"Customer-centric” is shaping up to be a buzzword for 2014, and perhaps no area of your company is more consumer-focused than the contact center. Service quality can make or break a company. After all, 86% of customers quit doing business with a company after a bad customer service experience, and over half admit they would only try to reach support once before giving up on a purchase.Let’s explore four ways you can help build a customer-centric contact center.
Get everyone on board: Give everyone, from the highest rung to the support staff, a chance to interact with customers on the front lines. Allow agents to take on leadership roles and take ownership of their work so they are more engaged with their jobs and a customer-centric attitude infiltrates every level of the contact center.
Provide more ways to interact with customers: Customers today interact with the companies they do business with across many channels, including phone, company websites, email, live chat, text message, and social media. Identify which channels customers prefer the most and test them with an eye toward implementing new channels and increasing their utilization. Coach and train in multi-channel contact so agents become adept with interacting with customers via many methods.
Empower employees with coaching and training: Contact center employees who are supported, empowered, and engaged are more likely to handle angry customers well and deal with customers in a positive manner. Opt for a coaching and training philosophy that encourages growth, rather than hard and fast rules and scripts.
Encourage active listening: Make it the contact center’s goal to understand customers and respect their preferences. Solicit feedback from customers via surveys and ongoing conversations, so you understand what they want and how to serve them better.