Why service quality is increasingly important.
As automated self-service channels increase in utilization, so does the importance of addressing customer needs when they opt for direct contact. Customers may have already attempted their interaction with your organization through self-service means. When they need additional assistance, the depth and breadth of their inquiries has greatly increased. Self-service addresses many of the simpler tasks and inquires; however when these channels cannot meet the customer’s need, the call center needs to be able to manage and resolve these requests.
Handling customers who have attempted self-service
Often customers who have attempted self-service and have not been able to obtain a resolution are looking for fast knowledgeable representatives that have quick access to information systems that can resolve their inquiries. These customers can be frustrated, having already spent time trying to resolve their situation through self-service means. Here are some basic tips for addressing and defusing customer frustration in these cases:
Acknowledge Customer Frustration: Many customers simply want their frustration acknowledged, doing so defuses escalation of frustration and you can move on to helping them. If you start helping them without acknowledgement of frustration, it leaves the customers feeling their time and frustration are not understood. Take a moment to listen and acknowledge their situation.
Action Statement: Quickly communicate you will help them. Directly after acknowledging the customer’s frustration quickly state you will help them. “I can look into this for you” “Let me help you with this” or “I can take care of this for you”.
Fifteen Seconds: The above two approaches seem like they would take a long time to address, however your representatives should be able to execute both of these within an average of 15 seconds by combining Acknowledgement and Action Statements.
– I understand why that would be frustrating, let me help you with this.
– I understand, we appreciate your time I can take care of this for you.
– I understand, I want to help you resolve this.
Increasing complexity of customer inquires
Here are several tips to help addressing increasingly complex customer inquiries as it relates to the necessity of delivering high value service.
Provide Better Tools & Training: Representatives must have access to additional tools, systems and be well trained to handle a variety of customer inquiries, requests and support needs. These interactions have moved beyond basic bank balance status, reservations or other simple inquiries, but rather require a deeper understanding. Representatives’ depth of knowledge combined with increased soft skill expertise help guide the customer to a resolution.
Help with Self-Service Tools: Web based, IVR and increasing mobile app self-service options are available to customers and they sometimes need help navigating these tools to accomplish their objectives. Many companies have dedicated staff to address technical issues related to self-service channels. Others have combined addressing customer technical or tool utilization assistance with their existing duties. Customer service representatives need to be well versed in the “utilization” of the company’s self-service tools in order to assist customers.
Feedback for Self-Service Optimization: Increasingly savvy customers utilizing self-services channels that contact your representatives often provide valuable unsolicited feedback regarding self-service tools. From error messages to problems obtaining what they need and issues with usage convenience, this information needs to get back to your development team quickly. This feedback can be analyzed, addressed and quickly pushed to self-service platforms.
New World of the Contact Center Representatives
All together, the contact center representative has become a critical service delivery touch point for your customers. Often they are the only human contact and the one that will help form the customer’s opinion of your company. Making sure your representatives have the skills, training and ongoing measurable results will ensure your center delivers high quality service.