When to move on from Outlook

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

If you’re receiving 30 or more emails a day, Outlook or any other standard email client is not designed to meet your needs.

Recent studies show that 88% of consumers emailing an online organization expect to receive a response within 24 hours, and 33% say they will not do business with a company if they do not receive a response within an hour of sending their message. Most organizations realize the importance of responsive, professional customer service, yet more often than not they fail to meet their own expectations, or more importantly, their customers. When analyzing why most organizations are not providing quality service via email, you must first look at the tools with which they have to correspond.

As a personal email client, Outlook is an excellent solution to send, receive, and organize individual messages. It also has the lowest learning curve, as company representatives are accustomed to its design and functionality. However, as inbound business email traffic to your organization increases, personal email clients are not equipped to properly route and track messages to meet customer service standards. Automatically routing messages to the appropriate parties or groups, tracking messages and how quickly they are being responded to, alerting executives when messages aren’t responded to in a timely fashion, are all essential functions that are necessary to ensure that business email is being responded to quickly and in accordance with your company guidelines. Personal email clients do not provide this level of functionality.

Email Response Management Systems are designed to remedy these problems, and provide organizations with the essential tools to capitalize on all inbound messages. They are the logical progression from personal email clients to collective business wide email clients, allowing representatives to view all customer history correspondence, create and use standard responses to most frequently asked questions, easily distribute messages to appropriate representatives and more.

Administrators proactively route messages to groups and individuals using highly flexible routing criteria (email to or from address, message content, subject line, etc.), are notified if messages aren’t answered in a reasonable time frame, track emails - who answered what and how quickly, report on overall email traffic and individual performance, and much more.

Akin to the progression from individual phone lines to a phone distribution tree, email management systems automatically route emails to appropriate groups and individuals and ensure quality, timely responses, resulting in vastly improved customer satisfaction and immediate, recognizable ROI.