As a customer, you know one of the most frustrating things that can happen during a call with a contact center is the need to repeat yourself. You might call about an issue you had last month, last week or yesterday. You might even be on the same phone call, but transferred to a different department. After laying out your issue and asking for help, you’re repeatedly asked by everyone you encounter, “What can I help you with?” Take a deep breath, try not to scream, and repeat your story once more.
From the contact center’s perspective, it feels like a reasonable thing to do: ask the customer what you can do for him or her. The truth, however, is your organization has no business running a contact center (or a business at all) if your employees can’t take a moment to familiarize themselves with the customer’s history. Thanks to integrated contact center solutions and customer relationship management platforms, agents should have all this information at their fingertips. Yes, you may need to validate the customer’s identity before you discuss sensitive or personal information, but you should already know what that customer’s history with your organization is.
“Contact centers need real time visibility of the full context of communications, when speaking with the customer,” according to a recent blog post by UK-based contact center management software company Aquarium Software. “It is critical that a comprehensive case history lies at your fingertips, including anything that has been mentioned on social streams, phone calls, via SMS response, and even by old-fashioned letter.”
Intelligent omni-channel customer communications solutions that can be aggregated into a single desktop are necessary if agents are going to familiarize themselves with a customer’s history in just a few moments before he or she picks up the call and finishes the greeting. Ed Shropshire, Managing Director of Aquarium Software, noted that recording all customer touch points in one place provides a single view of the customer, bringing you up to speed and ensuring the customer has confidence you know what has happened – and you know what you are doing.
“It’s about more than just customer retention,” according to Shropshire. “Modern software also means better internal communications between departments and the advantages of the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing are obvious. It saves doubling up on work and saves time and money in the process.”
To be sure your organization is getting it right, quality monitoring – either software-based call recording solutions or remote third-party call monitoring – can be deployed to check the content of calls, emails, texts, chats and social media posts to ensure agents are following protocol and customers aren’t having to repeat themselves from contact to contact.
Companies are less likely to fail in customer support when they are sensitive to their customers’ time and patience. Empathy – backed up by technology – can go a long way toward eliminating wasted time for everyone, and building customer loyalty.