try and support their customers to the best of their abilities – the sales figures for customer support solutions and applications bear witness to this – customers have never been more dissatisfied. Weird? A bit. And it might just be a function of improperly chosen, implemented and used customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

The CEO of contact center process optimization company Jacada, Gideon “Giddy” Hollander, recently put forth some theories on the radio show Business Technology News Hour, discussing why he believes CRM is impeding call center agents from interacting with their customers more fully due to overly automated processes and complex CRM systems.

“I believe that CRM systems were not originally built to help your call center agents talk to your customers, they were built to manage the customer. Traditional CRM solutions route and re-route customers through automated processes and wind up making seemingly simple tasks into very long and drawn out processes,” said Hollander. “You could say that ultimately CRM creates expensive customer conversations.”

CRM, of course, spans multiple departments: sales, accounting, marketing, procurement, legal and...yes...the call center. Because CRM supports so many functions, it can become confusing to many, who find the sheer amount of information contained in the CRM solution overwhelming, and they become easily distracted by information they really don’t need. Call center agents, in particular, need to be able to navigate the information they require from the CRM solution quickly, said Hollander.

“It’s easier to measure average handle time versus first call resolution -- whether they call again or not,” he said. “The shortest route an agent has to take to increase their first call resolution is far and away the primary concern of our customers. When agents have to work through a cumbersome CRM system they are wasting precious time. We believe there is a better tool for agents to use than a CRM system.”

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for ContactCenterSolutions. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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