Recently, one LinkedIn group related to contact centers conducted an interesting experiment by asking, “In one word, how would you describe the best customer service?”
How would you respond to that question? The words that were selected were revealing, as they forced contact center professionals to express the most important aspect of their service effort in a single word.
This is also a good way to show what great customer service is about. No matter how customer centric your organization is, you cannot do everything. In a digital world where customers are expecting more every day, contact center managers must prioritize what is truly important to their customers in order to deliver the best customer experience possible.
Below are the five words selected most frequently by those that responded. Do you agree with them?
Empathy was mentioned by the greatest percentage of respondents. In this context these two words refer to the same thing – an expression of support related from the agent to the customer, that goes beyond the words in the script or the service provided. In other words, it means that your agents can put themselves in the shoes of your customers and are able to understand your customer’s truth. Empathy can lead to noticing things that are unsaid and dealing easily with conflict which are two great assets when dealing with customer’s issues. Is empathy being emphasized enough at your business?
Satisfaction was the second most popular choice to describe great customer service. That’s the ultimate goal, so it’s not surprising that many would choose satisfaction. Different contact centers may try to achieve consistent customer satisfaction in different ways, but it should be the inspiration for every change in personnel, approach and technology.
Contact centers devote a great deal of time and energy to writing a script, but it’s what happens when the agent isn’t speaking that is even more important. Customers don’t want to be read the company policy; they want someone who hears their issue and responds accordingly. Consequently, you can teach your agents to improve their listening skills by asking questions, not interrupting customers and recapping the key facts.
This was an interesting choice. Average handle time is an important call center metric, but customers don’t care about that. Sometimes a few extra minutes are necessary to work through a customer’s issue, and to make certain they are happy with the result. It’s worth the extra time. So, make sure not to expedite the calls to hit your contact center metrics goals. Customer satisfaction is more important and should remain your priority #1.
Caring seems closely tied to the #1 result. But it goes one step further. It’s not just that the agent is sorry the customer is having an issue and can identify with the frustration it caused – it’s making sure the customer is happy with the resolution, and then asking if there is anything else that the company can do at that time. It’s expressing appreciation for the business, and not just because that line is in the script.
If you agents have these five qualities, your contact center is poised for greatness. If you feel like there are some areas of improvements, you can train your agents to practice active listening to help them build an emotional connection.
Beyond words, the right tools might also help. Learn how Verint Monet WFM can help you build a great customer experience with one of our workforce management software demos.