Great customer service has never been more essential to businesses’ strategies.

Research from Walker predicts that by 2020, customer service will overtake price and product as the most important factor for consumers when deciding whether to use a business’s services. You cannot afford for your customer service to be anything less than great, otherwise, you could easily lose customers to competitors. A single frustrating experience with a live agent could cause a customer to go elsewhere.

Customer service is a complicated topic and there are several factors to consider, from call routing to delivering a personalised service. In this article, we have drawn together some of the most important aspects of it to ensure your contact centre thrives.

Demonstrate to customers that you care

If used correctly, your customer relationship management (CRM) system can be your most valuable resource when it comes to customer information. It is your hub for customer data. And with so much data at your agents’ fingertips, it’s important to ensure they know how to use it properly.

Personalised conversations delight customers and demonstrate that your business values them. You need to implement a solution into your CRM that can leverage customer data effectively and provide agents with valuable insights. Their order history, the status of those orders, service issues they have reported and the last time they called; information like this can transform a good conversation into a great one.

Route effectively

Another easy way to show care towards customers is by ensuring their calls are routed effectively. No customer enjoys having to be rerouted multiple times before finally reaching the correct person to handle their query.

Implementing a powerful solution into your CRM will facilitate routing that is dynamic and intelligent. It can allow a customer to be automatically routed to a product expert, an agent they have interacted with previously or one who speaks the same language as them. Dynamic routing can save customers and agents time.

Balance automation and live agents

Automated contact centre solutions such as chatbots can save customers time and prevent customer agents from having to spend time resolving basic queries. However, too heavy a focus on automation can easily lead to customer dissatisfaction.

It is important to make sure you transition customer conversations from chatbots to live agents at the right time. If a customer is forced to interact with a chatbot when an agent would be more appropriate, it is likely to lead to frustration. Ensure chatbots are only left to handle simple queries and live agents, more complicated ones.

Harness omni-channel routing

In recent years, omni-channel routing has formed a key part of many contact centres’ strategies. It allows you to draw together your business’s different contact channels – such as live agents, emails, SMS and social media – giving customers the ability to seamlessly move between them. It is important to implement this solution into your CRM to stay ahead of the competition, otherwise, your business’s customer service channels are likely to feel disconnected and inconsistent.

According to research from Omnisend, businesses that use omni-channel technology have a 90% higher customer retention rate than those without it. It is not difficult to see how implementing an omni-channel solution can transform how your customers interact with your business.

Automate wherever possible

In order for your agents to flourish, ensure they can dedicate as much of their time as possible to customer interactions. This can be achieved in multiple ways, such as minimising the number of interfaces the employee needs to log in to and by automatically providing them with customer insights through screen pops. Automate where possible and streamline your agents’ workflow. Technology should never be intrusive or distracting for agents.

Make use of speech analytics

Speech analytics is a superb way to grow your business’s customer service strategy. It can provide you with valuable insights into customer conversations that can assist in multiple ways, including providing agents with feedback on their performance.

Every call provides you with a wealth of unstructured data and, without speech analytics, important information is likely to be wasted. The technology makes sense of this data by highlighting patterns and areas for improvement. It can truly transform the way your contact centre functions.

Final thoughts

By following these steps, your contact centre can improve its customer experience significantly. If you focus on maximising the number of great conversations your agents have, you are likely to retain more customers and have a higher rate of satisfaction. It is important for a contact centre to continually strive to improve.

Featuring powerful CRM functionality, such as speech analytics, call recordings and automatic call logging, Vonage’s NewVoiceMedia contact centre solution is ideal for supplying agents with what they need to thrive. Find out more by downloading ‘The Practitioner’s Guide to CX in the Contact Centre’.

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