We’ve all been there at some point in our lives…that moment when you realize you aren’t living up to your potential–perhaps on an important work project–but you’re so stuck in your ways that you can’t seem to gain any perspective on how to improve your strategy.
In fact, a number of contact center leaders are currently experiencing this troubling situation. During the recent webinar “Why Delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences Proves Elusive For Most,” Ian Jacobs from Forrester Research, Inc. revealed that 36 percent of surveyed organizations admitted to knowing that they deliver poor customer care.
And while admitting there is a problem is the first step, organizing and putting a brand new approach into action is easier said than done. So if you’re stuck in the mud and are struggling to pull yourself out, here are a few tips and tricks to help improve your customer care strategy:
- Put customer experiences first: Agents should be treating each phone call with the sensitivity, trust and understanding they’d exude when speaking with friends or family members. To create a comfortable and memorable experience for your clientele, agents must be able to communicate something beyond the scripted words. At InfoCision, agents are called Communicators to emphasize their critical role communicating with customers. They must create an experience for the customer and be malleable enough to pivot with differing personality types.
- Provide in-depth agent training: A major pitfall for many contact centers is the lack of agent training. In fact, one of the most noted complaints about customer care is dealing with unknowledgeable agents that cannot properly address problems and inquiries. As such, leaders must thoroughly vet their potential hires to ensure they are dedicated, quick studies who can learn in-depth information about a business’s products, services and customer care goals efficiently. More importantly, contact centers should provide ongoing training in professional development skills so that every agent is continuously performing to the best of his or her ability.
- Audit your services regularly: The only surefire way to know if you are continuing on a successful customer care journey is to audit your procedures along the way. Take advantage of call reporting and recording features that allow you to gain actionable insights about agent performance. Additionally, enlisting the help of third-party quality assurance auditors is a great way to receive unbiased feedback on your quality of customer care. But doing so sporadically won’t help you gain the best-rounded view of your progress. Instead, you must regularly conduct audits to ensure consistency across the board.
- Expand on your employees’ strengths: One way to guarantee higher instances of customer satisfaction is by pairing your agents with the groups of consumers that make most sense based on the agents’ knowledge-base, personality, and problem solving skills. For example, if there is a particularly perplexing service issue that customers have been calling about—in a very displeased manner at that—it’s best to put your most quick-witted agent with the highest level of expertise in this area. This way, a confident agent will handle the call smoothly and customers will have a favorable brand impression.
It takes time and a refreshing perspective to break away from comfortable habits. But, if you’re having trouble crafting a new strategy, refer to these four tips and tricks and you’ll surely experience improvement in no time.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.