Contacting customer service over the phone can be one of the most infuriating experiences as a customer. As a small business owner, however, it's your job to make sure phone customers have the exact opposite experience. To avoid these poor experiences, Business News Daily posted an article with 3 tips to avoiding customer service disasters in the call center. Below is a summary of that article:
When it comes to customer service, 70% of U.S. adults will use the phone as their first method to contact a company, according to a study by call center cloud based software provider Five9. But when they receive terrible support, 85% of these consumers said they will take action. Specifically, 49% of these consumers said they will stop doing business with a company completely. Additionally, 65% of women said they will ask to immediately speak with a supervisor. Moreover, consumers ages 18 to 34 are likely to publicly shame companies on social media. These are all problems no small business owner wants to face.
So, what makes customers tick? Most customers are infuriated by speaking with a rude (60%) or incompetent (52%) customer service representative, the study revealed. Other sources of customer dissatisfaction include not reaching a live person, getting disconnected, having to explain their issues more than once and being put on hold for a lengthy amount of time.
Whether you outsource a call center or run your own, there are steps you can take to ensure your customers receive the best customer service possible. Rich Guth, vice president of marketing at Transera, a customer engagement software provider for contact centers, shared the following tips.
Prepare for Customer Service Disasters Before They Happen
1. It Starts With Your agents
Delivering excellent customer service starts with hiring the best customer service representatives and training them well. According to the study, 93% of respondents said they are more willing to forgive a company that is unable to help them if the agent is respectful, knowledgeable, friendly, patient, sympathetic, or even humorous.
"Ultimately, it is the contact-center agents who have the biggest impact on the customer's experience," Guth said. As such, businesses should equip these agents with the right tools and information they need to succeed. This includes providing agents with readily available scripts and customer data before they even answer the phone. Businesses should also have a greater understanding of how agents perform, to determine their strengths and weaknesses, Guth said.
"Contact centers should encourage their agents to deliver a personalized and optimized customer experience," Guth said. This means gauging agent performance based on data other than handle times, abandon rates , speed of answers and similar metrics, he said.
2. Use the Right Call Center Technology
Finding the right call center software or company can be a challenge, but having the necessary technology is key to providing quality customer service. The chosen solution should have robust capabilities, such as providing comprehensive data on customers and routing calls to the most qualified agent for specific issues.
Call center technologies should help businesses make sense and extract value out of all the available data. They should be able to make correlations from different types of data, and then use it to better understand customers' needs and how to best serve them during the call, Guth said.
3. Tap into the Power of Big Data
What this all boils down to is being able to take advantage of Big Data to deliver excellent customer service, Guth said.
It starts from the time a customer picks up the phone, but information gets scattered throughout the conversation and stored in a disparate system. Together, this data forms historical performances and real-time context to make better, data-driven decisions, he said. "These decisions are backed up with months' and years' worth of detailed data, not just high-level summaries or snapshots of specific time periods."
Big Data enables call centers to reduce customer frustration by intelligently matching the right agents with the right customers. This places both parties in the best situation to quickly resolve issues and deliver excellent phone support, from which customer loyalty arises.
Want more call center industry news and articles? Check out the blog on Outsource Consultants’ website!
Outsource Consultants is a call center referral and advisory firm that helps companies find the best call center and BPO outsourcing solution. We can assist in finding solutions for inbound and outbound call centers, live web chat, cloud-based call centers, and outsourced email support services. We will save you significant time, reduce your outsourcing costs, and help minimize your risk when switching or selecting a new call center partner.