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In modern day business it’s pivotal that you’re offering exemplary customer service levels in today’s competitive markets, where consumers who feel they aren’t getting the levels of service they’ve come to expect aren’t afraid to voice their dissatisfaction or even switch providers.
As customer service increasingly moves towards multi-channel support, consumers have become more expectant that businesses are able to deliver quick, good customer service.
Failing to deliver on this can be damaging. Last year, one Twitter user made international headlines when he took out a sponsored tweet – a Twitter advertising tool used by companies to promote their brands – to vent about poor customer service he received from a major international airline after they allegedly lost his luggage and failed to return his emails.
The ads were targeted to the airline’s 300,000 plus followers and resulted in other unhappy customers pitching in, praising the man for speaking out about his experience.
It serves as a reminder that customer satisfaction is important because ultimately it breeds customer loyalty and avoids bad publicity, which can seriously harm business growth.
However, despite the shift towards multi-channel customer service, call centres remain many customers’ only point of contact with a company and have come in for criticism for delivering a poor customer experience and increasing customers’ frustration, so what can you do to ensure you meet customer expectations?
Monitoring how customers are dealt with by your staff may sound obvious but it’s an essential part of quality control in any area of business dealing with customer service. If you’re unaware of a problem with a way in which a customer has been dealt with, how will you know when or how to put it right? It could be something minor such as an employee having a particularly bad day so hasn’t dealt with a situation in a way which they normally would have; or it could be a problem with a whole process in place for dealing with a particular customer query – either way the key is having the ability to monitor interaction between staff and customers to ensure quality in your service.
In call centres, your agents are your frontline and how they deal with customers will form most of how they perceive your support. If agents suffer from low morale caused by reading from the same pre-prepared script everyday, this could transfer to their performance on the phones leaving customers with a poor experience. However, if agents are motivated, given more freedom to express themselves and given a sense that their work is meaningful and gives them opportunities to learn, they’re likely to respond more positively.
Using effective analytics tools allow you to identify trends, agent performance and many other areas of a call centre which contribute to your decisions on how you manage your operation. For example, they give you an insight in to your busiest periods allowing you to effectively manage how many members of staff you will need in at particular times of the day, or give you a breakdown of agent performance so those agents performing well can be recognised for their hard work while under-performing agents could be identified for perhaps needing extra coaching to help them work towards their potential.
While this may not have a direct impact on the customer experience, this is a tool increasingly being used to help consumers make decisions before they buy a product or choose a service provider. They help to increase consumer confidence and also help to guard against complacency because you know that if your customers have a poor experience they will not review you kindly, meaning you’re constantly kept on your toes striving to deliver the best possible customer experience.
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