As we begin to end the whirlwind that was 2021, it’s a good idea to brush up on the foundation of your business: the customer experience (CX). It almost goes without saying: The best call centers deliver the best customer experience. So, here are five call center customer experience best practices to remember.
Customer expectations of service are higher than ever before. In a world where people can look up videos, download apps and find solutions instantly, contact centers need to keep pace. If you’re not taking these call center customer experience best practices into account, then your business is sure to feel some negative impacts.
5 Call Center Customer Experience Best Practices
#1) Know Your Customers
To deliver a good customer experience, you need to know who’s calling.
Knowing information like the stage of the buyer’s journey, previous service history and the issue they are calling about is paramount to delivering custom service to each and every caller.
But how do you get this information?
With clunky legacy systems, it can be a challenge for call centers to be nimble enough to get this information to their agents when they need it.
But contact center computer telephony integration (CTI) can bring together the entire tech stack to serve the information that your agents need. Here’s what happens when a call goes through the system:
- An incoming call is captured by the contact center telephony switch.
- Call data interfaces with the CTI platform.
- Call data is stored, and additional data is retrieved from a database.
- The CRM system creates a trouble ticket, while the platform sends the call data to the agent taking the call.
- The agent gets a screen pop and answers the call already knowing the customer, the customers’ sales and service history, and the reason for the call.
It’s that easy. A screen pop prepares your agents with the information they need to know before they say “hello.”
Integrating a CTI solution in with your CRM will save your agents time and hassle, and that will come across in the call with the customer – a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.
#2) Help Them Help Themselves
Speaking of pleasant experiences, there’s nothing more frustrating for the customer than waiting on hold.
And there’s nothing more frustrating to your agents than dealing with unhappy customers and the same routine call over and over.
Self-Service Interactive Voice Response (IVR) handles both problems.
IVR is a simple and effective solution to any routine service your company provides. It’s also an essential feature for your contact center technology stack. A well-oiled contact center IVR system can bring many benefits to your business, including increased efficiency, ROI and general satisfaction of both your customers and your agents.
#3) Empower and Train Your Agents
One way to ensure a good customer experience is by making sure your agents are happy.
How do you do that?
Invest in them.
Give them the right tools and training they need to succeed. With CTI and IVR, you’ve given them the tools. Next comes the training and empowerment.
At a top-level, it’s important to foster an environment of creativity and continuous development. Provide incentives for your agents to complete trainings and further hone their skills.
Encourage them to put their own ideas forth. When your employees feel empowered and autonomous, they tend to have positive feelings about their work. When they feel positive about their work, they stay around longer – something that is rare to see in the call center agent profession.
Better agent retention means less hiring and onboarding for you. And for your customers, it ensures that the person they’re talking to is knowledgeable and happy to be there – creating a positive experience for everyone involved. Those positive experiences add up to real dollars in new business and less hiring costs.
#4) Track KPIs & Constantly Look for Improvements
Tracking key metrics across all stages of a customer call can tell you exactly where you need to improve.
Without good visibility on your key performance indicators (KPIs), you might as well be flying blind.
Your business will continue making the same mistakes, and your customers will always be frustrated with their experience. Also, not knowing what to improve on is an equally frustrating experience for your agents.
They’ll feel less driven, and eventually, they’ll burn out and leave your organization.
#5) Minimize Hold Times As Much As Possible
Most importantly – minimize hold times as much as possible.
Nothing creates a worse customer experience than waiting on hold, so it’s important for call centers to always focus on bringing down hold time.
All these tips above will help you do that, but it’s important to stress this point here.
Hold times are the biggest cause of dissatisfaction for customers, especially now where everything is available in an instant. You need to make sure that your call center can handle call volume and resolve issues quickly.
CX is everything for call centers. Customers are calling with inquiries and issues, and it’s your agents’ job to meet their needs.
And it’s your job to empower your agents with technology. And one of the best ways to do that is by implementing CTI. CDC’s CTI solution helps you connect your tech stack so information is easily available for your agents. These powerful integrations allow you to enjoy all the contact center software features that lead to better CX.
CDC Software helps your call center follow CX best practices by fully integrating your tech stack. Find out more by contacting our team.