Customer Experience News & Trends

5 ways your contact center can boost loyalty

You have more opportunities than ever to make customers happier. This is how your front-line service people can do it every day.

What’s even better: Customers will be a lot happier with the experience when service pros do just a little more to satisfy them, contact center expert and researcher John Sansbury found. Front-line pros just need to look for opportunities to do these:

1. Add value

Most customers contact you to ask a question or place an order. While explaining bills or processing orders is important, they don’t add much value to relationships.

So you want to try to give customers something valuable every time they call, email, contact you via social media or even visit. For instance, ask Marketing to regularly pass along little nuggets of insider info on industry trends your front-line reps can share with customers. Or, refer customers to a coupon on your website.

2. Be effective, not efficient

In an attempt to leave no customer waiting, many companies focus on giving fast answers. Sure, customers like getting back to their lives quickly, but not if it means having to ask for help later.

To make customer contacts more effective, avoid focusing on the speed or number of contacts handled. Instead, contact center pros want to ask this before saying goodbye: “What else can I help you with today?”

3. Come together

Customers know when their questions take service pros by surprise: They might hesitate, fail to return calls or emails, or ask customers to hold for a long time. This often happens because service pros don’t know about things that other departments have done that have affected customers.

This can be avoided by having a contact center rep get involved with other departments, perhaps attending their daily or weekly meetings to hear what’s on their agendas. Even casual conversations with, or visits to, other departments will give the contact center insight into what other areas of the business are doing with customers.

4. Avoid ambiguity

In an effort to under-promise and over-deliver, we’ve become ambiguous. For instance, someone might say, “You’ll have it within a week” or “We’ll start the maintenance as soon as possible” or “I’ll send you the link to the instructions.” While that sounds promising, customers wonder “When?” “Where?”

So give exact times, dates and details. For instance: “You’ll receive it by June 1.” “Our tech will start the repair Tuesday after lunch.” “I’ll email you the step-by-step instructions in five minutes.”

5. Answer now

You don’t have to give customers more “yes” answers to boost satisfaction. What they crave more are immediate answers. That means you want to eliminate layers of approvals to solve problems or give the go-ahead on requests.

Managers: Give reps examples of what you do to satisfy customers, then encourage reps to do it, too. Once they get the hang of it, they’ll ask for approval less frequently.

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