By Megan Fallis
Why is it that people dread hearing from or calling a call center? Think about the last time you called customer support. What was your experience like? I can remember mine, and it wasn’t great.
Omnichannel and multichannel technologies are ideal for call centers because they provide support for communication beyond the telephone. Text, email, and chat are the preferred methods for many to communicate, which adds another factor in the overall customer experience.
Call centers have a big opportunity—and responsibility—to focus on the operational components that influence customer experience. But this is easier to say than to do.
Here are five areas call center service providers and those companies who use call centers need to evaluate to elevate the customer experience.
The customer experience call center service providers can deliver 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, instruction should include a blend of teaching 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’re 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 regular training to help increase their knowledge. Knowledge helps agents be confident and leads to a positive customer experience.
2. Quality Monitoring
Call center service providers that have an uncompromising focus on customer experience know the importance and significance of quality monitoring. Quality assurance helps call centers become stronger. With a stronger team, your call center provides better service, has elevated interactions, and positively impacts the customer experience overall.
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 agents struggle and how they can improve.
Monitor interactions to identify where experienced agents deliver outstanding service while uncovering training and coaching opportunities. Evaluate all customer communication touchpoints to positively impact the customer experience, including chat, email, text, and traditional phone calls. Collaborate with the agents and review the information.
3. Agent Support and Motivation
How can call centers provide a high-quality customer experience when employees are unsatisfied with their work environment and lack motivation? They can’t.
A McKinsey study found 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.
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 percent had to re-contact the organization, 56 percent had to re-explain their issue, 59 percent were transferred, and 59 percent had to put forth moderate to high additional effort to resolve their issue.”
It’s essential to track proven customer experience call center metrics to determine if the call center operation meets customer expectations.
5. Focus on Internal Communication
Would you want to engage with a call center service provider that focuses on communicating with its customers but doesn’t 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 in agreement and working towards the same goal. Here are some tips to improve internal communication.
Hold regular team meetings: Set aside time where the entire team comes together. It’s necessary to ensure everyone is moving toward the same goal in the same way.
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 companywide ideas, initiatives, and strategies.
- Provide performance updates.
- Align teams on common goals.
- Address employee questions.
- 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 service providers need an uncompromised focus on customer experience to see change. Remember, behind every phone call, email, chat, or text there is a customer.
The question becomes, what kind of customer experience will your call center provide?
Megan Fallis is the copywriter and 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 each day. Reach Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-656-5120.