Reducing the customer effort in your contact center has a direct impact on the overall customer experience, which in turn influences your company’s bottom line. It’s important that your company make it as easy as possible for a customer to do business with your brand before, during and after a purchase, especially when it comes to interacting with your contact center. The contact center has more influence over your brand and the customer experience than most enterprises realize, and reducing the customer effort in the contact center is critical to maintaining positive customer relationships.
Here are 3 customer effort reduction strategies for contact centers:
Channel thrashing is when a customer reaches out to a company via multiple channels, usually because the first channel failed. For instance, a customer might look through a company’s website for an FAQ but not have their question answered, so they are forced to reach out via web or phone. These callers didn’t set out to call the company, but in order to have their issue resolved it became a necessity. Based on Enkata’s customer data, we’ve found that 10-25% of calls to a contact center are from channel thrashing callers! Imagine if 25% of your call volume was to disappear—the savings would be enormous. These callers are self motivated and WANT DIY customer service, so it’s imperative that self-service channels such as FAQs and the company website are up and running and are completely flushed out for information.
Once a customer decides to call your company’s contact center for sales or customer service question, be certain it’s the last time they have to call about that issue. Research from the Corporate Executive Board indicates that 70% of callers that call back do so two or even three times in 14 days to resolve their issue. For instance, a satellite TV customer might call the customer service team with help installing their new DVR, even though they signed up for the self-installation option (channel thrashing). A few days later they call back because their programs aren’t recording properly. That callback could potentially have been avoided with a Next Contact Avoidance solution in place, which anticipates callback reasons and addresses them before they become an issue. Not only does a Next Contact Avoidance solution reduce call volume, it also boosts customer retention.
Many customers would say that repeating themselves to various agents during a single phone call is one of the most frustrating parts of dealing with a contact center. This retelling adds precious seconds to the call, which detracts from your agent’s AHT, and has a profoundly negative impact on the customer experience. Automation technologies can eliminate the need to re-type information manually, automatically populating the necessary fields so agents have everything they need right away. Not only does this save time and make it easier for the agent to focus on the issue at hand, it also helps ensure the customer feel like they aren’t being shuffled from agent to agent without any progress.
While every contact center has certain KPIs they are trying to measure up to, it’s important to remember that no matter what metrics you improve upon, if you aren’t reducing the customer effort you aren’t having as significant an impact as you could have.