How many people do you know that look forward to calling into a call center services provider for a question or issue they may have? Unfortunately, I don’t know any, myself included. So it is time for call centers to flip the script and change that perception.
Call centers are often involved throughout the customer journey with voice, email, chat, and text communication. Given this, call centers are also in a desirable position to help impact their customers’ experience.
Here are five areas call center services providers and those companies who use call centers need to evaluate to elevate the customer experience.
The customer experience that call center services providers can provide depends on how prepared the agents are. Consistent and effective training will help build a foundation for delivering an experience that will yield long-term happy customers.
Since we all learn differently, training should include a blend of teaching and training methods. Good training transfers essential information in a way that allows the agent to learn the material.
Identify and train knowledge gaps. Leverage best practices from the top performing agents and train the rest of the team on what they are doing and how they’re doing it.
Most importantly, training shouldn’t stop after an employee is onboarded; it’s ongoing and continual. Your agents need to have regular training to help increase their knowledge. Knowledge helps agents be confident and will ultimately lead to a positive customer experience.
2. Quality Monitoring
Call center services providers that have an uncompromising focus on customer experience know the importance and significance of quality monitoring. QA helps call centers become stronger. With a stronger team, your call center provides better service, has better interactions, and overall, positively impacts the customer experience.
Agents won’t know if they’re on track to meet their goals unless you provide input. To offer constructive feedback, you need to understand where your agents are struggling and how they could improve.
Monitor interactions to identify precisely where experienced agents deliver outstanding service while uncovering training and coaching opportunities. Collaborate with the agents and review the information.
All customer communication touchpoints should be evaluated for call centers to positively impact the customer experience, including chat, email and text, and traditional phone calls.
3. Agent Support & Motivation
How can call centers provide a high-quality customer experience when employees lack motivation and are unsatisfied with their work environment? They can’t.
A study by McKinsey found that there’s a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and employee engagement. It’s worth taking the time to read the research as it discusses performance, agent retention, and operating costs. The best part is that companies already have the tools they need to make an impact.
When employees feel supported, they perform better. Read this article about team member happiness and what it takes.
Data is crucial for running a call center successfully. It’s essential to balance the need for operational efficiency and meet customer expectations while providing an excellent customer experience.
A single customer service misstep can cause customers to leave.
According to industry analyst firm CEB, customer satisfaction suffers after high-effort or time-intensive interactions. Customers cited these as the most frustrating issues, “62% had to re-contact the organization, 56% had to re-explain their issue, 59% were transferred, and 59% had to put forth moderate to high additional effort to resolve their issue.”
It’s essential to keep a close eye on proven customer experience call center metrics to help determine if the call center operation is living up to customer expectations.
5. Focus on internal communication
Would you want to engage with a call center services provider that focuses on communicating with its customers but doesn’t communicate or effectively communicate internally? The lack of or even poor internal communication will significantly impact agents and negatively affect customer experience.
Effective internal communication is crucial to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.
Hold regular team meetings. Set aside time where the entire team comes together. It’s necessary to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Schedule all hands meetings. An all-hands meeting is company-wide, virtual, or in person, where all employees and executives come together. Typically hosted by senior leadership, the goal is to:
- Introduce new company-wide ideas, initiatives, and strategies
- Provide performance updates
- Align teams on common goals
- Address questions from employees
- Celebrate achievements and discuss challenges
Make it simple. It should be easy to communicate, collaborate, and access the resources needed to do the job effectively. Consider using a collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams to help keep it simple. Teams allow call center agents and team leaders alike to communicate with team members through voice, video, and chat capabilities.
Call center services providers need to have an uncompromised focus on customer experience to see change. Remember, behind every phone call, email, chat, or text that there is a customer. So, the question now is, what kind of customer experience will your call center provide?
Megan Fallis is the Copywriter & Editor for Quality Contact Solutions. Megan’s experience includes working as an outbound telemarketing manager for a Fortune 100 company for many years. Megan has been both a client and an employee of QCS, so she knows first-hand the quality, productivity and passion the team brings to work on a daily basis. You can reach Megan at [email protected] or 516-656-5120.