BSBCUE301 – Process Customer Information Using Multiple Information Systems Copy
Analyse Customer Enquiry to Identify Information Needs
In order to correctly process a customer’s request, it is first important to identify the customer. A customer could be:
• A colleague
• Internal or external customers of the organisation
• User, purchaser or beneficiary of a service, product, or process.
It is important to identify who the customer is as different types of customers can have different types of information needs. The type of enquiry can dictate the type of information system that may need to be used or accessed when dealing with the enquiry.
Identify Information Systems Required to Satisfy Information Needs
Different enquiries will warrant different types of information systems being used when trying to satisfy customer information needs. The reason different information systems may need to be used when dealing with enquiries is because different types of information may need to be accessed which may be available on the various information systems found in the organisation.
As an example, consider a customer who has a query regarding payment of an invoice. When speaking to the customer service representative officer, the customer will indicate that the nature of the call is in regards to invoice payment. This will act as an indicator to the representative to access the billing system that controls the company’s finances. This then allows the customer service representative to easily access the information required.
On the other hand, in another situation, an employee is unsure on the process that needs to be followed when submitting an escalation report. Information such as this will be located on the company’s Intranet system, as do all the other organisational policies and procedures. Thus, the important element then is for the employee to understand that this is where he/she will be able to find the necessary information which will allow the employee to correctly submit an escalation to report.
Correctly identifying the required information system can be done by:
• Clear communication channels
• Active listening
• Familiarity with organisational policies and procedures
• Refined skills and knowledge in all the information systems in the organisation or those specific to job role.
Use Information Systems According to Organisational Processes to Complete Customer Enquiry or Transaction
Information systems used within organisations usually have several functions, which means that they are able to carry out a variety of tasks which can produce different types of results. An information system will be used within an organisation because the organisation has a need for the functions found in that particular system. Whilst most functions would be used, sometimes only particular functions are required by an organisation, depending on what they want the end result to be.
Whatever the reason an organisation employs a particular information system for; the organisation will develop particular processes that need to be followed in order to use the functions in the systems. These processes will be based on best practice methods as well as the want to produce a particular result.
Take, for example, using a billing system to create a bill or invoice for a customer. Organisational processes may require a customer service representative to create the invoice using an already created invoice template. This template will be directly accessible from the billing system or from a templates folder found in the company’s Intranet. Once the template has been retrieved then the employee needs to follow certain processes so to insert the correct customer address and name in order that all details are correct when an invoice is printed.
Record Customer Information in Information Systems to Complete Customer Enquiry or Transaction
Depending on the organisation, the type of enquiry or transaction, and whether the customer is a first time customer or a repeat customer, there may be a requirement to record customer information within certain information systems. The information systems most likely to be used to record such information would either be in a database system or in a billing system.
The types of customer information that may be recorded can include:
• Email address
• Contact phone numbers, a fax number if applicable
• The product or service they purchase
• Membership number/loyalty card number/customer reference number.
If a customer is a first time customer, then these details will make it easier for a customer representative to liaise with the customer in future dealings. This recording of information can also allow the organisation to send out newsletters or pieces of correspondence to the customer or maybe even contact them via telephone to talk to them about services that may be relevant to them. For example, some banks may contact a customer and inform them of a service they may be eligible for such as credit cards or being eligible for a home loan based on the amount of money a customer has in their savings account.
If a customer chooses to become a member of a company’s loyalty program, these details are collected from customers so that the organisation may keep in touch with the customer.
Use the Shortest Reasonable Pathways to Navigate Between and Within Information Systems
Breadcrumb trail is the term designated to a navigation aid that helps a user work their way around an information system. A breadcrumb trail will look something similar to this:
Home>Client Database>Investors>Mr Malcolm Mac>Contact details
Home>Suppliers>Macro Stationery Pty Ltd
Basically, when using a program or system, the user will start on the Home page and from there select what information they want to access. In the first instance, the user wants to access the Client Database. Once they have gained access to that page, they want to have a look at the contact details for a particular investor of theirs, Mr Malcolm Mac. Once in his profile, his contact details are accessed.
Now, with the breadcrumb trail, the user can click on any of the option in the trail to access that section. If the user wanted to go back to the home page, they simply need to click on ‘Home’ and they will be redirected to the home page. If the user wanted to gain access to the details for the repair and maintenance man after having looked at the stationery supplier’s details, the user simply clicks on Supplier on the breadcrumb trail and then locates the repair man’s profile.
This navigation aid is also found on some websites. On both the websites and any internal systems where this aid is used, it is usually found near the top of the page or display screen.
Another regularly used tool to help with the ease of navigation with an information system is the use of page navigation area which is usually found on the left or right of the page. This navigation tool allows users to select the content they want to view or access.
Maintain Contact and Communication with the Customer While Operating Information Systems
Using information systems whilst looking for information or inputting new information can sometimes take a bit of time. Where this occurs and the customer is either waiting on the telephone or they are in the office area or the shop front, keeping contact with a customer is important. There are a number of reasons this should be done:
• Reduce customer frustration/annoyance where there are delays
• It is polite to keep customers informed on the progress of their query.
As a customer representative is working through entering the customer’s information into a system or as they attend to the query, they may talk the process through with the customer. This can act as a clarification process whereby the customer may clarify any incorrect information they may hear, such as an out-dated postal address. Also, further clarification can be sought by the customer when they hear something ambiguous.
Verify Information with Customer to Complete Transaction
Verifying information with a customer before a transaction is completed is one of the most important steps to cover in the customer contact role. Why? By going over what has been asked or requested by the customer and highlighting what has been done to satisfy their request, a level of reassurance and trust is developed between a customer and the customer representative. By fully satisfying a customer’s request, the customer will feel valued because the rep has taken the time and initiative to listen, pay attention, and correctly carry out the request.
Verifying information also allows for any unclear pieces of information to be clarified. The customer has a chance to ask any further questions or raise any concerns that they may have regarding the product or service they are interested in.
Furthermore, this is an opportunity for the organisation to check that they have covered all aspects of the customer’s query. This is important from a productivity point of view. An organisation needs to deal with each customer as efficiently and effectively the first time round. By doing this, it allows the organisation to help and attend to other customers and thus work towards meeting team or organisational goals. Thus by verifying information with the customer, it can reduce the chances of a repeated phone call from the customer where the same query needs to be attended to.
Customer service levels can vary between organisations, thus small efforts such as verifying information with the customer and ensuring that the correct information is relayed back to the customer can certainly make an impact on how well a company is perceived by a customer.
• Different customers will have different queries and as a result, employees should be able to identify which information system is needed for the enquiries.
• These information systems will have to be used following organisational processes.
• Organisational requirements will expect the relevant customer information to be recorded in the appropriate information systems.
• Navigation aids, such as a breadcrumb trail, are a tool sometimes found on information systems.
• It is good practice to continually keep contact with the customer while an employee operates the information system as well to verify all information with the customer before ending the transaction.