Top 3 Ways to Optimize Your Customer Service Strategy
This blog post is part of a series focusing on improving the customer experiences.
A software application will only get you so far when building an effective customer engagement management strategy. Sounds a little weird coming from a cloud communications company, doesn’t it? After all, our bread and butter at 8x8 is designing, building, selling and supporting cloud software. But technology will only get you so far in your quest to provide great customer service. Acknowledging the importance of pairing world-class software with world-class practices will help you optimize your customer service practice.
Here are the top 3 ways to optimize your customer service strategy:
1. Relax Script Adherence and Encourage Internal Dialogue.
A time-honored call center practice is providing agents with pre-written scripts. We’ve all heard them. But live agent interactions are becoming increasingly complex as self-service tools and general information on the web proliferate. And sticking to scripts is becoming less and less effective and even endangers customer satisfaction. (When was the last time you rolled your eyes after an agent thanked you for being a loyal customer, even after your order was completely mishandled!). Customer service representatives need all the support they can get. Encouraging dialogue with supervisors or other internal experts through internal chat, to consult FAQ’s, and to utilize an internal knowledgebase, will help empower agents to go off script and simply do what it takes to solve the customer’s issue.
8x8 Tip: 8x8 Virtual Contact Center (VCC) has built-in collaboration capabilities for agents to effortlessly collaborate with each other and with subject matter experts.
2. Encourage Agents to Become Authors.
While this may not be for everyone, don’t be shy to offer some bold suggestions for optimizing contact center practices. After solving an issue for the first time, agents can be empowered to write up the resolution to the issue and post it to an internal knowledge base. The next time another agent encounters the same issue, they have the resolution handy and the call is quick and efficient. Sure, agents may spend a little less time on the phones as they write these things up, but just wait and see how the knowledge base and FAQ swells with indispensable information that ends up helping everyone. Taking this a step further, this great information can even be made available to an external knowledge base or community forum to help drive call deflection through self-service.
8x8 Tip: 8x8 has a built-in FAQ resource for agents to access when assisting customers.
3. Focus on Coaching and Training.
Agents burn out quickly not just because of the aforementioned complexity surrounding each interaction, but because too many contact centers lack effective coaching and performance management. Agents too often have little to no visibility to their relative performance, therefore have little incentive to outperform. But with a quality management solution, Agents can be provided with the coaching and feedback they crave. Agent satisfaction will increase and attrition will go down. This modern messaging approach resonates with an increasingly millennial workforce and has been shown to increase the time to productivity for new agents up to 20%.
8x8 Tip: 8x8 has a unique quality management application that utilizes @mentions for supervisors to effortlessly coach agents in real time.
For those with established customer service practices, these tips will help take your customer experience management program to the next level. Stay tuned for the next blog post in this series which will focus on the top 5 reasons adding contact center functionality to your UC solution will improve the customer experiences.
Director, Product Marketing