A lot of customer experiences hinge on your contact center’s effectiveness, which is why it’s important to ensure it’s a resource your customers find helpful, professional, and expedient. We’ve learned a lot about how to create and maintain a highly effective contact center over the 17 years we’ve been in the customer experience (CX) biz, and we’ve distilled those learnings into five simple steps you can follow to make sure your own contact center experiences are up to scratch:
- Utilize Automation
- Explore Customer Issues to Create Self-Serve Content
- Engage and Enable Employees
- Data Is a Gold Mine
- Closing the Loop
Step #1: Utilize Automation
The term ‘automation’ gets a bad rep because a lot of folks associate it with navigating phone trees and having to repeat yourself to a robot listener, but the truth is that automation is incredibly useful when contact centers leverage it correctly. Using automation within online chats or survey feedback, for example, allows your brand to direct customers to solutions for smaller problems. This frees your call center agents up to deal with more complicated problems while also reducing call volumes, saving your brand both time and money.
Step #2: Explore Customer Issues to Create Self-Serve Content
Using feedback to direct customers to solutions is one thing; analyzing that feedback is another, especially if you can leverage a data platform that turns unstructured feedback into actionable intel. This method is extremely helpful for finding recurring problems that your customers might be having, forwarding those issues to a dev team, and creating appropriate self-serve resources that can empower customers to look after themselves. This approach is also helpful for future-proofing your experience before customers may even have an issue.
Step #3: Engage and Enable Employees
This is a big one. It’s not uncommon for brands to “merely” train their employees to handle customers, but organizations can accomplish much more by encouraging employees to share their perspectives on customer problems. In this way, brands can become aware of problems that customers may not have been reporting, while also empowering employees to take Experience Improvement (XI) into their own hands. This is also a great way to demonstrate to your contact center employees that you care about them and the customer experience, turning detractors into promoters.
Step #4: Data Is a Gold Mine
Your brand probably generates mountains of data every day. Having a lot of information is great, but in this day and age, having so much of it can make figuring out where to start difficult. We’ve found that contact center improvement hinges on three kinds of data: customer feedback, social media data, and web analytics. You can complete the puzzle of Experience Improvement by using this information as a backdrop for your organization’s view of your customer. Having all of this data in one place gives your brand a united, holistic perception of the customer, which is vital to knowing how you might make some fixes and refinements to your contact center.
Step #5: Closing the Loop
This step is crucial to making your customers feel cared about. It’s not actually enough to stop at solving the problem; following up with your customers afterward goes a long way toward making them feel cared about as people. In other words, a follow-up lets customers know you’re as interested in the relationship they have with your brand as the transaction. Follow up with employees, too! Gathering intel and opinions from all these folks will give you chances to improve both your contact center and your overall customer experience, strengthening human connections and your bottom line.
Click here to learn even more about these processes in our full-length contact center eBook. We take a deep dive into additional methods and best practices you can leverage to begin improving your contact center, customer experience, and employee experiences today!