While a call center may be the first line of interaction a customer faces when contacting a company, it hasn’t always been a pleasant process for customers. While many companies do customer service well, many more do it poorly.
The statistics are sobering: a recent American Express survey of Americans’ attitudes toward customer service found that more than nine out of 10 Americans surveyed (93 percent) said that companies fail to exceed their service expectations. Even scarier, more than half of respondents (55 percent) claimed they have walked away from an intended purchase in the past year because of a poor customer service experience.
Does that sound like most call centers are doing their jobs properly?
So, why is providing excellent customer service such a struggle? How can you not only meet your customers’ needs and expectations, but turn the call center from a sinkhole of capital into a revenue generation vehicle? Many companies have succeeded in this endeavor, according to Guy Yair, Co-CEO of Jacada Inc., who recently authored an article for Call Centre Clinic.
Yair believes that there are a few issues that need to be resolved before a company can expect to get customer service right, particularly since two of the biggest obstacles to reducing average handle time (AHT) and increasing customer satisfaction are the complexity of the agent desktop and the lack of process guidance.
Don’t let customers get lost in the process. By providing call guidance using dynamic scripting for agents, call centers can ensure that customers aren’t left in mid-process with no resolution. This guidance can be a script or simply the necessary steps to progress the customer through the call and take the required steps to resolve the issue.
Simplify the desktop. The average agent uses eight to nine (and as many as 12) applications on his or her desktop. Toggling back and forth between them wastes time and leads to errors. By consolidating all the necessary solutions on one “master” screen, call centers can shave time off calls and provide better service to customers.
Eliminate duplication. Many of the applications used by call center agents require the same information to be input multiple times. (If you’ve ever been on a call with a call center that seemed to take ages for a very simply problem, this redundant data entry was likely the problem.) By unifying the log-ins and data entry of many different solutions, you can speed calls and quit wasting the customers’ time, leading to better resolution of problems and increased customer loyalty.
By reducing the clutter on your agents’ desktops, you can make their jobs easier and more pleasant. By eliminating errors and lengthy waits for service, you can make customers’ lives easier and more pleasant. In the end, everybody wins.
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