While you may be sick of hearing about the “new normal,” the undeniable truth is that COVID-19 has changed the customer experience forever. Consumers have inevitably expanded their online presence, and their digital behaviors continue to shift as customers switch to brands offering more convenience and better customer experiences.
However, this doesn’t mean that customer loyalty is a thing of the past. It means businesses need to adapt to changing customer needs in order to survive.
Seems fairly simple, right? But many companies struggled over the past year because they either didn’t know how to adapt, or they simply refused to do so.
The companies that managed to thrive despite the pandemic were successful because they understood the single most important CX takeaway from 2020: Customers now expect businesses to meet their needs with empathy.
Why Empathy Matters in the Call Center
You may be familiar with the saying, “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” It refers to Maslow’s Hammer, a concept that implies that an over-reliance on a familiar tool limits our ability to solve problems.
A hammer is not the best tool for every job. So why would you use a hammer to fix everything without considering other options?
We’ll leave it to the psychologists to answer that question. But what we can conclude is that the inability to think outside the box and view problems from a different perspective is endemic to call centers.
Many QA managers prefer to “make do” with the technology they have rather than searching for better alternatives.
Think of it this way: outdated quality monitoring technology is just like the hammer. Businesses that refuse to keep up with current call center technology trends will miss the nail every time.
And businesses that use tools and technology that encourage agents to show empathy are in a better position to understand, and more importantly, respond to shifting customer needs in a post-COVID world.
And to help your business do that, here are a few call center technology trends that encourage empathy training and support your business’s changing needs.
Customer & Agent Sentiment Analysis
One of the best advancements in call quality monitoring technology is sentiment analysis and emotion detection. In a word, sentiment analysis “grades” the overall emotion within a conversation, while emotion detection measures the overall tone of the conversation. This new trend in automated tools provides a clear understanding of what’s happening within each call.
Let’s look at CallFinder View as an example. It automatically calculates the overall sentiment rating for every agent-customer interaction. This gives managers quick insights into how their customers feel overall after a call, and how well their agents handled calls with heightened emotion.
This advancement in call center technology is particularly effective for conducting in-depth searches for trends such as the following:
- Hold times
- Silent patches
- Agents talking over customers
- Basic emotional responses
Sentiment analysis is a cost-saving way to map and analyze every customer interaction to help managers evaluate, train, coach, and apply root cause analysis.
Silence & Overtalk Detection
Nothing shows empathy more than actively listening to a customer. And nothing teaches agents active listening skills like hard data. Silence and overtalk detection is simple. This tool uses call transcriptions to measure the amount of silence and overtalk in a call.
By measuring periods of silence and overtalk, QA managers get expanded agent performance information on the following:
- Identifying agent gaps in listening skills
- Unprepared employees who need more intensive training with CS tools
- Agents who need one-on-one script training
- Common customer pain points
When used together, sentiment analysis and other conversation metrics quickly reveal why customers are upset in the first place. This gives proactive managers a place to start when training call center employees to show empathy.
Automated Agent Scorecards
If you’re looking for a more advanced solution, CallFinder Acuity provides more granular data on your agents’ emotional intelligence. For example, the home improvement giant, Kohler, worked with CallFinder to improve their call center operations. You can read the full article over at 800response.
For Kohler, one of the key takeaways of using CallFinder’s interaction analytics was seeing the need for a high degree of emotional intelligence. Using the data from CallFinder, call center managers understood that showing a lot of empathy on calls was the key to getting customers comfortable enough to convert. This helped Kohler exceed their sales goals and get their ROI.
What’s in Store for 2022?
Last year, Forrester published a report on customer service predictions for 2021. Forrester stated, “Organizations must react to provide high-quality, emotionally sensitive customer support in the flexible ways that consumers need.” From what we’ve seen, their forecast has been accurate so far in 2021.
Empathy and emotional intelligence in the call center are not going away. So now there’s only one question to answer: How will you keep up with changing call center technology trends to show empathy and improve CX?
Start with CallFinder
You can start by scheduling a demo of CallFinder. Our solution features the latest trends and advancements in call center technology. We understand that managing a contact center requires a lot of work. But unlike other solutions, we offer one-on-one support and advice as long as you are one of our valued customers.
Not quite ready for a demo? Contact us any time to speak with one of our speech analytics experts.