As I watch the team of construction workers break ground outside my window, I find myself staring at the equipment they’re using and how they use it. Excavators lift mounds of dirt and discard old bricks from the site. But what if they only had a shovel?
Tools with interchangeable attachments help the crew complete each of their tasks. A bucket for scooping dirt. A giant jackhammer for breaking apart concrete, and a claw for picking up 30-foot metal pillars.
But, instead of interchangeable attachments, what if they had to hop into a new machine to complete each of their tasks?
Operationally, it’d be costly and unproductive for the construction company. And, they’d have employees frustrated from the gaps and hassles in their daily experience. Even worse, those factors would pile up to create a poor experience for their customer – the person developing the land. Next time around, that developer would pick a more efficient, effective company to support their venture.
Now, take that mindset, and apply it to your contact center. Just like construction workers with tools designed to help them do better, more efficient work, your agents need the right set of tools for the same reason. The right customer experience tools make it easier for your team to do their jobs, resulting in less effort and better journeys for your customers.
Here are five ways the right customer experience tools help your agents deliver better service.
The right customer experience tools empower your agents.
Hop off the excavator and into the machine with the claw. Okay, now switch. Wait… one more time for the people in the back.
A disjointed experience is frustrating for your employees.
But when your agents have tools that work for them, they’re empowered to better serve your customers. In fact, 24 percent of organizations believe empowering agents to offer custom or unique resolutions to customers has the biggest impact on their experience.
They don’t have to open seven different desktop windows to resolve a single case, they can do it from a single interface. Plus, they don’t have to go off on a tangent exploration for customer data about a customer’s past cases.
The right set of tools prepares agents for each and every customer interaction. It equips them with the customer intelligence, and with the flexibility they need to shift, at a moment’s notice, for your customers. Nimble tools and resources give your agents confidence to take control of your customers’ experience, without running to a manager for help.
Customers get quicker (and better) resolutions.
When your agents don’t have to dig for customer information, your customers get quicker fixes for their problems. And when they don’t have to end an interaction just to switch channels, resolutions happen fast.
Intelligent omni-channel tools significantly cut back on the time it takes to problem-solve for your customer. In one instance, an omni-channel platform helped a company take a typical three-and-a-half-week resolution and solve the same problem in only 45 minutes.
Your agents see efficiency metrics, like talk time, improve without negative impacts to the quality of their interactions. First call resolution recuperates for your customers and ups their satisfaction along with it.
For you, this means business impacts that affect your bottom line and promised SLAs. You reduce operational costs and handle more volume without sacrificing quality.
It’s no wonder, then, that 52 percent of contact center leaders still think speed is important to the customer experience. And with 67 percent of customers refusing to wait on hold for longer than two minutes, your customers agree.
Your agents don’t have to work hard to find customer information.
Tools and systems that work together mean your agents don’t have to toggle between platforms to surface important customer information. That means more informed conversations for your customers.
If Melissa calls for the third time about an issue, your agent knows immediately that she’s dealing with an ongoing problem. And your agent knows that, at this point, a resolution is critical to keeping Melissa as a customer.
With that knowledge tucked neatly in their back pockets, agents can act quickly to find the best solutions for your customers. Plus, Melissa’s happy she doesn’t have to explain her issue for the third go-round. Instead, she has a knowledgeable agent equipped with details about her interaction history to make things right.
Better analytics can help you optimize your customers’ journey.
Customer experience isn’t a guessing game.
You need data to inform your decision-making, so you can act in the best interest of your customers. Tools with intelligent analytics and insights give you a clear view of what’s happening in your contact center, and what’s happening with your agents and customers.
You can use your tools’ analytics to keep tabs on key contact center and agent metrics, and to see how your customers interact with your team. You have data down to the desktop of each agent, so you can spot inefficiencies, empowerment issues, or inaccuracies that make your customer interactions difficult.
Then, you can use that data and the information you gather to address specific pains in your customers’ journey. Is there a channel that customers use often but agents don’t have the training to handle? Is there a morale issue with your agents that’s bringing down the mood of your customers? Your data will tell you. And you can make an action plan to fix it.
In a PwC survey released in early March 2019, a whopping 94 percent of people found that data about your customers’ needs is critical and important. And more research found that increasing data’s usability by 10 percent would result in an average revenue boost of $2 billion for Fortune 1000 companies. Success starts and ends with better data.
Better tools reduce customer effort.
No one’s ever complained that a service experience was too simple.
According to Brian Cantor, Principal Analyst at CCW Digital, the five biggest sources of customer effort are: disconnected systems, poor customer insights, unintelligent knowledge bases, unnecessary red tape, and improper training.
Three out of those five sources of effort relate directly to your customer experience tools. And the best tools will solve for the other two factors as well.
To reduce the customer effort in agent-customer interactions, your tools help agents deliver a consistent experience on every channel. They don’t trap customers in an IVR labyrinth. And, they let managers deliver snack-able training, empowering agents to better serve customers.
With the construction outside my window, I can look at a glance and see how miserable and time-sucking it would be to dig a 100 x 100-foot hole with only a shovel. But for your contact center, it might not be as obvious as to how your tools hold your agents back.
Regardless of your view, the right customer experience tools matter. They help your agents deliver the best possible service to your customers.
Want to get a better view of your contact center? See how Sharpen’s omni-channel platform can work for your business. Request a demo.