When a customer contacts a business, it is usually because they are experiencing a problem or have a question they need an answer to. Understandably, they are probably frustrated and in a bad mood to start with.
They may be on the verge of having a bad experience if they are not already having one, so it is the collective job of the Contact Centre to turn this into a positive experience.
Why? Customer retention is one of the most important aspects of growing your company because it costs much less to retain a customer than acquire a new one. Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one (Harvard Business Review).
Read on to discover how you can use the Contact Centre to improve customer experience.
Why is Your Customer Experience So Important?
One key aspect of retaining customers is to provide a great customer experience because it makes customers want to stay with you and recommend you.
If we take Apple, Netflix and Amazon as examples, they all have high Net Promoter Scores (NPS). This helps them retain a high percentage of their customers, many of which turn into promoters who recommend them to friends and family.
How many Netflix programmes have you recommended recently? This word of mouth marketing is a very powerful tool that helps retain current customers and acquire new ones.
Every customer interaction with your Contact Centre is an opportunity to delight them to enhance customer experience.
When a customer has a problem, they want it solved quickly with as little stress as possible. If you do this they will feel good, become more loyal and become brand advocates. You need to make sure customers have a positive experience every time they interact with you, which is why customer experience is so important.
How to Deliver an Excellent Customer Experience in a Contact Centre
To deliver an excellent customer experience in your Contact Centre, and to ensure the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your operation, consider focusing on the following five key areas:
1. Automate What Can Be Automated
Self-service customer interactions are often preferred by customers because they can fix the problem themselves. They are also very efficient because they never reach an agent but nevertheless provide a positive customer experience.
The way you can do this is to analyse your customer interaction data. If there is a problem with the product or service your company provides, you can bet this will be a frequent topic of conversation at your Contact Centre.
Related read: How to improve customer satisfaction with self-service
Track these issues, preferably using an automated tool such as Amazon Transcribe, and present the data you find to other areas of the business so that they can implement solutions.
Or, if a solution is not possible or too costly, your customer service team could develop other resources, such as an FAQ document or interactive knowledge base, that would allow people to find the answers they need on your website, eliminating their need to call and keeping them much happier.
The better you can be at predicting why customers are contacting you, then the more equipped you will be to deal with their problems. Doing this may require you to undergo a digital transformation at your Contact Centre, but don’t worry, this process is not as daunting as it might seem.
2. Make Your Customers Feel Valued
Customers want a valued interaction and not to be treated like a number that must be dealt with quickly. Customers that are subjected to generic ‘scripts’ while being kept on hold for long periods of time does not translate into good customer experience.
It’s important to treat customers as individuals. Agents may have heard the same problem multiple times that day, but the problem is unique to the customer, and that matters more.
3. Empower Your Agents
Ultimately, your customer service agents are the ones responsible for delivering a good customer experience to the end-user. If they are engaged and helpful, then your customers will have a better experience for it.
When you empower your agents they will feel happier, more responsible and more engaged, which will translate into better performance.
Think about dedicating some financial budget to additional training or add incentives for your agents to get the best customer feedback. The power of competition and hearing positive customer feedback shouldn’t be underestimated. Both will motivate agents to offer good customer service more often.
4. Improve Agent Performance
To improve efficiency, you must constantly maximise the performance of your agents. To do this, it’s important to understand the customer-agent dynamics.
Most Contact Centres record their calls to better agent performance but realistically you can only do so much with hundreds of hours of recordings. A tool like Amazon Transcribe can help by converting call recordings from audio to text.
Text files are not only more cost-effective to store because of smaller file sizes, but they are easier to analyse.
Machine learning can then analyse these text files to produce insights on keywords, topics, entities, and sentiment analysis. A tool like Amazon Comprehend can help here.
5. Measure Customer Happiness
Sentiment analysis is an interesting one for Contact Centres because you can track the mood of your customers as they interact with your agents. For example, you have an agent that gets negative feedback from customers too regularly. Using Transcribe and Comprehend you could look for patterns and learn why that is.
Do they need additional training in a specific area? Do they feel empowered enough to deliver on their KPIs?
Helping agents improve is a good way to better their employee satisfaction and put them in a position to delight customers at every opportunity that arises. It also helps reduce employee turnover, which is a common problem among Contact Centres we talk to.
How to Measure Customer Experience
If you are going to invest time and money into improving the customer experience you offer, then you need to find out a way to track the impact this effort is having on the business.
Most employees recognise the importance of customer experience, but if you can point to a metric, such as an increase in customer retention rate, an improvement in NPS, or even a boost in sales, then you will be able to show tangible evidence how your efforts have impacted on the bottom line.
Delivering an excellent customer experience is essential to the success and growth of your business. It’s why top brands like Apple, Netflix and Amazon work so hard at it so they can retain us as customers. It’s clear the Contact Centre plays a vital role in this.
Implement some of the strategies we have discussed into your business to see how you can make your Contact Centre contribute to overall company growth.
Connect is the world’s leading Customer Experience and Unified Communications managed services provider for global businesses.
Connect draws on over 30 years of knowledge and experience to enable digital transformation of Unified Communication and Contact Centre environments to deliver an exceptional customer experience and improved efficiencies and businesses performance.
To better retain customers, remain competitive, and adapt to the customer experience revolution, you need a customer experience strategy.
We can help.
Our approach is to understand your customers’ behaviour across all touchpoints of their journey, so we can help build best of breed technology to delight them and deliver exceptional customer experience.