We know there are a number of challenges that call centers face on a daily basis. Their tasked with offering superior customer experiences to ensure satisfaction with the brand. Customers expect quality assistance in a professional and timely manner when they reach out to the call center. In many industries, today the customer service team is relied on as the primary point of contact after a sale and thus they are the ambassadors of the brand in the eyes of the client. This responsibility also comes with expectations for retention and upsells. Combine all of that with the ever-present pressure to reduce costs and it’s no wonder stress levels among customer service teams are high.
While there is no magic bullet to solve all of these challenges, offering a consistent customer service experience can help to ease some of the pressure. Allowing customers a seamless experience with your brand no matter how they reach out can aid in customer satisfaction and quality, thus leading to happier customers. Happy customers mean less volume for customer service channels, which means a lower cost to resolve issues.
Sounds great but how do you start? We’d like to offer a few suggestions on how you can provide a consistent customer experience across all channels including In person, via phone, web or mobile, and even in print.
This sounds funny because that’s the point of a customer service call center- to communicate- but bear with us for a second. When we talk about communication, we don’t just mean answer the phone. There are several key elements to consider.
With your customers:
- Respond quickly, even if it’s an automated response to give peace of mind that the customer’s contact to you has been received and is being managed.
- Offer multiple ways to reach out based on the customer’s preferences, so they can communicate with your company how and when puts them most at ease.
- Monitor your social channels and respond to customers there. Even a negative comment on social can create brand advocates if handled appropriately. Often the way a company handles an issue on their social channels can ultimately win over those passive observers to the discussion as well as resolve the customer’s problem.
With your employees:
- Don’t silo your sales, marketing and customer service teams. Give them opportunities to meet and collaborate, share experiences. Together they are more likely to find solutions to common problems and aid the company in a better customer experience over time.
- Engage C-suite executives in the customer service process to champion the cause. Get their help in clearly communicating the company’s expectations to all employees for customer care. They set the tone to let all employees know how valued their customers are and their expectations that those customer’s concerns be handled promptly and with respect.
Create educated, informed agents
You have the ability to offer consistent experience for your customers regardless of which call center employee they speak with at any given point in their customer journey.
Ensure you are providing consistent, quality education and resources to your customer service teams. This allows them to offer a consistent experience with your entire company and helps the customer to receive the answers they need, delivered in a polite, effective manner.
No one likes to explain their problems ad nauseum. It’s not only frustrating, but in making a customer relive a source of discomfort over and over again, you create an added stress that can result in a larger problem than when it began. Offering centralized records for your customer service team can work to eliminate the need for clients to re-explain.
In addition, offering a call back service or extended service hours can create an experience that better fits the customer’s life, and shows that the company understands that their time is valuable.
Truth in advertising
Make sure your marketing collateral aligns with your true offerings. Seems simple enough, but it’s important that the marketing and sales team is working closely with the rest of the company. When claims are made about a product or service they need to hold up to the hype. Simply put, don’t make promises you can’t keep about pricing, service, hold times, etc. This will only create a headache for the customer service team and ultimately damage your brand.
Learn from your data
Keep track of customer’s complaints via your communications channels and then bring them to the attention of internal stakeholders and work together to resolve the frequent offenders. Some of the easiest fixes go unresolved because no one is tracking the simple solution and documenting it for permanent correction.
This follow up can happen via automated system with a short email survey or in a more individualized manner. Encourage your managers to follow up with a select number of customers who have had contact with the company. This demonstrates that the company values feedback, consistency and listens to its customers.
There are added benefits to creating a consistent customer experience that go beyond the pain point we discussed above.
First, it’s cheaper to resolve a problem quickly, or proactively and when your call center can effectively track and identify issues, this possibility becomes a reality.
Second, happy customers make great brand champions and that can lead to more sales and more customers. Word of mouth is a great advertiser and so is social chatter. Positive mentions and organic engagement with your customers means your company name is reaping the benefit of your hard-won customer service resolutions.
In addition, when your company’s customer services team is available via multiple channels and easy to interact, that feature becomes its own marketing feature. Entire advertising campaigns can be created about the prospect that, “We are customer-centric” and when others in your industry aren’t putting their customers first, this can be a huge win for your team.
Customers want to connect with your brand. Consistency among omnichannel solutions allow a company to offer better customer service because it caters to the customer’s wants and needs for their data, information and support. Customer’s have a choice about how and when they interact with your company which makes you a better resource to them. An easy, pleasant experience with a company is one customers want to maintain and will keep verse going to another company.