Call Center Management Feature Article
October 21, 2013
Keep an Eye on the Big Picture in the Contact Center
By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor
Efficiency and effectiveness in the contact center often is a matter of the little things: The hold time, the way an agent answers a call, the procedure for escalating support.
But what can get lost in all of this is the big picture, the things that make the largest difference and actually spell excellence when it comes to the contact center.
Monet Software recently wrote a blog about focusing on the big picture, and it outlined five places that the contact center should look to not lose the forest in the trees.
1. Feedback on products and services. The contact center doesn’t have much say in a company’s products, but it can play a huge role in making the products better. Listening to customer feedback and compiling information that then can be passed along to management is a huge opportunity that many contact centers miss. Agents are the front lines when it comes to products and services feedback, and a good contact center will take advantage of this opportunity.
2. Keeping contact easy. Agents time is valuable, but so is that of the customers. It is important to keep in mind not just what works best for the contact center, but what will be easiest for the customer. That means IVR that is succinct, hold times that are short, and handling customer calls efficiently and effectively.
3. Cater to the communications channel of the customer. There are many ways to communicate these days, which is why the “call” center has become the “contact” center. Keeping an eye on the big picture means making the contact center available to customers no matter what their communicating preferences may be. This can include virtual agents, email and posting feedback on a Facebook page or through Twitter (News - Alert). Customer service means meeting the customer where they are, not forcing them into the preferred method of the contact center.
4. Courtesy and civility matter. It is hard to overemphasize the important of a friendly, courteous agent on the other end of the phone or screen. As tempting as it may be to cut costs by hiring the cheapest labor, having friendly and courteous agents helping customers is a factor that cannot be overstated. The investment is worth the payout, for one bad customer experience can now lead to many bad impressions of a company thanks to social media.
5. Avoid repetition. There are few things more frustrating than handing personal information to an automated attendant and then having the agent ask for the same information a few minutes later. It is essential that companies ensure that their processes aren’t repetitive, because customers understand the need to give information once to an agent, but do it twice and watch the frustration rise in real-time.
The details still matter, but don’t lose sight of the big picture in the process. Both the forest and the trees matter.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi