Tagged in customer satisfaction


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Building Effective Call Centers: Four Components for Success

June 5, 2018

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A high-quality, truly effective call center does more than just answer customer questions and resolve complaints. When properly managed, your call center can help drive profitability and customer retention. Regardless of whether you plan to service your call center in-house or outsource, there are four essential components you must consider if you want to achieve strong results and satisfy customers.

  1. People make the difference

The agents representing your company should be your priority. Without them, none of your other decisions really matter. Building friendly, knowledgeable teams takes time, but the investment in training and proper recruiting is worth it. If you don’t deliver a good call experience the first time, customers are more likely to criticize you online than they are to return. To avoid this, at a minimum you should:

  • Be represented by dedicated teams of experts who understand your industry
  • Ensure consistency from agent to agent with a robust training program
  • Develop plans for continuous development of those representatives as your company and industry evolve
  1. Build continuous improvement into your process

A defined process at the outset will help minimize service disruptions for your customers while reinforcing consistency. However, your process should also be flexible and adaptable enough to evolve as necessary to provide better customer service as customer demands and needs change.

That’s why it’s important to create channels, like surveys, where meaningful customer feedback can be collected. The main goal is to cure drivers of dissatisfaction that can lead to issues like brand abandonment or delinquency, although data on what customers especially like about their call experiences can become something to build from as well.

  1. Don’t slack on training and brand protection

Each customer interaction is an opportunity to protect or tarnish your brand’s public image and reputation. This largely boils down to your agents, which is why training and regular feedback are so important in building an effective call center. Your initial training should outline what a good call sounds like and achieves, creating a benchmark for performance. Then, monitor live and recorded calls for quality assurance and share your findings with your agents for improvement. Recurring issues should be turned into more formal refresher training lessons for the group.

  1. Leverage the right technology

Technology plays an integral role in your call center and is the foundation for efficiency. The right tools can help you:

  • Staff smarter
  • Assist with call monitoring and quality control initiatives
  • Capture customer feedback to make informed changes
  • Reduce customer effort
  • Improve “contactability” – your customers are more likely to reach you when you offer the communication channels they prefer
  • Streamline your customers’ inbound calling experience

There’s a lot that you can (and need to) accomplish. Because your call center will continually evolve, it’s important to focus on flexibility first when choosing technology. Keep in mind that these tools are only as effective as the people managing and using it. It’s a big spend area that usually leads companies towards call center outsourcing because vendors already have this technology on hand and know how to best implement them for your needs.

An effective call center is a strategic advantage for businesses in today’s competitive and crowded markets. A call center that drives profitability and customer satisfaction doesn’t happen by accident, though. Whether you dedicate the time and resources to manage your call center in-house or choose to keep things simple and outsource, balancing these four areas is crucial to building the kind of call center that will delight customers and improve your business.

 

Featured Image: Shutterstock/nmedia
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5 Tips for Creating Effective Customer Experience Surveys

April 24, 2018

 

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Delivering high-quality customer service is vital to your company’s bottom line. Statistics show that 67 percent of consumers switch brands because of unsatisfactory customer experience. Combined with another report that says attracting a new customer is six to seven times more expensive than keeping one, increasing customer satisfaction should be a top priority. Luckily, customer experience surveys are a cost-effective solution for figuring out how to increase customer satisfaction. Creating a good survey, though, does take some effort. These five tips will help you get started.

  1. Understand what you’re trying to measure

Each survey should have a specific learning goal in mind, and the questions you create should be tailored to fit that goal. When companies aren’t sure what they’re trying to learn, there’s a tendency to jam-pack a survey with an assortment of questions. When customers aren’t sure what you’re asking or how questions relate to each other, they can get confused and skew your results.

  1. Use emotive rating fields

The standard “poor” to “excellent” ratings system is robotic and stiff, not the friendly, quality service you want to be known for. Try expectations-based ratings instead. “Hated it” to “loved it”, for example. It’s unexpected and makes the survey experience more interesting.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask yes/no questions

It’s tempting to ask open-ended questions. Detailed feedback can be really helpful, but that data’s much more difficult to sort and troubleshoot. Starting out, a quick consensus can be enough to get you moving in the right direction. As your customer experience efforts evolve, more freeform responses could be helpful to steer you towards more advanced and microscopic adjustments.

  1. Identify your promoters

Net Promoter Score (NPS) can be a powerful measurement of brand loyalty. “Would you recommend our products and services to a friend or family member?” breaks your customers into three different categories: detractors, neutrals, and promoters. Promoters are brand loyalists who are bringing new customers to you. Knowing what makes them happy can help you recreate those same experiences for your other customers.

  1. Keep the survey short

Customers are willing to give you feedback if the survey is succinct and convenient. Long customer experience surveys are more likely to be ignored or only partially filled out, and complex questions can confuse or frustrate customers. Instead, strive to appease and delight customers even during something as innocuous/everyday as a survey. The simpler and more standardized the response, the more convenient the survey is to the customer.

Customer experience surveys are an effective way of gathering meaningful customer feedback. However, they need to be designed in a way that doesn’t inconvenience your customers while also getting you the information you need to make crucial customer service decisions. It’s a delicate but achievable balance that’s well worth the effort of executing properly.

 

Featured Image: Shutterstock/Brian A. Jackson