When we developed the early versions of Cxceed, it was to solve the customer service problems we had within our other businesses. We don't have those problems anymore.
When I look back at all the businesses I've been involved, all the problems I faced and the arguments I've had with staff members over the standard of customer care they delivered.
I'm certain my management life would have been a lot easier. I would have produced better results if I had had Cxceed to help.
I could have had many more hours of sleep, and I'm sure I would have fewer grey hairs! Hopefully, I can now keep what youth remains...
Anyway, as I was saying...
If there's one thing I've learned in my business life, it's that if you have a problem, someone else has it too.
When striving for high customer service levels, complaints can make you feel like your is a sinking boat. There are lots of little holes in the boat, some you can see, and others that you can't. Buckets at the ready you're running around trying to remove the water (complaints from poor customer experiences). You know that poor processes and sub-par staff responses are the holes causing the water to flow in but you can't identify where the holes are. You can use Cxceed to find and then fix the source of those poor customer experiences and make life a hell of a lot easier.
Here are 11 ways that Cxceed will help improve your customer service to make your business better.
To improve, you need to know the level you're currently at.
Responses to the benchmark surveys give a numeric score, telling you what customers actually think of your service. If you don't have a benchmark to compare yourself with, you'll never know if you're improving or not.
The benchmark score can be used as a company-wide target. Check it again in three months, if the score is higher then good job, cheer your team on and keep going! If it's lower, you need to find out why and try a new approach.
If your customers aren't happy, then your business won't do well. You need to know if John, Jayne, James... has answered each call, email, webchat.... to the satisfaction of each customer.
How do you do this?
Well, you could take a long, complex route, or you could just ask them!
Cxceed sends out feedback requests to customers after your staff communicate with them, to find out how satisfied they are with that individual interaction.
These feedback forms can be fully customized and tailored to target any specific areas surrounding the communications - it's totally up to you!
Of course, customers don't always respond to our feedback requests. They only tend to respond to a conversation that they are either really happy with or really annoyed about. Yes, they tell you about the interactions that you need to know about!
Don't have time to listen to calls?
I don't blame you, I've been there done that! Listening to calls and trying to find the ones that are sub-par or awesome can feel like your looking for a needle in a haystack. Cxceed uses the feedback score obtained by customers and other criteria to identify conversations for evaluation.
Don't have time to listen to calls that your customers have either complained or complimented you about?
You better hope your competitors don't start using Cxceed!
When it comes to customer service, employee communications can enhance or destroy your relationship with customers. As we all know, it only takes one misplaced word to send the customer into the embracing arms of your competitors.
Cxceed's Call Center Quality Assurance system identifies what each employee needs to improve and encourages employees to learn from each other to help produce better results.
Ah, the elusive CSAT score. We always want it to be higher, but we never seem to be able to achieve it.
Well, by being able to identify areas for improvement and give more effective training, you can!
Better trained employees can deliver better customer service; there's no denying that.
Better customer service equals high levels of customer satisfaction. It's all linked together!
Cxceed allows you to easily mark a selection of the best and worst interactions your staff have with customers.
Not only can everyone learn from their own mistakes, but they can also learn from other peoples.
What can you do with these? Well, I found they're very useful when used for training both new and existing employees.
For example, initial training programs can involve having new starters to analyze and evaluate a variety of calls, emails, and live chat communications you've previously had. Not only will this help you understand their ability levels, but it's also an excellent training opportunity to prepare them for what to expect when on the 'front line.'
Sure, you could make up scenarios, but that's like buying a fake football shirt from a market on holiday. It's okay from a distance, but it's just not the same. Why turn your employees into the equivalent of Crustiano Renaldo, when they could be Cristiano Ronaldo?
I know who I'd rather have on my team!
Everyone is unique and has different opinions on what's right and wrong. This can be an issue when employees are dealing with customers. One might think they're doing the right thing; others will disagree.
This can be an issue when employees are dealing with customers. One might think they're doing the right thing, but there's a much better way of doing it.
Cxceed helps make sure everyone is on the same page.
Cxceed is set up so when employees evaluate communications, their score is easily compared to how others evaluated the same interaction. Differences in scoring are easily highlighted and discussed in calibration sessions.
When doing so, managers can openly discuss with employees the standards and values that are expected and what the company is aiming to achieve. Just another way that Cxceed helps improve employee performance!
Nothing demotivates employees more than the dreaded "Let's discuss how you're doing" only to be hit with a thousand things which need improving.
I don't know about you, but when my managers used to tell me what I was doing wrong, I didn't take it well. Who are they to tell me that I'm $#!^, do they know how hard I work?
However, when you allow employees to identify their own mistakes through Cxceed's evaluations, you'll be surprised how much more accepting they are.
When I've heard our employee's using it, there was a lot of Ahh's, and "Damn, I didn't even realize I did that!".
I would much rather hear that than muffled responses as heads look at the floor.
By getting the whole team involved in the evaluation process, Cxceed creates understanding through the self-assessment process.
If you're part of the process, you're more likely to understand and trust the results, making you more accepting of feedback.
Allowing staff to evaluate their own interactions shows that you trust their judgment, and knowing a manager trusts you is a big motivator for any employee.
