Customer experience is far more than a business buzzword - it's quickly becoming the primary focus for brand differentiation in an age where customers are quick to change allegiances based on how they interact with the companies in question. According to Data Mentors, Oracle has found that 81 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience, while 89 percent of shoppers switched brands following an experience that they did not consider favorable.
In light of these findings, it's no surprise that Gartner predicts that by 2017, up to 50 percent of product investments will be to improve the customer experience. As Data Mentors stated, ongoing analysis is necessary for improvement, so a large portion of these innovative efforts should aim to strengthen methods of data aggregation and processing. In the call center, this means incorporating metrics that directly correlate to a better customer experience. Here are some tips on how to achieve this goal.
Identify the right metrics
Any game-changing call center strategy starts with creating a set of quantitative, performance driven metrics. Customer experience, while it is indeed a subjective idea, can be linked to a variety of key performance indicators, and worked into the call center reports that keep operations moving forward.
"Use metrics that are more customer-centric."
An article from the ThinkCustomers blog recently highlighted statistics from the ICMI eBook titled "ICMI's Guide to Contact Center Metrics," which identified some common metrics related to customer experience. Trends suggest that operations are becoming increasingly customer-centric, with more call centers tracking first call resolution, average call time and types of communication channels used. Still, four out of 10 call centers continue to struggle with KPIs, meaning that more internal effort is required.
"Contact center metrics shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all approach," stated contributor Tom Hoffman in his piece for ThinkCustomers. "Each organization should apply those metrics that reflect the goals of its customer service strategy along with the components that matter most to customers."
Implement new policies
With plenty of customer-focused metrics in place, or at least a few KPIs that emphasize customer experience, call center agents need to know how to achieve these new standards through practical processes. Creating a fresh set of call center policies is a great way to ensure that a new initiative gets moving in the right direction, and help representatives set their sights on the right achievements.
Gamification is one way to guide the call center toward a better customer experience, while designing new scripts for agents can also boost customer satisfaction. Ultimately, managers will be required to experiment with a number of different policies and make minor changes until they find a solution that works best for them.
Focusing on common questions, concerns and agent shortcomings can accelerate this process by targeting problematic service areas.
Last but certainly not least, a call center needs to broadcast these metrics and policies to the call center team at all times, as this will help to ensure the continued improvement of customer experience in every aspect of service. Wallboards turn this into a simple and carefree process for call center managers who already have plenty on their plates.
The best wallboards are quickly installed and programmed to display the metrics that matter most to the call center at that given time. The interface should allow easy adjustment and the inclusion of new KPIs. Ideally, the wallboard will be supplemented by dashboard applications that appear on the desktop monitors of every call center agent.
With these tips, boosting customer experience in the call center should be an attainable goal for any manager.