How to Ensure Your Customer Support Records Are Always Current

Keeping Customer Relationship Management (CRM) records and related customer support data current is a big problem for many businesses in many industries, especially when those records require updates on a regular basis.

But what if there was an easy trick that made it much easier to stay on top of these updates?

Take, for example, an environmental consulting firm who specializes in air quality monitoring and has a wide network of monitoring stations throughout the country. The firm provides technical and data communications support to their network of site operators as well as their own field specialists when they are on-site.

As you might imagine, their phone rings often and the technical support staff deals with all kinds of issues that are supposed to be recorded in their version of a customer support database: their “Site Status Log”. Any support calls, communications restarts, and problems discussed are supposed to be logged into the appropriate record by site immediately.

Unfortunately, this information is never completely logged for a variety of reasons: the tech may receive another call two minutes (or less) after the last one, they may not be near a computer when they take every call, or they just hate the process of logging in and locating the records so they take notes in their own logbook.

Procrastination usually causes these records to stay there for days (and even weeks) when they should be logged right away for the next time a call comes in from the same site – which, if there are still problems to be resolved, is often hours later.

This firm does its best to stay staffed and keep their tech support on top of things, but when their primary role is to provide phone support and the phones get busy, the note entry responsibilities take a backseat.

And unfortunately, it’s incredibly difficult in any industry for you or your employees to make business decisions and move your business forward when your notes and records aren’t up to date.

If you also have customers or clients (and what business doesn’t?) you also need centralized info. Who talked to this customer last? Where are they in the current (sales, support, etc.) process?

Fortunately, a quick and easy hack using basic features of your phone system could make the record entry process much more efficient. Here’s how:

  1. You (or your communications provider, or your IT guy) set up a common voice mailbox for your employees to dial after every support call to capture details.
  2. Your support staff immediately calls this mailbox after each call and leaves a quick message about what was discussed and what needs to be done to follow up with that contact.
  3. That mailbox is tied to voicemail-to-email.
  4. Each voicemail is emailed to a designated transcriber (it could be a virtual assistant, in-house admin or even your receptionist).
  5. That transcriber updates the contact record with the details in message.

There you have it: drop the message to the transcriber. They key it into your database. All you have to tell your support staff to do is get off the call, dial the mailbox extension, and leave quick “note” message about who they spoke with, the subject and action items, and any tasks that need to be completed.

This simple hack has given you a call log, a task set up to get back with the contact, and a note about what still needs to be done. You now have an efficient system in place for updating records that doesn’t interfere with your support staff’s capacity for handling incoming calls. This be done for meeting notes too.

How simple is that?