The current crisis is nothing like the world has ever seen before. Due to the sheer scale of the current pandemic and its sweeping impact on our everyday lives, we are truly in uncharted territory. And for businesses around the world there are no ready-made answers to navigate through these tough times. Finance is suddenly entrusted with saving cash, HR is dealing with stalled hiring and furloughs, sales is finding it hard to convince customers to buy anything and IT is struggling to provide the resources to ensure employees remain productive enough.
As much as these are tough problems, there is one function which is hit harder and that is customer service. Contact center agents are suddenly finding themselves all alone when it comes to taking important decisions. The customer on the other end of the phone call is impatient, probably rude, panicky and even at his wits end. But handling customer service the right way is key to ensuring your brand survives this crisis. This is where it is important to ace customer service even though most of your contact center agents might be working from home.
Improve customer service @ contact center
Empathize with your front line reps
First and foremost, you have to understand that for most contact center agents this is a novel and at times an overwhelming experience. So, developing empathy with your agents goes a long way in ensuring they are doing a great job. Remember your agents suddenly do not have the luxury of relying on their supervisors when it comes to taking priority decisions on the fly. A job that is tough under normal circumstances became exponentially harder, seemingly overnight.
Measure the customer effort needed
Customer effort is a reliable barometer of how good your customer service is during normal times. But during a time of crisis, customer effort becomes extremely important. Ask yourself some fundamental questions – what are the major types of queries that you get? How easy is it for the customer to get the query resolved? Do your reps need to stretch themselves every time a customer is panicky or asks for immediate query resolution? This is where you can ensure customer effort is reduced with the application of right technology and human ingenuity.
Invest in right technology & infrastructure
What’s the point of having a great contact center agent if he does not have the support of a reliable technology infrastructure? The technology should focus on contact center process improvement and enhancing the contact center effectiveness. Your agents expect a good telephony infrastructure, noise-cancelling headset, and a fast internet connection. But it doesn’t stop there. If you want them to really ace customer service, then you need to invest in an AI and automation solution. This could be conversational analytics to make sense of what the customer is saying and derive real-time insights out of it. It could automation technology to free the agents from doing mundane and repetitive tasks like creating a summary report, after-call work and so on. Having the right tech infrastructure functions as the backbone of your work from home contact center setup.
Focus on the collaboration efforts
Your customer service team always needs to work as a single entity. The agent supervisors and quality assurance officers all need to closely understand what is happening at the contact center. Improving call center performance through contact center coaching techniques for agents is a great way to start. If the agent goes off course or if he is stuck in an ongoing customer conversation, then the supervisor should be able to jump right in to take charge. The QA personnel should be able to flag below par performance, provide tips on how to be better at customer service and so on. All this needs the right collaboration tools which more often than not is AI-based and has automated solutions in order to make the entire customer service team work as one entity and win over the customer.
How Uniphore can help
Uniphore is offering the ‘My Anywhere Contact Center’ to help you navigate customer service during these tough times. Our solution is a tried-and-tested solution being deployed at some of the biggest enterprises on earth. Our proprietary Conversational Service Automation makes it easy for you to ace customer service even when a majority of your agents are working from home. Our solutions for remote agent work, call monitoring and supervision, real-time call intervention, contact center coaching for agents, customer real-intent detection, call deflection with digital agents, real-time agent alerts, agent compliance management and more have won us industry accolades.
Contact us to learn more about ‘My Anywhere Contact Center’ and how it can help you ace customer service now!