Happy employees rarely leave. Why is this a benefit to you? Surely I don't need to tell you that!
In short, the longer an employee stays, the better return on investment (ROI) you get from their associated costs, as well as the on-the-job experience they gain.
It's always better to know you're investing in the long term, rather than knowing you're going to have to recruit and train again in a few months.
Spend time and money, improving your business, not rehiring, and training.
Of course, the better the customer experience you provide, the more loyal your customers will be. Fantastic!
I've also noticed that customers love to speak to the same person, especially long term ones. If employees are always leaving, then they can't build-up these relationships with your customers.
Relationship building is essential; customer's who deal with the same staff feel safer doing business as they trust them to get the job done to a standard they expect.
It's easier to retain customers than have to continually get new ones. Cxceed makes it easy to do both!
I could preach to you for hours on the wonders of Cxceed, but time is money, and money makes the world go round. So, why don't you try Cxceed for yourself?
If you don't feel like splashing the cash right now, we have a FREE (yes, free!) version of the FULL software. It has ALL the features of a paid version, just without API integration.
It automates and makes your life much easier by:
Feel like treating yourself with API integration to make life even simpler? Get your money out! If you're not happy within the first 30 days, you can have every penny back!
There's no harm in trying something out, risk-free!
Call center agents have a stressful job; there's no questioning that.There are many things that cause agent stress. In this post we list a few and how it can be relieved using Cxceed, helping lower your staff attrition rate.
Call Center Metrics
Agents usually start with a strong will to prove themselves and want to improve their performance. When they have to wait for several months for an appraisal, their performance (good or bad) has already become a habit and is hard to change. When appraisal time rolls around, they receive a mountain of issues needed to be fixed all at once. Instead of the will to fix them, they can feel overwhelmed and less motivated to do the job, often leaving.
Cxceed is a system that utilizes daily evaluations to make feedback on-going and calibration reports to provide consistency across the organisation. On-going feedback not only helps employees perfect their job but also helps management get more out of their employees compared to using the traditional appraisal method.
When given constructive feedback shortly after committing an error, agents can use this to avoid repeating it in the future. Using Cxceed to provide frequent feedback takes the stress away from agents, knowing they are going in the right direction.
There are thousands of call center workers who put up with customers who cause a headache. While most call because they genuinely need help, there will always be others who are a challenge – whether it’s down to ignorance, a lack of empathy or just plain rudeness.
For any agent working at an inbound call center, the unknown caller is always a stressful experience. If a rude client makes a complaint against an agent, it can cause a lot of stress as they fear they could lose their job.
While we can't stop rude customers from calling (we wish we could), Cxceed can put your agents at ease.
Our indexing system makes it easy to find a specific call, so if a complaint is made, it is easy to go straight to the call to hear what actually happened with the client.
Call Center Metrics
Metrics can cause agents a lot of stress. Take Average Handle Time (AHT) which measures the time an agent is on a call when they are trying to solve the client's query. If agents use a lot of time on just one call they can find themselves in trouble, forcing them to rush calls. Rushing can only lead to one thing and thats mistakes, making the number of dissatisfied customers rise, and the call center's CSAT score go down.
Cxceed helps agents focus on their call handling skills through ongoing coaching and training, which will help decrease the average call handling time. Management can help the employees be better problem solvers through this training which will lead to them solving queries faster and more accurately. Less rushing, less blushing - just higher quality interactions with customers.
Agents need to have a firm knowledge of the area they work in and to deliver the best possible service. The beginning months are usually the toughest for agents, given the short amount of time available for them to learn new information. It's the same in all line of work. Managers tend to punish agents for providing wrong information to customer queries and if that wasn't stressful enough, metrics such as AHT force agents to give the correct answer in the shortest time possible! A horrible start to a new job and one which will cause a lot of stress.
Cxceed helps management target training appropriately, with each evaluation being an opportunity to indicate areas for improvement. Making learning an ongoing process and part of their daily routine, leaves agents feeling less stressed as the workload is spread out. They don't have to cram and can relax a little more when working, creating a nicer enviroment.
Management can lower employee stress levels by implementing Cxceed. Ongoing evaluations identify issues that can be rectified quickly and can also highlight areas where further training is needed.
This feedback helps agents do their job better, leading to greater job satisfaction and lower employee turnover rates - a win-win.
Feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any tips you wish to share.
Fast food. It's something we all know isn't the most glamorous of dining experiences, but most of us still eat at these restaurants.
Whether it's fried chicken, burgers, Mexican or desserts, people think all food establishments are all cut from the same cloth. But what is the customer experience like in these places, and how do they differ?
Today I'll look at my experiences at two of the UK's most popular chains, McDonald 's and Five Guys to find out.
I'll start with the one which has been around the longest: McDonald 's.
Since opening their doors to the UK in October 1974, there are now around 1300 restaurants up and down the country, serving 1,277,500,000 customers a year. Yes, you read that correctly. One billion, two hundred and seventy-seven million, five hundred thousand, and just like that, I now get why obesity is on the up.
From Ronald McDonald to the broken milkshake machine, there's something for everyone to love at McDonald 's.
