Most businesses, both large and small, maintain some kind of customer contact center. No matter what niche your business operates in, customer/client satisfaction is one of the biggest keys to long term success, so getting customer service right is a must.
This is perhaps a task that is harder than ever. Consumers, who are themselves using more and more technology every day to make their lives easier and more efficient, could rarely be described as patient. They usually want answers, want them now and are rather unforgiving of delays and missteps.
Providing this begins with hiring great people, whether your customer contact center is 2,10 or 200 people strong. But even the very best CSRs cannot do their very best work if they are expected to cope with outdated equipment and inadequate technology. Here’s a look at some of the must have technologies that need to be in place for your business to actually deliver on that promise of great customer service all your marketing materials almost certainly tout:
Call Monitoring and Call Recording
This is the one set of technologies that no customer contact center should be without. Not only is it an excellent way to monitor employee performance to plan training to improve it – or reward excellence – having a recording of a contentious conversation can prove invaluable.
Call Back Options
As we mentioned, the average 21st century consumer is rarely a patient person. Nor do they even have the time to try and develop that particular life skill while on hold for 15 minutes. And excessive hold times is a key factor for many businesses – especially service businesses – in customer attrition. A 2016 Forrester Survey found that 62 percent of consumers they interviewed admitting that they had ‘switched to the competition’ at least once because they were tired of being left on hold to make appointments, ask simple questions etc.
Adding a call-back option gives consumers the chance to skip the hold time and request a call back when someone is available to talk to them. It’s an option that they like a lot , as it allows them to get their issue resolved without, their appointment made or their query answered without having to take too much time out of their busy day to do so. It also takes a lot of pressure off customer reps, as they no longer feel so pressured to rush through a call to get to the next one on hold, and so can provide far better service to everyone.
Not every consumer or customer query calls for a live response for it to be addressed quickly and correctly. Adding an interactive voice response (IVR) menu gives callers the opportunity to deal with simple issues – paying a bill, checking a balance, getting directions etc – in a quick, straightforward manner that saves time and energy for everyone involved. This also frees up customer service representatives to address more serious or complicated concerns without the need to rush.
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