Submitted by Brian Spraetz on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 09:25
The latest customer experience research report from Oracle revealed that 81% of consumers surveyed are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience. 44% even said they’d be willing to pay a premium of more than 5%. In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace every dollar counts. Companies can’t afford to lose revenue or customers missing the mark on the experience customer’s receive. You can’t control everything that is being said about your brand on social networking sites, consumer review forums or blogs, but you can minimize the possibility of negative publicity by ensuring your customers receive a positive experience when they contact you. The key to a better customer experience in the call center is focusing your agent coaching activities on the topics that really matter.
Here are 3 critical coaching topics to enhance the customer experience:
Your customers don’t care about the complex technology that powers your contact center—they just want their needs addressed quickly and easily. Consistency at the agent level, as well as throughout your other customer service channels, is crucial to providing a positive customer experience. Desktop analytics can help contact center managers identify performance differences between their weakest and strongest agents that lead to inconsistent service results. Knowing what these differences are and who they affect lets you focus coaching efforts on the most impactful individual skill or performance gaps to bring all your agents up to their highest potential. Instead of having gaps in agent knowledge and performance that impact the individual customer’s experiences you’ll have better consistency across the board.
Empower your agents
Many contact centers have internal rules and procedures that ultimately impact the customer experience, sometimes without even realizing it. How often do one of your agents run into a situation where they have to get clearance from a supervisor to proceed a certain way? While call center scripts and policies are important and help guide your agents through your callers’ needs, sooner or later they are bound to encounter a situation that’s off script. How do they react? Do they rigidly stick to their story (a surefire way to damage the customer experience) or do they actually work to solve the customer’s dilemma? If an agent doesn’t understand they have some leeway they will likely take the former approach. Identifying times where agents could have done more, but didn’t, provides coaching opportunities that help them be empowered in helping customers, solve their needs quickly, and save the customer experience.
Focus on quality, not just speed
In the contact center seconds count and every second costs. Many contact center cost-cutting initiatives focus just on reducing the time spent on the average phone call. This strategy often puts the customer experience at risk. What good is shaving three seconds off the average customer service call if it increases your call back rate because the customer didn’t actually get the help they needed? Understanding which agents are causing repeat calls, and what they could have done differently, allows you to focus your coaching efforts on more than simple productivity. Teach your agents how to resolve customer issues, and not just shave seconds. They can even be coached on how to needs beyond what the customer called for. This turn eliminates unnecessary repeat and transfers which provides a great customer experience and saves the business money.