Every single customer interaction is important. Any individual who feels dissatisfied with your service (or, worse, enraged by it) can have a negative impact on your reputation.
How? Because research shows Americans will tell more people about a negative customer experience than a good one, as many as 15 on average. This figure rises when dealing millennials: consumers in this age group are actually more likely to tell 17 people.
Just think how quickly both potential and existing customers could be turned off your brand if you left just a few with a bad taste in their mouth. Social media and respectable review sites can be breeding grounds for distrust. That’s why you have to take the quality of your customer service interactions seriously, across all touchpoints.
Solid organization and effective management are crucial to cultivate a better standard of customer experience through stronger interactions. Join us as we take a closer look.
Maintaining Quality Service on All Fronts
Every call center and business’s customer service department must offer multiple communication channels. A variety of options provides your customers with the freedom to choose the channel most convenient to them, but means your service agents must deliver high-quality service across all of them.
Develop a strategy for each channel and ensure agents understand what’s expected of them. Below, we look at the different channels and offer tips for managing your customer service interactions in an organized, responsible way.
The classic phone call is still a staple of a good customer service strategy. Your agents should be well-trained to be warm, sympathetic, professional and patient during phone-based interactions.
People may become frustrated if they’re left on hold for a long period or they’re asked to repeat themselves multiple times, but your agents must be polite and helpful at all times. Being rude or defensive could cost you a valuable customer, and trigger a chain reaction of bad word-of-mouth.
Live chat has become incredibly popular. Surveys show 40 percent of customers using live chat to interact with businesses are more likely to purchase at least once a week, while 63 percent of consumers more likely to return to a site offering live chat.
Live chats are quick, personal and (crucially) free. Service agents should be friendly, professional and articulate via live chat. Good communication is even more important here: misspellings and attempts at humor could disrupt the flow and cause confusion.
1 in 3 social-media users prefer to contact customer support through social networks over email or phone, and around 67 percent of consumers depend on Facebook or Twitter for assistance from brands.
Customer service agents must monitor your social media accounts 24/7 and ensure all communications are dealt with. Unanswered questions, complaints without responses and a lack of updates will suggest you place little value in your customers.
Focus on keeping your tone professional and consistent in all customer service interactions. Make sure your language and style are appropriate to your target audience.
Self-service resources allow consumers to find their own solutions instead of contacting a support department. FAQs, buyer guides, tutorial videos and more can all provide prospects and existing customers with invaluable assistance.
If someone sends an email directly or via a contact form, make sure an agent responds to them as soon as possible in a professional manner. Emails should be personalized to customers, for maximum relevance.
Forums and Message Boards
If you know your customers tend to frequent certain forums and message boards, do a little digging for deep insights. Are they discussing how good or bad aspects of your service are? What products or services do they prefer, and why?
Don’t be afraid to communicate with them here too. Use it as a way to foster a community and share key information directly. As with social media, though, just because it’s an informal environment doesn’t mean you should be any less professional. Keep your tone consistent with your establish brand identity, and never allow agents to engage in heated discussions with users.
Omnichannel Quality Assurance for Better Customer Interaction Management
Quality assurance helps customer service teams in all call centers and businesses improve. Your quality analysts will evaluate customer interactions across all channels, pay attention to the standard of service delivered, identify issues and take steps to resolve them. Over time, feedback, coaching and training will drive your agents to providing a better customer experience.
But good QA software is fundamental to keeping your quality assurance and customer-service processes streamlined. You should be able to explore data and generate reports from a user-friendly dashboard with minimal effort. Different interaction filters and interactions integrations help you prioritize relevant ones, so you can view different aspects of an agent’s performance easily.
This makes managing your customer interactions in a carefully-organized, planned way simple. Different departments of your team — service agents, team leaders, quality analysts, admins — will be able to channel their time to the most important areas of their work and reduce unnecessary distractions.
For example, good QA software equips quality analysts with the power to evaluate different interactions that have been assigned to them automatically and randomly. As a result, they won’t have to worry about getting an unbalanced overview of the service team or choose the interactions themselves.
Irrelevant interactions can be skipped and removed from the evaluation process too, to avoid wasted time. Interaction filters keep this simple and intuitive.
Likewise, admins have the tools to monitor quality analysts’ workloads, progress and performance to ensure they’re working to the standard expected. They’ll be able to see how quality analysts are managing their tasks, see which are the most productive and assign work to them.
Team leaders will have access to the data they need to motivate and help agents improve. And service agents themselves will receive only relevant coaching and training tailored to their specific strengths or weaknesses. This eliminates the boredom and wasted time of the more generic, one-size-fits-all training programs we’ve all been subjected to.
Managing your customer interactions means embracing more open communication and collaboration. Every member of staff at all levels should have the tools to work together and focus on their shared goal: making customers happy.
Taking a more organized approach to managing your customer interactions helps achieve a higher standard of service across all touchpoints, increasing the likelihood of customers giving interactions a high score in post-chat surveys. You have to get into the routine of acting on data and customer feedback, continually taking steps to improve CX with every interaction.
Bringing the right QA platform into your call center or customer service department will allow you to centralize your data from different channels, integrate your CRM software and manage your entire customer-service strategy far more effectively. Every employee will have access to the information they need to do their job better, encouraging them to focus on their priority tasks and work to a higher standard.
Playvox QA software can be used with multiple types of CRM and service software for time-saving interactions integrations, or it can be used as a standalone platform.
How do you approach managing customer service interactions, and what positive results have you seen from being more organized? Let us know!