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Is your front-line agent representing your business as you would?

You train them, you coach them, but still, you wonder – Are my frontline agents representing my business as I would?

And that is a big question. You can put in all the quality measures, automation, and scripting into your process but if you have defined your experience around ensuring your business needs are met over the needs of the customer, you are setting up the front-line agents for failure.

Ask yourself the following questions:


What are you Measuring (& why)?

The best customer experiences are those where the expert/agent sounds human. When you walk into a grocery store, the store clerk is not reading a script to you, they are speaking normally. Does your call center scripting allow for that “human” touch? Are you measuring agents on tone as well as content?

Have you ever reached out to a contact center, say for banking, and been transferred three times, each time having to repeat the same information? And the agent knows you were transferred, do they identify that you are having to repeat yourself, are they empathizing with you? If you have something similar happening in your process, rethink what you are asking your experts to do.

Which means you should ask yourself - Are you measuring for empathy? Most likely no, because far too often when we build out a process for the contact center, we, as contact center leaders, are driven by criteria different than those of our customer. You have legal obligations, tool limitations and business goals driving different outcomes than the customer wants

It is no wonder that Gen Z’s want to do everything virtually, while the times have progressed, often our measures have not. And maybe you lost sight of why you are measuring what you measure a long, long time ago.

Dig in, ask your experts who deliver your service what would make their job better? When was the last time you asked - 6 months, a year ago? How many new processes have been implemented into your products/services/business in those 6 months? Are you focused on your contact center only in terms of measures, or are you focused on that team of people delivering what the people who purchase your product or service need?

Even with the daunting age of AI, and fears of Chat GPT replacing humans, we still need humans delivering complex solutions to other humans. Give your agents the keys they need to unlock and deliver a very human solution by measuring them in terms of the customer. Be the Zappos of customer service, measure them by empathy and customer solutions.


What is the REAL Customer Experience?

How often have you complained about a contact center experience, or worked in a contact center where you felt like Senior Leadership just did not understand the service delivery issues?

Then, one day, a senior leader calls into the contact center (to Gemba, or because they are secret shopping) and the world explodes, because that Senior Leader encountered the same issues that you as a contact center leader have been trying to resolve forever.

So, boom that one issue gets resolved. But what about all the other issues you know about but cannot seem to get traction on the resolution?!

Take that data that you already have and analyze it. Measure the Customer Experience, Customer Effort Scores, Agent Empathy, and Client Satisfaction (not from surveys but from the Customer tone and words – that you are recording anyway). Use the REAL VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER to tell you if your service is meeting your customer’s expectations.

If even 10% of your customer experiences are poor or result in detractors, that is reputation and revenue you will never get back. Focus on the key pain points that you hear the detractors say, that the agents say are causing pain. These elements are a KEY part of your plan to improve the real customer experience.


What is the Customer Experience you want?

So, you have analyzed the real customer experience, but what is the customer experience your customer expects to receive? Do you have different solutions based on generational differences? Because we all know that each “gen” has their own needs, fears, expectations and wants.

Often times we think we know best about our business. We think we know what the customer wants or expects from the interactions with our Contact Centers. So, I ask, when was the last time you asked your customers what they really expect.

Have you asked your customers recently what they think of their experience? And I do not mean another Likert survey. I mean really ask, go in person, and ask them, zoom with them, have them come in and ask them, build a real relationship with them – make a safe space to hear the real reason behind their dissatisfaction. That old adage for every single complaint/detractor, there are ten more not telling you they feel the same way, is true. We cannot lose sight of the detractors; they are telling you more about your business than you may be willing to learn.

Having a key set of customer expectations and building the service delivery process around those expectations will give you and your experts the space they need to deliver that superior service. Allow the experts the grace and opportunity to speak in a friendly & empathetic way. In these modern techy-tech times we are still people delivering a service to other people. Let us ensure that we are keeping the focus on those people.

And yes, you have legal compliance regulations you may have to follow, so let us give those contact center agents a way to sound human when they read those out. We can figure out how to be human and legally compliant.

In this day and age, with all the technologies, automation, and various forms of communication, it all boils down to delivering what your customer expects from your service. If you keep the customer in the forefront of your experience, and your experts have the leeway to be empathetic to that customer, you will be building a low expert turnover, highly customer rated contact center.
Topics: Customer Experience, Agent, Coaching And Quality Management