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Aspiring CRM leaders need to scrutinize front line reps

by Scott Wallask

April 5, 2011

By Scott Wallask, SAP Experts

On the one hand these days, there seems to be a lot of cool ideas and applications coming out for CRM. On the other hand, getting crippled in your company's customer service efforts can still be quite simple.

What a tricky chasm to have to bridge if you a customer service champion. The good news is that services like the cloud, SAP Sales OnDemand, and the 360 degree view of customers all have planted firm stakes into the effort of gaining, understanding, and keeping new customers. They're exciting developments -- maybe your company can use them, maybe not, but either way it's nice to see renewed options. Our recent CRM 2011 conference indicated a lot of interest in SAP CRM's new solutions.

But if you ever notice your customer service chain is broken, I bet if you start looking for the busted link, it will appear at the front line. I am reminded over and over that a superior customer service program wi ll get tripped up and fouled if a company employs uncaring customer service reps.

Just this week during a call with a national phone carrier, I was told by a rep that my conversation was unproductive and that he'd like to get to his other queries "because Monday is the busiest day of the week for calls."

Sounds like the guy is overworked, which is unfortunate. But the rep also clearly wanted me off the phone, which sends a crystal clear message about how my needs as a customer are viewed. And there is no way I was the only person that day getting this warm reception.

To the rep, his job was all about how many calls he had coming in. The concern about quantity won out over any concern about quality. The greatest SAP CRM application can't clear that hurdle without a critical look at exactly who gets hired to represent a company on the phone.

Follow Scott on Twitter @crmexpert1

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