A contact center is the backbone of a company’s customer service department. As customer experience is a top priority for brands these days, a well-functioning contact center is vital to winning customer loyalty. But just what does it take to have a stellar reputation? Here are five qualities of an exceptional contact center that lead to outstanding customer service.
Agents bring all different kinds of experience and skills to their jobs. So why not ensure that they are matched with the roles that suit them best? For example, extroverted personalities may be a great fit for the voice channel, whereas agents with strong writing skills may shine on live chat. Even if they are working across multiple channels, they may be invited to share their skills with others during training sessions. Lastly, placing agents in the best roles empowers them and prevents the need to restaff roles frequently.
Communication is, after all, what customer service is all about. But do your employees communicate well with each other? A great contact center needs efficient internal communications. Managers should mentor agents and invite them to share feedback. Training sessions and employee retreats are ideal for allowing employees to share skills and experiences. And don’t forget service interactions—agents need to communicate clearly with each other when customers need the help of more than one person.
Contact centers collect plenty of data. Exceptional ones act upon this data to improve their practices. Average handling times and first contact resolution rates, for example, may indicate if there are recurring issues that need to be addressed. Surveys offer precise information about your customers’ feelings, helping individual agents improve their skills. Lastly, the Net Promoter Score reveals the likelihood of your customers becoming brand advocates—an excellent marker of your contact center’s overall success.
What’s the best way to win customers’ affection? Make every experience painless (and fun!). Friendly agents immediately put customers at ease, and a lighthearted tone can definitely make a customer experience a memorable one. When it comes to technology, customers should be able to contact agents easily and never wait too long. Service interactions become complicated when customers need to be transferred to another agent or department, so always make sure that information is well noted (for example, in a CRM database) to prevent customers from repeating themselves.
The contact center is an integral part of a larger team—the company itself. Executives must communicate the brand mission to the customer service teams so that employees know how to approach their work. Contact center management must then work with other technical teams—such as web development—to determine if all technical processes are running smoothly and that the brand website and social media channels reflect important contact information. Such communication enables a brand to be more coherent and appeal to customers.
A contact center is a bustling place, so clear processes are essential to making it run seamlessly. Keeping customers’ best interests at heart, communicating clearly, and maintaining an open attitude toward ongoing improvements can turn a functioning contact center into a truly exceptional one.
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