Communicating Your Way to Successful Contact Center CX
Your contact center is more than just a place customers reach out to when they have a problem. It’s also a hotbed of opportunities to connect with customers, champion your brand, and create selling opportunities via relationship building. Your customer service agents are the frontline of your business and, as far as customers are concerned, the face of your company. Let’s look at just how important your contact center customer experience (CX) is and how you can maximize the talent and technology within it for business growth.
Contact Centers Connect People With People
Customers get in touch with contact centers because they want help from a human. Recent statistics show that around 4 in 10 customer service experiences are self-service, with the rest being agent-assisted in some fashion. These could be agents taking phone calls, responding to emails, or even managing social media accounts for a business. Regardless of the method, at least 60% of your customer interactions are with a real-life team member, so nurturing your employees is an absolute must to ensure these connections are productive and profitable.
Evaluating data on wait times, dropped calls, and everything that impacts the customer experience beyond agent interactions allows you to separate what your team can control and what they can’t. These data insights help teams focus on improving the aspects they can change.
Great Conversations Lead to Better Customer Retention
Poor customer service experience can lead to customers going elsewhere. According to careers site, Zippia, 40% of surveyed consumers reported they stopped doing business with a company after a bad experience with a contact center.
Not all customers will leave, of course, especially if you’re a provider of financial services, healthcare products, or other offerings that are well integrated into your customers’ daily lives. However, these customers are likely to be vocal about their negative experiences on social media or with their friends and family. “Word-of-mouth” can impact your business’s ability to generate new leads and customers and even damage your overall company reputation.
Your contact center is the first line of defense in preventing situations like these. Agents highly trained in so-called soft skills, such as conflict management and resolutions, are ideally placed to handle disgruntled or doubting customers. Customers reporting a previous poor experience or those already considering leaving can be challenging for new and unskilled agents. Listening and empathy are key here, plus the commitment to follow through and keep customers informed of the next steps along with any relevant timescales.
Enthusiastic Agents Enthuse Your Customers
Contact center CX often depends on how enthusiastic your agents are about your brand. Agents who are overworked or feel like they aren’t heard are less likely to give the gold-standard experience on every call. Agents who aren’t shown how they need to improve or what they’re already doing well won’t know how to ensure they’re consistently driving their performance forward.
Accurate, relevant data is key to agent enthusiasm. Gathering data on the right metrics empowers managers to have meaningful conversations with agents, making them feel valued and motivated to help customers solve their problems. Granular data, for example, can show that one team member is pulling the weight for everyone else, or vice versa. This helps managers spread the workload and have the right conversations to ensure that changes align with the company’s goals and vision.
Around 3 in 5 customers state that good customer service is vital to feeling loyal to a brand. Increasing the loyalty of your team members will naturally encourage them to build better relationships with every caller.
Technology Matters — to Agents and Customers
Both hardware and software are essential elements of any contact center. Telecommunications is at the heart of the operation, but the supporting software, including data gathering and analytical tools, is intrinsically connected to customer experience.
The ability to visualize and deeply analyze customer engagements empowers businesses to adjust and hone their customer satisfaction strategy, putting the customer at the heart of change decisions. This means contact centers must invest in powerful call center analytics and reporting tools.
Contact center leaders can create performance dashboards that paint a picture reflecting their business and industry, highlight opportunities for improvement, and champion their center’s successes. Learning what truly affects customers helps you provide the guidance and feedback necessary to transform your contact center agents into real brand champions. Plus, evidence shows that businesses focusing on customer experience can enjoy up to 8% higher revenue than their competitors.
Agents also appreciate clear feedback from managers. Frequent, constructive assessment motivates staff to perform better and helps resolve potential issues quickly. Delivering feedback in line with your company’s values is essential, along with backing up any improvement points or successes with relevant, accurate data. This enables managers and agents to better understand their opportunities and challenges and work together to create meaningful, performance-based goals.
Overall, satisfaction with contact centers has fallen over the last year. CFI Group reports the 2022 Contact Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI) is now at 69%, which is a drop of 5% from the previous year’s figure. The report presents the pandemic as a possible factor, with more people than ever wanting remote assistance. Providing first-time resolutions to queries and improving your contact center CX can position you well ahead of your competitors.
Customer experience drives brand loyalty, improves ROI, and increases sales — especially when you can collate the right data to coach and support your contact center agents.
Learn how to get more from your contact center data and improve your customer experience KPIs by talking to the experts at Brightmetrics.