The Importance Of the Human Touch
A positive result is always the goal at a contact center – an order placed, a question answered. But these days those outcomes can be achieved entirely through technology. Orders can be completed online; questions – that’s why there is an FAQ page on your company website.
But when customers call into a contact center, they are giving you an opportunity to deliver more than a positive result. By using workforce management to accurately forecast and schedule agents based on anticipated call volume, and by training your agents the right way, you can deliver a positive impression of your company that cannot be replicated by technology alone.
Placing an order online is efficient, but it doesn’t generate positive emotions. Speaking with a friendly agent who refers to the customer by name and makes them feel appreciated will go much further in building a strong relationship and encouraging loyalty.
Unfortunately, there’s a flip side to this. A poorly trained agent can have the opposite effect, and drive that customer away.
So make sure your agents are trained in human interactions, including customer service and conflict-management techniques and emotional intelligence. A well-trained agent who listens to customers and provides acceptable solutions can transform your brand image.
Training should begin with learning the contact center script and understanding contact center procedures – but it shouldn’t stop there. Agents should also be encouraged to show patience, understanding, and empathy. Role-play scenarios can test how well they respond to different situations.
Workforce Management Software
Of course, all of the burden for customer service should not fall on the agent’s shoulders. The contact center must provide the tools necessary for an agent to do his or her job, as well as provide forecasting and scheduling that assures the presence of enough agents to efficiently handle incoming calls.
That used to be handled with spreadsheets but can now be covered with a workforce management (WFM) solution. With the advanced functionality and the more accurate forecasting and scheduling made possible by WFM, as well as the data it delivers on agent performance, schedule adherence and KPIs, contact center managers can always be assured the contact center’s resources are being utilized in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
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