When a customer has a problem, concern, or question about their purchased product or service, they expect answers—quick answers—from their vendor. In the manufacturing world, this response is commonly referred to as customer service and it is informed by a variety of information portals. In addition, the initial point of contact for service with a customer is often determined by the customers themselves, depending on the urgency of the issue and the historical reliability of the vendor to react to customer inquiries.
These points of customer service contact can include telephone, the Internet, and even traditional face-to-face interactions. To this end, customer information portals in a company and communicated between departments within a company, in combination with customer service points of contact, are the foundation of Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
When it comes to CRM and customer contact, it is simply common sense (though less commonly realized) that customers not only want the quickest possible service response, but they want intelligent service. In customer service, perception plays a great psychological role in the way a customer feels about a response. For example, in some of the most automated CRM applications, and some service web methods, real time does not always (more…)