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Customer Service News
29 Jan 2008

E-mails more and more popular with customers

More than 90 per cent of all businesses provide customer care via e-mail

E-mail management systems make for greater efficiency and customer satisfaction

Good marks for customer care by e-mail  
E-mail correspondence is becoming increasingly popular with customers and now almost parallels telephone customer support (school marks 2.1 to 1.9). Companies also value e-mail as a particularly efficient written medium for dialogues with their clientele: fax and “snail-mail” communications cost them respectively 20 and 40 per cent more (fax earns 2.6 marks, the letter 2.4). Customer care via text message has not yet won people over, earning an average mark of just 3.1, showing it to be the most unpopular customer relations tool. These were the findings of the Multichannel Management survey conducted by the software developer novomind AG in collaboration with the trade journal TeleTalk. 
E-mail holds an established place in the orchestra of customer communications   E-mail has played its way into the front ranks of the orchestra of customer communications. Some 93 per cent of all companies in Germany now use e-mail to correspond with their customers, for example for taking orders, after-sales service or support. This means that more companies are already using the communication channel e-mail more than telephone services (92 per cent) and direct, on-the-spot conversation with the customer (84 per cent). Above all, digital post is taking the place of the classic letter, with one-quarter of all companies already having stopped postal correspondence with their customers altogether. 

One-third of all customer enquiries are now even being dealt will entirely via e-mail dialogue. In business transactions with end consumers, the success rate is as much as 50 per cent. Clearly, companies have long ceased to use e-mail only for sending out information and promotion material. Digital post has gradually become a genuine dialogue tool. The success rate for telephone calls is only about 10 per cent higher. The reason for this is chiefly that the details of a matter can be described and clarified in real time over the telephone. 
Electronic post rooms optimise the efficiency and service quality of e-mail communications  
While offering a similar level of customer satisfaction, the e-mail, which costs an average five euros per enquiry answered, is nearly 20 per cent cheaper than telephone customer care. Depending on the enquiry volume, a switch to e-mail communications can save several hundred thousand euros in consulting and service costs. Caution is recommended here, however. Particularly where a transition from verbal communication channels to the seemingly less personal form of e-mail dialogue is concerned, it is wise to optimise service quality systematically in order to keep processing time to an absolute minimum. There are few things customers find more annoying than receiving an inappropriate answer after a long wait for a reply. That’s why companies are now using intelligent post rooms more and more frequently. So-called e-mail response management systems speed up response times by interpreting more than 80 per cent of all incoming e-mails correctly, classifying them and passing them on to the appropriate recipient within the company. Hooked up to a central knowledge database, the system generates automatic reply suggestions with which the customer service agent can create speedy, specific and personalised replies to enquiries. The replies can be edited and the database is constantly being updated with new knowledge modules so that all customer service agents always have the latest information at their disposal. This results in cost and time savings per customer enquiry for the company and, at the same time, service quality is constantly improved. 
novomind at CallCenterWorld 2008  
From 19 to 21 February 2008, novomind AG will be at CallCenterWorld in the Estrel Convention Center Berlin, hall 5, stand A2, where the Hamburg-based software developer will be presenting its innovative solutions for digital customer communications. 
novomind AG: innovative software for professional customer communications  
Hamburg-based software company novomind is the fastest-growing company in the fields of electronic customer communication and mail management. As a leading provider of innovative solutions for digital customer communication, novomind AG offers software for service-based, personalised interaction with customers. This achieves noticeable increases in the efficiency of customer administration, as well as a fast return on investment. The service portfolio of the Products Business Unit includes the novomind Self Service Suite. This software package contains all of the communication modules required for a customer service centre, which revolve around a central knowledge base: e-mail management, virtual customer consulting and systems for interactive real-time communication. In its Services Business Unit, novomind AG implements complex eBusiness applications. More than 40 big-name companies have already opted for novomind technology, including Citibank, Otto and the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund (German Pensions Association). Club Bertelsmann, EnBW and Mexx, as well as public sector institutions such as the German Bundestag and the Federal Ministry of Economics, are already using novomind systems successfully to back up their customer communication, increase their turnover and improve their public relations.