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New Year's Resolutions for Better Customer Care

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January 02, 2013

New Year's Resolutions for Better Customer Care

By Allison Boccamazzo, Managing Content Producer

 Establishing a healthy relationship between the caller and the “call-ee” can sometimes be difficult, oftentimes complicated but always rewarding. For call center managers, it can be very beneficial to add a list of work-related resolutions as well as personal ones to promote self-growth as well as a successful business.

When strategizing resolutions, the first thing that should come to mind is how to better care for your customer, but that notion can extend to your call center agents, as well. Here are some unique resolutions that can be made today to ensure happy, satisfied customers every day this year.

Provide a Seamless, Multi-Channel Customer Experience

One way to improve the overall efficiency of your call center as well as encourage agents to do a better job fulfilling their callers’ needs is to provide customers with a superior service experience across multiple channels. When considering effective goals, this should without a doubt be the first step taken this year.

Many should ashamedly agree that customers have been reiterating the same problems for far too long – bottom line, it’s 100 percent unacceptable. By offering your customers multiple outlets to resolve an issue, most chances are, it will be done so quicker and easier, and will have them coming back again. For example, InfoSys, a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing, gives a great example in a recent related blog: “Here’s a thought: If your customer started resolving an issue on your self-help portal, can he/she can pick up where they left off when they talk to your agent? Now that’s an integrated service experience,” the company advises.

By giving the caller a customer service step-ladder via several readily available options, agents will be better updated, informed and unified, as well as won’t have to hear the same questions over and over again. Similarly, customers won’t have to suffer repeating themselves every time they dial in.

During the holiday season of 2012, it was also revealed in a study from real-time intelligent engagement solution provider, LivePerson (News - Alert), that 50 percent of those surveyed believed it was highly important that a company offer either a mobile app or website that it easy-to-use on mobile devices. Additionally, a whopping 40 percent surveyed reported that they planned to use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter (News - Alert) to interact with retailers. Even more, 45 percent said that they prefer live chat to standard 1-800 numbers.

Clearly, this study shows just how varied customers’ preferences and tastes are when it comes to customer service, therefore, every business should be guaranteeing support in all of these forms.

Customers can help by actually utilizing these tools if they are made accessible to them, which will then help agents do their job better. For instance, if one has been always reliant on calling an 800-number, perhaps they should try something new by exploring the company’s social media sites, or if they have a smartphone, seeing if they have an app. A new year means exciting new possibilities and opportunities – especially for customer service!

Provide the Customer with Information that is Consistently Accurate and Reliable Every Time

This point cannot be more paramount. It is even more unacceptable to have a customer speak to two, three or even four call center agents in one day who all somehow do not have the correct information in front of them and do not properly relay the caller’s information to them; however, this continues to happen on a daily basis.

Infosys (News - Alert) continues in their blog to reveal that more than 40 percent of customers consider a delayed resolution to be the most frustrating aspect of customer service – and can you blame them? If a customer only wants one question answered and it takes them hours of going through multiple department transfers to do so, there is without a doubt a huge problem at hand. Customer need to stop settling for this type of service in 2013, and agents need to better collect themselves to provide customers with a truly unified view of their service history, which Infosys strongly urges as well.

Some smaller elements that play into this resolution include:

  • Connecting customers to the right person – and faster
  • Shortening wait times
  • Consolidating sources of information for increased productivity

Encourage Agents to Feel Fulfilled In Serving Their Customers

Many times, agents can feel as though they are just a bumper for agitated, enraged customers, which can leave them feeling unfulfilled, stressed, taken advantage of and oftentimes not wanting to give it their all. As a call center manager, make sure that every single one of your agents is equipped with the fresh mindset that they are not just problem-solvers, but as Infosys perfectly puts it, “revenue-enhancers.”

Empower them, and you will surely see a difference. No one wants to feel like the job they are putting so much work into isn’t amounting to anything. Infosys adds, “Industry data shows that for every successful issue closure, there is a 20 percent increase in cross-sell rate.”

In other words, solve the issue efficiently, and the customer will trust in your competence to further invest. It’s a very simple equation that when mastered, reaps enormous benefits. So to transform the customer experience, work inward first, where your agents should feel like they are an empowered asset to your business where they can really make a difference.

Hopefully this will give you some inspiration for a successful new year full of superior customer service!

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Technology Marketing Corporation

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