As it is said, “without the customer, there is no company”, a well-defined call center customer service experience can boost any business to reach greater heights. The customer being the only boss of the company expects an improved call center customer service experience. Customer’s experience with the call center has a direct effect on customer satisfaction. Long-awaited calls and the inefficiency of call center executives can result in the fallout of valued customers. Evidence suggests loyal customers are directly proportional to positive customer experience. There are 91.5 percent chances of customers not recommending a company after an unpleasant customer service incident. If you want to know how to improve call center customer service, this article would help you understand the key nuances around it.
CRM Software: Improve Call Center Customer Service
Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) software has all the abilities to provide a rich set of information on each client but utilizing that info and building up a positive customer experience is the necessary skill required by a customer service team. Enhancing the service quality of the client interactions and making more personalized connections can increase customer satisfaction creating a positive brand image and gain business revenue. All it requires is the focus of any customer-centric company on improving the call center customer service.
Here are 9 easy ways any company can adopt to improve their call center customer service:
1. Know Your Customer
The most important factor to deliver the best customer service is knowledge about the customer. The top management of the company would be aware of their clients but does the call center customer service team have an idea about the customers they cater to?
Availability of a database of customer accounts through account numbers or phone numbers opens scope for executives/agents to access information about their customers. It helps the customer service provider to retrieve customer data in no time with minimal effort or information required from customers.
To improve the call center customer service, adding customer persona is as much necessary as giving away information about the customer demographics and client expectations to the call center executives/agents. Customer persona helps call center customer service personnel to understand their customer better and personalizing the service as per the requirement of the target customers.
2. Every Customer is Unique
Yes, every customer is unique, and so does their journey with the company. The call center customer service personnel cannot interact with every customer in a similar fashion. There could be first-time customers or it might be an engagement with a previous purchaser, interaction with both the customers will be handled differently. Customer journey mapping is important as it helps in foreseeing the customer requirements as they move across different contact points.
Here CRM plays a pivotal role in differentiating the customer’s journey. Adopting CRM can help in identifying the stage of the customer’s journey and consequently call center customer service team can personalize their communication to improve the customer service experience.
Personalization can also be done by segmenting the customer through IVR (Interactive Voice Recording) technique. IVR routing help in reaching out to the customer to their concerned call center customer service personnel to provide the exact solution to the problem.
3. Train the Brains
An extensive quality training program for the call center customer service personals helps them to develop their client interaction improving the customer experience. A call center customer service provider would learn the fundamentals of customer service as well as their conduct towards the customer. Training will encourage the customer service personals to know their products and services which would help them to resolve the queries efficiently.
Training is no longer confined to a four-walled room; virtual call center customer service training is making its headway with its multidimensional approach and help call center executives/agents to absorb the information better.
In addition to training, a regular team huddle with the team managers, leaders and call center executives/agents for purposeful engagement can be organized with aim of improving call center customer service.
4. Serving Technology to the Customers
Assisting customer service personals with tools to come up with quick solutions to the customers. Software that manages a huge database with accessible customer accounts will be helpful for the call center customer service provider.
Automated systems such as IVR helps in the intelligent routing of customers, additionally reducing the call wait times.
5. Simplify for Customers
In this fast-moving world, people want everything quickly and easily. Making things a little easier for the customers will lessen their efforts and increase companies’ sales. The more simplified process a customer gets to resolve their query, the more satisfactory the service be.
To make things simpler, the call center customer service team can offer:
- Return calls in case of call drop – There can be incidences when a call can disconnect due to some reason. Dialing back your customer will minimize customer’s effort and gain their trust in the company’s service to resolve their problem.
- Listen and understand customer’s query – A customer is well received when he/she is not only heard but their problems are also understood. Call center customer service personals can always ask their customer to elaborate their query for a better solution. Automated messages are quick but always keep a scope for the customer to talk directly to a subject matter expert.
- Providing quick solutions to customer’s requests – Quick responsiveness of the call center customer service personals is always appreciated. The use of IVRs to route calls to the right person for the query concerned will save time and minimize efforts for both the customer and customer service provider.
- Ensure customer is satisfied with the solution and process followed to resolve the issue – A quick feedback is important for future growth of call center executive/agent/representative. Make sure the customer was well received and fully satisfied with the solution that was provided to them by asking them directly or sending a link to a small survey or through a rating system after the issue is resolved. It will create a sense of connectedness to the customer and improve call center customer service.
- Avoid clients to repeat them – No one appreciates repeating themselves to what they have said. It creates an impression that the call center representative was not paying attention. The agility of the call center customer service personals is very necessary to avoid losing the prospective customer. One can always request an explanation of the issue and avoid repetition.
6. More is Less
Make the customer feel valued and important demonstrated through actions. Providing better service or putting more effort than the minimum for the customer makes them feel appreciated. Going an extra mile and delivering customer something extra not just for your existing customer but for the first-timers too (when and where required).
Call center executives/agents/representatives can always use small gestures to ensure the customer leaves satisfied. By ending the conversation with, “Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you. I am happy to help” will leave a notion about the extra efforts put in by the customer service provider. This will not only improve call center customer service but also make the company stand out from its competitors.
7. Getting Connected Emotionally
As it is said, “a brand stands no value if it doesn’t relate with the right audience in a relevant way”. A company has to cater to its customer coming from diverse backgrounds. A customer would feel best associated with a company with whom they can match their value as well as get extra for what they have put.
However the call center customer service team has no control over setting pricing, but they can certainly mark their impression on the customer through their emotional presence. They can offer a personal touch through a handwritten note or a freebie or a free upgrade or a loyalty reward.
8. Good feedback is Key to Improvement
Requesting customer’s feedback is not just involving them in the company’s improvement process but also valuing their opinion. The call center customer service team can ask their customers how they did or request suggestions on how they can improve on their future interaction. The customers feel respected and want to remain engaged with the company for longer-term.
Feedback should be taken positively as it motivates the customer service team as well as the company to perform better. A small and quick feedback survey post-interaction is another way to improve call center customer service.
9. Reassess the KPIs
KPI or key performance indicator is a value to measure how well call center customer service operations are performing against the key objectives of the company. KPIs can be sub-categorized as Real-time KPIs, Historical KPIs and Customer KPIs. A timely review of the KPIs should be done to check if the performance of the call center customer service team is aligned with the set objectives. Also questioning the purpose behind these KPIs whether they are serving any good or just wasting time.
A classic example can be seen when focusing on Average Handling Time as KPI to speed up calls and increase the volume. However, doing that would deteriorate the call quality and negatively affect customer satisfaction and first contact resolution. Hence a well-timed re-examine is important but weighing the purpose of the KPIs against the set goals will help you to understand how to improve call center customer service.