Top Tips: Call Center Customer Experience Best Practices
A modern business innovator famously said, “Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.”
Who said this simple but profound quote?
Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, consistently one of the highest-rated customer-oriented businesses.
While call center directors and managers can endlessly focus on agent’s customer service levels, they can overlook one key variable – how they set the overall service tone.
So how can directors, managers, and agents all contribute to delivering all-around extraordinary customer service?
How Directors Make a Big Impact on Customer Experience
Directors know the ins and outs of tracking manager and agent performance, and how it affects the customer experience.
But there are steps directors can take right now to vastly improve manager and agent performance.
Here are three call center customer experience best practices for directors.
Upgrade Call Centers to Run on Cloud-Based Software
If you’re still operating your call centers using legacy, on-premise systems, new opportunities await you. Also, while these systems did the heavy lifting in the past, maintaining them today is becoming increasingly cost-prohibitive.
Once directors get call center cloud-based software installed, they get access to essential BI reports, empower them power to…
- Automate critical business metric tracking and report generation
- Measure and monitor call campaign progress and costs in real-time, and
- Track manager and agent performance.
Essential reporting does so much more for directors, too.
But essential reporting’s ability to zero in on agent performance and service levels make using it a call center customer experience best practice.
Go Even Deeper with Business Intelligence (BI)
If essential reporting gives directors a valuable overview and detail of center operations, business intelligence (BI) goes even deeper.
BI helps directors manages rapid changes in call volume, staffing up to handle a flood of calls or pairing the number of agents down when inbound traffic slows.
Similarly, BI takes historical call center data and helps directors better predict when and where agents will be most needed.
Again, BI does so much more, particularly on the compliance side. But directors can use BI to better customer experience by pinpointing which agents are crushing it, need extra training, or need reassignment.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how managers in the process can proactively enhance the customer experience.
Simple, Yet Effective Manager Best Practices to Ensure a Consistently Worthwhile Customer Experience
While directors enhance customer service from afar, managers are in the trenches, dynamically responding to service challenges as they happen.
Sure, managers can get used to these challenges. But it wears on their effectiveness and ability to serve. There are smarter ways to prepare for difficult service situations before they arise while also creating the best service experience out there.
Make Coaching Agents a Routine – Even for the Best Agents
It’s critical for managers to hire agents who have a growth mindset. Agents with growth mindsets are more likely to respond positively to coaching.
And managers need to coach regularly to lay the groundwork for the best service experience possible.
Zero in and spend time with agents who are struggling with KPIs. But don’t neglect to coach and engage with high performers, too. They still need positive affirmation, and regular manager deposits into their “emotional bank account.”
This practice is sure to keep agent morale high and translate into remarkable customer interactions.
Listen to Live Agent-Customer Conversations
Great managers continuously monitor all aspects of their agents’ workday to give them the best opportunity to succeed.
Listening to live agent-customer conversations is an essential manager practice for assuring excellent service and compliance levels.
Cloud-based software tools allow managers to insert themselves into calls when the agent is struggling and needs help – particularly with demanding customers and using the correct legal language.
Call recording is also a trusty side-kick to monitoring individual calls to strive for service excellence. The difference is that call recording software features make this practice scalable and easier to identify systematic issues and threats.
Optimize Inbound Processes for Expedited Service
Managers can do wonders for the customer experience by implementing a finely-tuned Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system and an accompanying Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system.
These tools work together to quickly find a customer the answer they need without an agent – and routes the call to the best agent available when they do. Now that’s service!
Teach Agents These Best Practices for Unmatched Service
There’s one everyday reality directors, managers, and agents face.
In small doses, it can instantly transform average agents into service superheroes, going above and beyond to make a customer’s day.
But in large doses, it can dismantle any agent’s attempt to give excellent service.
We’re talking stress, of course.
Helping your agents manage stress is a must for any high functioning call center. It’s also a call center customer experience best practice.
Managers can encourage agents to work on their self-development and also give them tips to stay cool in tough situations. Role-playing can effectively reduce panic, worry, and stumbling, too.
Use All Available Tools to Stay Compliant
With automated cloud-based call center software, agents receive pop-ups that give them the exact language and information needed to stay compliant, depending on the situation.
This information helps agents make all necessary disclosures to customers, so they stay compliant with TCPA. And staying compliant with all regulations is a prerequisite to delivering a great experience.
Making sure agents are getting the proper training will help them use these tools more effectively.
Handling the Inevitable – Upset Customers
Agents never have to wonder if they’ll deal with upset customers. It’s a matter of when it’ll happen.
Practicing genuine empathy is one of the keys to diffusing an angry customer who curses like a sailor. Agents must remember to stay calm and never place a customer on hold in this situation.
If they find themselves struggling to address the concerns and show that they are being heard, escalating to a manager is a reasonable course of action. Sometimes all a customer wants is to know that they aren’t just another number. Many times, in just a minute or two of chat with a superior, the knowledge that they aren’t being ignored by the business is all it takes.
The goal for agents is to show the customer they’re on their side and want to resolve their issue swiftly, making the customer better off.
The Magic Tool That Directors, Managers and Agents Use to Revolutionize the Customer Experience
They say there’s no such thing as a silver bullet – there’s a catch to everything.
But what if they were wrong?
What if there was a tool that could boost the bottom line, elevate customer service to unprecedented levels, protect against huge regulatory fines, and much more?
Easy-to-use, cloud-based software that granted call center operations the power to…
- Assess historical calls with quick auto-tagging of emotions and keywords
- Analyze data to create the ideal agent-customer interaction
We’re talking about Speech Analytics – and utilizing it is one call center customer experience best practice directors and managers need to implement for better service, happier customers and a brand reputation that sells itself.
That’s why we created a free guide on how Speech Analysis can revolutionize any call center’s customer service and operations.
Download it now and discover how Speech Analysis can make a world of difference in any call center.