Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, Plantronics Q2 Results, SMB CRM in Cloud, Customer-Friendly IVR

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, Plantronics Q2 Results, SMB CRM in Cloud, Customer-Friendly IVR

Obviously this isn’t the first time you’ve heard somebody tell you that customer satisfaction is critical to customer loyalty. Certainly we hope you’re aware that customer loyalty is a key contributor to profits -- pretty much any reputable study will show that customers are far cheaper to keep than to acquire, and get more profitable the longer they stay with you.

But it’s devilishly hard to quantify customer satisfaction, much less measure and track it.

Speech analytics leader UTOPY offers a way to measure customer dissatisfaction on any call, company officials claim, “by precisely and comprehensively analyzing all calls. UTOPY detects any indication of customer dissatisfaction within every conversation by accurately analyzing the entire interaction.”

Again, it’s measuring almost exclusively dissatisfied customers, since satisfied customers rarely call in to say what a great job you’re doing.

One advantage to the UTOPY approach is that it can link post-call customer surveys directly to the actual call so the actual interaction can be heard and the survey results be tied back to specific agents, call reasons, products or more.

Read more here.

During the Plantronics Q2 Fiscal Year 2012 Financial Results conference call, the company reported second quarter fiscal 2012 net revenues of $176.9 million, compared with guidance provided in August 1 of $172 million to $177 million.

Plantronics' GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.60 in the second quarter, compared with $0.52 in the same quarter of the prior year. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.67 compared with $0.58 in the prior year quarter and guidance of $0.58 to $0.63. The difference between GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share for the second quarter includes stock-based compensation charges and purchase accounting amortizations, both net of the associated tax impact.

Plantronics’ Barbara V. Scherer termed the Q2 results “very strong, including that our non-GAAP operating income of $41.5 million was well above our guidance of $37 million to $40 million. This is primarily due to higher gross margin, which translated to higher operating margin.”

Read more here.

Are there good reasons for small businesses to use cloud services, like cloud business suites? Sure there are -- witness the many small businesses doing it -- but PCWorld offers six of the top ones here:

Save on infrastructure. Using cloud services means you don’t have to buy a whole lot of new servers, operating systems, and applications to provide IT services in-house, you simply pay a monthly fee to a cloud provider. Is this really that significant of a savings? Well, a decent server with OS and applications can run to tens of thousands of dollars. That counts as significant savings around here.

Save on setup and management. PCWorld gives this scenario: If your IT staff is unfamiliar with a new OS or application, it’s going to take you a long time, and lots of expense to get it all set up.

But if you go with a cloud provider, they can provide experienced administrators to do it for you -- frankly, probably better than you can do it yourself. This is especially important with cloud-based financial management services, which, if you’ve ever worked with them, you know how hard they are to set up. Plus the pros take care of managing the apps for you.

Read more here.

Okay, let’s all be honest here. Cops hate getting speeding tickets, hunters probably wouldn’t enjoy having the deer rifle in Bambi’s hands, and IVR pros really don’t like getting telemarketing calls during dinner any more than anybody else does.

“I hate telemarketers,” writes Angel’s Mike Ahnemann. “I don’t want what they are trying to sell me. Ever. I hate their robot dialer that calls me first to see if someone will answer before transferring me to a person standing by to sell me something... I hate it all so much that whenever there are a couple of seconds of silence after I say ‘Hello,’ I’ve always hung up, especially when the caller ID says ‘Unknown’ or ‘Blocked’.

But one day he got an IVR call with his local garbage company on the Caller ID, and listened out of sheer curiosity. Turns out the company wanted him to know that because of the holiday next week, his trash would be picked up on Wednesday. Then they added, “If you no longer want to receive reminders like this one, press 9 to be taken off our list. Thank you and goodbye.”

Wow -- useful IVR. Who knew?

IVR can also be used to remind people about prescriptions to be picked up, “update them about changes to their flight status, remind them of a dentist appointment, or confirm a service appointment for their car,” he writes, adding that some opt-in outbound campaigns help people learn to make exercise part of their normal routine or quit smoking.

Read more here.

Featured Events