Today, we are living in what some call the “Experience Economy.” Consumers have more and more buying power, and their expectations are growing along with it. For shoppers, the consumer experience trumps all else. As a result, Customer Experience (CX) has become a top competitive differentiator among brands.
In 2020, focusing on customer experience will be essential for both call center providers and their clients in order to succeed.
What Is Customer Experience?
At its core, CX is how a person feels about their experience interacting with a brand. Each interaction is part of that experience, from browsing to purchasing to customer service. Every time a customer interacts with a brand, the needle moves either toward a more positive experience or away from it.
Call Center Customer Experience Best Practices
Contact centers are often involved in multiple touchpoints in a customer’s journey. Thus, they are in a prime position to greatly impact customer experience. These call center customer experience best practices will help centers—and the companies who use them—augment their customers’ experience in 2020.
1. Become Customer-Centric
A study by PWC found that 73% of consumers say customer experience is an important factor in their purchasing decisions, and 64% consider it more important than price. Recognizing this, call centers should make customer experience a top priority.
Agent training should emphasize the importance of providing a positive customer experience so that it’s their goal with every interaction. Centers can empower agents through policies and processes that allow them to provide excellent service. Rather than simply tracking metrics like hold times and time on call, contact centers can also track customer experience/satisfaction KPIs.
2. Improve Employee Satisfaction
The way employees feel exerts tremendous influence on how they treat customers. This is no less critical in a call center. Managers should do what they can to create a positive, productive work environment and to ensure their employees are happy. After all, an agent may answer a customer negatively if they’re in a bad mood. Increasing employee satisfaction can go a long way toward improving the customer experience.
3. Enhance Convenience
Consumers appreciate convenience. Making things easier has been shown to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction, so the less a customer has to do to get a problem resolved or make a purchase, the better.
Call center agents can reduce customer effort and enhance convenience in several ways, such as:
- Understand customer queries clearly
- Offer to call back in case of disconnection
- Avoid making the customer repeat themselves (one contact resolution)
- Solve customers’ issues the first time around
- Provide helpful material after service
4. Leverage Technology
As technology continues to advance, consumers have less tolerance for outdated or clunky automation, processes, or communications. 2020 will most likely see an increase in the use of advances like AI and machine learning to augment the customer experience.
When leveraged well, these technologies will actually help agents provide better experiences for customers. Human agents can have access to customer histories and relevant data at the appropriate time, which will help them provide a more personalized, relevant experience in a faster, more convenient way.
5. Capitalize on Human Touch
While consumers want technology to facilitate a more convenient, seamless experience, they don’t want to eliminate the human touch. Studies show that human interaction still matters—82% of U.S. and 74% of non-U.S. consumers want more of it. Just think back to the last time you called a company and got lost in a maze of automated menus, when all you wanted was to simply talk to a live person.
As a result, call centers who train and encourage “soft skills,” such as active listening, providing empathetic and understanding responses or proactively assessing the caller’s emotional state and needs, will have a distinct competitive advantage. These people skills are absolutely critical to great customer experiences.
Step Up Your Customers’ Experience
A provider that understands and commits to these call center customer experience best practices can be a valuable business partner in 2020. ROI Solutions has been offering exceptional customer experiences for their clients for years. Contact ROI Solutions today to see how they can give you the CX business advantage.