Customer Support Metrics Without a Call Center

I just read a good write-up on measuring call center success, and it makes a lot of sense.

But, what about those smaller firms looking to increase customer satisfaction (or at least measure it) and do not have a call center in place? That is where a strong SMB-oriented CRM suite can be really fruitful. If a small business just has a sales automation tool in place – they lose a lot in terms of down-the-line visibility. And even if a customer support application is installed, integrating the two can be expensive.

But with a full suite – priced right for a business of any size (cough, cough shameless Sugar plug cough cough) – anyone can become a CSR. Instant visibility into any emails, cases that a customer has made are attached right to the account record. So, a sales person can be the front line service provider – insuring all accounts are given the best possible service.

Again, with an integrated suite comes integrated reporting. Deep case reports can give instant insight. This is not “how long were my agents on the phone” that is more germane to call center managers. We’re talking more “how many customers are unhappy” and gets more to the meat of customer satisfaction. Call times and other metrics are great for staffing and budgeting an effective and efficient call center – but even without one companies can leverage an integrated CRM suite to provide more intelligent service, and gauge effectiveness.

It is pretty simple stuff – but too often I see the customer support articles in the media centered on the call center, ignoring the fact that the largest base of CRM users probably will never have a standalone call center.