Friday, 18 March 2011

Customer Response Handling – An Introduction

Response handling can be considered one of the most important elements within customer service and more widely, business. Put simply, response handling is the mechanisms put in place by a business, or an outsourcer, to deal with customer enquiries, orders and complaints. By defining and putting these mechanisms in place early in a marketing campaign or a longer term customer communication strategy, it is possible for businesses to apply a logical approach to each and every customer interaction.

The way in which response handling is performed defines the customer experience and as such is one of the key building blocks of a positive brand image and successful marketing campaigns.

Response handling activities can utilise a range different communication channels such as telephone email, SMS, social media and direct mail. The selection of these channels is largely dependent upon the preferences of the target audience to ensure the appropriate response channels are used.

Response handling actions can form part of a larger customer strategy or even be directly linked to a marketing campaign. Essentially, a short term project will utilise personnel that are trained to answer enquiries on a specific product or promotion for the duration of a marketing campaign. In contrast, long term response handling activities will use staff that are well versed in the business, and will typically form part of wider customer communication initiative.

Like so many other aspects of customer interaction one of the key components of effective response handling is managing data correctly. It is by collecting and analysing this data that it is possible to extract the maximum value from each and every customer interaction.

With the right response handling activities being undertaken it is possible to hone and refine customer engagement, whilst simultaneously improving the wider service offering. The resultant benefits are myriad and include improved customer services, the creation of a positive brand image and subsequently, increased customer loyalty. By outsourcing this task it is possible to not only make financial savings but also to secure adept, professional services that significantly improve business/customer relationships