Providing service to customers is not as hard as some make it seem. It does take diligence and effort to do it exceptionally well. In its simplest form, it is about treating customers with courtesy and respect. Unfortunately, in the business world we often lose sight of that truth.
When doing business leads to unsatisfied customers, it is time to reevaluate how business is done. Companies are competing for the same customer, and if all things are equal, customer service is usually a deciding factor for the consumer.
How can you as a contact center leader help your agents to be successful in providing “amazing” service above and beyond?
Exceptional service allows agents to offer immediate solutions without getting bogged down in processes or policy. This leads to happy, loyal customers. In turn, your contact center will see an improvement with CSAT.
Removing barriers that prevent exceptional customer service will lead to a more engaged service center. I make it practice of regularly reviewing processes, policies and procedures impacting our customers and agents. As business needs change, policies should be reviewed and updated if necessary.
Listen to Agent Feedback
I’ve never met an agent who enjoys denying customer requests. On the contrary, they have a desire to satisfy them. Agents will often offer up ideas—or come up with creative suggestions to make customers happier if you ask them for feedback.
For example, my team members requested that they be allowed to offer a good will credit to customers. This request was due to their willingness go beyond good service to amazing service. They knew that random acts of kindness made customers happy.
What I learned is that listening to their feedback and ideas empowered agents and made them feel a part of the decision-making process. Upon implementation, we were able to see how this directly impacted customer and agent satisfaction.
Secure Manager Buy-in
I’ve always treated my team as customers. In my opinion, showing them what great service looks like is more impactful than telling them. When they see it alive in you, they will emulate it among one another and customers. Leadership must be committed to improving and should regularly attend training, seminars and conferences.
Frontline supervisors, leads, and managers are a great source for ideas. Allowing them freedom to develop CX initiatives will ensure they remain customer-focused and invested in organizational goals.
I also recommend that all leadership review customer feedback and CSAT performance as a team. Some of the benefits in doing so is keeping everyone is aware of department/team performance, so that problems can be identified and new ideas can be presented to the group.
Below are four simple and immediate steps you as a leader can implement on your journey to customer service excellence.
- Empower agents: accept feedback and include them in decision-making process
- Be transparent: use honest and effective communication internally & externally
- Be accessible: provide support in multiple channels, expand support hours
- Be attentive: your own active listening allows agents to better assist customer and anticipate future needs
As you can see, these suggestions can be easily implemented, are quick wins, and address core areas of customer experience. With consistency, effort, and diligence, I’m convinced these steps will set you on the right path and improve your service department.
Author: Sean B. Hawkins
Currently the Director, Contact Center and Customer Service at Framework Homeownership, Sean B. Hawkins has over 15 years of progressive call center leadership and experience in the public, private and government sectors.
He has led or consulted contact centers of various sizes across numerous industries and environments including sales, BPO, and SaaS to name a few. Additionally, he has implemented new technology and products, while maintaining award-winning contact centers.