As with any fast-food chain, the majority of these look the same, with their grey floor tiles, yellow and green decor and wooden panels dotted around the place. I know when I'm in a McDonalds.
Most of them are clean, and there's often enough seating for everyone unless you find yourself in one in London... where you've no chance of finding a table.
Toilets are often a make or break for some people, and well, on the whole they are maintained to a good standard. They're brightly lit, usually don't smell, which is a big plus, and I can't say anything bad about them.
The experience in the restaurant is usually a pleasant one unless you find yourself on the table next to a family with a screaming child which is an actual nightmare. Although this can't really be helped unless McDonald 's ban everyone under the age of 12, which would be a bad business decision. However, it would make my BigMac meal much more enjoyable.
McDonald's also has a major advantage with its 24-hour restaurants. There's nothing better than having 5 Chicken Selects at 4am after a heavy night of drinking to save you from the worst hangover of your life - you can't do that at FiveGuys can you.
The main aspect of the customer experience is the service customers receive from the staff. Unfortunately, McDonald 's workers often seem overworked and understaffed, resulting in a painful experience.
It can even seem like a chore for them to be taking your order, as if you are spoiling their day by ordering food. My biggest pet peeve is when they have five or six staff behind the counter just talking about their weekend, leaving one poor soul to take the orders for ten people. Just jump on the tills and actually serve me please guys, it's not that hard to do your job, surely?
They're not all like this though. Some staff are kind and polite, but the majority feel like they are being held at gunpoint, and it leaves a bad impression. This is the weakest area of the overall experience for me.
One plus with McDonald 's is the table service and ordering boards. Self-ordering kiosks started rolling out in stores in 2015, making buying your food without having to talk to anyone that bit easier. Sometimes they struggle to work, either being slow or just out of order completely, but when they do work, they're fantastic!
Another is the option for table service. When ordering, I can take a numbered plaque, and the staff will bring the meal to me- it's like being in an actual restaurant! We're living in the future, or maybe the past, I haven't quite worked it out.
One downside to these boards is the fact that you can't redeem the coffee vouchers on them, instead, I'm forced to have to speak to the staff at the counter, who try and ignore you for 5 minutes so you will use the self-ordering boards next time.
A big plus for me is the Drive-Thru. Fast food, without having to leave your car, making life so much easier when in a rush, or when you're just feeling lazy.
Of course, you don't have to use it, but knowing I can order, pay for and eat a whole meal without having to move out of the driver's seat is a real plus!
McDonald 's have also recently begun to push the MyMcDonald 's mobile app, which allows you to order your food on the way to the restaurant, reducing the waiting time. No more waiting around for your 20 chicken nuggets, what a bonus that is!
While it might not be the most exquisite cuisine, it's certainly not the worst food in the world.
With 28 main options to choose from (not including sides or adding and taking away toppings), there's something for everyone, and I've never really had a bad experience with any of it.
A burger tastes like a burger should do, and the fries are arguably the best fast-food fry on the market. Perfectly crispy, perfectly fluffy inside and perfectly salted. They're, well - perfect.
If you don't want to pig out on a burger, what are the healthy options? Well, leaving would be a good start! But what if you're being forced to stay by your wife and kids?
You could tuck into a Grilled Chicken Salad, which is only 133 calories and 1.4 grams of fat. Sure, it might not be the peak of healthiness, but for a quick pitstop, it ticks all the boxes for someone watching what they eat.
For the vegetarians and pescatarians, there is some decent enough choice. Alongside the salads, there are the veggie wraps and the Filet O'Fish burger, which is more than what can be offered by FiveGuys.
My main gripe is with the milkshake and McFlurry machine. I dream of the day when it works for longer than two weeks at a time. The lure of a banana milkshake with your meal is so inviting, only for the staff to tell you it's out of service, once again. Disappointing. The McFlurry /milkshake machine has become a running joke amongst consumers, and while it was once a regular occurrence for it to be broken, I have to admit I am noticing this less and less in recent times.
To sum up, though, the food is decent, and it's a place I'm more than happy to go back to for their food.
The area where McDonald 's comes into its own is the price. For £4.79 (UK) you can get an Extra Value Meal.
A burger, a portion of fries and a drink all for under a fiver is incredible value; it's literally in the name.
You can take a family of five out for dinner and hardly put a dent in your bank account. I'm not taking a random family of five out for dinner though, so my order comes to a fiver - but still, nothing to complain about here!
Do I feel like I've been transported to America for an authentic taste of the US? No, but I also don't think that's the point for McDonald's.
It's fast food for everyone, no matter where they are — decently priced, decent tasting food which you can get wherever you are.
It's a quick pit stop pick me up, a wham, bam, thank you, ma'am, and you're back to your day.
Anyone can enjoy a McDonald's at any time, and it's this inclusivity, which makes it feel a bit welcoming.
Sure, the staff bring down the overall experience down with their mardy arse attitude to everything. Looking past that though, it's somewhere I will continue to return.
Now onto the higher end of fast food with Five Guys.
Opening their first UK store on Independence Day 2013 which is a bit ironic, the chain now has close to 100 stores up and down the country and boasts the UK's most popular food chain for 2018 (MarketForce).
