Today, customers have more influence and are more powerful than ever before. They are connected and not afraid to express their opinions and share their passions about products and services online. Their massive capacity to influence other customers cannot be ignored.
We could say that this has changed the game a little bit.
You’ve most likely had to become active on multi-channels to assist customers with their queries. Phones are now just one of the many channels available along with blogs, forums, social networks as well as online groups. To keep up, call centers have had to adapt and respond through all these channels just to maintain customers.
But to acquire new ones, hiring friendly agents isn't enough. To keep up with the pace and demands of customers, your agents must switch from being reactive to proactive and learn to steer the customer through their journey so that they are not just helpful, but valuable.
Although, this seems like a daunting task, fear not. In order to rock customer service, let's start by listening to what the customer has to say, also known as Voice of the Customer (VoC). We will share our secrets to rocking VoC to its maximum potential so you can please and delight your customers.
Create VoC Surveys that actually get filled out
You can script calls to ensure quality standards or perform quality monitoring for improvement purposes, but nothing beat listening to what the customer has to say. And why not do it through a customer survey?
Now, surveys are nothing new, yet not everyone is doing it right. I can't tell you the number of time I have received tediously long surveys, incomprehensible surveys, and poorly-made petitions to take surveys. All of which were not as successful as they could have been, should they have thought it through a little bit better.
Be concise. Make your survey easy to answer. Use short and clear questions or metrics so customers are more willing to fill them out. People are busy, so the less they have to read, write, and even click, the more likely you are to get a response.
Use the right metrics. Ask customers to rate agents based on their friendliness. helpfulness, timeliness, communication skills and professionalism. These might seem like obvious metrics that your call center is already applying but as a customer, I can assure contact centers of some of the biggest global companies don't practice several of thee above. Perhaps you might discover surprising results.
Find the right time. There is a time and place for everything. If you ask customers to take your survey 1 week later, by automated machine right before an agent takes the call, or make it appear on their Facebook feed while they're looking at kitty videos, chances are it's going to get ignored.
People are more receptive once their needs have been attended to. Ask a customer if they'd be willing to take a short survey to help out, before sending it by email. As contact has been established regarding the survey, and it's short and sweet, the customer will feel more compelled to fill it out.
It's so easy, yet so many contact centers fail to implement this. What do you have to lose?
Use those surveys to provide real results
Now that customer survey results have been collected, it's time to put them to good use. How, you ask?
Empower agents. Instead of having call center supervisors review customer feedback to see what needs to be improved to enhance customer experience, agents should also be allowed to view the information customers provide in order to adjust immediately.
Use real-time VoC. Spend some time researching real-time tools, can help with small operational adjustments. Tools such as PlaVox's software allows agents to adjust their service right away as they receive real-time feedback from customers as soon as customers complete it.
This saves team leaders and managers time they would otherwise spend coaching.
Improve high-level processes. Management can also use the data for overall quality improvement and more strategic purposes. Customer feedback surveys can be used to uncover trends and habits which might have otherwise been overlooked. Based on this, action can be taken to correct processes and workflows.
Give recognition. Voice of the customer surveys are not only to spot the bad. It can also help team leaders and managers recognize success. They can uncover issues as well as they can spot exceptional service and acknowledge it appropriately.
But let's focus on what's really important: the customer.
At the end of the day, VoC serves to make customers happy. When they leave feedback, they do so with the expectation to see improvements in the near future. Hopefully, your call center is reactive and considers and applies customer suggestions quickly.
Be quick on your feet. For example, if a customer points out a detail such as an agent's heavy foreign accent, this should be fixed immediately through training or hiring the right personnel.
By correcting small operational bugs you'll avoid losing clients and essentially revenue.
Take the extra step. Now that you are an expert in how to improve employee performance and boost customer service happiness, it's time to take it a step further.
Be proactive. Add value.
Don't just solve their queries, anticipate their problems, offer useful information and beat them to the chase. If a client calls a grocery store contact center to order cough syrup, don't push the latest grocery store promotion on them. Instead, tell them about the 30% sale you're having on cough drops, Nyquil, and Tylenol. Add value.
A successful VoC can be challenging. But if you don't move fast, your customers could potentially move along. Are you up to speed?