For many call centers, customer experience is a key performance indicator (KPI), one that can have an effect on other metrics such as gross collections/sales. Unfortunately, improving the call centers customer experience is a goal that many managers constantly have to struggle with.
The trouble is that keeping customers satisfied can be a very tricky proposition, as many managers whove worked sales (or collections) can attest. Even in call centers that specialize in customer support, where customers typically initiate contact, user experience is a vital, but tough, metric to improve.
One of the reasons why customer experience is a tough metric to improve is that there are many different factors that go into the customer experience, such as:
- Wait Time. Customers dont like to be put on hold, and the more time they spend listening to your companys your call is valuable to us, please hold message, the less valued they tend to feel. This is especially true for customer support-oriented call centers.
- Agent/Contact Quality. The way your phone agents talk to customers has a direct impact on customer experience. When agents are compassionate, understanding, and knowledgeable, customer experience tends to improve. Agents that are rude or lacking in competence tend to make the customer experience worse.
- Call Transfers. Sometimes, a customer will need to have their call transferred to another department or to a supervisor to get an issue resolved or a question answered. While a transfer can help a customer get what they need, each one adds to their total wait time, and constant swapping between departments can quickly become frustrating.
Some of the above factors are specific to certain kinds of call centers, while others are common to call centers in every industry.
With this in mind, here are a couple of call center tips for improving customer experience:
Tip #1: Quickly Identify Agents in Need of Further Training
No matter what industry your call center operates in, the quality of your phone agents has an enormous impact on your call centers customer experience. A phone agent who is rude, dismissive, or unable to effectively respond to customer needs will negatively impact the experience of every customer they talk to.
Because of this, one of the best things you can do to improve customer experience at your call center is to find ways to quickly identify agents who are in need of more training to be brought up to your standards. This can go a long way to improving not only your customer experience, but your gross collections or sales rate as well.
For example, DCI (Diversified Consultants Inc.) was able to improve their gross collections by 21% simply by using predictive voice analytics software to automatically assess agent performance and focus training efforts on the agents who needed it most.
Tip #2: Use Voice Analytics to Find Out Which Customers Merit Further Contact Before Making Calls
This is a tip thats most useful for sales or collections-oriented call centers. Many telemarketing and collections agencies are intimately familiar with the phrase NO. However, just because a customer declined to commit to a purchase or payment on the first call doesnt mean that theyre completely opposed to doing so.
Unfortunately, when customer responses are ambiguous, identifying the customers who are likely to say YES with some further discussion is often left to the best guess of a phone agent. Without some kind of reliable, objective analysis of the first conversation between the phone agent and the customer, creating an accurate list of customers who are likely to say YES is incredibly difficult.
Continuing contact with a customer that really meant to say NO when they said MAYBE not only drives down the customers experience, it wastes valuable time that your phone agents could be using to finish agreements with customers that would say YES.
Here, using voice analytics software such as RankMiners Customer Insight program can help make sorting the hard NOs from the potential YESes easy. By analyzing key speech features such as pitch, tone, and tempo, RankMiners voice analytics software can identify the emotional behavior of customers on the phone and use that information to predict future behavior.
Once the analysis is completed, the software ranks each customer by their likelihood of saying YES in the future, allowing you to focus on customers who are willing to reach an agreement. This can improve customer experience by helping you get in touch with customers who are less likely to consider the call an inconvenience.
These are just a couple of call center tips that you might be able to use to improve customer experience. Managing a busy call center might not be easy, but with voice analytics, you can drive important performance metrics such as customer experience and gross collections.