The poet Maya Angelou once said that although people may forget what you say and do, “people will never forget how you made them feel.” That could be a mission statement for businesses in the 21st century.
Research shows that consumer loyalty is no longer defined entirely by the price, brand or quality of a product, but rather by the service they receive, their level of satisfaction and their overall experience with a business. An often-quoted Gartner study found that 89 percent of companies believe they are now competing mainly on customer experience.
What are some steps that your business can take to improve customer service? It starts with effective call center management, which should be based on customer service fundamentals. Here are four basic attributes of customer service, and how contact center technology can help you take full advantage of them.
Understand the Customer Experience
One of the best ways to know what customers think of your company and your service is through customer feedback. In addition to conventional feedback mechanisms such as surveys, technology solutions can help you collect and analyze customer feedback. Contact center analytic tools can evaluate customer data from CRM systems, email, voice mail, point-of-sale (POS) systems and other sources to create an end-to-end view of customer interactions across multiple communication channels. Such in-depth analysis provides valuable insight into customer demographics, shopping habits, buying preferences, spending limits, churn rates and more — all of which can be used to create personalized experiences for customers.
Introduce AI and Automation
Modern contact center solutions are increasingly incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to improve the customer experience. AI enables call center systems to recognize speech, make decisions and solve problems without being specifically programmed to do so. For example, automated virtual agents known as “chatbots” can answer calls faster and more efficiently than humans around the clock. Studies show that chatbots can handle many simple inquiries and achieve first-call resolution 90 percent of the time, enabling call center agents to focus on more complex issues.
Always Be There
Cloud-based virtual contact centers make it easier than ever to provide 24x7 customer support. Decentralized staffing, with support agents working from various locations instead of one central location, makes it easier to support international “follow the sun” operations. Because proximity to the office is a nonfactor, organizations have access to a broader talent pool. If that is more than you need, you could also consider creating a customer service portal through which consumers can leave messages, access FAQs, and find product manuals and descriptions for additional information.
Support Your Agents
Contact center agents are the face of the company in dealings with consumers, so it is important to keep agents happy, motivated and productive. The right call center management solution can provide the in-depth reporting managers need to make effective decisions about agent training. Barge, listen and whisper functionality enables managers to monitor customer interactions and provide coaching where needed. Unified communications allow managers can use text messages and video conferencing to actively encourage and motivate individual agents, even if they’re working from home or in another remote location.
How IronLogix Can Help
Technology solutions are available that can make it much easier for your organization to deliver an optimum customer experience. The experts at IronLogix can help you implement the 3CX unified communications platform, which includes sophisticated call center management features in its Pro and Enterprise editions. Contact us to discuss your particular needs and the types of solutions that can benefit your business.