At a time when customer experience (CX) is the single most exciting opportunity for brands globally, contact centers and agents, particularly will play a vital role in helping organizations unleash the true promise of CX.
Research suggests that by the end of 2020, CX will replace price and product as a key brand differentiator. So, how can agents drive your competitive advantage as a superior CX provider?
Here are the top five ways organizations can empower agents to deliver exceptional customer experience:
- Arm Them with Knowledge: There is nothing more frustrating as a customer to be on the phone with an agent that doesn’t know how to help you. The first step to addressing customer concerns is arming reps with up-to-date information. It also helps if you’re using a helpdesk solution that easily integrates with your CRM and provides agents with a customer’s marketing and contact center history with real-time intent.
- Develop a Culture of Empathy: Customers are bound to be impatient, anxious, or full of questions when contacting customer service. You must train your employees on the fundamentals of empathetic communication. In an increasingly automated world, empathy humanizes brands. Empathetic communication training can be cost-effective and straightforward. At its core, empathy is human communication. It doesn’t necessarily imply that agents must agree with customers at all times. It simply means that your agents proactively try to understand what customers say and what things go unsaid. Learning platforms and comprehensive helpdesk solutions offer a large selection of courses that agents can take to up their emotional quotient and communicate with empathy.
- Empower Agents to make Exceptions: The key to great customer experience is making customers feel like they are being heard. Organizations that empower their agents to make exceptions to solve customer problems, attain higher CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores. This doesn’t mean that your agents relent to every angry customer’s demands. They need to exercise their discretion wisely. And here’s where customer interaction history with your organization comes into the picture. If agents can gain visibility into the brands’ historical relationship with their customers, they are positioned to make more data-backed decisions. An intelligent helpdesk solution can help you complement your efforts to reduce customer frustration and create winning service experiences.
- Reduce Customer Effort: Customer effort is directly proportional to their frustration. You can reduce customer effort by ensuring your agents have access to sound technological infrastructure – particularly when working from home. A cloud-based contact center software is an absolute must-have along with high-bandwidth internet. “Can you hear me” has quickly become one of the most-used phrases in customer service since the pandemic hit. You don’t want your agents using this phrase too often. It takes away from the customer experience.
- Help Your Customers Help Themselves: You can also reduce customer effort by providing them with self-service options. Apps and chatbots are the two most popular ways brands leverage self-service modules. However, with AI becoming a part of consumers’ everyday lives, they have come to expect a similar experience from customer service apps and bots. In the age of on-demand everything, brands must look to develop AI self-help capabilities that engage customers and enable faster ticket resolution.
There you have it. The current environment has allowed brands to rethink their relationship with customers. With a focus on the right skills, temperament, and technology, you can empower your agents to put their best foot forward every single day.