First Technology Pty. Ltd.'s South Africa call center has been upgraded, boosting customer service and enabling the independent ICT solutions provider to strengthen customer relationships, deliver new services and lower costs. This is according to Ronel Swart, First Technology's national call center manager.
She explains that the national call center is also gearing up to provide a cost-effective, highly customizable and well-supported CRM system to First Technology's customers. "Having one toll-free number makes it easy for customers to reach us, and has enabled us to improve service levels nationally, regardless of the caller's location," she says.
She explains that by dialling the toll-free number, customers get through to the Johannesburg office, and are swiftly transferred to a branch closest to their location.
"Keeping accurate client records is extremely important," Swart continues. For this reason the call center maintains a national database that holds detailed customer information, ranging from the equipment they have installed to asset and warranty data, which is updated regularly, she adds.
"With our system there are no limits to giving and receiving information," she says. "Our database also holds historical information, such as the number and types of calls logged over a period. This enables us to give reports to the clients at regular intervals, which they find very useful in terms of getting the bigger picture of what is happening with technology in their organization. For us, it lets us know exactly who we are dealing with, so that we can provide appropriate service."
Likewise, there are no boundaries when it comes to resolving calls. "Service means resolving every call to a customer's satisfaction. Our procedures allow for a call to be escalated to the highest level in our customers' organization. For instance, the system can automatically inform the ICT director, who is based at head office, that the server at his or her branch in another location is still down, after the four hours agreed upon in the SLA," she adds.
According to Swart, the upgraded service has allowed the call center team to be consistent. "Our customers know that they can expect the same level of commitment with each call that is logged," says Swart.
In future the call center intends to take full advantage of SMS technology to send alerts to technicians in the field, notifying them of a pending job. "We continually aim to quicken turn-around times and query resolution and SMS technology is one way to achieve this. Once the technician has completed the job, he or she will send us an SMS back and we will immediately update the call logging and tracking system. So the next time that the client calls, we will have their history immediately available," concludes Swart.