Don’t worry we’re not wishing 2014 to be over and done with, we are just prepared. And contact centres should be too, as customer relationship management is more important than ever to deliver the best customer experience possible.
What used to be the call centre is now the contact centre. Multi-channel online customer service is increasingly allowing customers to contact businesses through channels of their choice. But valiant efforts to deliver multi-channel customer service can still crash and burn spectacularly if not deployed properly, with contact centres having to evolve and adapt accordingly. If contact centre agents aren’t equipped with the right tools to help them achieve these new challenges set to them, they will become frustrated and less engaged.
According to a study by the Gallup Employee Engagement Index, contact centre agent – which falls under the ‘service worker’ category – engagement is actually declining. Employee engagement is a growing concern for organisations as customer experience affects both brand perception and revenue.
Engaging employees is most certainly not a game, but gamification could be well positioned to help. The concept of gamification seems to speak to employees in a positive way and set imaginations alight. Organizations that deployed gamification have seen annual revenue grow nearly twice as fast as their peers according to a report by Aberdeen Research in 2012.
Win, measure, motivate
Gamification is great way to keep contact centre agents involved and interacting with colleagues, and not just for the newer generation, who grew up with gaming.
A reward system for contact centre agents – when they hit certain sales or service goals within the day, week, month or year – it’s powerful when recognition comes from achievements that are tightly aligned with company goals. A strong driver of collaboration, gamification can help identify top performers and encourage them to publish their best practices in a central library for others to view.
Up your street credit
But requiring all sales and support channels to work synergistically – to seamlessly deliver a on a brand’s promise to each customer segment – the contact centre customer service platform in turn, needs to deliver on a consistent experience at every customer interaction. On top of New Year’s resolution list should be:
A centralized and shared knowledge management solution will ensure that the same information is given to customers across all contact channels, helping to improve satisfaction rates. Clearly sign-posted on a home and contact page, this will enable customers to find answers to their own questions. An extended knowledge-base into a brand’s contact centre will ensure that agents give customers consistent, accurate and timely answers to their questions. This will help to reduce agent-training times and increase conversions, whilst improving the overall customer experience.
Providing an opportunity for those customers with more complex enquiries to be seamlessly escalated to one-on-one dialogue with a contact centre agent, saves them the frustrating experience of having to call the contact centre and wait on hold for minutes at a time. These web chat sessions can be automatically triggered to help reduce abandonment rates.
Offering the same level of customer service and extending the FAQ knowledge-base onto mobile or social media sites, can help to meet customer’s expectations for instant, 24/7 customer service. Investment in the right online customer service technology can provide a cost effective service across whichever channels customers choose to contact a company.
Customer complaints and feedback provide vital insight into areas for improvement. Offering customers and staff on the frontline dealing with customer complaints a mechanism to suggest improvement, and regularly analyzing this information, enables organizations to optimize their service offering, helping towards meeting regulatory guidelines. Responding and acting on feedback lets customers and team members know that their opinions are valued.
Most New Year’s resolutions don’t last
Organizations have to understand both their customers’ and employees’ needs to invest in implementing the right customer service technology to meet these requirements consistently across all channels. This can be difficult as timing, cost, and collaboration all play a part in the delivery of a successful customer service strategy.