3 projects to refresh your customer service strategy and relieve stress
When businesses focus on improving their customer experience and service strategy, they can see an 80% increase in revenue.
As a customer service manager, you know how essential it is to deliver the best customer experience. But, over time, your once polite customer service strategy becomes obsolete. With each new hire, integration practices languish and internal processes change. As customer emails, calls, and chats come in, your agents are constantly having to multitask. With all the action, it can be difficult to keep your contact center running smoothly.
And when you have to run from meeting to meeting, sign up for training sessions, and manage escalations, you’re exhausted. You don’t have the ability to start from scratch to revamp your customer experience and create a whole new service strategy.
Let’s take a break. No one is asking you to climb the whole mountain, but I am here to encourage you to take a step to the top. I’m giving you 3 projects to refresh your customer service strategy today (plus tips for getting them started) to complete a better 2021.
Project n ° 1: Supervise and constantly train your agents
The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report predicts that as many as 54% of all employees will need retraining or upgrading by the end of 2022. As the Technology evolves and as remote working becomes more and more popular, customer expectations evolve. Agents in your contact center should be prepared to tackle new soft and technical skills to keep up with changing standards. Plus, your team will take more initiative when they have skills ahead of the curve.
Implementing consistent coaching and training for your agents is an essential first step in boosting your customer service strategy. Coaching doesn’t just prepare your agents for the new skills they need in the future workforce. It also relieves some of the pressure you live with on a daily basis.
Think about this: If your agents are more skilled at dealing with difficult customers, you have more time to take on those time-consuming internal projects. If you regularly coach agents, you are more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your contact center (and the needs of your customers). Throw micromanagement out the window and let your contact center run on its own. But, how do you start to implement consistent coaching and training? Here is how to take the first steps.
1. Simplify agent development with personalized dashboards.
Some 83% of employees really appreciate receiving feedback, whether positive or negative. Your agents need your feedback. Believe it or not, this steady dose of performance feedback alone results in dramatic improvements in the performance of your employees. Use agent scorecards as feedback tools to help you assess specific agent behaviors as you review customer interactions.
Personalize your maps and use a mix of questions to track your objective metrics and the subjective actions of your agent. Then take a few minutes at the end of the day to browse your agent’s dashboards to note multiple agent interactions, so they know specific areas, supported by context, to improve.
2. Use online training to quickly deliver contextual training.
Consistent training and coaching improves your customer service strategy. Coaching allows you to spot employee mistakes before they turn into bad habits. Online training allows you to respond to specific points in your agents’ customer interactions with constructive (and affirmative) feedback.
No need to take the agent aside for a 1: 1 to inform him of the only call 2 hours ago that he’s been through. Instead, review a few transcripts of an agent’s call before you log out for the day. Respond at specific points in the interaction and relate your comments to the interaction they belong to without leaving your seat. Your agents will have more detail and context to work with, and you’ll save time and energy.
Project # 2: Use Automation and Bots to Simplify Your Customer Service Strategy
Thanks to countless futuristic books, movies, and TV shows about robots taking over the world, I’d say we’re all a little reluctant to add too much automation to our lives. As technology evolves, however, studies show that customers prefer more automated experiences. They want to find answers to their questions without having to make a phone call.
Don’t worry, the bots aren’t about to take your job. Automation and bots cannot replace humanity in your customer service strategy. Instead, when you use automation in your contact center, your entire team will have more time and energy to focus on a more personal customer experience.
When you use automation strategically in your contact center, you avoid the tedious tasks that burden your contact center agents. Then your agents can then spend more time dealing with complex customer issues.
1. Add bots and actions to simplify customer service.
Cloud contact center platforms can offer automated bots to automate your workflow and relieve your agents of the most tedious tasks on their to-do list. Filter out simple questions asked by customers and leave them to bots or automation rules. And put bots in your omnichannel system’s workflow to find self-service items and deliver them to customers through live chat or your IVR. Best of all, you can instantly fix issues in your IVR when you write the right rules.
Bots can point customers in the right direction for help without unnecessarily labeling your agents. This allows them to work on more complex customer issues. Plus, you can trigger bots to gather additional context for your agents before they speak with a customer, contributing to a more personalized experience.
2. Add automation to save time in coaching and training.
Bots can also save you time as a manager. Set up bots to follow agent behavior patterns, automate coaching lessons for agents, and use speech analysis to find coaching moments for your 1: 1s. It will save you a lot of time when looking for special times to offer online training.
Project # 3: Clean up your data to set clear goals for your team
Data is everything. There are So lots of useful information living in your contact center platform from hours of customer interactions, reports and metrics. How you use that data can make a big difference for your customer service strategy and for your team. But, when your data is disorganized or underutilized, you lose information about your team and your customers.
You may think that you are providing excellent service. But unless you look at your data, you don’t know how your contact center works. Simply put, you need to define what success looks like, measure it, and act on the data you find. Setting clear goals for your team is integral to employee engagement and the success of your agents. And, when your team stays engaged and achieves their goals, your customers benefit. It’s a win-win!
Messy data can cause stress. Let me paint you a picture. Your leadership team asks you to compile a list of key actions and goals for your team. So you will collect information from your reports to find where your team can improve. You extract report after report in the downloaded spreadsheets. You spend hours squinting at the numbers, trying to create some kind of Excel chart to make sense of the information. What good are reports if you end up with hours of data sorting and a headache?
Integrate and streamline your contact center data into clear reports so you can create clear and accessible goals for your team.
1. Use a platform that makes your data attractive and visible.
It is quite tedious to go through hundreds of cells and columns of worksheets to get information. Who has time for this? Not you, and certainly not your agents. But, when you can use simple, color charts to compile reports, you can turn complex data into actionable, compelling, and easy-to-understand information.
Find a contact center platform that allows you to customize reports and integrate them into different chart styles. Use color intentionally to show which data points need immediate attention and where your agents are excellent.
2. Actively share data and reports to get the most out of your agents.
Your beautiful reports won’t impact your customer service if you don’t make them accessible to your team. As mentioned earlier, consistent feedback is transformative for your agents. Share your data and reports in real time with your agents for maximum impact on your goals.
With dashboards or information panels built into your contact center platform, select specific KPIs or goals to show your agents throughout the day. As soon as a customer interaction enters the queue, use bots to record information across all channels and funnel the data into agent-specific reports. Make these reports visible to your agents after each interaction. Then they know when they can improve (and they want to improve too).
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