How Boosting the Performance of Your Contact Center Benefits Your Bottom Line
Our work with contact centers and IVRs at leading companies has convinced us that the secret to customer experience (CX) and customer loyalty (CL) is not to create an environment where mistakes never happen. This is great to strive for but an impossible standard to achieve. Instead, we want to foster an atmosphere where when those inevitable mistakes occur, they are resolved in such a way that the customer leaves the interaction more likely to buy from the company again.
Our goal is not to minimize damage from a service failure, but to leave customers feeling better than before they made the call (or engaged via chat, SMS, email, etc.). This is known as the “service recovery paradox” and is illustrated in the following graphic from a recent article by CustomerThermometer.
- Lousy and uninterested service
- Long hold times
- Confusing voice prompts
- Being asked to supply the same information repeatedly (e.g., address or last four of their SSN)
Obviously, if any of these things occur, the customer will not be happy but will also not be surprised. The result will be customer loyalty that ranges from highly negative to neutral (at best). This should not be an acceptable outcome for you or your customers.
By the way, this paradox holds true even if the customer has high expectations to begin with. If the customer expects a fast and efficient resolution to their issue and instead faces barriers, it will cost you dearly in terms of current goodwill and future revenue. Customers tend to grade on a curve and you need to find a way to not just supply good service but offer “better service than the customer is expecting”. To put this bluntly, okay service is not okay.
How, exactly, do we ensure that our service exceeds expectations and contributes to revenue? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Understand the expectations. To make upside revenue lemonade out of service failure lemons, you need to understand exactly what customers expect from your support team/systems and what they consider substandard vs. acceptable vs. superior service. Don’t just rely on industry standards or what the people at your contact center tell you — ask the people that really know — your customers.
Establish and monitor KPIs. As the statement goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. To please customers on a consistent basis, you need to track items like:
- Call drop rate/abandonment: How many customers hang up before navigating the menu?
- “Zero out” rate/breaking containment: How many customers end up hitting zero to bypass the system?
- Task completion rate: How many menu tasks are completed, such as providing information, completing transactions or reaching the proper rep?
- Call completion rate: How many calls are completed in a satisfactory manner?
- Wait time: Are customers spending significant time on hold?
- Outcomes: Depending on your system, are your calls resulting in closed sales, processed transactions, or service call placed/resolved?
Practice tactical automation. Automated customer support can be valuable for simplifying customer service, managing high call volumes (or managing lower volumes with less staff) and prioritizing caller importance. This can allow you to extend your hours and geographic coverage and reduce the time your CS reps spend on lower-priority tasks. Other important contact center upgrades include:
- Integrating e-services like chat, email, and SMS into your voice platform.
- Adding proactive outbound notifications your inbound contact center.
- Monitoring your call center quality. The Genesys Interaction Recorder (GIR) is an excellent tool to facilitate this.
Tune your IVR. Your IVR system is an incredibly complex investment and, like any tool or machine, it requires maintenance to ensure it operates properly. Tuning can be an alternative to a more expensive system replacement and small changes can have a big impact on system performance.
Always remember that when your customers call your company for support, questions or service, your IVR/contact center is either a brand builder or a reputation destroyer. To be a brand builder, you need the right combination of proven technology, efficient processes and well-trained and motivated human assets.
To learn more, Genesys users can download our Genesys Success Kit that includes four valuable information resources.