Make Continuous Improvement Your Ultimate Goal

We all know turning customers away is fatal for business but we can also agree that there is always room for improvement when it comes to customer care.

Top notch customer service skills are a given if you want to provide an unforgettable customer experience. Unfortunately, not many enterprises will admit that their inner processes or quality of provided services are the leading cause of steadily declining customer satisfaction.

Real-time customer support is essential

Gaining new customers is harder than getting new business from an established customer base, but established and loyal customers provide great opportunities in the digital age, such as customer referrals and word-to-mouth.

The most overlooked part of customer experience is one-on-one customer support sessions – it often gets substituted with almost rage inducing automated technology.

The rise of the multi-channel era made B2C communications easier: blogs, websites and social media. However, for most of your customers, social media and websites might be not personal enough. Nothing can substitute the satisfaction which comes from solving a problem though more personal communication channels. Make sure to focus your customer support effort on these three solutions:

  • The “old-school” phone call, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon
  • Live web-chat, it’s the “go-to” choice for the Y generation
  • Follow-up emails or other communication methods, to reassure the customer

It all comes down to embracing and nurturing real-time interaction channels. Once you do, you’ll quickly notice renewal rates rise up and you’ll gain a few more loyal customers at the same time.

Scout ahead

In order to successfully up-sell or cross-sell you need to scout ahead, going in blind, without gathering data regarding customer purchase habits is a recipe for failure.

Understand the needs and desires of the customer base; differentiate customer types (new, loyal, etc.). Customers will notice if you don’t do your homework which will result in lost opportunities.

Gathering intelligence and providing the customer with suitable options doesn’t always guarantee a sale, but it will leave a positive impression which in the future can result in a positive referral or a new sale.

Be flexible

Every company has a set of guidelines in place, especially for marketing or servicing customers – what most contact centre managers forget is that these are just guidelines, not set in stone rules.

Make these procedures more flexible for established customers as return business is good business – make it easier for them to give you just that.

Be flexible when it comes to pitching products or services – that’s it!

Broken promises

The biggest and most common mistake is over-selling your brand. Never do that as it just leads to broken promises and lost sales – oh, and bad press.

Learn to under-sell and exceed expectations; customer satisfaction does wonders.

Unfortunately sometimes, due to poor judgement, communication problems or “insert random excuse here” promises do get broken, and you fail to deliver. This is the time to atone for the sins and repair your relationship with the customer.

Common recovery tactics include these steps:

  • Admitting your mistake
  • Offering a genuine solution to the problem caused by the broken promise
  • Offering a refund to the customer
  • Offering free or discounted serviced or products, even if the customer took a refund

Leave personal problems at home

It’s hard, but personal problems should never interfere with customer interaction. Despite all the hardships you might be facing, contact centre agents need to remain polite, professional and most importantly reliable.

We at Opstalent think exceptional customer service is the backbone of a successful business, it’s time make it your priority as well!

How to Deliver Great Customer Care with Live Chat

Live chat became the norm for customer care delivery but no matter the support channel of choice, customer experience must be positive. 

One of the benefits for the client is the ability to multitask during the session which allows those with busy schedules to continue with their daily tasks and routines.

Though the quality of the service itself can be less than favourable since at times the agent will overuse scripted lines, fail to personalise comments and ask irrelevant questions.

When moving agents from the traditional channels of communication to live chat you should consider training them in proper etiquette.

Be Proactive

Smart companies know the benefits of live chat. Tough you need to keep in mind which method of delivering the service you should pick. You have two options; either include a button on your site that opens up a session or set a timer that will automatically open up a session after a prolonged browsing period. The second option can be a little annoying for the customer. Remember that instigating communication is a proven method of increasing revenue.

Customize Messages

Most life chat sessions begin with a scripted welcoming message. Those are a time saver but frequent overuse can lead to negative interaction with the customer simply because they might make him will unimportant. Be understanding, show the empathy you have for your customers’ needs and be sincere about the desire to help. This is the first step in building brand loyalty.

Don’t Over-Personalize

The information most systems let you gather on your customers should never ever be revealed to them, use the data only to add real value to the conversation. If the client gets the feeling of his privacy being invaded he will consider going to your competitors.

Communicate Clearly

The style of communication matters, this might be the customer’s first glance at the company. Pay attention to grammar, be precise and don’t ever use emoticons. Keep in mind that when hiring for a web chat position the agent has to be able to express empathy through writing. The safe approach would be monitoring your employees for the dozen or so first sessions.

Be Positive

The two key elements are positive attitude and service knowledge when these two are combined they form the perfect customer service experience. Be responsive and reassure the customer that you’re here to help him.

Use those five tips and you’ll quickly notice:

  • Happier customers.
  • Reduced cost of operations.
  • Improved profits.

These simple, yet effective guidelines provide a steady framework for your customer care team; a base which can be adapted and modified according to your personal observations and for the best outcome. Now go out there and deliver exceptional customer care!

Tech Support Training Tips

Most people think customer service and tech support are virtually the same role, well it might seem so at first glance, and with how customer centric the customer care industry has become we might see those two roles merged in the near future.

There are differences, most notably in the type of training and offered services

Soft skills are relevant in both roles, especially active listening, problem-solving, and the ability to de-escalate issues.

Never let your agents approach new roles untrained

If you’re facing staffing issues or your customer care centre is facing high communication volumes and you’re forced to ask your customer service teams to handle tech support issues, make sure that they receive proper training.

Not everyone is tech-savvy

Equip your teams with proper ‘tools of the trade’, they need them in order to help customers with their tech problems.

 

OpsTalent has prepared a list of five crucial tips that will turn your customer service experts into amped-up tech-geeks.

 

The Beginning 

The greeting phase is crucial, as it dictates the conversation’s flow. Your team needs to understand that this initials phase has to be short as well as professional.

Agents should start with providing their first name in order to make the call more personal, then they should immediately establish that the customer has reached tech support. The greeting itself shouldn’t be overly lengthy – short and to-the-point. Lastly, coach your team to sound friendly and happy to help, this might seem as a no-brainer for most managers in the customer care industry but it’s worth to mention.

 

Active listening

Ask what issue is the ‘user’ experiencing. In the active listening phase tech support agents need to carefully listen to the description of the problem while noting down vital information, such as software version used, model of the hardware in question, operating system, and any other technical aspects what will aid in successfully diagnosing and fixing the problem.

After the issue has been explained the agent should paraphrase the problem back. This reassures the customer that we value his input, furthermore by describing the problem back at the customer we confirm that the correct issue is noted.

 

Apologise, empathise, reassure

The customer needs to be reassured that his issue will be handled properly. Be sure to apologise only when it’s your company’s product or service at fault.

Next, comes empathy, use phrases such as “I know it’s frustrating for you, I’m sorry that the issue at hand is taking time out of your day, but we will resolve it ASAP.”

Lastly, reassure the customer that you’re going to personally oversee his case.

 

Problem-solving 101

The 4th step is where the magic happens. Look up the symptoms and take steps to solve the problem.

If more research is necessary then ensure that the customer is periodically reminded that “we’re still on the case” – there’s nothing worse than leaving the customer guessing as it creates more stress in an already volatile situation.

 

Mission Accomplished

The last step is the most crucial one, ensure that the problem was resolved.
Consultants need to ask a question along the lines of “Did we fix the problem you were experiencing?” Is there anything else I can do for you?”.

The agent needs to confirm that the issue was indeed resolved, which is why asking the final question is important. It also enables the customer to confirm he or she feels satisfied with the solution and has no further enquiries.

 

Instil Confidence

Training, coaching and proper guidance will provide your customer service agents with enough ‘know-how’ and confidence to handle tech support.

Proper ‘Tools of the trade’ are essential for your employees to provide exceptional customer care services.

 

 

Four Essential Qualities of a Customer Care Centre

The rise of the multi-channel approach shook the customer care landscape to its core and new channels demand a different approach – customer centricity.

Multilingual contact centres need to engage and retain every customer to be successful.

We at OpsTalent believe that these four traits are the keystones to establishing a customer centric contact centre:

Measure quality from both perspectives.

Like many of its customer oriented counterparts around the globe, OpsTalent has invested in quality monitoring tools that record and view customer experiences during each query, also post-contact surveying tools that can determine how the customer felt about each individual interaction.

This way the contact centre gathers essential information about its customer base, feedback that later can be used during coaching sessions or incorporated into each contact centre agents monitoring scores.

But that’s not all, data can be used to improve operation processes work-flows or even actual products and services.

Continuously enhance services, sales and loyalty.

Thanks to all the monitoring tools, today’s contact centres gather an overwhelming amount of data on a daily basis – this would imply that the contact centre is “The Ear” of the organisation, and while true this statement is somewhat wrong.

Customer centric contact centres are not just ear, but the brain of the organisation. They gather and process the information, and later on use it to from strategies and plans.

Thus continuously improving and enhancing the customer experience, by the means of CRM tools, dedicated analytics teams, and evaluation of post-contact surveys.

OpsTalent provides fast, personalised, proactive customer service and support.

Metrics focused on the customer, not just on efficiency.

The best customer centric contact centres, focus less on Average Handle Time, Calls per Hour and focus more on metrics such as Contact Quality, First Contact Resolution and Customer Satisfaction.

Productivity based metrics have its place, but most of the time contact centre managers over-emphasise the importance of AHT. Which only leads the agents to develop bad habits, such as rushing the customer through the call, which in the end only leads to increased number of call volumes, and a decrease in customer satisfaction.

When it comes to agent productivity, focus on things like schedule adherence, thus ensuring that agents are ready for and on time for any potential challenge.

Embrace social customer care.

Providing customer support though social media is no longer a nice bonus, it’s a necessity. Facebook and Twitter are the go-to channel for the Y-generation, and the general public also tries social customer support if they need a fast response to their request or comment.

This is why all leading contact centres have developed and implemented a comprehensive social customer care strategy, with trained agents and powerful monitoring tools they are more than ready to provide proactive customer service and engage the customers in brand new ways.

Keep in mind, that in order to be a customer centric contact centre you also need to be employee centric as well, happy staff + happy customers = exceptional customer experience!