Top Ways to Create a Personalized Customer Care Experience

The degree of attentiveness and dedication that today’s consumers expect from their favorite brands’ has hit an all-time high. Just think about it; consumers need multiple modes of contact, immediate answers and even customized messages that target their personal needs. And, due to these sky rocketing demands, businesses must do their due diligence to meet these requirements or suffer the consequences—like customer churn and negative reviews.

Now, businesses must interact with their consumers with the intent of forming a personal relationship. So, when it comes to the quality of customer care in the contact center space, the role of the telecommunications agent has become much more complex. For instance, agents must now do much more than simply communicate with their consumers, rather they must deliver a personalized one-on-one experience with each customer.

In fact, a recent article titled “The Golden Rules to the Six Pillars: Empathy” published by Engage Customer outlines how to effectively create these experiences with your consumers by adhering to a few “golden rules.” For instance, sharing similar experiences to establish a personal connection, providing the right emotional response, taking ownership of your consumers’ problems and treating customers as your priority are a just a few of the rules to live by.

So, how can you make certain that your contact center agents are addressing these golden rules and creating the ultimate customer experience with each individual they interact with?

Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your agents take their customer care phone calls to the next level:

  • Keep it conversational: Let your agents know that it’s important to talk about more than just the issue at hand. Consumers should understand that agents are human beings who enjoy social interaction just as much as the next person. For example, while it’s important to keep your phone calls professional, try making light conversation about the weather, about current events or, depending on the nature of the call, share your own personal experiences with your customer. In doing so, your consumers will feel at ease and that they’ve established a real relationship with their brand of choice.
  • Make consumers feel important: When helping a customer with a problem they’re having with a product or answering a simple question—make sure that your agents use language and a tone of voice that allows consumers to understand that they are the top priority. It should be apparent that solving their issue is the agent’s top concern. Tell your agents to thank customers for their patience, voice their understanding and relay urgency—use phrases like “right away” and “I completely understand how you feel”—to make consumers feel as if they’re speaking with a loyal friend.

It’s time to stop treating consumers like strangers. Get more personal and show them your empathetic side—it’s just what you need to boost your quality of customer care.

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.

Are You Spending Enough Time on Quality Assurance?

When’s the last time you received a well-rounded view on the quality of your contact center’s procedures? If you don’t use a regular method of quality assurance to stay abreast of recurring issues—think frustrated customers and ill-informed agents—then you aren’t serving up the best possible quality of customer care.

Rather than turn a blind eye to your staff’s most pertinent pain points, tackle them head on by implementing a powerful quality assurance strategy. For example, devote time—whether it’s weekly or monthly—to address common struggles your agents experience. Moreover, continue this assessment by drilling down into the shortcoming of individual agents. By offering personalized and consistent assessments—and training for those who need it—your quality of customer care efforts will improve.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of quality assessment, let’s discuss the fundamentals. The key steps to building an effective customer care evaluation strategy involve:

  • Offering consistent basic training: As a contact center supervisor you must constantly enforce your establishment’s core competencies. This means offering best-in-class phone etiquette and quick and efficient problem solving skills, to name a few.  The only way to ensure your agents are functioning at their highest capability is to check in on their consistency in these areas. By monitoring your agents’ basic skills—and subsequently providing on-going training using automated scoring cards, online educational tools and insights gathered from speech and desktop analytics—you can assure more consistent customer care across the board.
  • Accepting feedback from external auditors: It’s always a smart idea to get a second opinion on important matters, like the quality of your contact center best practices. As such, getting an expert’s feedback—like a call center quality skills analyst who evaluates your agents’ ability—on your call center procedures will augment the impact you have on your customer care outcomes. As a supervisor you might only hear the agent’s side of the interaction at times; however, an expert whose primary goal is to provide feedback from the customer’s perspective will provide actionable and balanced insights for continued learning and improvement.
  • Providing individualized agent training: Even if an agent is showing exemplary skills, when it comes to quality of customer care, there is always room for improvement. As such, tending to the weaknesses and building on the strengths of individual agents is an important asset to a comprehensive quality assessment strategy. Without quality monitoring, it will be impossible to see whether individual agents are functioning at a high level—for example, their call queues are never full and they remain poised under pressure—while some agents are stuck in the mud. These types of agents, for example, may be unable to attend to large call volumes or difficult customers.

Ensure your quality of customer care is continuously top-notch by implementing a strategic quality assessment program. Want more customer care tips? Read more of our blogs, here.

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.

Leverage Big Data to Make a Customer-Agent Match Made in Heaven

In the not-too-distant past, customers were randomly matched with contact center agents based on the order in which their call was received—essentially like rolling the dice.

Suffice it to say, this system was less than ideal as it often resulted in mismatches between callers and agents. Research shows callers have many different preferences that need to be addressed to create positive interactions. For instance, according to the help desk comparisons firm Software Advice, an overwhelming 67 percent of customers over the age of 65 prefer communicating at a slower pace over the phone, while just 57 percent of 18 to 24 year olds do. Furthermore, urban residents are the most likely to want to speak with an agent who is close to their own age.

The study also shows that customers have varying preferences in terms of tone, with some preferring formal and others preferring more casual deliveries, as well as in regard to the geographical location of agents. For instance, just 48 percent of 18 to 24 year old Americans prefer U.S.-based agents, while 78 percent of those aged 55 to 64 do.

So, how can you play matchmaker and ensure higher quality of customer service in your contact center? It’s entirely possible by combining an advanced skills-based routing platform with the power of big data. Using these next-generation business intelligence solutions, your contact center phone system will be able to identify key demographic information at the time of a call and automatically pair customers with appropriate agents. For instance, callers over the age of 65 can be paired with older agents or those trained to speak at a slower pace.

Click here to learn more about how your business can augment its match making skills by using best-in-class business intelligence solutions.

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.

Calling All Contact Center Managers: How to Improve Your Quality of Customer Care

A successful, customer-oriented team of contact center agents don’t get that way over night. An expert team requires expert attention from a manager who uses tactful insights and business intelligence resources to the advantage of his or her team. Why is it then, that only 31 percent of organizations closely monitor their quality of customer care? With every lost customer costing a contact center an average of $243, it’s time for mangers to implement tools that aid in monitoring customer care best practices.

Below is a list of tips and tricks to improve quality of customer care and boost profit:

Leverage Data Analytics: Do more for your customers and your employees by supporting your customer care practices with actionable data. For example, combing through large amounts of data can help you create customer profiles and make strategic forecasts and predictions. These data-driven resources will help in targeting the right consumers and offering support in the most suitable way possible for specific demographics.

Celebrate Your Employees: Most workers strive for praise and crave healthy competition. Providing positive feedback on an agent’s successful customer relation will hopefully motivate fellow employees to want to match that level. Additionally, giving praise to those highly-successful employees for the stellar work they do will only inspire them further. Offering feedback will also clearly outline what is working and what is not; for instance, if you celebrate the strategic handling of an agent’s phone call that was at first going downhill, workers will understand what to do next time they are in a similar situation.

Promote Preparedness: There is nothing worse, in the mind of your customers, than a seemingly underprepared contact center agent. Improve your quality of customer care by implementing demographic scripting—a business intelligence tool used to help agents communicate effectively to different groups of consumers.

Next time you get the feeling your quality of customer care is floundering, refer to these helpful tips to get your contact center team up and running at its most efficient pace.

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.