Customer service skills are essential for contact center agents, whether they're speaking to customers over the phone or using some other method of communication. These skills are a key factor in determining a customer's experience, which can determine what a customer has to say about your business. Customer satisfaction is critical to business success because your customers' opinion carries far more weight than anything you can write on your website. The following five tips show how you can improve customer service to meet the goals of your contact center.
1. Provide employees with the resources they need to resolve customer issues quickly and effectively.
These resources include a computer system that brings up data quickly and a knowledge base with potential solutions to customer problems. Contact center agents can only be as effective as their training allows them to be, which begins with the initial onboarding that provides agents with the contact center’s rules and procedures. For example, agents need to know the services they can provide on their own and which ones need to be escalated to a higher tier. Ongoing training is also essential to refresh agents' memories and keep them updated on changes.
2. Review customer calls.
Reviewing customer calls is a standard procedure for contact centers. However, it isn't possible to listen to every single call, so you need to establish criteria that determine the ones you will review. Contact centers often pull calls at random, but a more selective approach can be more effective for improving call quality.
For example, contact centers should focus on reviewing calls from outliers, which are the top and bottom performers. Improving the performance of the bottom performers is the easiest way to increase the average quality of the call center. However, reviewing top performers provides insight into best practices that other agents should adopt.
3. Gather feedback
The best way to learn what customers want is to simply ask them. Feedback provides you with critical information about customer experiences, especially their pain points. Customers also feel more valued when you ask for their opinion, which helps establish brand trust.
You can gather feedback in various ways, such as sending out surveys via email, conducting polls and asking for ratings on social media. Your request for feedback should also include contact details should a customer wish to contact you directly. It’s also important to act on the feedback once you’ve collected it.
4. Happy employees = happy clients.
Studies consistently show a direct correlation between engaged agents and improved customer service. Agent attrition is a particular problem in a contact center due to the combination of low pay, repetitive work and limited opportunities for advancement. Gamification is an effective method of keeping agents motivated to reach the call center’s goals. This approach involves the use of game-like activities to foster a sense of healthy competition. Automated coaching solutions also allow agents to assess their own performance and may be customized for specific skill sets.
5. Minimize hold times.
The inability to immediately reach a live person is one of the most frustrating aspects of dealing with a contact center. The traditional solution to this problem has been to route incoming calls to the first agent who becomes available. However, intelligent call routing further reduces hold times by also considering the skill sets of the available agents, which reduces the need to transfer the call to another agent. Another strategy for minimizing hold times is to ensure that customers always have a voice menu option that allows them to speak to an agent.
The best strategies for improving a contact center's performance involve a combination of administrative and technological measures. These include data reporting tools that can provide insight into agent performance, which is critical for meeting contact center goals. Contact Aceyus today to learn more about how we can help you.