• Michael Intravartolo

5 Top Customer Service Takeaways from CRMUG Summit



CRMUG Summit 2015 landed record-setting attendance numbers recently with Microsoft Dynamics CRM users across sales, marketing and service converging to share use cases, tips and successes in their areas of expertise. Conference attendees landed some terrific takeaways including these five related to the Summit’s new customer service track:

  1. Service is a Growing CRM Investment. According to a newly published report titled Buying Intentions – CRM from Nucleus Research, service is a becoming a key CRM investment for more and more executives. The report finds that CRM buyers are budgeting for 2016 now, and projected 2016 CRM spend will be up 22% over 2015. Of the executives interviewed in the survey, 34% said their CRM spending will be sales related, 31% will be service related, and 19% will be marketing related, with 11% saying other. Read the full report here.

  2. Knowledge is Power in Service and Support. For the first time in the history of Forrester Research’s North American Consumer Technographics Customer Life Cycle Survey, consumers now say they are using self-service FAQ pages on a company’s website for customer service more often than speaking with a live agent on the phone. According to the survey, self-service channel usage has increased from 67% in 2012 to 76% in 2014, while phone usage remains the same at 73%. These findings correspond with another recent survey from CEBthat says 57.7% of customers will first visit a company's website to resolve their issues. Brands such as Ask.com and nTelos Wireless are putting their knowledge to good use by empowering customers with the answers and information they need 24/7 via an organized, searchable self-service portal. And it’s not just the customers who are benefiting. Ask.com estimates a savings of close to $3 millionover the past three years since the brand implemented its self-service knowledge offering. nTelos Wireless estimates a $160,000/month savings due in part to a 20% reduction in phone calls to customer care and the increased efficiencies associated with its recent self-service knowledge implementation. Read more about the success nTelos Wireless has realized in customer service here.

  3. Customer Service Maturity Yields Measurable Gains. Customer service maturity when it comes to leveraging technology can be measured in three distinct stages, according to Nucleus Research Vice President Rebecca Wettemann. These stages are functional, tactical and dynamic, and increasing maturity yields gains in many areas, including productivity. Average productivity gains of brands and organizations operating at the functional stage are typically 5 – 12%; moving to the tactical maturity stage increases productivity by an additional 5 – 8%, and brands and organizations that advance to the dynamic stage realize additional productivity gains of 4 – 6%. Read more about each stage of customer service maturity and the benefits realized by numerous brands and organizations here.

  4. Higher Education is Setting a High Bar in Service and Support. Higher education institutions such as Georgia State University are leveraging customer service best practices learned from brands known for service excellence and applying it to student, parent, staff and alumni service and support. Georgia State utilizes SLA best practices, tracking and reporting, and multichannel channel customer service technology to serve students as customers and proactively provide students with the information they need in key areas such as enrollment and financial aid. Read more about how higher education and customer service go together here.

  5. Microsoft is Focused on the Future of Customer Service. At CRMUG Summit 2015, general manager Bill Patterson previewed Microsoft’s upcoming CRM 2016 release and showed that the company is firmly focused on the future of customer service fueled by recent additions in knowledge, portals, field service, gamification, Voice of the Customer and more aimed to create one of the most comprehensive service solutions available. CRMUG Summit attendees previewed features of both Microsoft’s customer service and Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s overall intelligent customer engagement offerings including Microsoft Social Engagement, Fantasy Sales Team capabilities, a next generation customer service UX and more. Read more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s upcoming release here.

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