If you thought all McDonald's stores looked the same, FiveGuys takes it to the next level.
The walls are white tiling with red accents, there's an abundance of light stained wooden benches, and you feel like you are sitting in an authentic American diner - I can't tell if I'm in Birmingham, Alabama, or quite disappointingly, The Midlands.
Atmosphere wise, it can be lacking at times, with the music often slightly too quiet to quite catch what song is playing, but there's enough for it not to ensure I can't hear my friend chewing the lettuce in their burger.
It's much the same as McDonald's regarding toilets. Spacious, maintained properly and clean - nothing to complain about here.
Here for me, is the standout difference for FiveGuys. Their staff are always helpful, smiling and appear actually to be enjoying their work.
When customers are there for the first time, they don't get frustrated or annoyed, but take their time to talk them through the ordering process.
They're often having a bit of a joke around with their conversation with me while the till processes, and it's something which makes me feel more comfortable when ordering.
Fantastic customer service in a stressful role, hats off to the FiveGuys team for that.
Ordering wise, FiveGuys keeps things traditional for fast food, making me go up to the counter to place my order.
It's a no-frills experience where you pay and then wait for your food. No option of an ordering screen, no drive-thru, just pay and wait, which is a bit of a shame.
If you don't want to wait, you can order online or via the FiveGuys mobile app or website, where you can choose up to 4 days in advance of when you want your food to be ready.
It's really handy if you work in an office or need to know your order will be accepted. If I was having a meeting with a group of people, the order could be done in advance and it can be one thing crossed off the list - very convenient!
I just wish I could do something similar instore!
Before I talk about the food itself, one thing which I really like about all of the restaurants is that the kitchen is open. You can see the food being made in front of you, and it's refreshing to see it being freshly cooked.
The beef burgers are thick patties, which are flavoursome, and the hot dogs are not bad themselves - The food is fantastic!
There's a slightly limited menu of 16 options of mains, but with all combinations of toppings on burgers, beefdogs, and sandwiches, there's more than 250,000. I've not counted them myself, but I'll take their word for it!
You can have as many toppings as you want on your burger/beefdog, all for free! In other restaurants, you can find yourself paying over a pound per topping!!
Fresh food made how you want it, no arguments this is the better of the two. You can also change your food if you are not happy with it - excellent service!
What does let it down though is the options (or rather lack of) for vegetarians or pescatarians? Okay, it's a burger and fries joint, so of course there isn't going to be the widest range of options. But their vegetarian option is a bunch of veg thrown into a bun, and there is no fish option at all.
The cost is where FiveGuys falls down with its higher-priced menu for me.
Two people ordering a burger, a portion of fries and a drink each falls just short of £30 (UK). So a family of five would have to remortgage their house to be able to go for dinner.
I've had many an argument about this with my colleague, who says it's not that badly priced as you're buying quality food, with no screaming kids running around.
I see his point as the food is really good quality, but for me it knocks down the overall experience, knowing you've paid so much for what at the end of the day is just a burger and fries - no matter how nice they are.
So overall, who has a better customer experience?
Well, for me, it's McDonald 's. Yes, the food isn't as good as it is at FiveGuys, but for the price, it's good enough and makes me go back. The convenience of ordering is a big plus, and the Drive-Thru makes life so much easier when in a rush or when I'm feeling lazy.
The FiveGuys decor makes me feel like I'm in a 60's American diner, and the staff smile, but McDonald's is fast food at its best. Both restaurants are consistent with their service and most times when I go in, I get around the same level of experience with the food, staff and the building itself.
There's not been a standout fantastic experience I've had, but more importantly, there's also not been a really bad experience either.
Overall, because of its good tasting, cheap food with service, which is quick, McDonald 's rates as the best customer experience for me.
Disagree or have any thoughts about anything discussed? Leave a comment down below!
The past decade has been an uneasy time for call centers, as they have had to adapt to changing customer attitudes.
Nowadays, only having a call center which answers the phones is not enough. Due to consumer demand, more and more companies are providing multiple methods of contacting them. Call centers need to provide services that meet their customer's changing communication needs or risk losing them.
Phone calls are by far the most popular channel, taking up roughly half of customer interactions in the industry.
Although not as popular as they once were, they still are the main point of contact for customers but represent a shrinking market.
By transforming into a contact center, you can avoid biting the dust.
Here are the most popular service channels you can adopt:
With almost everyone having an email address, this service channel is very popular.
People like to write things to get their full thoughts out, so this channel helps customers do this.
Your customer forwards each email query directly to your team, where they can then help.
Each website is tailored to be user-friendly, and some of them have a live chat widget implemented on the site.
Often the first interaction a customer has with a company happens here, so it is important to utilize it.
Working in a similar way to emails, customers like that their queries are responded to faster.
Since social media is so popular, having a presence on the major platforms is a must.
Be in on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram - customer queries are visible to the public, and so are the answers. This public aspect helps you deal with customer queries while at the same time broadcasting to a broader audience, which helps raise the profile of your company.
This broadcasting is also where you need to be wary.
As people on the platform can see when someone is complaining, you need to ensure that staff working within these channels have the correct training to deal with queries promptly.
