More and more companies are adopting a customer-centric approach to providing support. They are hiring more qualified agents, providing them with comprehensive training, and continually providing feedback to their team – all in an effort to enhance the service that they provide their customers.
Why go through all this effort? Because their business depends on it. According to the Harvard Business Review 40% of customers surveyed said they would stop doing business with a company based on a bad customer service experience. Thus, providing sub-par customer service will not only impact customer retention and loyalty, but also your bottom line.
If providing top-notch support sounds like a daunting task, fear not. With the right tools, processes and team, you can adopt a customer-centric approach to providing support with relative ease. Below are the top 10 tools for call centers to provide amazing customer-centric customer support.
Providing amazing support begins before your agents answer the phone. With interactive voice response (IVR) technology, your team can record professional greetings and efficiently route callers to the agent who can most effectively address their needs (i.e. tech calls to technical support agents, French customers to agents who speak French, VIP customers to the most skilled agent, etc.). This will increase professionalism and enhance the customer’s experience – before they interact with anyone from your team. Additionally, when all callers are routed to the most appropriate agent to meet their needs, your agents will be more proficient at solving specific problems and meeting specific needs of the customers that they are assigned. The result is an increase in customer service efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Routing the caller to the most appropriate agent is just the first step to providing amazing support. With call center software that provides the caller’s information in the browser as they call, your team will know everything about the customer (e.g., picture, name, company, position within the company, email, address, phone number and information from their LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts) before they answer the phone. This will allow your agents to provide a more personalized experience to each and every customer.
Providing customer-centric customer support requires that your team understands the customer and meet their needs accordingly. With call center software that has two-way integrations with your business tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, Live Chat, Magento, and others, your agents will have access to all of the caller’s previous interactions with your company before they answer the phone (i.e. their previous tickets, cases, events and issues from all integrated business tools). Call center software that provides this information in real-time will allow your agents to not only understand the caller’s history, but adjust their approach to providing service based on this comprehensive information. This will dramatically improve the capabilities and performance of your agents.
There is nothing worse for a customer than explaining their issue to an agent, finding out that they can’t solve their issue, being transferred to another agent and having to explain their issue again from the beginning. Eliminate this common customer service frustration with call conferencing. When an agent is struggling or would like the help of an agent from a different department, they can conference in the agent without having to transfer the call. This increases service quality and improves customer satisfaction.
In order to adopt a customer-centric approach to providing service, call center managers must drive the customer focus to their team. Three must-have features in this pursuit are call monitoring, whisper coaching and call barging. Call monitoring allows a manager to listen to a live call without the agent or the caller knowing. This is helpful when monitoring the call for quality assurance and training purposes. Whisper coaching allows a manager to talk with the agent, without the caller knowing. This is helpful when training new agents to get up to speed, or helping more experienced agents through a difficult call. Call barging allows the manager to listen to calls without the agent or caller knowing and then speak with both the agent and the customer when necessary. All three features are critical when teaching agents to adopt a customer-centric approach to providing customer support, and monitoring calls to make sure they do so.
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Having call monitoring capabilities are fantastic, but not enough for busy managers who don’t always have time to listen to live calls. The solution? Call recording. Managers aiming to increase service quality and agent performance will find that it is impossible without call recording. Call recording allows them to keep a close eye on each agent, regardless of when they work or where they work. Managers can listen to recorded call when it is most convenient for them and provide feedback to their team to adjust their approach accordingly.
Ensuring that your team of call center agents is providing amazing support requires comprehensive metrics. Providing your team with an agent dashboard that displays real-time metrics like service level, number of calls in queue, average hold time, average handle time, etc. will allow them to improve their performance with minimal management feedback. Providing your managers with real-time and historical data will allow them to make data-driven decisions based on comprehensive metrics. This is an essential tool for customer-centric companies that provide support.
Adopting a customer-centric approach to providing customer service is essential for any company looking to enhance the customer experience, customer loyalty and revenue. Doing so may seem like a difficult task, but with the right tools and a little effort, any customer service team can provide excellent customer-centric customer support in no time.