Need to Tap Into the Power to Succeed?
Tags: Call Center Training,Customer Service in Email,Customer Service in Text
In today’s marketplace, facilitating and integrating machine intelligence into the way we do business is the new “must-have” for success. Unlocking patterns of consumer behavior, streamlining data, and enhancing person-to-person communication through mobile and desktop innovation is touted as the path towards greater productivity and achievement. Indeed, according to a recent Accenture study, 52% of executives foresee moderate to significant changes in work practices just as a result of wearable devices.
And yet, so often managers still complain that the mood in their customer contact center feels down. People seem listless, maybe almost passive as they handle the calls, tweets, posts and emails that serve as the lifeblood of the organization: the ones from the customers themselves. “Motivation just feels low,” many supervisors say to us. “There’s no initiative in the group, no one willing to go to the extra mile for the customer,” we often hear from our newest clients.
There’s a simple solution to this, if you’re committed to it. It’s called establishing an Intelligent Contact Center. Authenticity, skill building, and establishing strong lines of communication are the cornerstones of this transformative approach to customer service. With this technique, your customer service agents act as dynamic representatives not only of your contact center, but your unique corporate mission and values. Does this mean they’re all magically made into robots, spouting silly aphorisms at every turn? Not at all. The Intelligent Contact Center isn’t about “making” people into something they’re not, or creating a room full of sheep. Instead, it’s about approaching your team as a group of valued individuals, each of them empowered to do their best with every interaction, simply by having the skills they need to succeed.
And you know what? It works.
The transformation starts with understanding your process. Analytics are mission critical. What’s happening with your customers when they call? What do they need? What are your agents delivering? What should they deliver, and how could they do it better?
KPIs are also extremely useful, as key benchmarks to evaluate progress and ultimately the success of your Intelligent Contact Center. Call abandon stats, cost per engagement, queue duration and completion rates are all-important data necessary to measure the quality of your customer service, and how it changes.
Engagement is next. Do your agents have the tools necessary to personalize every interaction with their customers? Has your team been provided with practical techniques that they can use to connect with every customer, across every platform, at any time or place? Have you trained your employees to communicate effectively with others, in ways that will allow them to not only handle conflicts, but to resolve them successfully, every single time?
It’s not luck or just a knack for dealing with the public that turn customer service agents into genuine pros. The fact is, customer service skills are just that: real time, reproducible techniques that minimize difficulty and maximize success. There is a misconception in some companies that customer service is easy, that it is common sense, and that anyone should be able to do it well. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Good customer service requires specific skills, like communication, empathy, and the ability to emotionally rebound. The good news is, these skills can be taught, and, when they are practiced often, every interaction is transformed into a seamless, positive “win” for both your customers and your employees.
What are the stakes for your contact center team members? Is there a system in place to make each person feel seen, heard and acknowledged as a critical link in the customer experience, or is the feeling more like they’re “entry level” and therefore expendable? Contact center attrition and employee burnout are real things. Research demonstrates that the less you have of these the better when it comes to your bottom line. Studies also show that team members who feel important act important. Empower your customer service agents with the feeling of being valued, and they in turn will provide your customers with the same experience. And it should be said: this kind of motivation is unrelated to the size of one’s paycheck. Instead, it has everything to do with the communication training and systems put into place by management itself.
Intelligent Contact Centers don’t just happen. However, with the right training, powerful change can occur. Your team is the solution. Give them the strong communication skills they need to handle any situation, and empower them with ownership over the process by letting them know that each one of them can make a difference. In turn, you will have tapped into an endless resource of dynamic energy, intelligence, and drive that will make success not only possible, but a certainty for your organization.
And for any business, that’s just plain old smart.