With a new customer relationship management tool, Drugstore.com has reduced by about 20% the average time its customer service reps spend answering questions from consumers, vice president of customer care Ron Kelly says.
“We’re dealing with a hundred thousand customer contacts in any given week, but now when a customer contacts us we can solve issues faster,” Kelly says.
Drugstore, No. 41 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, deployed its customer service technology from RightNow Technologies earlier this year. The program includes live chat and a CRM application that manages incoming customer e-mails and organizes product and customer data on employees’ desktops.
Now when customers seek to answer questions through the retailer’s self-help tools, they can upgrade in some cases to a live chat session with an agent. Each agent, meanwhile, can serve customers more quickly because they can access several applications and databases from a single desktop screen. “In the past, an agent may have had 10 different tools to toggle through while serving customers, but with the unified desktop they can get these tools as well as inbound e-mail questions faster,” Kelly says.
Kelly adds that some of the improvement in customer call times may also be related to new and faster computers Drugstore installed this year.
The new system additionally enables the retailer to better track volume and records and customer contact sessions sorted by e-mail, live chat and telephone, Kelly says.
Drugstore also uses RightNow technology behind its customer self-help tools, which it first deployed in 2005. The self-help section of its web site has led to a drop of about 15-20% drop in the number of inquiries by customers to the contact center, Kelly says.