Do you need help?

Customer Service News
15 Jan 2008

Virtual customer service scores points for cost benefits

Companies are not taking advantage of the potential savings to be had from modern Internet solutions

Online service cheaper than phone and fax

Virtual customer service scores points for cost benefits 
Companies are not taking advantage of the potential savings to be had from modern Internet solutions 
Online service cheaper than phone and fax 
Customer service neglects online dialogue  
Nearly every second Internet company in Germany does without modern customer service solutions. Altogether, less than just seven per cent of all incoming customer enquiries are processed via live chats, virtual customer service agents or dynamic FAQ systems. By contrast, more than 80 per cent stick to the personnel-intensive channels of telephone contact, fax or e-mail. Communication via the established channels does, however, cost substantially more. These were the findings of the survey Multichannel-Management conducted by the software provider novomind AG in collaboration with the trade journal TeleTalk. 
Online tools still far behind fax and e-mail service  
Apart from the personal conversation on site or over the phone, the main communication channels used in customer service are e-mail and fax. Nine out of ten Internet companies use e-mail in customer communications. Amazingly: up to a quarter of all customer enquiries are still dealt with by fax. 
The trend is toward low-cost online Services  
Over the coming years, more and more company websites will be answering customer enquiries by means of virtual service agents, dynamic FAQs and live chats. The nearly 200 respondents, skilled and management staff stated that the number of Internet dialogue tools used in customer management would rise from the current seven to 17 per cent. The chief reason for this is cost. Customer enquiries made via online systems cost an average of just ten cents each. Replying to an e-mail enquiry will cost a company as much as an average five euros. The use of fax or telephone takes the cost per enquiry up to as much as six euros. 
Customers extremely satisfied with online service  
Intelligent web solutions have usually already paid for themselves after just a few months. But it’s not just the cost of customer service that can be brought down with the aid of dialogue-oriented online tools. At the same time, customer satisfaction with the Internet service is also greater, especially as compared with e-mail service. As a result, where the volume of enquiries coming in is high, Internet solutions are more popular on average than e-mail communication with its built-in time delays. Companies receiving more than 800,000 customer enquiries each year already handle more service cases via their website than with the aid of e-mail or fax. At the latest from an annual 50,000 customer enquiries upwards, e-mail clearly loses significance as a communication channel. In order to escape being overwhelmed by e-mail, companies are increasingly placing the emphasis on customer communications via telephone hotline and the Internet, which make it possible to provide fast, efficient and service-oriented replies to enquiries. 
novomind at CallCenterWorld 2008  
From 19 to 21 February 2008, novomind AG will be exhibiting at Hall 5, Stand A2 of CallCenterWorld at the Estrel Convention Center in Berlin, 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.