How to impact the experience a customer has with your brand? You can empower your agents to solve problems with autonomy, or switch the focus from low resolution times to complete resolution.
Here are some key suggestions how contact center managers can improve customer success:
1. Empower your team
One major factor that can slow down your team’s ability to provide customer’s the tools they need to succeed is doing everything yourself. If every little issue needs your supervision and authority (keeping customers on hold while contact center agents wait for you to give the okay, enter a password, etc.); then it’s time to re-think the workflow.
If you’ve noticed this happening, here are some solutions:
- Identify the most common issues. There are likely a set of common pain points that customers contact your center about. Do you know what they are? If not, it’s time to get familiar with them.
- Allow agents to solve these issues themselves. Provide the information and training necessary for agents to take care of the most common issues without your supervision and/or authority
- Build on this. As agents become more skilled and empowered, you can continue building on this by adding more technical trainings and skill sets to reduce the need for your intervention in customer support solutions
The result: A contact center whose employees are knowledgeable and able to solve the most common issues on their own will be able to provide better and more complete service and advice to customers, enhancing customer success.
2. Offer a variety of communication channels
Contact centers should offer multichannel communication to provide both convenience and efficiency to customers. By offering customers the power of choice in how they want to contact you (text message, social media, voice call, live chat, video chat), you enhance their experience with your company.
For example, customers on the go may not be able to wait in a queue for an agent to attend a voice call, but being able to text a contact center agent could be just what they need to solve their problem during their busy day. Also, certain communication platforms are better for solving some issues than others. It can be difficult to talk a customer through a complex technological solution, but video chat makes it easier for customers to follow along.
With multi-channel support, it’s important the communication is fully integrated so that customers can start a conversation with an agent on one channel and continue it seamlessly on another without having to repeat information. Make sure your processes allow for this.
3. Simplify product manuals and company policies
Do your product manuals seem complicated? Do both customers and agents have to wade through long manuals of vague descriptions in order to come to a solution (if they can find one)? If yes, this is a problem. Providing both the customer and the agent a manual that is as self-explanatory as possible obviously will cut down on confusion and help both agent and customer find solutions fast.
The same goes with policies. If your company’s policies are difficult to understand, you’re going to have more customers reaching out to the contact center for help and more frustration as agents try to demystify these complicated policies.
Streamline and simplify company policies by coordinating with product managers so they can understand and eliminate pain points. Give agents a chance to include usability feedback from customers to more accurately address these common problems.
By making products, their manuals and company policies more simple, you help customers have a better, more successful experience with your company.
4. Don’t focus on resolution time, focus on resolution
If your contact center pushes the agenda of reducing resolution times, you may be focusing on the wrong issue: That’s merely the short-term wait time.
If customers are rushed through a resolution, the chances are they’ll only end up in the queue again, and research shows that the average time spent on a repeat call is twice as long as the original call.
Focusing on a holistic resolution that addresses all of the customer’s potential issues can provide a better experience with your company and product, decrease frustration, and relieve customer agents from having to answer repeat calls.
Instead of addressing a single issue during the call, allow agents to quickly identify and offer suggestions for related issues. You can enable them to access the relevant content from your knowledge base as they communicate with a customer,right in your contact center’s CRM.
5. Understand and offer compatible products and/or upgrades
Sometimes a customer issue can be resolved most easily by buying an accessory or offering an upgrade. Let’s take a simple example: If a customer is complaining that their cell phone battery isn’t lasting long enough but after a diagnosis, the battery is within the normal range, you could offer to sell them a portable cell charger kit that will solve their problem.
Agents should be skilled at assessing not just the solution for the product itself, but any other products or upgrades that will best suit the customer’s expressed needs. This takes the limits off of the conversation to include a resolution that focuses on customer success. Broadening the perspective of what an agent can achieve in a resolution call can enhance the overall customer experience.
Contact centers are there not only to solve the problems customers face, but to make sure they achieve their goals successfully. Trust and encourage your team to act on their own when it’s appropriate, make use of multiple channels, simplify, and make sure your agents know about the compatible products/solutions.
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