Until recently, call centers were designed around easily-measured metrics such as Average Handle Time and Response Time. Also agents were trained to closely follow a script and resolve customer issues in the shortest possible time. But in an era of customer influence, this school of thought will hardly give you any leverage.
What you need to do to be successful in current time is to focus on customer experience rather than just providing customer service. In practical terms, this means that your goal should be to design a contact center that not just satisfies your customers, but actually delights them. For this you have to follow below mentioned contact center best practices-
Identify and Track Customer-Centric Key Performance Indicators
True contact center success can only be achieved when organizations come out from measure everything that moves mind-set and adapt a more constructive attitude of measuring what matters most. As mentioned earlier, what matters most in current times is keeping the customers happy. Hence you have to track far more qualitative and holistic metrics that really matter to the customers such as Service Level, First-Call Resolution, Contact Quality and Customer Satisfaction.
Deliver Consistent Experience Across All Support Channels
Gone are the days when call center was just a place that was only assessable through calls. Presently contact centers have diversified their operations and have become a place that customers can reach out via SMS, chat, email, and even video chat. To be successful in such a diversified environment call centers need to ensure that agents are delivering consistent experience across all the support channels.
Use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Wisely
IVR is a great tool for call centers. If designed properly, this system can help you serve more customers and delivery positive experience. But this doesn’t mean that you can over use this system and push every customer into self-service.
Do bear in mind that every call is an opportunity to engage with customers and build long-lasting relationships. Don’t let that chance slip away by being short-sighted and forcing callers into self-service IVR menus.
Train and Upgrade Agents’ Skills for Improved Performance
In a rush to serve hundreds—if not thousands—of customers every day, most call centers undermine the importance of educating and upgrading the skills of their agents. But what they are failing to understand is that this is a vital step that call centers shouldn’t hesitate to take if they aspire to see higher customer retention and conversion rates.
Empower Your Agents
As a contact center manager, it is perfectly understandable that you want your agents to resolve customers’ concerns (or close the deal if you are sales-focused) as quickly as possible.
But don’t just focus on pushing agents and getting things done in quick time, which increases the chances of agent burnout. Give some space for the agents and create a positive environment that encourages them to listen to customers and resolve issues in an intuitive manner. This will not only help you to keep a tab on agent burnout, but also give a big boost to the quality of service provided.
At the end of the day, you want your customers to feel valued and you want your agents to remain happy and loyal all the time. You can achieve both of these business objectives in simple, cost-effective ways by following the above mentioned steps.