Published: June 26, 2014 | Comments (1)
Let’s face it – today’s customers know what exceptional customer service looks like.
Companies like Amazon and Zappos have set the bar very high and have changed customers’ expectations forever. Today, the competitors in your industry are not your only challenge. What once made you stand out in your industry may simply no longer be enough.
Customers today have a different frame of reference and expect more from all of their providers, regardless of industry. They expect the same level of exceptional service from online retailers to insurance providers, utility companies and beyond.
In today’s market, not only are you competing for customers’ business – you are competing for their hearts and minds. So, what exactly, do your customers expect?
#1: Customers want you to be there when they need you.
New technologies such as mobile, self-service web portals, chat and social media have given customers more options when it comes to how they choose to communicate. These new channels must be appropriately staffed and the customer experience must be consistent across all channels.
Taking the approach of balancing agents across channels allows you to quickly leverage those agents who are less busy in one channel to help out in other channels that are experiencing a spike in volume. This reduces hold times and leads to increased customer satisfaction.
#2: Customers want to talk to someone who can actually help them.
Not only do customers want their inquiries handled fast, they also want them handled accurately and on the first try. This requires agents who are skilled to answer their questions and handle transactions in the customer’s channel of choice.
And as inquiries have become more complex, it is even more critical that agents receive the training they need and are in the appropriate queue (not taking calls or answering chats in a queue they are not qualified to handle).
By updating agent skill associations based on training and performance metrics in real-time, agents are ready to handle inquiries in multiple channels right away, responding to customer demand.
#3: Customers expect you to answer their questions fast and sometimes faster.
Most customers today have wireless devices in front of them around the clock, making channels like social media and chat even faster options than calling in to speak to a live agent.
These channels are good for customers because they can multi-task, continuing to work while waiting for support, and also good for agents because they, too, can multi-task and handle more than one customer at a time. The downside is that response time expectations with these channels are often different than those of incoming calls.
Customers expect on-demand access. They don’t care that you staff your e-mail queue differently than for incoming phone calls. They want someone there, ready to handle their transaction, no matter what channel they choose.
To accommodate this expectation, like any other channel, chat, e-mail and social media must be adequately staffed with the right number of skilled agents to maintain service levels at all times.
#4: Customers don’t care about your silos.
Your customers don’t want to hear why an agent can’t handle their type of inquiry and they don’t want to be transferred all over the place while you find someone who can answer their question.
To the customer, you are one entity and they want you to act like it! One of the biggest challenges faced by today’s contact centers is when an already fragmented view of the customer across lines of business gets compounded by a lack of insight into what is happening across all channels.
Organizations need to think past silos. Once there is a holistic view of the customer experience, they can start to bridge the gaps that customers sometimes fall through as they are left to navigate our labyrinthine organizations.
Only in this way can agents have the skills and visibility into customer interactions across all channels to ensure customers are receiving consistent, seamless service.
#5: Customers want an outstanding experience every time.
Though customer expectations have changed, customers haven’t. At a very basic level, customers just want to accomplish what they set out to do when they reached out. They want to trust that you can take care of their transactions and answer their questions quickly, accurately, and on a consistent basis.
Intraday automation technology exists to automate the adjustments needed for a real-time frontline workforce that can effectively respond to any situation to provide an extraordinary customer experience, in whichever channel customers prefer to communicate.
As a result, agents can receive the training and coaching they need when they need it, and queues are always staffed with enough well-trained agents so that your customers have access to the right employees, at the right time, doing the right thing by them. Minimizing the impact of constantly fluctuating conditions gives you the ability to deliver outstanding customer experiences, no matter your industry or your customers’ expectations.
Intradiem, formerly Knowlagent, is the leader in intraday management solutions for multi-channel contact centers. Intradiem’s customers achieve an invincible customer experience with a real-time workforce. Intradiem’s solutions automate manual processes such as intraday task management, intraday staffing, reskilling, channel balancing, and real-time alerts to ensure front-line workforces are poised to react to whatever the market throws their way. For more information, call 888-566-9457 or visit www.intradiem.com.