The power of a positive customer experience simply cannot be underestimated.
Though this is not the same as customer service, the two go hand in hand: any buyers experiencing difficulty with your website, looking for general assistance or wishing to make a complaint are likely to contact your support agents.
The way in which your team handles their query will affect their opinion of your brand. Letting customers down can have a severely negative effect on your business.
Businesses in the US lose $62 billion each year due to bad customer service. This has actually increased since 2013, despite the wider range of communication channels available today.
You need to develop an amazing customer experience strategy for your contact center or business, to ensure everyone who gets in touch receives service of the highest standard. Below, we’ll take a look at the key elements of an effective customer experience strategy.
Training and motivating your team
One of the most critical factors in offering the best customer service and experience is effective team-management.
If you populate your call center or your brand’s service team with agents lacking motivation and training, do you think you’ll deliver the quality of care your customers expect? Incompetent staff who continually place callers on hold, break connections without warning and generally provide unhelpful information will only cause frustration.
Provide continuous learning
Training agents and keeping them motivated is vital for your customer experience strategy. They should not be bombarded with hours upon hours of flat training upfront without anything more at a later date.
Ensure continuous training to reinforce the tools and knowledge that matter to your business the most and that need to be applied with care.
Offer different learning formats
If training is delivered in a one-size-fits-all approach, you run the risk of boring agents and not seeing an improvement in your performance stats.
Break away from the traditional classroom setting and offer training through shadowing, mentoring, on-the-job training and through engaging multimedia and short quizzes.
PlayVox’s training tools allow for targeted training and educational resources through its Learning Management System. This helps to give agents the most appropriate help for their abilities, enhancing their strongest and weakest areas alike. This can give them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to handle calls to a higher standard.
Measure and reward good performance
Likewise, motivations must be consistent and tangible. Reward schemes are increasingly popular, and Quality Assurance software like PlayVox includes comprehensive reward programs. A point-based system with an online catalog to cash in for good performance keeps agents engaged and aiming for the best.
Public recognition and praise is another massive motivational method, providing a confidence boost and helping to encourage healthy competition among agents.
Reinforce your company culture
Motivating your agents is about more than rewards, though. You need to nurture a culture of passion and dedication, to make sure they understand your business’s core values and goals. This can be difficult, particularly in agents’ early days, but making the effort will pay off with a better customer experience.
In short: the happier your agents, the happier your customers are likely to be. Agents who feel under-motivated, undervalued, and under-compensated for going the extra mile simply won’t deliver the level of service you (and your customers) expect. Keep this in mind when developing your customer experience strategy.
Integrating tools into your operations
As mentioned above, incorporating tools into your everyday operations can make a big difference to your customers’ experience.
The internet and software make it easier than ever to provide exceptional customer support. There’s no need to depend on outdated methods of training or performance monitoring. You can stay in constant contact with your agents, no matter how many you may have. You have no excuse to simply leave them to ‘muddle through’ without your supervision or input.
Consider Quality Assurance software
Integrating QA software into your operations brings a number of benefits, like allowing you to track agents’ performance and measuring the impact of the QA process. You can show individual workers how they’re performing compared to their colleagues, and identify unique areas for improvement privately.
Engage on the right channels
However, you should be taking advantage of other tools in your customer experience strategy too. Today’s customer service is about so much more than just answering phones. Live chat should be available, putting agents in direct contact without any of the hassle related to phone calls (cost, being put on hold etc.).
Your website should be optimized for all devices, but give priority to smartphones and tablets. Mobile search is continually growing, and if your customers cannot get in touch with your agents on their mobile device, you’ve already given them a negative experience.
Provide an omnichannel experience
Customers today want a seamless experience across devices: they want to be able to speak to an agent over the phone and then by live chat as needed. They expect the same high quality of service each time, regardless of the method used.
Make sure your customer experience strategy offers them the chance to reach you however they like. Each method should be simple to use and fast.
Remember: the internet makes it easy for dissatisfied consumers to find your competitors within seconds. You want to give them such an outstanding experience the thought doesn’t even occur to them.
Learn from mistakes and successes
Not every customer who contacts your agents will feel as if they have received the help they need. This might be because they’re going through difficult times and cannot be appeased, no matter how helpful your agents are.
Surprise and delight your customers
On the other hand, some calls will be so helpful that customers feel not only as if their problem has been solved, but may be uplifted by the experience. Walking away with a smile and a good mood would be the ideal result of every customer interaction, though it’s not quite so easy.
PlayVox lets you automatically assign customer interactions for QA review completely at random, to identify successes and weaknesses in your customer experience strategy.
Reviewing recorded calls or transcripts of live chat interactions makes it easy to highlight opportunities to improve the customer experience agents may have missed. You can recreate moments through role-play to trial new response options, and study data to assess the success of new approaches.
Your customer experience strategy should be consistently reviewed and improved to keep it at its best. Ensuring consumers feel valued, respected, and satisfied is key to maintain a good reputation, retain custom, and generate positive word-of-mouth marketing. Try integrating the tips explored above into your processes and your customer experience could be transformed.
If you run a contact center or SME, what techniques do you use to improve customer experience?