Microsoft says 90% of Americans use good customer service as a factor when deciding whether to do business with a company. Why would customers stay loyal to brands that are slow or can’t offer help? Why wouldn’t a customer find a company that makes buying and learning a product or service quick, easy, and accessible?
Let me give an example from my life: I was on a retail site a couple days ago buying a stud finder for a house project. I just needed one item. But the site demanded I either drive to the store and pick up the item or I pay an additional $17 just so I could ship the item I needed. What a scam! Why would I go through with my purchase if I could order a similar product from another site and have it shipped for free within two days? Obviously, I picked the free shipping in two days.
The point is, customer service matters. It’s not only about how many ways you communicate with customers and what kind of shiny, new tech you have. Technology is definitely part of delivering good customer service. But, a friendly and competent customer service rep on the other end of the line can make or break a customer relationship.
Let’s consider some of the stats around how your agents impact good customer service:
- 71% of consumers believe a quick response from a service team can drastically improve their customer experience.
- It only takes one bad experience for 80% of consumers to say they’d rather do business with a competitor.
- If the company’s customer service is excellent, 78% of consumers will do business with a company again, even after a mistake.
- A good customer service experience impacts recommendations. Consumers who rate a company’s service as “good” are 38% more likely to recommend the company.
Bottom line? Good customer service makes a big difference. As a contact center manager, much of what you do daily shapes the quality of your service. You have a mission to accomplish. You likely want to see your agents succeed in their work. And you want them to feel empowered, stay engaged, and deliver an exceptional customer experience.
And in addition to your day-to-day tasks, you look to the future. What can you do to support your team through changes in technology and shifting customer expectations? We’ve compiled a list of some of our best tools, resources, and articles to guide you through three major projects. Let’s take a look!
Project 1: Invest in the Right Tools for Your Contact Center
Investing in quality tools and technology in your contact center can go a long way. It’s tough to deliver good customer service when you’re working with outdated tech. Clunky software and inefficient integrations slow your agents down. One of the primary ways to invest in the future of your contact center is to invest in your digital transformation and maturation. Empower your employees with technology, so they can do their best work.
Here are 3 ways to upgrade your tech for good customer service:
1. Get tools to help your teams collaborate.
Maybe your team works together in an office. Or, like many in this post-COVID era, you’ve adopted a remote or hybrid model. Whatever the case, your agents need tools to communicate and collaborate with one another, whether they’re working right next to you or working from far away.
Find chat tools, video software, and integrations to ensure your remote employees can ask for help and connect from anywhere. Get more suggestions to give your employees the tools and resources they need to succeed. [Read More]
2. Simplify your agent desktop with one cloud center platform.
Moving to the cloud guarantees consistent service from anywhere. It also offers better integrations, provides better access to data, and cuts back on service inefficiencies. Put in place a system that gives agents access to customer data from anywhere at any time and supports agents working from home and in the office.
Feel stuck on what platform to implement? Check out our 3-part checklist to help you decide what software is best for your needs. [Read More]
3. Upgrade your cloud tech with omnichannel technology.
If you’ve not yet implemented omnichannel strategy into your customer experience, now’s the time. Today, 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service. You know customers get tired of repeating themselves every time they start a new interaction. It doesn’t only benefit your customers, but it also benefits your employees.
An omnichannel customer experience empowers agents to know the needs of each customer they interact with and understand their story. It gives your agents more ways to see (and use) customer data during interactions. Need more convincing on the future of omnichannel? Check out Kilian Wagner’s Tedx Talk on the Omnichannel Retail (R)evolution happening in retail today. And if you use a platform like Sharpen’s, you can pair your omnichannel service with training and coaching all in the same platform. [Learn More]
Project 2: Create a Compelling Coaching and Training Program (& Make Use of These Resources!)
Speaking of training and coaching, your next major project is all about investing in the performance and development of your team. How can you offer good customer service if you’re not growing and developing as a contact center team?
Productive coaching and training doesn’t just happen organically. As a manager, it’s important that you have a deliberate strategy and an intentional schedule for your coaching and training program. That can be overwhelming when you’re jumping from meeting to meeting, putting out fires, and reporting to your executive team. So, let’s review some of the practical steps you can take to develop a training program that best supports your agents and still allows you to manage your time.
Learn 4 steps to coaching and training for good customer service:
1. Set up regular 1:1s with agents that are deliberate and focused.
Come to your 1:1s with a set agenda. Use it to catch up with agents on a personal level and bring some talking points. Use data about their performance to offer feedback, but also allow agents to give you feedback. Get a template to shape your 1:1s and make the best use of your time (and your agents’ time). [Read More]
2. Create an internal knowledge base so agents can find answers independently.
Curating an internal knowledge base is one of the simplest ways to coach your agents without taking up much of your time. There’s an upfront time investment, but then your agents can fly solo more often.
Internal knowledge bases hold all of your processes, answer basic questions, and give agents helpful videos and articles. With an internal knowledge base, your agents can look for answers themselves, empowering them to problem solve when you’re unavailable and helping them become more independent in their work. If you need help kicking off your knowledge base, look no further. We have 6 scripts to stock in your knowledge base. [Read More]
3. Invest in speech analytics and inline feedback tools.
Coaching gets much easier when you, as the manager, have the technology to help you. Both speech analytics and inline feedback tools can streamline your coaching. With inline training, give feedback and make notes on specific moments in customer-agent interactions. Use speech analytics to search through transcribed calls to focus your coaching sessions. Use what you find to inform your coaching lessons or team meetings. Learn tactical ways to use speech analytics over here. [Read More].
4. Set up Team Training Sessions in Team Meetings.
Train agents as a team. When agents train with each other, you can set up creative role-playing scenarios, introduce discussion topics, or take courses as a team.
Try out some of these online courses for your team training sessions:
- Customer Service Mastery: Delight Every Customer
- Brilliant Customer Service: How to Impress your Customers!
- Customer Service Training: A Step by Step Guide For Customer Service Professionals and Managers
[Download Now]: Get the Ebook and Get Real about Coaching in Your Contact Center
Project 3: Support Your Agents Professionally and Personally
Consider your third major project a catch-all project to boost agent empowerment and engagement in your contact center. You need happy employees to deliver good customer service. When employees know their managers invest in them professionally and personally, they’re more likely to stay in their roles.. And, 69% of employees say they’ll actually work harder if they’re better appreciated by their employers.
Use these 3 tactics to engage and empower your team:
1. Supporting your agents starts with onboarding.
Start off with a strong first impression and set your agents up for success with a strong training and onboarding program. Build relationships with your employees through 1:1s, team gatherings, and social events. Create a culture in your contact center that motivates employees to care about each other. Want some inspiration to improve your contact center motivation and morale? Find 10 methods to boost employee motivation. [Read More]
2. Invest in your employee’s well-being by prioritizing inclusion.
Make sure employees feel welcomed and safe to be exactly who they are. Listen well, offer educational tools, and provide space for employees to learn and grow alongside one another. Set goals for employees to grow professionally and develop individualized development plans. Encourage agents to set career and personal goals quarterly and annually in your coaching sessions and 1:1s. Learn how to map our career paths for each of your team members. [Read More]
3. Be present and be involved in the daily lives of your employees.
Whether they’re working remotely or sitting at the desk next to you, you have an obligation to understand what your agents want to gain from the job and to use their unique gifts to contribute to the team as a whole. When your employees feel cared for in their work, they’ll be better employees, motivated to offer good customer service day in and day out. It’s true – and the stats prove it. Investing in your agents means investing in your customers. Learn the 9 ways a better agent experience benefits your business. [Download Now]