You also need to implement a monitoring system to identify any negative patterns occurring, so problems can be dealt with before they become major issues.
Even though most interactions are carried out online, some people still prefer to write a letter.
Letters are still going strong as a popular channel, and thankfully, dealing with them isn't that difficult. You can treat them in the same way as emails or live chats, but just in physical form.
The downside to letters is that they take a lot longer for each interaction to happen as letters have to be posted between the company and the customer.
There are things you need to consider before you transform your call center into a contact center.
To ensure a fantastic service is given across all of these channels, appropriate training is needed.
Each channel requires a different skill set. You wouldn't put an agent on the phones without them knowing what to do, so why do any different with the other channels?
Each channel will have a different style to them. The way an agent would respond to interactions on a live chat would be different to how they would respond via email. You should make sure your agents can adapt to whichever channel they are working with, and on-going training can help.
With these alternative channels constantly taking a bigger share of the customer service market, there are good reasons why you should start using most, if not all of them.
Almost all of us have had at least one terrible experience over the phone with a call center.
The internet has provided people with other ways to interact with businesses, and this means that picking up the phone is now not a necessity, but one of many options, so having multiple possible ways to contact you is a must.
When given a choice, people may pick a different channel to a call center because they much perfer it to having to talk to an agent.
Using the most popular customer service channels will help you grow your business.
To fully benefit from using multiple channels you can integrate feedback and evaluate all communications using Cxceed, and be ready to meet customer demands no matter how they contact you.
Since half of the customer interactions in the industry happen through other channels, not only through phone calls, call centers can't afford to miss out.
Start using a multi-channel customer service model and a quality assurance system to perfect your staff's skills and provide an excellent service through every channel.
Transform your call center, bring it up to date, and increase your profit.
If you use a multi-channel model, let us know how it is for you, down below!
Call center agents seem to love talking loudly when on the phone. The call center noise is unbelievably loud sometimes. Like, REALLY loud, to the point where it's actually quite difficult to understand what they're saying. This background noise makes it so obvious it's a call agent when they phone you.
Surely the microphone is next to their mouth, so why can't they talk at a reasonable volume allowing me to understand them? Instead, I feel like I'm fourteen again, and my Mum is telling me off for drinking straight out of the milk bottle. (We've all done that, right?)
Call centers are usually loud places, with a lot of background noise: people talking, phones ringing, printers going, music playing, bosses shouting, kettles whistling - you get the idea. The noise soon builds up. In any situation, when you can't hear another person, you automatically assume that they also can't hear you. It's human nature to raise your voice when you can't hear someone.
Nightclub, and you can't hear your friend? You shout.
Building site, and you can't hear your boss? You shout.
Call center, and you can't hear the caller? You shout, but you don't need to.
Even though the call center has a lot of background noise and the agent can't hear the caller very well, the person on the other end often can her the agent perfectly. Yes, they have a headset with a noise-canceling microphone, but that doesn't stop the average call center agent shouting down the phone!
We are in a loud environment, so we speak louder than normal. It's something which we haven't evolved out of. It's not surprising that they can't hear the customer on the other end of the line very well with all the chaos going on around them. How can they even concentrate with all that noise going on?! One person talks loudly, so the person next to them feels the needs to raise their voice to be heard, and then the next, and the next. This results in the customer getting shouted at down the line, and a horrible overall customer experience. It's a bit like when you're speaking to someone in a foreign country. Because you can't understand the person very well, you start talking louder and slower, sometimes slipping into an awful accent to try and be understood. Just like in the call center, they don't mean to do it, it just happens.
As obvious as it sounds, asking people not to shout is a simple method to reducing background noise. It is straightforward and it can be very effective. Sometimes people don't realize they are talking loudly, so making them aware of it can often result in them lowering their voice to a more suitable level for the office they are in. If one person isn't shouting, then the person next to them doesn't need to and so on.
Another simple idea is asking agents not to talk to colleagues behind another agents desk when they are on a call. Going to a quiet corner where no-one is working, or moving to another room altogether will bring noise levels down and make it easier for agents to hear the caller.
Sound masking! By installing acoustic foam around the office can help to dampen the noise without dampening the mood. It's relatively inexpensive to buy and install but will make a big difference by stopping echo and noise bouncing around the room. This is a common sound masking system that is very effective.
The use of a chat system for agents can come in handy, so they don't have to shout across the room to one another; they can silently type it. It is a good idea to monitor, however, to make sure people aren't just gossiping all day instead of working.
Another way of sound masking is by installing partition screens can help to reduce noise. Not only that, but it also gives agents a little more privacy and even a place to pin things. It's three for the price of one - we are treating you today!
Using equipment like headsets which have two headphone cups can allow agents to hear the caller much easier while blocking out background noise surrounding them. Most good call centers use headsets with noise-canceling microphones, so the caller shouldn't hear the commotion happening in the rest of the call center.
By installing white noise generators, you can create artificial levels of noise, which can help mask the jungle-like sounds of a call center. Staff will be able to understand customers much clearer not being distracted, helping to reduce mistakes. Of course, as mentioned there are other sound masking options, but this is one of the cheapest.
