In an environment where stellar service has become an expectation rather than a pleasant surprise, contact centers are in a prime position to truly shine and become an integral part of the business. But to do this, they must positively impact their customers. That’s no easy task, however, since today’s Internet savvy consumers are more informed than ever and have likely fully researched and attempted to solve whatever problem they’re calling in about well before making contact with one of your agents.
As a result, your agents now need to be even more prepared to meet these heightened customer expectations. Here are three ways to help them achieve this:
Teach agents to be proactive: Train your agents to anticipate customer needs. For example, ask them to make note of any recurring customer service patterns or issues. Then proactively seek solutions to any potential problem before it even exists. This will not only exceed your customers’ expectations, but by successfully preempting any impending issues and interactions, your inbound contact volume will consequently reduce.
Know your customers: Evaluate how your customers want to be contacted—through email, voice or SMS—along with what day and times they’re most receptive. Leverage this data to outline an optimal strategy that combines a mix of automated self-service and live agent interactions. For instance, a customer ordered a product that has since sold out, so it will no longer arrive on the estimated delivery date. An agent should proactively contact said customer before the product is past due via his or her preferred method of communication, apologetically inform the individual of the problem and offer a viable solution. Customers understand that mistakes can happen. What’s important is that your agents never give excuses and that they make your customers feel valued and heard.
Effectively train your agents: To ensure optimal customer service, it’s essential you provide agents with the most comprehensive and effective tools available. Deploy contact center software that instantly captures real-time data, such as voice and agent keystrokes, so issues can be resolved immediately.
By heading off any potential problems and offering your customers more convenient solutions to issues that do arise, agents will create a more positive customer experience that will help build loyalty and, ultimately, improve your business’s success.