How to Improve Your Contact Centers Customer Experience

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!

Multichannel Communication

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.

Don't Be A Robot!

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...

Don't Delay, Respond Today!

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:

  • Wait in a long queue and have your issue resolved fairly quickly.
  • Wait in a short queue and have your issue resolved fairly quickly.
  • Be the first in the queue, but not have your issue resolved for a long time.

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.


Fluid Processing of Information

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!

Learn From Every Communication

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.

Smiling, Call Center

The Wrap-Up!

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!

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