A popular maxim for the new year is “out with the old and in with the new”—something many contact center managers should consider if they still rely on outdated training techniques and performance metrics. Managers who want to achieve the best possible customer service must leverage the latest technology to ensure ongoing call center efficiency and agent effectiveness. Without upgraded software that supports such objectives, their contact centers may fall flat before too long.
Resolve to meet 2016 call center goals by following these three guidelines:
- Remember faster service isn’t always better: Traditionally, providing the best customer service meant reducing customer call time, or Average Handler Time (AHT). Relying on this metric, however, can backfire because not every customer service issue can be resolved quickly. Certain questions require more careful consideration. Yet, in an effort to fulfill AHT expectations, contact center agents may feel pressure to cut a call short before adequately answering a customer’s question. This could wind up hurting your business as customers may feel rushed and unsatisfied with their experience. The goal of an agent-customer interaction, therefore, should not be to hastily get the customer off the phone but, instead, to effectively resolve his or her issue as efficiently as possible.
- Make sure your agents are properly informed: The more knowledge your agents have about your company’s products and policies, the more effective they’ll be when interacting with customers. For instance, if agents frequently need to search for the answer to a question or request assistance from a co-worker, their AHT will be too high to support a stellar customer experience. While speed isn’t everything, as previously mentioned, the faster an agent can clarify and resolve an issue certainly plays a key role in providing customer satisfaction. Faster service is also more cost-effective for organizations, since the shorter the duration of each interaction, the more an agent can accomplish within a specific time period.
- Invest in the right training: If you want your business to excel, then your employees must be enabled to provide exemplary customer service. This means equipping them with the innovative resources needed to help optimize their performance. Deploy contact center software with a built-in automated coaching system that gives your agents the necessary tools to succeed. Best-in-class solutions allow you to customize agent training expressly where they need it most. For example, implementing an e-coaching application that allows you to record voice, screen and agent keystrokes directly from the desktop will allow you to identify issues and take action right away. This not only allows supervisors to assess the effectiveness of training but will reinforce the agent’s progress as well.
To build a contact center that provides a high-quality customer experience, managers need to think about the customer experience as a whole. Improving the quality of the interactions, including the benefits to your customers and your company—will go far toward ensuring that your contact center has a successful and productive new year.