Is Customer Experience a Key Differentiator Today?
Although the pandemic and challenges of recent years have led to a number of changes in the way businesses operate, the demand for exceptional customer experiences is as strong as ever. Even at a time when companies are seeing a massive increase in call center contact volume, customer expectations continue to rise.
As of 2021, 50% of U.S. customers say the pandemic has led them to place a higher priority on excellent customer service when deciding to do business with a brand. Even more, 30% of customers say they are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience.
Luckily, we are here to help you take CX to the next level in your contact center with some top tips.
1. Invest in the Right Support
Calls rated “difficult” by customer service representatives increased by 100% during the pandemic, and the volume of calls that many contact centers had to deal with also increased significantly. As customers continue to value quick, responsive, and empathetic interactions with businesses, it’s quite possible that you’ll need additional help to meet today’s expectations.
While hiring additional staff may be an option for some companies, outsourcing offers a better alternative for most brands struggling with issues like low budgets and unpredictable call volumes. With business process technology outsourcing, you can access the targeted support you need to strengthen your customer service team.
Outsourcing not only gives you access to more professionals to handle the increasing call volume but also new experts to help you with the more difficult calls in your queue. Outsourcing could even ensure that you can offer a wider range of communication channels by accessing professionals who know how to use video and chat tools.
2. Explore Automation
While there will always be a need for people and empathetic professionals in the contact center environment, automation is becoming increasingly important due to rising call volumes and new demands. Customers not only appreciate having access to self-service tools for troubleshooting and problem resolution – they expect that level of support.
Having access to automation tools that can quickly guide customers through the problem-solving process without having to wait for an agent can significantly improve customer satisfaction.
Chatbots and virtual assistants can handle a wide range of use cases for your customers while reducing the pressure on your customer service representatives. When more customers are able to self-serve, your agents have more time to focus on the complex cases that need their attention the most.
3. Always Prioritize Speed
While there’s more to a great customer experience than a quick response, it’s fair to say that today’s customers do not like to wait. Research shows that 44% of consumers feel annoyed, angry, or irritated when they have to wait between 5 and 15 minutes for a call to be answered.
If you are not providing the right level of quick and responsive service, you are more likely to drive customers away from your brands and into the arms of your competitors. To ensure you are responding fastest where it matters most, use your insights and customer service analytics to identify which channels your customers use most.
About 76% of customers still contact customer service by phone. Therefore, it’s important to have enough staff to manage phone lines, even if it means outsourcing your customer service. Next, consider how you can use technology to resolve issues quickly.
Just as automated tools and bots can help your customers serve themselves, they can also give your agents more information they need to resolve inquiries quickly. Equip your teams with virtual agents that can search for data on the fly.
4. Be Proactive
To deliver problem solutions as quickly as your customers want today, you need to be not only informed and agile but also proactive. Countless customers across a wide range of industries increasingly expect their service providers to understand their needs and solve potential problems before they even arise.
Fortunately, the right tools and technologies in your ecosystem can help you anticipate problems and solve them for your customers faster than ever before. For example, in a telecommunications company, you can understand what’s happening in your data centers at any given time through proactive monitoring and analysis. But the historical information you collect can also help you proactively predict when usage spikes might impact network connections.
By staying one step ahead of any issues, you show your customers that you have their best interests at heart. It also pays to make sure you are constantly updating your customers on what’s going on with your business because that shows a level of authenticity and transparency that most customers appreciate.
5. Discover the Power of Personalization
As mentioned earlier, today’s customers want faster customer service, but that does not mean you should compromise on delivering relevant, personalized interactions. Whether you are responding to a customer’s service request or making a sales call, every interaction with your customer should be tailored to their unique needs.
The best way to ensure you meet your customer’s expectations for personalization is to gather as much insightful information as possible with your contact center technology. The right tools usually have built-in analytics and insights that can help you learn more about your customers. You can also use tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software to gain insights into customer preferences and expectations.
Address your customers by name, track the context of conversations from one channel to the next in your customer service strategy, and work to provide a truly meaningful experience for each customer.
6. Be Empathetic, Capable, and Ready to Learn
Finally, as customer expectations evolve, so will the skills your contact center employees, contractors, and freelancers need to deliver the right results. By ensuring your team members are adequately trained when needed, they will be better able to meet the demands of changing customers.
Training should focus on how to use technology and tools to optimize customer service, but it’s also important to consider soft skill development. Teaching your employees to show empathy and be more personable in conversation can have a positive impact on your brand’s reputation and your customers’ long-term loyalty.
One of the best ways to ensure your team is constantly evolving, learning, and improving is to be open to feedback. Gather information from your audience about what they like and do not like when interacting with your brands.
Use automated surveys and reviews to learn more about what you can do to deliver more effective experiences, and then implement strategies to deliver what your customers want.
Transform your Contact Centre
Your contact center is usually the central point of contact between your company and your customers. It plays a big role in how your brand is perceived and whether you can retain your customers for the long term or risk losing them to the competition.
With the tips above, you should be on the right track to creating a better customer experience with your contact center. Do not forget that at Bulb Tech, you can get additional guidance, help, and expert support to take your contact center to the next level! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.