Are Your Agents on the Same Page?

Consumers turn to their favorite brands’ customer care hotlines for guidance, a quick solution and hopefully a pleasant, concise interaction. So, imagine the frustration they feel when prompted to speak with multiple different agents who all seem to provide conflicting answers.

If you’re shaking your head thinking that your contact center agents would never provide such poor service, it might be time for an audit, as recent research suggests this is a rather prevalent issue. In fact, a study conducted by CIO Insight revealed that the No. 1 pain point in customer care —according to 41 percent of 5,000 survey respondents—is different agents providing different answers.

This should be a major wake-up call for supervisors as this type of inconsistency can negatively impact your clients’ contact center services ROI, since frustrated consumers aren’t likely to return. While it’s true you can’t hold your agents’ hands or be there for every single customer care interaction that takes place, there are still major holes you can fill to prevent this issue.

So, how can you fix this problem and prevent it from happening in the future? Here are few ways:

  • Offer client-intensive training: Agents must know your brand like the backs of their hands. They must memorize even the most intricate details about product information and company background before they even think about getting on the phone with customers. In fact, your agents should become absolute experts before they officially represent your brand, as they will be on the front lines and the first point of contact for your company’s consumers.
  • Ensure consistency in ability: Agents must be trained to meet the performance of the strongest member on your team in terms of client knowledge, phone etiquette and problem solving techniques. When your agents can operate with a consistent level of proficiency your consumers won’t have to speak with multiple agents to receive an answer as all of your employees will be able to handle the inquiry on their own.
  • Ensure agents possess similar dispositions: It’s important to ensure that your agents exhibit maturity and dedication to their work. When hiring agents, supervisors must thoroughly vet their candidates to determine whether or not they will take the role seriously. Your agents must be diligent and enthusiastic across the board as one dispassionate agent can negatively impact your contact center services reputation.

It’s time to redirect your customers to agents with answers. Ensure your agents are knowledgeable and prepared to handle each call with self-assurance.

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.

Transitioning Customers from ‘Like’ to ‘Love’

What’s better than a bouquet of roses or a heart-shaped box of chocolates on February, 14th? In my opinion, it’s unmatched quality of customer service.

A recent Forrester blog suggested that in 2015 companies will aggregate more information from CRM platforms in order to improve the customer experience. In other words, this year the contact center is going to be defined by going that extra mile to improve customer relationships to transition first-time prospects into loyal brand proponents.

Executives should be focusing on what they can do to ensure consumer retention. It’s no secret that the quality of customer service directly affects your ROI. Providing exceptional service is vital to a company’s future development.

So, what more can your company do to encourage customers cross the line from ‘like’ to ‘love?’ Here are a few suggestions:

  • Utilize Business Analytics: Collecting and leveraging relevant data and analytics can help immediately improve your understanding of consumer behavior and habits. For instance, do your customers prefer live chat over phone calls to solve queries? When you understand the trends of your client base, you’ll be able to offer more tailored customer service.
  • Appreciate Your Employees: Satisfied and fulfilled employees produce higher quality service for your organization, a topic we cover frequently on this So prioritize internal corporate culture as much as you do stellar customer service. It’s the small things like celebrating a top-notch customer interaction or a new sale deal that will make the difference.
  • Provide Expert Training to Your Operators: Rather than having a contact center use a blanket script for all consumers, customize your scripts for the various demographics you touch. Businesses that outsource contact center operations must care about cultivating the right voice for their brand in order to maintain a positive reputation. At InfoCision, we go beyond the typical phone operator standard by staffing our facilities with expertly trained Communicators who provide personalized customer service based on specific client demographics.

The question remains: how are you going to spread the love this year? Comment in the box below and tell us how you’re going to improve your quality of customer service this month and beyond!

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 American Teleservices Association (ATA). 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 higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.