"If you want to WIN, do the ordinary things BETTER than anyone else does them day in and day out."
~ Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh Steelers
For many, our favorite time of the year has arrived! The National Football League (NFL) season is in full swing — our fantasy team has been drafted, and our favorite team jersey is ready. Six weeks in and some are already looking forward to next year, while others are pleasantly surprised. This year is different than any other — no preseason games and limited practices, a rash of early season injuries testing the depth chart and requiring rookies to step up and tired veterans to show the way. COVID-19 testing unexpectedly closes practice facilities and has postponed games.
In today’s NFL it’s all about the quarterbacks and receivers, the productivity of the offense, the most dominant defense, and the team that can sustain the injuries that can stifle a team and still come out on top. Year over year the most consistent teams are those that adhere to the same systems and process over and over - they employ a plan for success.
As fans we see 60 minutes of football, players and coaches endure daily meetings, training, practice, and video study. Because of this, players don’t win or lose games, teams do. Preparation prevents surprises and ensures the desired outcome.
Contact centers are much the same, situations can shift quickly with pressure to maintain KPI’s and service standards. Like players, agents must be agile to be able to adapt to needs and case priorities. There is no easy feat as you’re dealing with your company’s ever-evolving goals. From technologies to customer experience (CX), any misses can put your organization’s reputation at stake.
Here are five lessons from the NFL that we borrowed:
#1. Keep an eye on the ball
Fan engagement and customer engagement are synonymous. Always give customers something to talk about.
Want to know some little-known facts about the NFL? Read more.
Have you ever wondered how the NFL has managed to make football America’s favorite sport? One major reason is the League’s ability to keep fans engaged – a strength businesses should pay attention to. Fantasy football is one such concept the NFL has leveraged through partners, providing a means for fans to stay engaged following their favorite players and connecting with a wider range of teams. This additional engagement pays off handsomely for the league and its owners, who are able to earn more from ads and increased merchandise sales.
Also Read: The 6R's of an Awesome Customer Service
Business owners should look at their core business to see how they can find new, advanced ways to promote customer engagement and spending via new products, services, add-ons, partnerships and more. Great customer service is what makes high-performing businesses roll.
#2. Know the Rules and your Opponent
Can you be a good player or a great coach without understanding the game on the field and being familiar with the strengths of your opponent? Not really!
The best game plans result from hours of preparation- each player knows their job and knows how their opponent will react in every situation.
Similarly, while running a business, you need to be vigilant about everything that's happening on the ground. You need to be in the know always. Knowing your team, customers, and competitors will give you an edge. In a contact center a team leaders need to be aware of the tools at their disposal, the needs of your agents, their level of training and understanding, and most importantly- your customers!
For instance, here are some of the things your team must have:
- A 360° view of the customer information
- Seamless access with any required third-party applications
- No toggling between different applications
- Industry-relevant, easy, customizable user interface
- Advanced analytics and reporting tools
A well-equipped and connected desktop can provide a real advantage for your agents. Many businesses can benefit from a contact center solution that offers an all-in-one system for their support team. One such solution is ThinkOwl – it's fully powered by artificial intelligence(AI) and easy-to-use software for agents that empowers them with all the essential features needed to win the customers.
#3. Small Number of Raving Fans Can Also Make a Big Difference
Every NFL team strives for a strong loyal fan base. Building strong relationships is important in the game of business as well. Having a bunch of loyal customers who like your product and rave about your business journey are a great source of helping you find ways to do even more business. While it’s interesting to focus your marketing efforts solely on finding new customers, it’s also important to cultivate your existing customers. In time your core customers turn into your brand evangelists.
Great customer stories are intertwined with powerful business stories. When customers share their success stories with their friends or industry peers facing similar challenges, your brand visibility will benefit as well.
Remember, many customers help your business grow, but the happy customers grow your brand.
#4 Always Back Your Team
Great coaches always know how to keep the team motivated and at the top of their game. Likewise, it’s the responsibility of business to support their teams so they can deliver mind-blowing customer experiences. For instance, contact center supervisors can support agents with the right tools or be available on a live call for coaching. Organizations should equip agents with tools that can help them to make the best of customer interactions and provide exceptional customer experiences, such as:
- Knowledge Base – a repository of information about the products and service processes that helps agents guide customers better.
- Smart Responses – a set of dynamic pre-formulated responses for common customer issues. It ensures adherence to compliance, especially when a new agent is handling a customer inquiry.
- AI-based Ticketing System – It extracts, categorizes, and displays in-context customer information as soon as the agent receives the customer inquiry creating a personalized customer experience. It can simplify the management of tickets with business scenarios, service level agreements (SLAs), social ticketing, advanced reporting, and more.
Other tools - include task management, team collaboration, call disposition.
#5 Watch Your Game Film
Whether you win or lose, the best and worst performances of the game are always remembered. With dozens of players on the field and more than 100 plays per game there are multiple opportunities to win. Great teams concentrate on winning each time the ball is snapped. Customer service is no different pay attention to how you win and why you lose.
Think critically and focus on taking continuous customer feedback to improve your product or service. Enhance the quality and build a product that your customers love.
In the End: Enjoy the Game
A one-handed catch, a well-timed turnover, a record setting season, or a unlikely trip to the Super Bowl almost anything can happen in the course of a season. This is what keeps the fans engaged week after week, season after season.
Also Read: Five Reasons to Gamify Your Helpdesk
Customers remember an exceptional customer experience; this is what keeps your customer engaged and loyal. The NFL is constantly looking for ways to improve their fan experience, great customer service organizations do the same with their customers.