Your contact center, like any other customer-facing employee group, is responsible for upholding the customer experience. Customers won’t always remember the name of the agent who picked up the phone, but they will remember if your company delivered on its customer service promises or fell short right when it was needed the most. Here are three tips to help ensure your contact center is delivering the best possible customer service to each and every caller.
1. Create agent teams with a diverse range of skills.
Each agent in your contact center is going to have a unique set of skills and talent. Some might be better at calming down an agitated customer and repairing the relationship. Others might be great at upselling existing customers. You can use your speech analytics solution to determine which agents are your top performers and what makes them so successful. And while managers should strive to make sure that none of their agents are significantly behind their coworkers in terms of knowledge and training, scheduling your agents so that no one team is missing a member with crucial skills helps ensure that someone will be capable of properly handling any interaction that happens during that shift. One of the biggest customer experience faux pas is to pass a caller around from agent to agent without any resolution. The customer experience can be further ruined if the caller has to re-verify their identity and explain the situation again after each transfer. The quicker you can get a caller to the right agent with the right skill set the faster you can resolve their issue and the better the customer experience will be.
2. Share examples of best practice behaviors.
One of the downfalls of traditional call quality monitoring is that the agent review often comes days or even weeks after the interaction being highlighted happened. It’s hard to remember every word in a conversation you had 2 weeks and 150 calls ago. Thanks to speech analytics, 100% of your calls are monitored and recorded in their entirety so you have the exact transcription of the call to work from. This can help bring your agent back to that specific call. With that script in front of you, it’s much easier to highlight exactly when a call took a turn for the better (or for the worse). For instance, was there a moment where the agent perfectly handled an objection to an upsell?
For example, a cable provider might be trying to convince a customer to upgrade their account and get more premium channels. The customer might cite concerns over the bill increase as the main reason they don’t want upgrade. Instead of giving up, perhaps this agent calculated the cost out for the customer and showed them how their bill would actually only increase $7 a month and they’d get a dozen new, premium channels in return. They might also mention the referral program, where customers can save $10 on their bill each month if they refer a friend. The potential to get the premium channels for free might be what pushes the customer into upgrading.
This is a great example of how an agent turned a negative into a positive. Sharing that moment with the rest of the team gives them a concrete instance to emulate and adapt their own approach to. You can use other best practice moments to customize your agent training sessions so the whole team benefits.
3. Empower agents to make decisions on their own.
Sometimes a poor customer experience isn’t the agent’s fault; it is the internal policies that are holding everyone back. For instance, does a contact center agent at a credit card company have the ability to remove a fraudulent charge from the caller’s statement right then and there, or does it need to go through a ton of red tape to be approved? Can an agent at an energy company dispatch a repairman should the power go out in a certain block or does the call need to come from someone else? The more complicated your own internal policies and rules are the harder it can be for an agent to actually help a customer. While processes are important and incredibly useful in most circumstances, your agents need the ability to go off-script as needed and actually resolve the issue at hand in order to preserve the customer experience.
At the end of the day, the best way to ensure a great customer experience is to have great people working in your contact centers. The right agents with the right attitude can make all the difference. When you throw in the right training, the right team dynamics, and empower your agents to make a real difference you can expect great results.