It’s Never Too Late to Create a World Class Contact Center (& Reach Customer Service Excellence) April 30, 2018At AMC we’ve got a team of people who have worked alongside contact centers since we started in 1995, so we’re pretty comfortable calling ourselves experts. Outside of our days in the office, we’re cable, cell phone and credit card customers, too, and we find it blaringly obviously when contact centers are getting it right, or when we find ourselves on hold after repeating our name to 3 different agents – getting it wrong. We often find ourselves speaking with prospects who want to find out more about our product, but find it difficult to explain the benefits because they seem unclear about how the people taking and making calls go through their day and use the products they currently have in place (CRM, phone system, etc.). When we’re trying to find out the reason they are looking for a solution, these same decision makers often aren’t aware of the overall opinions customers have about their current customer service. So, why are we sharing this with you? Because there is a lot of knowledge that’s easily accessible to the managers and supervisors that can lessen the disconnect and turn your organization into a word class contact center. With a little more communication and a few discovery tactics, we can help you increase your overall customer service, make your agents feel more empowered and secure in their positions and lead you on the road of more efficient running contact center. Three areas to improve today to start becoming a world class contact center: Invest in your team. Your contact center agents are often the only voice a customer receives from your organization, so training them to interact with customers in the appropriate tone for your business, but without making them come across too robotic is the sweet spot you want to find. First, encourage agents to illustrate their individuality by asking them unconventional questions about themselves and guide them through scenarios where they can casually add them into customer interactions. When done correctly, this keeps agents from sticking solely to the customer service scripts and makes for a more memorable interaction for the customer. Second, schedule regular training sessions for all agents on a variety of topics – from new software launches to soft skill sessions like patience, empathy and clear communication. This keeps agents feeling empowered with their skills regardless of their experience level, and continued education increases employee job satisfaction. Implement customer service as a business strategy. Similarly to upper management often guessing what agents need to make their job easier, organizations often make assumptions about customers’ overall opinion of their contact center. First, implement customer service surveys which will give decision makers accurate data. Based on the overall results of these surveys, create a customer service vision that easily defines the type of customer service you want to deliver, and reflects both who you are now and who you will aspire to be in the future. Second, create a goal and measurable metrics that can be reviewed periodically. Make sure everyone that affects the outcome of the goals are periodically aware of the status. Choose the right contact center software for your organization. Before you head to Google, there are a few questions you should ask yourself about your contact center. Consider what kind of calls your contact center takes: Do you receive solely inbound communication or outbound? Perhaps you need both? Do you only take and make phone calls, or do you have an omni-channel contact center? After you’ve familiarized yourself with your agents and customers’ needs, what goals do you have for the software you want to purchase? Do you need the solution to implement post call surveys or create a single set of reports for easy decision making? Keep the main goals in mind when speaking when researching vendors so you don’t get distracted by features they may offer you. Creating a checklist of the features you’re most interested in and comparing it against each vendor will keep them all on an even playing field for the reasons you’re shopping for a solution in the first place.