5 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Email Management System
Today’s customer service world is becoming increasingly omnichannel. Customers expect service through a wide variety of contact points with your company, which includes venerable old email.
What are the things you need to consider when selecting an email management platform for your contact center? Just as there is no one-size-fits-all solution to providing a good customer experience to your customers, there is no single set of criteria for selecting the best software solution for your business. However, there are a few factors you can consider, so you can choose the best email management system that fits your needs.
Why Choose Email?
Some may argue that email is an old and obsolete touchpoint in today’s increasingly sophisticated customer environment. Modern smartphones give customers a wide variety of ways to get in touch with businesses and companies. With that said, email is still a channel of great importance. While voice is still the most effective and popular touchpoint, emails are important for specific types of inquiries and have advantages that other channels do not.
An immediate response isn’t always required. While there’s still a certain amount of time expected in the service level agreement, agents can take their time to answer with the correct response and customers can take their time when acknowledging a reply.
It provides a convenient 24/7 channel which is not restricted by work hours.
It’s a great way to follow up on a customer’s other interactions in another channel
It’s most suited for communications where detailed step-by-step instructions are required, or when screenshots, documents or other files need to be sent.
It has a documented paper trail of communication, making it easier to refer to in future communications, or for providing proof of what has been discussed.
On the other hand, emails aren’t always the best choice.
Tends to have long queues. While it’s true that you don’t need to answer an email immediately, the email queue tends to get long and it still needs a good-sized team to handle all the interactions. The longer the customer waits for an answer, the more thorough they expect it to be, so this can work against you in terms of customer satisfaction.
It’s harder to get a tone of compassion across. Written discourse doesn’t always clearly convey our emotions or intent. An agent can misinterpret a customer’s emotions. The customer may get the wrong idea or even react negatively at an agent’s choice of words.
It’s harder to clarify questions. If the inquiry isn’t very clear or specific, a lot of time can be wasted trying to get a good handle on the actual concern of the customer. In these cases, it may be better to respond with a callback.
Email is better suited to certain issues or complaints. If your customer has a quick or highly specific question, it may make more sense to send an email rather than be held up on a phone call. Likewise, some concerns are better reserved for voice, chat or other channels.
What are some of the things you need to consider in the actual software solution?
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when making your selection.
Agents have to contend with the software interface while dealing with customers. If the desktop interface is too complex, this gets in the way of them interacting with the customer. You want a software solution that “disappears” due to intuitive controls, sleek design, and predictive AI that triggers smart prompts for the best actions, scripts and other things to help the agent with the email.
Another big necessity in any email system is a spam filter. Unnecessary emails which come from various marketing campaigns are a reality in today’s world. These can take up your agents’ time and cause huge losses in productivity.
Following the same philosophy of making things “invisible” for your agents, a good email platform automatically removes spam and other non-actionable emails so that your people can focus on real problems and issues that come into the inbox.
These are filters which intelligently route emails where they need to go based on business rules you can setup. Emails are then sent to the appropriate agent or department, improving both agent and business efficiency. Even if your center isn’t handling much volume, it’s a good feature to have and it’s vital as your operations grow and become larger. Different departments which handle different things will be needed as your business grows and keeping all the email volume going where they need to be is a key in making it all run smoothly. This will drive agent efficiency and response rates, making sure the customers have the best experience.
For today’s customer experience landscape, it is essential that the email system has full CRM integration. CRM allows your system to track each customer individually and build a profile for each one based on their interactions with your company and other data you have about them, such as their social media activity. This allows the email system to create targeted, tailored messages that are automatically sent out during marketing campaigns and other account communications.
With proper CRM integration, the system is capable of identifying the emailer through pop-ups that identify the customer through the email and instantly give agents the context they need regarding that particular customer in order to be as helpful as possible.
Lastly, the email management system should also be integrated into the rest of your center’s operations. The system should use the same ticketing system as voice, chat, and other contact points in your center. Multichannel/omnichannel support is one of the latest trends in the industry and ensuring that the platform you choose works well on all contact points or has the capacity to cover all of them, is important to remain competitive.
In the end, the most important thing is the customer experience. Make your choice with the idea that it should bring out the best experience for your agents and your customers. It’ll go a long way in ensuring you choose the correct platform for your center.