One of the most important building blocks of success for any business is the ability to connect with and be easily available to customers and clients. In the internet age, staying connected can take on many new and distinct forms, ranging from instant messaging to video calling to regular old phone calls.
The communication you receive will also be quite diverse in purpose. Potential clients may call to inquire about services, former customers may call looking for product support -- and some businesses are even equipped to charge sales directly over the phone. Regardless, all this communication will have one important characteristic in common: it represents opportunity.
That's why we have compiled this simple guide to strategies that can make a real difference for your business without requiring any major, show-stopping overhauls.
Match Callers to Agents.
With a small investment in technology, a bit of customer research, and an honest look at your staff, you can turn into an expert professional matchmaker. And this strategy of pairing callers with the ideal agent for their case can make your contact center much more efficient while improving customer experience. Here are four factors you should take into consideration if you do opt to utilize this approach:
- Reason for Calling. Separating your sales desk from customer support, for example, is a no-brainer in terms of efficiency.
- Field of Expertise. Employees who have a special knowledge of a particular subject should always be paired with customers calling for reasons related to their specialty.
- Agent Performance. Pairing your top-performing agents with your biggest customer accounts in another clear winner when it comes to matchmaking strategy.
- Customer/Agent Relationship. Matching callers to agents can help you build (or supplement) personal relationships between customers and employees, thus improving brand loyalty.
Reduce Hold Time
Multiple studies have confirmed what anyone who has ever made a phone call already knows -- being put on hold is a leading cause of customer dissatisfaction. Here are a few ways of reducing hold time and/or eliminating the need to place customers on hold altogether.
- Keep Customer Records. The easier employees can access info about callers, the faster they will be able to help that person in an effective and individualized way.
- Staff Matters. Pay attention to peak calling times and try to anticipate surges in customer communication. This will allow you to plan ahead and avoid short staffing yourself.
- Call avoidance. Not all problems and inquiries require a call to be made. And guiding people with such issues to a call-free solution (i.e. online) can lead to a better customer experience while freeing up company resources.
- Replace holds with callbacks. Though not ideal, many customers find this practice to be much more palatable than being placed on indefinite hold.
Improve Training and Coaching Strategies
Employees are the heart and soul of your business -- so be sure that you are giving them the tools they need to succeed! Here are a few tips for training call center employees:
- Update Your Script. Use analytics, study call recordings, and pay close attention to changes in company policy or product offerings. An optimized script will help employees do their job more effectively.
- Require Self-Assessment. Though analytics and big data are insightful, improving personal performance requires more than a quick look at the numbers. Asking employees to provide a self-assessment will encourage critical thought and an eye toward improvement.
- Offer Rewards. Performance-driven jobs should reward performance -- and if you aren't currently doing this, then the odds are good that employee performances are not fully optimized.
Want to learn more about how you can bring your company contact center into the 21st century? Visit Epik Networks online today to browse our full selection of professional solutions.