Even though many customers won’t interact with the contact center until after they’ve made a purchase, it’s a mistake to think of the call center as a business afterthought. Contact centers’ contributions and potential to generate significant business value cannot be ignored.
Customers engage with the contact center at all phases of the customer journey, and the quality of the service they receive, either during or after the buying process, has a massive impact on business success. According to Zippia, 40% of American customers quit doing business with an organization due to poor service. Those that received good customer service, on the other hand, were 140% more likely to buy something. In short, businesses can’t afford to ignore the importance of the conversations that happen in the contact center.
The contact center is sometimes the only way that customers interact directly with a brand, and that makes all of the data that it collects extremely valuable. It’s not uncommon for a company’s contact center to discover a flaw in a product that needs to be fixed because they learn about the problem firsthand through complaints, for example.
To get the full value out of your contact center, you need a strategy to provide excellent customer service and the best available data collection and data analysis capabilities. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools and platforms have become very important in this effort.
Great Customer Service is also Good for Business
You win and lose customers based on how good your customer service is. It makes sense — hardly anyone wants to buy from a company that doesn’t treat its customers well. The hard part isn’t figuring out that great customer service is important, it’s implementing it.
All Day, Every Day: Opportunities for Customer Experiences
Good customer service starts with excellent and responsive support. Whether you outsource your customer support or do it in-house, customers want help when they need it. The more available your resources are, the better off that customer experience can be. The best route to take is building a contact center with human agents, along with AI-powered resources, so that you are well-positioned to help customers handle complex problems.
Customer Service as a Differentiator
Your ability to provide excellent customer service can be as much a differentiator as your pricing, product, and capabilities. Quality customer service has always been an important piece of any good business. And breakthroughs in technology have only made it more critical to success. Given two equally functional products or services, customers tend to go to the business that takes better care of them.
AI-enabled platforms can make use of the data that your contact center is already gathering. They can help you discover consumer trends and areas for improvement for your contact center (and your business overall). The smarter you can make the contact center, the more value it will drive for your business. The agents will appreciate the AI tools, as well, as it helps empower them to perform at their best.
Introducing features like real-time agent assist and automating your processes where appropriate goes a long way toward creating a better customer experience.
Improving Customer Experience: Where to Start
The first and most obvious action you can take to start offering your customers better service is to invest in building a better call center.
Here are four key elements you should assess and improve to make your call center function better.
- Metrics. There are many ways to go about improving your CSAT score, but it’s best to pay attention to key metrics, such as Average First Response Time, Average Handling Time, and dead-air ratios.
- Escalation. You need a reliable process of moving callers from automated tools to humans to expert humans, based on the situation. The smoother you handle this process, the better the CX is.
- Hands-on coaching. Expert contact center agents are not born, they are developed. The better your coaches are at supporting your agents, the better your agents will be at supporting your customers.
- Understanding what your customers need. By gathering the appropriate data, you learn customer pain points, find common problems, and learn where you need to go to fix a problem.
Four Ways to Improve Customer Experience (CX)
Making the changes that you need to for better customer experience will require two elements: Old-fashioned hard work and advanced analytics. Specifically, you will need an AI-enabled contact center to enable these improvements for maximum impact. Using technology and artificial intelligence empowers businesses to optimize customer experience via the contact center.
With this in mind, here are four things to consider when looking to improve CX:
1) Minding your Metrics
You should pay special attention to Average First Response Time, Average Handling Time, and dead-air ratios. The best way to do that is to implement an AI solution that can be tailored to track those metrics, even in real-time. Minding these metrics will allow businesses to keep informed ongoing about how the contact center agents are performing during their interactions with customers, and also the likelihood that the customers are happy and satisfied.
An AI platform can be trained to look for scenarios where an action impacted the Average Handling Time and programmed to tag moments of dead air in a conversation. Average First Response time is more dependent on the overall efficiency of your contact center, which will naturally improve as you make the changes listed in this blog.
2) Escalation Elevation
You can improve escalation quickly by using an AI model to do things like automate easy answers. Better yet, you can use it to gather data for coaching and provide real-time agent assistance. An AI platform can organize on-screen tips for agents to help them expedite calls and even let them know when it’s time to pass an issue higher up the chain.
Learn more here about AI’s role in good escalation practice.
3) Coordinated Coaching
Coaching is an important part of contact center excellence and, done right, can not only unlock business value but also provide support to agents in need of performance improvement. Where human QA personnel can only train agents based on 1-2% of their calls, AI models can score each and every call according to a rubric. Knowledge of 100% of calls gives coaches a much clearer picture of where their agents are excelling and where they’re struggling.
While the AI can’t be the coach, we’ve got a blog to reference that illustrates what good coaching looks like.
4) Using Customer Feedback
Every time a customer goes to an FAQ page or picks up the phone to resolve an issue, data is being created. There’s too much to sift through by hand, but it’s an easy task for AI-powered by semantic intelligence.
This is the broadest tip on the list — what problems you uncover could range from an unnecessary step in your escalation process to a problem with the way a product or feature is designed. Regardless, accessing the wealth of data that customers generate is a must for improving business outcomes. There’s simply no other comparable opportunity to receive direct feedback from your customers about how your company is performing.
The common denominator for all of these improvements is using AI and machine learning (L) to transform your CX from a stopgap into a revenue generator. Automation in the industry has made it possible to deliver more value to customers and, in turn, derive more value from your interactions with them.
Level Up with Level AI
Level AI has the platform and the know-how to help you start achieving the benefits of a smarter, better contact center today. Schedule a demo with us and gain enhanced business impact and value from your contact center.