That Elusive Customer Experience!
The Customer Service Experience! We hear this phrase a lot, and numerous articles have been written about it. But, what is it? I mean, how do you know what it truly is? How do you quantify it? Does it exist? With over 28 yeas in building and running call centers both domestically and globally, I can say "yes, it does!" And it is all about how you make a customer feel, that "wow" factor. However, accomplishing this is not always obvious.
In writing this blog, I did some Google searches to "validate" my own experience. In my search, the majority of the hits were technology related. And great technology helps to deliver a seamless customer experience. But, that is not the solution to creating that wow feeling you want your customers to have after interacting with your brand. In fact the solution is not sexy, techie or easy. It is all about people ... your people! Managing people to become great is not easy!
So, here is the solution!
A great Customer Experience starts with a great Agent Empowered Experience. You need to structure your contact center operations, and decision making processes, around your agents. How do the processes you implement impact your agents ability to serve your customers via the phone, chat, email, SMS or Video. it starts with the following:
Recruit and Hire Right.
Train Right. Train Continuously.
Hire Only the Best Supervisors, and Pay Them Well.
Keep Your Management Team Thin. Eliminate Layers Between the CEO and your Agents handling Contacts.
Train, manage and incentify the most important agent skills that creates a great Customer Experience. See the following List here! This list is one of the best I've found on the internet thus far! Thank you Help Scout!
Have Fun! Remember, we spend over 50% of our life at work. It must be fun!
Set Clear Expectations and Quickly Move out Agents who just do not perform. But give them at least 3 chances to improve, to learn, to perform, with appropriate coaching.
Keep it Simple! Measure your agents success with 3-5 metrics. Not 10-15. Too many. If you can't adhere to 15 metrics on ever call, why would you expect your agents to do the same
Another way to understand what a customer experience is to think about the last time you called a customer support line, and how did the interaction make you feel. One company I have found to have a consistent, and great, customer support experience is American Express. I know this may sound obvious, but it is true. They spend millions on hiring, training, and on-going agent coaching. In other words, it is all about "people" processes who know how to listen, engage and interact with their callers.
If you find a way to put the previous points into action starting in January, and you train the your agents according to this comprehensive list outlined by Help Scout, you will achieve an improved, if not great experience for your customers in 2019.
If you want to learn more, or turn up a call center in Q1 that has all of these principles active and operating, contact me and let's talk. Call or text me at 602-312-8900, email me via firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit me up on twitter via @egsholdings.
And, have a wonder Christmas and New Year!
Steve Shefveland, Founder
Emerging Global Services, LLC