4 Ways to Exceed Customer Expectations
How your customers interact with your brand can have lasting impressions and effects. It’s in your call center’s best interest to focus on your agents and ensure they have everything they need in order to provide your customers with the best experience possible and exceed customer expectations.
Know the product
Call center agents are primarily there to provide support to your customers and sell products. As selling becomes one of the more prominent focuses for agents throughout some organizations, call center agents should be equipped with the right tools and knowledge. It’s essential to have training and practices for agents to get familiar with the products they are selling and help problem-solve.
Implementing processes and establishing resources will streamline the onboarding of new agents and ensure they can quickly get up to speed and know the products. It’s likely that many consumers who call into your organization have already done some searching for what they’re looking for; remind your agents that consumers who call in want to take advantage of the niche knowledge and expertise they have.
Making sure your agents are educated about what they’re selling and helping with is the best way to ensure consumers will have a positive experience.
Know the company culture
How a company treats its employees directly impacts the employee’s satisfaction, which can affect their job performance and, in turn, affect the customer’s experience when interacting with an employee. It’s a cycle that starts with your call center agents and can be improved by creating a positive and healthy company culture.
When agents feel valued and satisfied with their job, they will be more engaged and motivated to perform well. The culture and management within a call center can set agents up for success. For agents, this can translate into going above and beyond helping a troubled customer and leaving them with a positive experience.
Your agents want to succeed, so as a manager, it’s your job to help them. A Gallup poll reported that 15% of global employees feel engaged with their work and that the manager determines 70% of the variance in team engagement. Creating a culture of engagement and positivity helps agents perform at their best.
Focusing your call center goals on building a culture centered around positive experiences is an excellent way to increase agent engagement. Try starting with a small-scale initiative like equipping your agents with the solutions and tools they need to be prepared for conducting customer interactions that align with business objectives.
Know the customers
One might consider call center agents to be like medical professionals in a hospital. They have the knowledge and skills to assist patients, but they can’t do so without first learning about the patient. Learning about their history, understanding their current concerns and knowing what the desired outcome is, helps to diagnose the problem and discover a solution.
Exceptional customer service starts by truly understanding your customers. You will dramatically change how agents interact with them by ensuring your agents understand who your customers are. As soon as agents learn about the customer, they can start tailoring their approach and providing specialized service.
The quality of service your call center provides is a direct reflection of your company and agents. When your agents offer exceptional service, your company is seen as extraordinary. Positive customer relations take a lot of hard work and are developed throughout the life of the relationship. Regardless of how strong of a relationship you have with your consumers, it is essential that you nurture and care for them. Even a single negative customer experience can cost you a potential customer.
There are many things agents need to remember and do when working with a customer. Still, there are a few that you might not ordinarily consider. Agents should mirror customer behavior, such as their communication style and the channels they use, like email, SMS or Voice. Call center agents also need to consider what the customer may or is likely to need in the future to anticipate any potential concerns and address them preemptively. Anticipating needs and empathizing will help agents create a good rapport with consumers to enhance the overall customer experience.
Know when to ask for help
Good customer experiences also rely on good agent experiences. When agents enjoy their work, have the tools they need and are empowered to succeed, they tend to exceed your customer expectations.
Call center managers need to create an environment where agents feel comfortable expressing confusion and asking for help. It is difficult for most people to admit that they need help, and it is especially tough for those working in a fast-paced environment such as call centers.
Agents should never hesitate to ask, transfer or escalate a call when they need help. Part of being a manager is being a mentor. Helping agents feel comfortable asking questions and seeking help comes with the territory.
Flexibility plays a significant part in handling difficult situations. Even if it means branching out and implementing software such as IVR (Interactive Voice Response), call centers need to adapt to changes in consumer demands. Customers appreciate companies offering immediate solutions for their problems — whether speaking to a live agent on the phone or using live chat.
Over the past few years, there have been many changes in customers’ needs and call center agents have struggled to keep up. Request a demo to learn more about the shift in consumer demands and how you can prepare your agents to exceed customer expectations.