The customer service department plays an integral role in the relationship between a brand and its customer. The customer advisor is tasked with assistance, whether that is answering a query or resolving a product complaint, requiring skill and sensitivity.
The handling of this interaction will impact the customer’s perception of the brand, yet often, organizations find poor customer service experiences affecting client retention and acquisition. Thus, it is important to cultivate customer relationships carefully.
A major way in which customer relationships are cultivated focuses on digital customer engagement: how businesses deliver customized experiences to customers, specifically. But whether your customer services are personalized or not, there are steps you can take to make the process smoother for customers and advisors.
Below are some ways to avoid and resolve common customer service complaints:
When we talk about customer satisfaction, the quality of interactions is a crucial factor.
Customer service involves a variety of emotions. Feelings of frustration or anger are particularly tricky to handle for the customer and call agent alike. Misreading a situation or failing to provide the right response can result in complaints and increased dissatisfaction levels.
To fully solve customers’ issues, agents must be able to listen well, process complex information quickly, and exercise their critical thinking skills. Creativity and resourcefulness also play a part in problem resolution.
Whilst reading emotions does require intuition, continuous training and support are imperative in call centers to ensure all agents are equipped with the right empathy skills. Training will help employees to understand the best language to use, to build up a rapport, and to best remedy upset customers.
Holding regular workshops further encourages collaboration and communication within the workforce, helping to create a positive environment where employees feel supported to share tips and past experiences.
Happier employees will result in happier customers and vice versa. An engaged workforce is truly a reflection of the customer journey.
Additionally, it would be a big help for your agents if you can build a knowledge base that contains all the information they could need, be it about your products, services, or processes. This database should be accessible to all frontline call center reps, to easily provide the answers a customer may be looking for.
More and more consumers now prefer to look for solutions to their issues on their own.
When customers need answers to quick questions, human intervention may actually be unnecessary. In these instances, self-service options are best. Hence, it is important to provide them with an online platform equipped with information resources such as FAQ pages, product manuals, how-to videos, and IVR menus. This way, you widen your customers’ options for resolving the issues they encounter.
With this option, you can also include short surveys for the customers so as to get their feedback on which areas to improve your services.
Anyone conducting a web search about you should be able to find the answers they’re looking for, but make sure to connect them to a customer care platform just in case.
Improved FCR rate
Spending hours on hold waiting to speak to an advisor has become a hallmark for the negative customer service experience.
Customers naturally like their issues resolved quickly. They are satisfied when their questions are sufficiently answered or issues promptly resolved on the first call. Happy customers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand, a factor that drives future purchases.
First contact resolution (FCR) is a metric that is dangerous to ignore as it is a critical determinant of customer satisfaction in call centers. It is vital for the success of your call center.
By analyzing your call traffic, you can gain valuable insight into the volume of callers and peak call times, helping contact centers to timetable the right number of staff to deal with customers.
A smart IVR system makes the keypad selection process easier so that the caller can be quickly connected with the most suitable agent. This can also be programmed with automated messages so that customers receive a response whenever they call. Equally, an intuitive automatic call distributor (ACD) will make sure that incoming calls are sorted appropriately amongst the call agents.
Make use of your CRM tool
One of the top complaints customers often cite is having to repeat their personal details multiple times and to different agents.
By analyzing previous transactions that your contact center has handled, you can spot recurring patterns or trends among customer complaints. This lets you predict the problems that may emerge, letting you strategize beforehand on how to tackle them.
For this, you need to use your customer related management, or CRM software, that keeps customer information updated in real-time. This way, agents from different departments can add notes that will help the next employee serve the customer.
Collating the information will also equip your call agents with vital customer context so they can have more productive interactions, all whilst using inventory management software.
Provide omnichannel support
An omnichannel strategy is an approach stemming from the spread of various web-enabled devices. With many gadgets finding their way into the mainstream market, there are massive changes in people’s expectations when it comes to customer service.
In this age, the brands that succeed are those that can leverage multiple customer touchpoints—social media, onboarding emails, live chat, and phone, without compromising speed and efficiency.
By deploying this digital customer support strategy, you get to catch more requests or queries. It empowers consumers with the ability to interact seamlessly with brands across multiple channels, enhancing customer experience competencies.
Omnichannel customer service is fantastic for giving customers greater flexibility, with live chat and messaging services allowing customers to ask for advice at any time and on any platform.
Maintain your voice channel
Voice interaction is still a must-have in customer service to ensure each individual has an enjoyable customer experience.
Customers still want the option to communicate with a human agent, particularly those who are trying to explain a complex query or are perhaps less familiar with digital channels.
The voice channel conveys the customer’s tone and emotion better than a digital mode of communication hence allowing human advisors to provide more empathetic and instinctive responses.
Over time, as customers’ expectations change, the definition of customer service also evolves.
With customer service awards being held yearly, this should encourage brands to put their best foot forward.
John Allen - RingCentral US
John Allen, Director, Global SEO at RingCentral, a global UCaaS, VoIP and fax software provider. He has over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs. He has written for websites such as Revenue River and Tapfiliate.
RingCentral won a Gold Stevie Award for Award for Innovation in Human Resources Management, Planning & Practice in the 2020 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.
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