There was a time when working in a contact center was a much simpler affair. People would call in with questions and/or complaints, the agent would help them to the best of their ability, the caller would hang up (hopefully satisfied) with an enhanced customer experience, and that was all there was to it. But times have changed.
Today’s contact centers have a much bigger goal to focus on: The Customer Experience. The customer experience is far more than simply answering a question or resolving an issue; it also involves factors such as how agents conduct themselves, hold times, how long it takes to wrap up the call, and more. And with the digital age allowing customers to share their experiences with more people than ever before, it is crucial their experience always be a good one. Here are some ways to ensure your contact center provides customers with the best experience possible.
Know What People Want Today and Tomorrow to Enhance Customer Experience
When a customer calls in to a contact center, of course the primary goal is to answer all queries and settle any issues in an efficient, friendly, and helpful manner. But the customer experience is more than just knowing what your customers want today; it’s about knowing what the customers will want tomorrow, as well. So how do you make those kinds of predictions? Should you bring in professional businesses consultants, pay attention to market trends, or just shake a Magic 8 Ball? Not only do these so-called solutions end up being costly, but they often do not accurately determine your customers’ wants and needs.
Fortunately, you have a much better source for insights into your customers – your contact center. Surprised? Don’t be. Every single call that comes in contains a wealth of data which can be used to provide bases for both short and long term solutions. By using tools such as call recording and speech analytics, you can quickly scan calls for frequent words and phrases to identify patterns among your customers. This will not only give you the input you need to better address common questions and complaints, but also help you make informed strategic business decisions to improve business processes and keep customers happy. It’s all about listening to what your customers are saying – and what they’re not saying, as well!
Enhance Customer Experience – Provide Agents with Training and Skill Development
Far too many contact centers believe once their agents have received their initial training, that’s all they need to start taking calls and helping customers. But for agents who find themselves dealing with a seemingly never ending stream of disgruntled customers and situations which may not be addressed in their training manual, this can feel a bit like being asked to go up against Michael Phelps in a swim meet when they have only been taught how to do the doggie paddle. Agent training must be an ongoing process, one that evolves with the agents. After all, if agents are unable perform to the utmost of their abilities, it affects their dealings with the customers, which can negatively impact the customer experience.
However, the notion of having to take the time to constantly train agents may seem like a daunting task, especially for larger contact centers who field a higher volume of calls. Managers cannot be there to supervise how an agent handles every single incoming call (and most agents probably wouldn’t appreciate constantly being hovered over), and listening to each and every single recorded call would take up far too much time. But by using speech analytics software, you can easily scan agents’ phone conversations to ensure scripts are being adhered to, provide concrete teaching moments to help agents see where they may need some improvement, and give clear examples of methods that are proven to be effective in more challenging situations. It’s not about criticizing your agents, but empowering them with skills, knowledge, and confidence.
Companies who invest in and execute customer experience strategies see impressive returns. Not only does it increase customer satisfaction, but it also reduces churn, raises revenue, and improves employee happiness. Remember, customer experience is about making sure your customers are happy now and always.
Learn how you can enhance customer experience strategies in your business, including improving agent performance, using cloud-based speech analytics technology.