Perspectives in Customer Experience for the Canadian Consumer
The SOCAP Canada Community was proud to host its third annual event in the city of Montreal, QC Canada on May 28, 2015 at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal. The meeting entitled, "Perspectives in Customer Experience for the Canadian Consumer" had representatives from three great SOCAP member companies and brands, The Clorox Company, L'Oreal and Sheraton (Starwood Hotels & Resorts) that enlightened the attendees with their particular perspectives from Consumer Packaged Goods, The World of Beauty and the Hospitality Industries.
Some of the topics covered included:
- How knowledge/content management can be used more effectively to ensure great customer experience
- The role of Social Media and the impact on consumer engagement and satisfaction
- The use of Six Sigma to identify, prioritize and address opportunities for operational improvement and ultimately reduce some of the most common guest complaints affecting satisfaction
Attached below are the presentations offered by our speakers.
5 Ways Customer Feedback Can Improve Your Call Center
You can train your agents and your managers until you’re blue in the face, but like a parent sending a child off to college, you never know how capable your call center is until you unleash it upon the public. Unfortunately, your representatives don’t return after a few months with grades in hand – you have to seek out barometers for success yourself.
Gleaned from the very people you rely on for sustained business, customer feedback data can help you identify key areas for improving call center agent performance. The following are five areas where a careful study of your customers’ experience can help you discover issues that you might not have known existed, and identify areas ripe for improvement.
1. Customer Satisfaction First, and most obviously, you want the people who dial into your call center, for whatever reason, to have a positive experience (or as positive an experience as possible).
Allowing for the rare person just looking for a stranger on whom to blow off some billing-related steam, most customers are trying to get a question asked or a problem fixed – and they’re usually more than willing to tell you if their needs were not met.
Looking at your customer feedback data in aggregate will identify drivers for customer satisfaction. Are a sizeable percentage of callers asking the same question, or lodging the same complaint? Not only can you relay this to the operations side of your business, you can prepare your agents with these details. Which leads us to…
2. Agent Coaching Along with salespeople, your customer care representatives are the first line of contact between your company and the general buying public. This fact is not lost upon the vast majority of managers, 77% of whom noted that hiring and training high-quality agents was the key to delivering a superior customer experience.
Remember that wistful talk of grades above? This is the closest you can come to finding out if your agents are making the Dean’s list or failing out. Diligent analysis of post-call surveys will help you identify areas for improvements in your coaching and training. You’ll also be able to determine who your most effective reps are, and whether you have some personnel changes on the horizon.
3. Call Deflection One surefire way – perhaps the best way – to increase the quality of your call center’s performance is to reduce the overall number of incoming calls that you’re receiving. If you understand what questions your customers are most likely to ask, you can answer it for them and eliminate the need to call.
Analyzing the sentiment of incoming calls, as well as specific areas where your customers are having issues, will give you a roadmap for preempting customer service issues. Is there general confusion about a product and it’s feature set? Prominently displayed product how-to’s, or an updated FAQ on your website, will reduce call volume and ensure that your agents expend their efforts on other topics.
4. First Call Resolution This is the home run, what your agents swing for each time they answer the phone with “Hello, thank you for calling…” There is no better way to ensure your customers hang up happy, and to improve your brand’s customer service reputation, than resolving an issue on the first call.
When studying the first call findings in your CX research, don’t concentrate solely on rates. In addition, look for issue descriptions that tip you off to the need for additional training and/or information from the product team. That way, you get a roadmap to solving your problem, instead of just a notification that a problem exists.
5. Handle Time Your customers want to have a quick and easy experience when they call you up – and they will tell you how to help them. You just need to listen: the answers are right there. Your online forums, call center agent notes, and call recordings themselves reveal the most common issues and concerns within your customer base. Analyze all of this data in aggregate to identify patterns and trends, and empower your agents to quickly address them.
Improving your center with these five strategies will elevate your function within the business. No longer will you be seen as a cost center with the primary goal of driving efficiency, but rather a business asset with a critical role in maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Steve Roney is a social content strategist at Clarabridge, a high-growth customer experience and sentiment analytics software company.