Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. And when it comes to delivering a great customer experience you really need to focus on two things: speed and efficiency. And yes, you need both in order to have superior service! It doesn’t matter how quickly the call ends if the customer has to call back because their problem wasn’t totally resolved. And while most customers are willing to wait a little to have an issue resolved, being stuck on the phone for two hours is still going to leave a bad taste in their mouth.
Here are three ways you can focus on being faster and more efficient in the contact center:
1. Better agent training.
Seventy-eight percent of consumers say that a competent service agent is the most important part of a happy customer experience, yet they feel that agents only answer their questions 50 percent of the time. A knowledgeable agent can resolve issues quickly because they know how to navigate the CRM system, the authority to issue a refund, and the product/company know-how to answer any question your callers may have.
With self-service channels becoming increasingly popular among customers, the contact center is a last-resort for many callers. They are reaching out to your company because they’ve tried all the FAQs, the forums, the how-to guides and they still can’t figure something out. It’s important that your agents can quickly ascertain exactly what your customers need and not just go through the motions. Which leads me into my second point…
2. Shorter scripts.
Of course you need to verify that the caller is who they say they are, especially when you are dealing with sensitive customer data. But just how rigid are your agent scripts? Of course some things have to be said in every call, and a script helps agent convey a more consistent message and ensure they are representing the brand properly, but if every single interaction is scripted down to the last letter it takes a lot of the “human” out of the call. Zappos is a company well known for its top notch customer service and one of their top “rules” in the contact center is to deliver exceptional service at all costs. That means getting rid of the scripts that sound like a script and speaking like an actual human to other actual humans! Would an outline with key points work better for your agent than a hard and fast script they can’t deviate from? Even cutting 30 seconds of “script” out of your average call time can speed things up overall AND make the caller feel like they are talking to a person. It also means your agents don’t have to worry about reading a whole paragraph of text, they can focus on the real message, and can get right down to solving the problem at hand.
3. Design a better IVR menu.
People call into a contact center because they want to talk to an actual human. Granted, the point of an IVR system is to help qualify your callers and ensure they get to the right agent who can actually help them. But when was the last time you navigated your own IVR setup? How many different messages are you forced to sit through? How many times do you have to push “0” before you get to a real person? Does your IVR actually account for all the possible reasons a person might be calling? 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent and 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration.
If you want to be as efficient as possible than your technology needs to be on-point 100% of the time. A better IVR menu can get a caller to the right agent, speeding up the entire process because that agent has the knowledge/power to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently.