Contact centers are environments with a high rate of work and daily problems to solve. Day-to-day responsibilities can distract you from more strategic tasks, like figuring out how to improve the customer experience (CX).
Call center leaders know they need to continually improve the quality of support interactions, but finding the time and energy to strategize can be difficult.
Why Is the Customer Experience So Important?
Customer experience is the opinion that users have about a business based on a cumulative set of various interactions both on social networks and in different contact channels of a customer service center. Because it deals with people’s opinions, the CX is a combination of facts and emotions.
With nearly 90% of users willing to buy more after an exceptional customer service experience and 80% would switch companies due to poor customer service, the CX has become the new competitive battlefield. In fact, Gartner found that two-thirds of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.
What Is the Role of the Call Center in Providing Successful Customer Experiences?
While the contact center is not solely responsible for the CX, it certainly plays a critical role. Other departments such as sales, marketing, e-commerce or product development, among others, also affect the customer experience. However, because call centers interact with customers when they need help, the nature of those interactions is more sensitive and can have a greater impact on the customer’s opinion of the business. After all, for many people, customer service is the face and voice of the business.
The role of the call center is expanding and becoming more important than ever. Customer service has become the gateway to the business, greeting customers and sharing information, needs and possible customer complaints with the rest of the company’s departments. Additionally, contact centers are involved in many aspects of the customer journey – from providing pre-sale advice to potential customers to offering after-sales support.
What Do Customers Want from a Contact Center?
Determining how to improve the customer experience should be based on what customers need and expect from the call center. Next, we define which areas affect CX and what customers expect from a contact center:
1) Solve Problems by Themselves
Most customers prefer to solve their own problems and many of them have already used a search engine or visited the website before calling customer service. According to an HBR article, 81% of users try to figure things out on their own before contacting customer service. In addition, 84% of consumers are more willing to do business with companies that offer self-service options.
2) Being Able to Move Between Channels Without Problems
Today’s users can choose from a multitude of channels when they need to communicate with a business and often use more than one during the same troubleshooting process. When they do, they expect to move from one channel to another without difficulty.
For many people, “without difficulties” means not having to repeat the details of their problem. In fact, 96% of users expect companies to facilitate the change of channels without the need to repeat the information.
3) Have High First Contact Resolutions (FCR)
A Microsoft study revealed that 33% of consumers rate first contact resolution as the most important aspect of a good customer service experience. When users have a problem, they don’t want it to drag on or require multiple interactions with the call center.
4) Make Little Effort
When determining how to improve the customer experience, you need to look at how much work a customer has to do to solve a problem or answer a question. Signs of a lot of effort on the part of the client include:
- High transfer rates from one agent to another.
- Long waiting times.
- Low resolution at first contact.
- Repetition of information when they change channels.
According to Gartner research, 96% of customers with a high-effort service interaction become more disloyal compared to just 9% with a low-effort experience. CX enhancements should make troubleshooting easier.
5) Have Personalized Interactions
Personalization is critical to delivering exceptional consumer experiences. The first step is to recognize customers across all channels, which 63% of them expect. Next, tailor each customer’s experience based on factors such as purchase history, past interactions with customer service, communication preferences, and sentiment, among others. This can be a complex task, but the results are worth it. In this sense, Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences.