Workforce Optimization Featured Article

Contact Centers Should Turn to Agents to Gather Valuable Information on Performance

 
January 15, 2008


By Susan J. Campbell,
TMCnet Contributing Editor
 

Customer service deliverables is an important concept in the contact center. In fact, the purpose of the contact center is to ensure that the customer’s interaction with the company is satisfying, if not enjoyable.

The challenge for contact centers is that they do not always know exactly how satisfied the customer is, or how to measure what the customer feels would help to improve the interaction.

Organizations often measure the success of the contact center based on the likelihood that a customer buys from them again. Unfortunately, this indirect method can leave out a large amount of valuable information.

More innovative contact centers have taken an internal approach to customer satisfaction and how to improve it. Those contact centers have turned to those on the front-line to gain a better understanding of how their agents perceive these interactions and their opinions on how to make improvements. 

In a recent ICMI study on agent empowerment, the majority of the participants, or 78.4 percent, are increasingly relying on input from contact center agents to improve the customer experience. These participants are conducting activities from seeking agents’ feedback during team meetings to getting them involved in the content and design of customer satisfaction surveys.

Of those contact centers that responded to the survey, two-thirds also actively involve agents in improving the tools and applications used to provide a positive customer experience. The benefits are immediate. In fact, 86.4 percent of contact centers say that the impact of agent involvement and empowerment has had a positive impact on customer satisfaction.

Contact centers for years have been using traditional methods to measure customer satisfaction. In a Service XRG study, relationship assessment surveys proved to be the most popular type of customer satisfaction survey among support organizations. Follow-up transaction surveys are used by 59.7 percent of support organizations.

While gathering information directly from the customer is essential, it is what is done with that information that can make the difference in customer service deliverables for the contact center. 

At the end of the day, customers are not asking too much in wanting to have a satisfying experience when interacting with the contact center. In a consumer survey, customers shared that they want the service they receive to be seamless, trustworthy, attentive and resourceful. To know whether or not the contact center is delivering on these demands, the best step to take is to ask those on the front line.

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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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