When it comes to providing quality customer service, going the extra mile isn’t just a good idea – it’s critical in today’s customer-centric landscape. Studies show emotionally engaged customers are three times more likely to recommend a product or service and to remain brand loyal. What’s more, experts agree that a genuine, authentic connection between customers and agents is critical to establishing a positive customer experience.
So what can you do to motivate agents to provide the best possible customer service? How can you inspire them to go above and beyond in their daily interactions with customers? Here’s a look at 3 ways:
1. Empower them with analytical feedback: To encourage agents to provide the type of experience their customers expect (and increasingly demand), it’s critical to monitor and analyze 100% of calls. Less than 100% analysis means that you cannot take action on some portion of your customer conversations, and often involves spending hours analyzing only a small proportion of calls without gleaning any actionable insight.
With speech analytics solutions such as real-time call monitoring software in place, performance feedback can be delivered to agents during the call (as opposed to after it’s already ended), which can help managers get a better idea of which agents are performing well versus those who need additional coaching. During CallMiner’s upcoming user conference Listen2014, attendees will hear from customers who are delivering analytical driven performance data directly to agents through myEureka and what impact this has had on agent performance, morale, and agent retention.
2. Give them the authority to make decisions on their own: Research shows the majority of customers prefer to speak to customer service representatives who do not sound like they’re reading from a script. In other words, the overall customer experience improves dramatically when customers feel like they’re speaking to a real person instead of a robot.
While scripting does have its place in the call center environment, it’s just as important to make agents feel empowered to make appropriate decisions on their own; it can, in fact, instill more customer confidence in a company’s product or service. As noted in a CustomerThink article, Southwest Airlines leaders believe that employees should use their own good judgment in handling passenger situations, which is one reason that Southwest has been leading the airline industry in customer loyalty for nearly two decades.
3. Inspire them to connect with customers: Despite the increasing use of customer self-service, it’s still important for agents to be able to establish a connection with customers if and when they need assistance. Sometimes the best way to do this is for representatives to demonstrate that they can see the problem from the customer’s perspective and that they’re committed to helping them resolve it.
“Engaging customers and solving their problems is still largely undertaken through personal contact. Emotion is the grease that more easily facilitates this interaction,” according to a Call Center IQ article. “Staff members have many ways to introduce emotion including taking ownership of issues (rather than blaming others), displaying empathy, being proactive and always exhibiting good interpersonal habits (e.g., shaking hands, keeping eye contact, and being active listeners).”
At the end of the day, you want your customer service representatives to not only meet but to exceed customer expectations. By encouraging agents to go beyond the call of duty in the above ways, you can ensure your customers have the type of experience that will inspire loyalty and retention and encourage them to share their experiences with others.
In what ways does your company empower agents to provide the best possible customer experience? What ways would you add to our list? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/sturti
Originally posted here: http://callminer.com/can-agents-provide-customer-service-goes-beyond/