The easiest way to get to know your customer.

A search log recently indicated that a reader was interested in knowing what Dell service tags told the company about the reader. From my understanding, they tell about virtually everything. And, that’s the beauty of them.

Service tags are great. They are one form of universal ID for your customers and the company. They give everyone at every level of the organization an idea about what the customer has, what type of account the customer is, etc. They tie service tags in with their IVR systems and call routing. It can be used for almost everything. I am surprised more companies don’t use similar methods.

So, something companies should try to is associate a service tag like process with all of their customers. It should be on every order, every ticket, and so on. Any employee should be able to enter it in their computers and get an idea about the customer. Just how much they would see would depend on their position, department, etc.

To me, this would be a nearly perfect experience:

Rep: Hello, thank you for calling Company XYZ. This is John Smith.
Customer: Yes, I have a problem with my web site.
Rep: I’d be more than happy to help you with that. May I have your name, please?
Customer: Yes – it’s Betty Jones.
Rep: Thank you, Ms. Jones. Do you happen to know your customer number? If I can get that, it’ll allow me to look up your account quickly.
Customer: Oh yes, it’s 123456.
Customer: Thank you, Ms. Jones. Let me check that out. Just a moment, please.

The representative would know all about the customer, her web site, and the rest. The representative could tell if Ms. Jones was a rude or angry customer (assuming it was recorded in the customer notes), how much Ms. Jones paid a month, and all about her recent service issues. See how useful that is?

An important thing to do is not go like: “Hello, thank you for calling. What is your customer number?” That is a bad way to start a conversation and makes the customer feel as if they are just a number. A surprising amount of companies do that.  

Here are some good things to associate with account IDs/service tags/etc.:

  • Name, address, phone numbers, etc.
  • Time customer has been with the company
  • Various products/services ordered or subscribed to
  • Configurations of various products/services
  • Any recent changes to product/services
  • Any current credits that have been issued
  • Open service issues (cases, tickets, etc.)
  • Previously closed service issues (cases, tickets, etc.)
  • Personal notes about customer (whatever may be added by previous representatives)

Basically anything about the customer, the product/service, and the account. Though it may sound creepy, you can never actually have enough information about the customer. Knowing a lot about them (if used properly) will help you provide better service. What is very tough is to organize all of the information and being able to easily access it.

More power to CRM done right! Tomorrow’s post is about replacing mundane ticket case numbers with account IDs/service tags/etc.