Sure, we need printers and servers, but do they need to be next to the agents? No. Instead, have a separate room for these loud machines. Sure, you'll have to walk for an extra 10 seconds, but I'm sure not having a machine buzzing and beeping in an agents ear will be worth it.
Don't forget, there are actually regulations surrounding the noise levels your agents are surrounded by. Make sure you're complying with them!
So call agents often talk very loudly on a call, but it isn't always their own fault as background noise builds up or just human nature taking over. Reducing the noise in a call center will help the agent hear the call more clearly, and often they will not feel the need to shout to get their point across, creating a much more pleasant experience for everyone. If they're happier (and quieter!), they can provide customers with a better experience (and with Cxceed helping out, they'll be unstoppable!).Everyone's a winner!
We hope these tips help and if you have any more, or have used any of the ones discussed, leave us a comment telling us how you got on.
More than ever, delivering a fantastic contact center customer experience provides a crucial competitive advantage and one which organizations strive for. Technology is changing the business landscape and evolving customer needs and expectations. Not only do customers want faster methods of contact, but they also don't want to be left frustrated by robotic-like people talking at them. To keep customers happy, they need to have the correct contact center strategy in place! How can a contact center ensure they provide the ultimate experience for the customer? Here are some must do's on how to improve the customer experience your contact center provides!
With access to anything and everything at their fingertips, customers expect to be able to make contact with a company however they like. Being a contact center that only operates on a small handful of channels is an issue. You need to ensure you have the multichannel communication methods your customers want. Phone calls and emails are traditional methods that have problems — long waiting times, being passed from agent to agent, information being misinterpreted or taking too long to reply, to name a few. That's why a lot of customers (especially millennials) prefer to use chatbots, yet still, a lot of contact centers don't use them! If this is the case, customers may be too impatient for emails, or not want to speak on the phone - and just like that, a potential client is lost. The more contact methods you provide, the more customers you can keep satisfied. The last thing you want to do is immediately upset them by not having their preferred method of communication.
If your agents are just sticking to a script when talking to a customer, it can make the interaction feel impersonal and a bit wooden. Every customer wants to feel as if their issue matters, and the employee on the other end of the chat wants to make sure it is resolved. It's okay to be relaxed and slightly more informal when talking to a customer; in fact, it's often better for both parties! Each conversation doesn't have to be the same monotonous, boring script chat. Instead encourage your agent, to go off-script, it creates a much more personal experience for the customer. Even if the issue takes a little longer to be sorted, the customer should be happier, feeling personally catered to. When agents strictly stick to the script; it can give the impression that they aren't listening to the customer's needs and don't care. Rather than having a script for agents, it may be more beneficial to incorporate guidelines instead. This allows agents to have more freedom in communications while still knowing some specific actions and procedures must be followed in certain circumstances.This can help ensure that every interaction can remain personally tailored and professional! Of course, sometimes organizations do actually use a robot (chatbot) to initiate conversations (before being passed to a real agent) or try to solve more straightforward queries. This is fine, and can be useful! But you have to tell the customer it's a robot! Is there anything more annoying than talking to a chatbot that pretends it's typing and gives the impression it is a real person? And then give answers that only vaguely relate to your question! I wonder how many people have had a one-sided, heated discussion with a chatbot because it won't provide them with the answer they are looking for...
One of the most frustrating things for a customer is having long waiting times in between dialogue with the call center agent. If you had to:
Which would you choose? Customers want their issue resolved quickly: so you have to be able to fulfill this need. Of course, sometimes there is nothing you can do but put the customer on hold. However, an agent who possesses a wide range of helpful information will be able to eliminate unnecessary hold times. Don't be afraid to tell the customer you have to look something up or ask someone else. They would rather you take a little longer to give a definite answer than instantly guess the answer and most likely get it wrong! The faster the response helps to show the customer that you do care about them and their needs, and this is what any customer experience orientated company should be aiming for. If a customer isn't going to be able to get a quick response from yourselves, then there are usually plenty of alternatives for them to choose! If you are short-staffed and struggling to answer customer queries in a timely manner, then don't just leave your customers hanging. Apologize and let them know when you will be able to respond.
It's sometimes the case that an agent can't help a customer. In such cases, they may instead need to pass them over somebody else who can. The key here is honesty! If you know you can't answer the question, tell them and pass them onto someone else who can. Customers are understanding of this and will be happy to be transferred if it means they have the best person to deal with their query. However, they won't be pleased if they have to repeat all the information they just gave to the original agent! It's a waste of everyone's time! All agents must be able to access a client database and make notes as the conversation progresses. This way, instead of having the customer spend another five minutes repeating themselves, the agent can quickly review their file and help. This will also come in handy for future cases when the customer comes back for support. If the issue is related, the agent can see what actions were taken last time to help get the issue resolved quicker. Everyone's a winner!
