Nine Ways to Make Your Customer Service Experience Unique
Call centers are always looking for ways to stand out from all the others. We like giving you actionable lists that you can learn from, so here are nine ways to make the customer service in your call center unique.
Brand Your Customer Service
We really like to brand service find a specific tagline that can be branded to them. At Chick-fil-A, when an employee thanks a customer, the reply is always “my pleasure.” It is something they are trained to do to really keep the culture of the company.
Being able to brand your customer service calls with specific phrasing is a great idea. When speaking to a customer, you have a unique opportunity to bring them into your company’s world. Your organization and your clients can really put some time into thinking through what can be said to generate brand recognition while also having fun with the customer and immersing them in your world.
Immerse the Customers
Some of our clients have totally bought into this idea. In order to immerse their customers, they needed to start with their reps. They have branded their room here at Expivia and the reps wear their gear. These reps answer their calls with “Welcome to XYZ World!” Not all clients would like this. It depends on their culture, it doesn’t always fit.
You can immerse customers into a fun and unique atmosphere when they call if you train your reps well. Keeping a call fun for your customers will help sentiment scores all around. Every time a customer calls, you get the chance to build your brand and engage them. You have the opportunity to cross-sell or upsell them which can create more revenue for your organization, too.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AS A MARKETING TOOL
Most call centers have televisions and monitors where stats are posted. Some clients have asked to put their stats on their public-facing websites. For them, we will be using an API (application programming interface) to post them. When a customer goes to their customer service page, they will see the service level of the department they are calling, including the number of calls currently in the queue.
Posting agent and customer sentiment scores on their customer service site allow everyone to see what their stats look like and gives proof of the service you are giving. If your service model is where it should be, why not post SLA, Calls in Queue, and Sentiment scores. Show your customers who well you service. Does this scare you? We love doing this. Service as a marketing tool.
Incent the Right KPIs
KPIs (key performance indicators) are different for every program and center which can make paying your associates tricky. All centers start with a base rate, but how are bonuses or raises paid out?
For customer services, we really try to incent off of their sentiment scores; reps with a steadily high score deserve more money. In sales, you incent based on sales numbers, but you have to look at specifics. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work.
If your center takes different kinds of calls, you need to look at each individual call type and make sure those reps are being incentivized properly. A general service rep and a Tier 3 support rep should not have the same incentivization. This is a really big deal in our industry. It is something that we have worked hard on at Expivia. Every client is different and wants different things emphasized. Your organization has to clarify expectations with each client.
Is your company using CTI (computer telephony integration) that comes onto an agent’s screen as they answer a call? Some companies like for their agents to be able to greet the caller by name. Along with their name, agents can ask them about any previous calls, commenting that they hope the last interaction was helpful–all before getting to the root of this specific call.
It engages the caller from the start. If you aren’t doing that yet, but have thought about it, this is a good time to push it into action. It’s a great way to differentiate your organization and show that you care.
Importance of Tone
When you meet with your agents, are you discussing their tone? You have to really drive home that their tone is the message. If an agent has a terrible tone, their information–no matter how helpful– means nothing because the customer had a bad experience. Customer experience is built through the proper tone.
Some clients that we work with want a very informal tone, that allows the agents to be laid back in their responses: “Oh, gotcha….cool, cool.” However, some prefer a very formal tone using “Yes, Ma’am, or No, Sir.” Supervisors and floor management need to be sure that the requested tone is what is being used for each client.
Know your culture and drive that tone.
Is Your Center Boring?
Most call centers are. Add some fun to your center! Play some games. Your agents shouldn’t be on the phone for eight straight hours every shift. Occupancy at 75% means actually speaking on the phone about 45 minutes of every hour, allowing them time to get off the floor for a bit.
Being berated all day long by customers stinks. It’s important for the morale of your call center team and for the customer experience to keep your center’s morale up. In a fun center, where people want to come to work, they are going to automatically have a better tone which will lead to a better customer experience.
Use All Available Technology
Very few call centers are using all of their available technology. Almost every center has tools available that either they do not know about, or they don’t know how to use them. One of the biggest examples is something we saw in our center with one of the NICE InContact tools that get overlooked. It’s called Workforce Intelligence. I bet you have something as powerful as this in your center that no one knows about!
It’s a tool that, without human intervention, can add and remove agents to a skill when certain thresholds are hit.
It can even look at call-handle time. Seasoned agents may be able to finish a call in around six minutes, but new ones take ten. Setting up preferences will route the newer agent fewer calls, without a supervisor having to get into the system and re-route calls manually. You just have to program these preferences and then let them work.
Just an example of the power your call center tools have when you use them to max capability!
Management Training Programs
Does your organization have on-going training for middle management? It’s not good to just pull agents from the floor and make them a supervisor overnight. They really need middle management training to be effective. Make a plan to figure out what a management training program would look like for your organization. Then, add creating one to your 2020 agenda.
We have used all of these ideas for many months at Expivia. Some of them are our own, and some come from conversations with our clients. We try to blend our thoughts with theirs to create a really unique experience for their customers. What are you going to try to help your organization stand out from the rest?