Customer service is pivotal to brand loyalty — here are tips for a contact center to manage (and improve) customer and agent experiences together.
Contact center agents interact with customers on a daily basis, and what occurs during service interactions makes or breaks loyalty. It takes just one poor experience for a customer to drop your brand and choose a competitor. But a positive experience builds customer lifetime value and a path to strong revenue growth.
Training agents, reducing turnover, and delighting customers all at the same time isn’t an easy task. It’s worth the effort, though: your contact center will reduce turnover and increase customer satisfaction.
Hiring in the contact center is a struggle today, and the last thing you want is an overwhelmed contact center providing unsatisfactory customer service. Both challenges cause costs to rise, and the answer isn’t more tools. Contact centers need the right tools, and the return on investment (ROI) of contact center technology should be based on the efficiencies they unlock — from automating processes to creating successful outcomes for service interactions.
Take action right now to achieve a high-performance contact culture and motivate agents to become all-stars on the front lines.
Experiences make all the difference for both your customers and your agents. Customers who receive efficient, high-quality service during an interaction are more likely to complete a repeat purchase in the future and refer their friends. But they’re only going to feel delighted if agents provide outstanding service, which is why agent experiences matter just as much as customer experiences.
Agents need to feel acknowledged, engaged, and motivated in order to deliver the level of service your customers expect. Ignore how agents feel and you’re all but guaranteed to face a contact center’s worst enemy: turnover.
As employees on the front lines, agents endure a lot on a daily basis, and it’s on you to provide the right tools to simplify workflows, improve agent performance, and keep them connected to the overall mission of delighting customers.
Here’s an overview of tips for a contact center on what you should look for in contact center technology to train agents and reduce turnover while delighting customers:
Let’s look closely at tips for a contact center to make agents successful.
Customer feedback shouldn’t be scattered across platforms. If you’re a manager or supervisor, think about all the time you’ve spent trying to locate feedback after a service interaction and report on it. You’ve wasted plenty of time already, and the agent hasn’t even received the guidance they need to correct their behavior and perform better.
Everything should be brought together automatically. It ensures you get accurate information — free of human error — as soon as it’s available, and then you can share insights with leadership, the entire customer service team, and individual agents.
In a contact center solution, seek a platform that not only stores the feedback but also allows you to analyze agent performance and share insights with agents. You’ll save time courtesy of automation, and you’ll also control costs by removing the redundancies caused by isolated tools.
Quality assurance (QA) scorecards are a tool to observe and grade service interactions. You’ll use QA scorecards to determine if an agent’s skills and behaviors are strong enough to meet customer expectations, and any gaps identified can then be used for training agents.
QA with outdated, disconnected contact center technology means a customer service team can’t keep up. Managers in a contact center shouldn’t spend their time jumping between platforms to access customer feedback and create a custom spreadsheet with scorecards.
Eliminate barriers by completing QA scorecards in the same platform where your customer feedback lives and agents go to review assessments. It creates an efficiency that enables your contact center agents to see what they did well and where they could use improvement alongside the feedback received. More importantly, it’ll reveal why a customer left specific feedback.
Agents deserve more than recognition. When an agent delivers a positive experience, go the extra mile by rewarding them. You’ll express thanks with a tangible item and raise morale, but you’ll also motivate agents to keep up the good work.
If you implement a rewards program, don’t overthink the monetary value of the rewards. Agents appreciate items such as a gift card to their favorite restaurant to cover lunch or dinner, or you can offer free tickets to the movie theater. What matters most is recognizing agents for their hard work beyond a verbal compliment — it goes a long way in reducing turnover and avoiding the high costs of replacing agents who leave.
Rewards programs for contact centers also incentivize performance, showcasing top-performing agents on a leaderboard and motivating other agents to do their best to climb the rankings. You’ll create a friendly competition that brings agents closer together in their collective pursuit of delighting customers.
Contact center leaders know the relationship between agents and customers — when agents are happier, so are customers.
Agents who know their purpose and feel valued by the organization go above and beyond to make customers happy. As a result, customer loyalty rises on the basis of trust. Customers know that they’re going to receive quick, effective service any time they reach out with a question or concern.
Choosing the most effective contact center technology pays for itself. If you can leverage technology to make customers happier and agents more motivated, you’ll achieve significant business outcomes. Higher customer satisfaction? Revenue growth? Reduced turnover? Everything leaders in the contact center and throughout an organization want to achieve.
To earn this success, equip your customer service team with contact center technology that focuses on both sides. Bring out the best in skillful, motivated agents and you’ll deliver the outstanding service to your customers expected from top brands.
Looking to train agents, reduce turnover, and delight customers? Check out Forrester Consulting’s Total Economic Impact™ report on Medallia Agent Connect, which enables contact centers and their customer service teams to manage both customer and agent experiences in one platform.