To Improve Customer Support, First Determine What Customers Want
In the quest to improve the quality of customer care offered by a company, it’s tempting for call center management to wish for better customers: customers who spend more and complain less. While it makes for a nice dream, it’s not going to happen. If it’s your goal to improve the customer experience in 2017, it’s your internal call center management processes you need to look to. Even small changes can lead to significant improvements.
For starters, in order to determine if your quality of care has improved in 2017 with new changes, it’s important for you to know where you are now, so you can compare. This means a robust system for measuring performance, according to a recent article by Anouche Newman writing for Australia’s Dynamic Business.
“One of the most undervalued tools in small to medium businesses is consistent measurement of customer service outputs and customer satisfaction,” she wrote. “All too often businesses neglect to measure their performance robustly and proactively, relying instead on ad hoc insights that don’t give an accurate representation of the customer experience they’re delivering.”
Measuring customer satisfaction isn’t easy, but the quickest way is to determine what factors your customers consider to be the drivers of a great experience and measure those. They might be short hold times, minimal transfers, or first-call resolution. It might even be a complete experience via self-service without the need to escalate to live agents, or a fast response time on a query posted to social media. These factors will vary depending on your customer base, according to Newman.
“Case in point – there’s no point in reducing wait time on a call if certain customers, usually older people, are happy to wait,” she wrote. “Instead, focus on ensuring that when they do reach your customer service representative, the problem can be resolved as quickly as possible.”
What this means is that since most companies don’t have unlimited budgets for customer support, they need to be extra careful they’re spending the money where it’s going to matter to their customers. Analytics solutions can help businesses understand where their money will go the furthest.
“It’s nearly impossible to make accurate decisions on customer service without a deeper understanding of your customer service climate, and technology can help you do this,” wrote Newman.
It’s also important to point analytics inward and not just toward customers. Once you’ve determined what your customers might appreciate, it’s critical to analyze your current operations and see how well you’re working toward those goals. If you’re wasting time on tasks that don’t further them and aren’t 100 percent critical, you can focus your resources toward tasks that will.
After analyzing company culture, it’s important to ask yourself how consistently this mindset is applied in the day-to-day operations of the business. A consistent experience can be the difference between customers attributing value to your output or not.
Edited by Alicia Young