And I mean EVERY communication, whether good or bad, can be used to improve. Every form of multichannel communication provides a great opportunity to learn, and managers should engrain this strategy into their organizational culture. Contact center agents should be able to review their own interactions as well as other colleagues while getting feedback from the customers they communicate with. It doesn't matter how the agents communicate with your customers; they still need to be able to review the interactions and improve them in the future. If you can highlight low scoring feedback for evaluation, then the possibility of being able to find areas for improvement increases. If agents can self-evaluate, then they will be more accepting of the mistakes they find and will work harder to improve them. Peer-evaluations allows colleagues to learn from each other, and everyone can better themselves. Transparency of evaluation ensures that all agents feel involved in the process and trust the results that are received. This kind of environment is much more appealing for any employee! The result? Reduced staff turnover, more experienced staff, and the ability to provide a better customer experience! Encourage your agents to improve, and your business will follow suit.
Those were our must-dos for any contact center to be able to provide the ultimate customer experience. Something every organization must aim for when just one bad interaction can be blown out of proportion and be amplified online. Contact center customer experience can make or break a company. Don't it let break yours. Have a comment or any of your own tips? Let us know down below!
A warning to you business owners out there - clients today are less likely to stay loyal to you and your services because of three things:
These make retaining clients a considerable challenge and the creation of a customer experience (CX) strategy a must.
A 2011 customer service impact report showed that up to 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.
Customers today are quick in their decision to switch a supplier after having a bad experience, often posting about it on social media which can affect businesses.
Word quickly spreads online, and one dissatisfied customer could influence potential ones who read and take the negative reviews as fact (even if it isn't).
If you are worried about negative reviews or have been subject to them, don't worry! We've written a guide on how you can deal with them!
Not only that, current customers often have second thoughts after reading the bad experiences and decide to go elsewhere. Don't worry though, there's good news! A well designed CX strategy can help us use social media and new technology to our advantage.
Don't get left behind the pack - find out how you can adapt your service to meet your clients' ever-changing needs and have them coming back for more!
The internet has allowed clients quick and easy access to information, giving them a voice and a choice. As a result, they know they have alternative options, and expect excellent service from companies. A good CX strategy should consistently provide an outstanding customer experience to make them happy.
It's no use only having a competent complaints department; each employee who speaks to a customer should be excellent (and you hopefully won't even need a complaints department). Customers posting negatively on social media is an indication that your strategy has failed, but what is that that they expect from a brand?
A survey commissioned by RightNow and conducted by Harris Interactive, showed that 73% of customers appreciate contact center agents’ friendliness, which is at the heart of the customer satisfaction strategy.
More than half (55%) of surveyed users demand easy access to information and support which makes businesses offer a multi-channel service, social media visibility, and high response rate.
Finally, 36% said a personalized experience with useful updates was a thing they cherished. Businesses need to understand and interact with individual customers in personalized ways, at scale.
In a nutshell, to be successful, the supplier must deliver timely, contextual, relevant and personalized information or knowledge to every customer across every engagement channel.
This isn't easy to do, but it is achievable.
The world evolves too fast for anyone who is unwilling to take risks and try new approaches. Below is a simple framework that serves as a guide into the creation of a new CX Strategy.
We all think we know our business like the back of our hand, but some things are not always as we think they are.
To find out where your team is falling short, reach out to your customers, ask them what they are happy with and crucially what they are unhappy with. Use these conversations and the data collected from them to understand which business processes are working and which are not.
Focus on the processes that frustrate your customers the most and start to make improvements to those areas. Along with getting familiar with your clients’ sentiment, we’d suggest also looking at your staff’s.
Our experience has taught us there's a strong connection between employee motivation and customer retention with your brand, as the phrase “happy staff – happy customers,” suggests. So talking with your staff before you figure out the processes that need improvement is an excellent idea to put into practice.
What do we mean when we talk about culture?
For a start, our company’s values direct the decisions our employees make. It's crucial that every single person from top to bottom pulls in the same direction, guided by the same core values.
We want to make sure our customers have the best experience possible, and we do this by making sure client satisfaction is at the highest it can be. Our manager's role is to set an example, and coach every team member to apply this culture to their daily tasks.
You can't improve what you don’t measure. To avoid getting bogged down with too much information, pick the most important metrics for your business to monitor and develop actions for change.
We've previously spoken about how to use metrics as improvement tactic indicators, as well as the most common downfalls companies have with them, so we won't go fully into it here. The critical take-out point is to use the metric's results as improvement tactic indicators.
Customers today contact you through multiple channels such as e-mail, chat, phone, or video-call, and expect the information they provide on one channel to be immediately available to staff working on the other channels.
As the number of touch points rises, companies face the challenge to deliver consistent service across them all. A failure to provide it often results in augmented AHT, low FCR rates, poor CSAT scores, and the business starts to suffer.
Omni-channel support has always been challenging to achieve, but recent technology is enabling companies to automate some of the processes and make consistent quality interactions possible.
Manually adding calls and emails is inefficient, so when choosing software for your business, select one with API's that can be easily integrated with your servers or PBX.
In such cases, Cxceed software can help integrate QA into your business processes. Interactions made through multiple channels are gathered, neatly indexed and accessible to you, to evaluate and use for training.
Customers today have more power than ever before. Their expectations are rising, and they are willing to chop and change suppliers until they find one which meets their demands.
Use this guide to create a CX Strategy which suits your business and watch your clients' happiness increase. Don't shy away from it. Be proactive, and give your customers what they want, when they want it.
Travelling for business, having elderly parents living abroad and the odd holiday overseas means that I regularly fly short-haul.
The air miles quickly mount up, and in the past year, I've caught 26 flights - all with budget airlines.
I'm a simple man, the cheapest airlines will do for me.
Flying so often with Wizz Air, Ryanair, Jet2 and easyJet, I've noticed quite a lot of differences between them and the customer experience (CX) they deliver.
Plenty of blogs out there discuss the baggage allowances each airline allows but I'm going to miss that out. Instead, I'm going to give you an airline comparison focusing on the customer service each provides and how much I enjoy traveling with them.
Each airline has a different feel about it; if they were all flying the same route, I would choose them in this order:
3. Wizz Air
4. If you were forcing me, Ryanair
Let's do an airline comparison to see why.
Starting on a positive note; Ryanair's coffee is superb. They serve you Lavazza filter coffee in clever meshed lid cup which allows you to drink from them, without taking the lid off.
The planes are always modern, but the legroom is just OK (bear in mind, I'm 6 foot).
It's one of the cheapest airlines if you're flying light.
Now the negatives.
They fly to some second-tier airports that are not even close to the cities that bear their name, such as Frankfurt-Hahn Airport which is a 77-mile drive to Frankfurt City Centre.
I'm always on edge when booking Ryanair. They appear to delight in catching people out and making them pay a fine. The staff always appear tired, their uniforms look like they have seen better days, and many of them give the impression that they are looking forward to their shift finishing.
Despite the great coffee, you can never relax, with more announcements than a racecourse blasting over the tannoy, and they are always trying to sell you something, such as their "charity" scratch-cards (which according to The Sun, you have a 1.2 Billion to 1 chance of winning the jackpot, and they give just 0.3% of the profits to charity).
Ryanair seems to love treating people poorly, and I've met plenty of people who refuse to fly with them.
Wizz Air is an Eastern European airline whom I would describe as professional and functional. Based in Hungary, they tend to fly to Eastern European destinations, and every plane I've flown on has been modern.
The staff are professional but a little stand-offish and very matter of fact. They welcome you onboard and do their job, but there is no conversation or attempt at interaction, although this could be because English is usually their second language.
Wizz Air sometimes flies to second-tier airports, which are far out of the city they are named after. I made the mistake of booking a flight to Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport and then flying out of Paris Beauvais Airport.
Paris Beauvais is 55 miles outside of Paris, and when I travelled, the trains weren't going there on Sundays! They have cheap coaches going there from Paris-Porte Maillot, but they take at least 80 minutes to get there, and we had to queue for over 50 minutes just to get on one! Even though there was a 6-hour gap between flights, I only just made it.
Their coffee is barely drinkable, and you are unlikely to order a second. The legroom is adequate, and the flight usually uneventful. They regularly have 20% off days, so it's worth being signed up to their email list to be informed of these.
easyJet is a UK based budget airline whose staff always appear a bit stressed and harassed to me, although I've always found them to be professional.
It is a bit pot luck as to how the staff treat you. Some of them really make an effort, but others don't appear to care.
The flights usually go to the main airports, so even if the cost of the flight is higher than Ryanair or Wizz Air, you can easily save more than the difference by not having to fork out for onward travel.
Every journey I've made with them has been on a modern plane. The legroom is just about OK, but the thing which stands out in my mind is that the coffee has always been disgusting.
Yorkshire based budget airline, Jet2, runs a mixed bag of planes. Most are new, but it has some older ones, with the oldest being 32 years old - although I've been on this plane and found no problems with it.
Aeroplanes are designed to last indefinitely, and I think I would prefer to fly on this well-tested plane than a brand new one (especially a Boeing 737 Max).
For the last couple of years, I've had plenty of legroom, but previous to this, on some journeys I've been too cramped.
They serve Starbucks coffee, which is good, but it is instant Starbucks coffee and not a patch on Ryanair's filtered Lavazza.
The Customer Experience provided by Jet2 is fantastic. They have reasonable baggage limits that are not designed to trap you into making a mistake so they can penalise you.
The cabin crew are well dressed, smile and make you feel welcome as soon as you board the plane. Everything appears to be designed to make for a pleasant experience for the customer. They play relaxing music before take off. On my last flight, I remember it was My Girl by The Temptations.
The Pilot occasionally lets you know where you are and keeps you informed about the flight, and when you land, they thank you for flying with them and wish you a safe onward journey.
My colleague always complains that they are constantly playing Jess Glynne, who he dislikes, which just goes to show, you can't keep everybody happy.
"Over the last year, sentiment around airline stocks has eroded. Ryanair is down 32 percent, EasyJet has shed 23 percent, and Wizz Air is also 17 percent lower. Meanwhile, shares in Dart Group (Owner of Jet2) - while far off its highs of last summer - are up 22 percent."
Running an airline is challenging, but it's apparent Jet2 understand that in such a competitive industry, providing an excellent customer experience is essential if you want to grow.
Michael O'Leary's team has built Ryanair into the largest European budget airline carrying more international passengers than any other airline. But if they want to carry on growing in a competitive market, they need to start putting as much effort into their customer service as they do their coffee.