1. Deploy technology that works
Choosing technology which supports the customer experience helps create positive outcomes for both agents and customers. The easier it is for customer service agents to do a good job the more likely they are to be satisfied to stay with your organisation and the lower your training and recruitment costs will be. High quality visual communication tools are a great way to brighten up your call center environment and when used properly reduce agent stress. Agents want instant access to the information they need to answer questions the first time (FCR), after all agents want the same thing customers want; positive experiences.
Reducing agent stress has to be a priority for 2016, another great way to do this is to manage spikes in agent demand. Call-back technology such as Fonolo smooths out call volumes and soothes agent nerves thus promoting better experiences for everyone.
2. It’s OK to tell us what you think
Customer feedback has to be the single most important barometer for the success of a contact center, letting your customers know you “want” them to express themselves will already increase trust and give you more valuable feedback, but the real trick is to invest in real-time customer feedback technology. With this technology you are able to close the gap between agent and customers perceptions. For more help closing the perception gap sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page or contact us.
Good agents want to know how customers feel, being able to take customer feedback and feed it directly to your agents via real-time wallboards or other visual communications tools is a perfect way to empower your agents and drive loyalty.
3. Decrease call center hold-times
Call center hold-times almost always make the top 3 of most annoying things a call centre can subject customers to. The Customer Rage Study found that, “Although posting on the web about consumer problems has increased substantially, complainants still consider the telephone their primary channel for complaining by a margin of 11 to one over the internet (66% to 6%)”. Call back solutions, better communication and access to real time metrics all help reduce call hold times.
4. Reward customers for their feedback
When customers are emotional they tell us what we really need to know, how you reward customers for their feedback is really up to you but people’s time has a value and feedback from customers is worth a great deal to your organisation.
5. Empower your staff (happy agent image)
Employees are your biggest asset and they are the face of your organisation, agents moving job is all too common and as the amount of information agents need to perform their roles increases the costs associated with staff attrition is increasing. According to CCNG’s 2014 “US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide (2014 – 7th edition)”, the mean average agent attrition rate remains at 27% in 2014, although the median has dropped very slightly to 19%. This masks a very wide spread of attrition rates: while 13% of respondents have attrition rates in excess of 50% per annum, and this year’s mean absence rate is a rather worrying 10.4%. With Optymyse it costs less than £100 / $150 a month to make your contact centre more engaging and dynamic.
Maintaining consistent service delivery while managing a constant flux of agents is an expensive and challenging prospect and in many cases all that’s needed is empowerment, better tools, better communication and a reason to come into work every day. White boards, flip charts and busy dashboards portray the wrong image.
6. Improve internal communications
Communication and transparency is key to employee satisfaction and performance, keeping customer feedback and other information for the eyes of supervisors and managers only is one sure way to make agents feel excluded and disempowered. Giving contact centre personnel access to the same level of information can often empower them to self-manage and in turn make them feel like they are making a real difference. Being part of your organisations long term plans is a sure way to gain agent trust and loyalty.
What is the ROI?
Three out of four (74%) consumers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences, similar to the past two years (75% in 2012; 73% in 2011)
In the past year, six-in-ten (60%) consumers intended to conduct a business transaction or make a purchase, but decided not to due to a poor service experience – a significant increase from
Source: 2014 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer