We all are customers.
Every day we purchase products and services from all sorts of businesses. We know how we want companies to treat us. We recognize the difference between good and bad customer experiences.
Think for a moment about the organizations you interact with.
- Which are the companies you like using?
- Which shops and businesses are your go-to favorites?
- Who would you recommend?
- What is it about the companies that make them unique?
The reason you highlight a particular business and don’t enjoy others is most likely your experience. We are talking about your customer experience.
Customer experience is crucial for creating a reliable, exceptional brand. This applies even more to call centers where the customer experience is the primary asset.
If call centers aren’t actively improving customer experience, they could be losing profits to competitors.
How can you provide a great experience to your clients so that they remember you and return again and again?
Here are a few great ways to improve the customer experience in call centers.
Ways to Improve Customer Experience
#1 Understand Your Customers
Your sales team may already understand a lot about your clients. For instance, they probably have access to their account information and demographics. But go deeper. Call center teams should know clients personally.
One way to better understand clients is to build a persona. Team members can visualize with whom they are interacting with buyer and customer personas. Plus, agents can use personas as a way to improve the customers’ experience.
The more specific, the better!
For example, if your primary customer is a male between 18 – 30 and residing in the city, you might build a persona like this:
- James Smith, 25
- Single, living in a three-bedroom flat with four flatmates
- Enjoys going out on the weekends and after work, usually to restaurants and clubs
- Works extended hours and is enthusiastic about his career
Suddenly, your customer is a live person. Customer personas in call centers enhance the quality of information you know about your customers.
#2 Minimize Hold Times
Call centers specialize in phone interactions with customers. Usually, customers have high expectations with regards to getting their requirements fulfilled promptly and without having to be on hold.
Let’s face it; nobody likes waiting. Call centers should document their hold times and work to reduce that time.
However, customers don’t care if their issues truly need time to solve. People are often accommodating if they need to wait while agents get more information or confirm adjustments. Frustrations arise when they are placed on hold and don’t understand why.
Of course, they feel annoyed. Even if the representative contacts the support team immediately. It doesn’t matter if the caller is not informed.
While eliminating wait time is impossible, reduce hold times to the shortest amount of time possible. This maximizes customer satisfaction and contributes to positive customer experience.
Use the following tips to decrease on-hold times:
- Provide customers the option to get a call back rather than waiting for the next available agent
- Give call agents decision making power and abilities
- Avoid coaching agents with live customers
- Accelerate internal department response times
#3 Make It Easy for Your Customers
Intense competition has produced many customers that are “spoiled.” They expect fast, excellent service.
Now, customers require one-click checkouts, timely information, next-day shipping, and quick service.
These expectations not only apply to all businesses but especially to call centers.
Simplify things can drive more sales because it’s one of the ways to improve customer experience.
Your customer service team can simplify by:
- Asking for the customer’s contact number and giving a call back in case of disconnection
- Enhancing an agent’s understanding of customer issues
- FAQ’s and knowledgebase articles for self-service and extra information
- Providing extra stuff after a call to improve the service
- Making every attempt to solve the problem during the first call
#4 Listen to Your Customers
Sometimes the most straightforward solutions are ignored.
Businesses need to ask — why do people buy what we sell?
Of course, organizations study market analysis, expert reports, and other official-sounding information.
What they can miss is the easiest way to make customers happy is to give them what they need. And who knows what the customers need? They do!
Call centers should pay attention to customers’ requirements and needs. They need to listen to demands and value their customer feedback. Use this data to plan and strategize.
When business foundations are customer-centric, satisfaction and growth is almost a guarantee.
Of course, agents can ask for feedback about what callers prefer and dislike about your brand, call center, and customer service agents.
Also, you can ask customers to fill out a quick survey after every communication. Or you can close calls with a question about how you did and what they would improve next time.
However, it’s hard to get surveys and honest feedback. Studies show that the happiest and most frustrated consumers are the ones who give feedback and reviews.
Don’t leave customer feedback to these skewed methods.
LISTEN TO YOUR CALLS! You can listen to live calls in real-time or listen to the call recordings. Regardless, listen!
There is a wealth of information and data available from this invaluable form of customer connect.
Most call centers have so many calls that listening is impossible. But not for Listenforce. We listen to customer service phone calls. Actually, our artificial intelligence and thousands of conversation algorithms do the listening. Listenforce AI deciphers two-way phone conversations and provides fantastic insights.
The more you understand about the current customer experience in your call centers, the better.
#5 Happy Agents, Happy Customers
Nobody can be their best if they aren’t satisfied with the work.
An unhappy agent directly impacts the customer’s view of the company. Agents might respond in a rude or discourteous way when they’re in a bad mood. Of course, this hurts and negatively affects the company.
So managers should make sure that their representatives are happy. Call Center Managers should ensure their agents are happy. The working environment filters through the phone.
Happy employees are one of the best ways to improve customer experiences. Happy agents = happy customers!
Creating customer experiences is about nourishing and caring for every single client.
With the proper strategy and specific rules, making customers happy becomes natural. Listening to calls and using monitoring tools is a cornerstone of a thriving call center.
Happy customers make and break businesses.