Now more than ever, it is critical for contact centers to provide customers with the highest degree of care possible. The emphasis on customer experience, versus basic customer service, has driven businesses to massively expand the role of the contact center. But this trend is just a fraction of what brands need to do to meet shifting consumer expectations.
What are those expectations? The modern consumer expects faster and service that is more convenient than ever before. They expect resolution on first contact, and they’re willing to share their experience—good or bad—with the world via social media. They’re also more discerning, and more educated, thanks to the Internet, than at any other time in history. So naturally, it would be wise to follow the old adage that the customer is always right. Right?
In actuality, this can be a dangerous precedent to set. While a majority of your customers are simply reaching out to resolve a genuine issue, you’re invariably going to run across individuals with an axe to grind. This can come in many forms. Some customers might get frustrated and take the frustration out on the agents. Others are looking to take advantage of loopholes in customer service policies, unwarranted refunds or products.
In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, it’s important that you bend over backwards for your customers to make sure they’ll become brand loyalists for life. But how can you tell if your agents are being manipulated?
This is an incredibly delicate issue, and will likely to persist as long as human nature continues to be part of being human. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the potential for such crises to beleaguer your personnel, your reputation, or your bottom line.
Let’s take a look at how innovative contact center solutions can help you maintain a sterling reputation for high-quality customer service without being taken advantage of the bad apples in the bunch.
Agent training: Your first and best line of defense is a highly trained and experienced set of contact center agents. Deploying coaching features and continuous eLearning courses will help your agents hone their skills so that they’ll have an easier time telling when a customer is trying to get the better of them. More training will also help them de-escalate agitated customers to refocus on resolution of the actual issue at hand.
Seamless omni-channel integration: Omni-channel integration is often considered valuable because it can help customers seamlessly move a conversation from one platform to another without interrupting the conversation they are engaged in or the service they’re being provided. But omni-channel can be two-way. If the customer in question has a history of trashing companies publicly on social media for personal gain, wouldn’t it help if your agents could see that in real-time?
Turning analytics into intelligence: Your contact center is a warehouse full of customer data. But without the proper contact center software, you might end up with more data than you know what to do with. Innovative software will help you find behavioral patterns and trends—for both individuals, demographics and your customer base as a whole. Business intelligence may help you isolate similarities between problem customers, helping you to catch issues before they unfold.
It is critical for the success of your business to treat your customers with the utmost respect. But if that respect isn’t mutual, your agents could suffer. Your brand could suffer unduly, and so could your bottom line. By using emerging contact center solutions to their full potential, you can more ably walk the tightrope that is customer support.
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