An article in the April 2014 issue of CRM Magazine headlines “Contact Center Satisfaction Dropped 10 Percent in 2013.” There are several possibilities for why this might be the case: general customer fatigue and frustration with the slow economic recovery, delays in new technology deployment by companies, and higher expectations by customers. There is no need to throw your hands up in despair over the decrease in this metric. Later in the same issue is an article outlining “The 4 Pillars of Responsible Customer Engagement.” While not an exhaustive review of the content, these key elements from each article can highlight some of the ways your contact center can avoid a 2014 drop in customer satisfaction:
- The same research that identified the drop in contact center customer satisfaction also found an opportunity for achieving increased satisfaction levels in the future: multichannel customer service. Are there ways you can improve the multichannel options you have available to customers?
- The first pillar of customer engagement is relevance, which is “understanding the customer, and using information about that customer appropriately.” Today, this means mapping the entire customer experience throughout your business including retail stores, web site, social media, and contact centers. Reviewing the entire customer experience, and the data associated with each step, can help you identify broken or inefficient links in the process.
- Respect is the second pillar of customer engagement. While respect may sound simple, it’s often more complicated than it first seems. This concept starts with employees who are treated with respect and given the freedom to work “off script” with customers. Another element of respect may be looking deeper into your basic performance metrics, such as customer satisfaction, to understand the “insights that might be hiding behind those numbers.”
- The third pillar is credibility, which is following through on your company’s brand promises. It’s easy to lose sight of your brand in the midst of company growth or other focus areas, but credibility is critical and “can’t just be in the call center;” it has to be across the board.
- The final pillar of customer engagement is value. Value is not discounts, but rather about “developing long-term loyal relationships with customers by giving them good value.” Especially in your contact center, where agents have a direct connection to customers, finding ways to offer value is critical. Further, think about how you use your data about customers; “the data a company has about a customer should only be used to provide the customer with more value, not less.”
If you find yourself in a position where you want to improve contact center customer satisfaction, these tenets can be a great place to start. You can leverage existing performance metrics and other resources to assess your multichannel options, map a customer’s experience, determine deeper insights in your data, understand the correlation between call center service and your company’s brand, and identify successful or new ways to deliver value.