If your customers are happy then your business will be in a strong position.
Usually, a customer’s sense of satisfaction following interaction with a contact centre – the all-important front line for your big business – depends on how they are handled by the agent they are assigned to.
Despite the raft of communications channels that remove the need to speak with an agent, many people feel that the quickest and most natural way to get something resolved is by direct contact. Finding ways to increase your agents’ efficiency can only boost customer satisfaction and, in turn, the reputation of your business.
Discover the cause of contact
Knowing why your customers contact you is key to understanding how to approach their query. Are they calling because the online contact form doesn’t allow for enough detail? Because no one replies to emails? Or because it’s more reliable than online chat?
Many services exist to reduce average handle time, a measurement that monitors the average time it takes for a customer service representative to answer your call. Thanks to new technology that analyses average handle times, it is now possible to see where your business is losing out on time with these calls. Whether your business tweaks its processes to reduce average handle time, divert certain queries to other departments or online resources, reactions to specific queries can take many different forms. Customer surveys, call codes and even checklists can help inform the sort of service you tailor to common requests.
Audit your processes
Looking at the processes in place for your team to follow can often uncover inefficiencies and obvious areas for improvement. You could involve the team directly by holding a forum or workshop to discuss what works, what doesn’t and what stops agents being able to help customers resolve issues on first contact. Employees will often know what needs to be done to improve, and will feel empowered and motivated by you taking the time to ask for their views.
Cross-skill your team
Long established as a means of boosting contact centre efficiency, cross-skilling employees means blending knowledge retention with customer experience as a foundation and layering skills on top. Being careful not to overburden employees in the drive to help them become more efficient is highly important, however, as you don’t want your workforce struck down by burnout.
Successfully cross-skilling your team should reduce the amount time needed to achieve service level agreements.
Experience is priceless when it comes to providing a smooth journey from first contact to resolution. Some contact centres can be notorious for their staff turnover rates, which means a constant cycle of recruitment, training and monitoring, which can impact the level of service customers come to receive.
Recruit right first time
Retaining staff means recruiting well in the first place. Solid recruitment procedures will help you select the right people to join your team. How they are integrated into the workplace and developed as employees has a big impact on the likelihood of them staying within the business.
Those call centres that do suffer high rates of staff attrition often find that staff leave before the six-month mark. It’s a vicious circle: you begin the recruitment process again, train and develop new staff and then, just as they become fully skilled, they move on. If the right foundations can be set, customers will more likely get through to agents fully qualified to help them.
Measure and manage
Trust employees to monitor and report their own performance, or using real-time chart software to see how call volume and resolution unfolds. However you choose to do it, you must make sure is some kind of schedule and that your team are closely following it. Spend time getting the most from your employees from a HR and analytics point of view and you’ll have an efficient team that can deliver top levels of customer satisfaction.