Customer Service Quality Improvement on Your Mind? Follow These Tips
Blog: MattsenKumar Blog
Nextiva reports, 68% of customers believe the key to excellent customer service is a polite customer service representative. Similarly, 17% of Americans prefer doing business with a firm with an excellent reputation for customer service.
Customer service is a dominant component of a business; it directly affects revenue, brand reputation, customer lifetime value, and future growth prospects. With the changing trends and evolving customer expectation, offering relevant customer service is a prevalent challenge.
Customer service as a process receives renewed interest from stakeholders because “attracting a new customer is 6-7 times more expensive than retaining a current one”, reports Business Insider. Another whitepaper by Dimensional Research highlights “52% of consumers say they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience”.
Customer service quality improvement is a prime focus of organizations because:
- A 5% increase in customer retention can produce 25% more profit
- Companies that excel at customer service drive revenues by 4-8%
- The average American tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience
- After a bad customer service experience, 39% of customers will avoid a company for two years. Source
Customer Service Quality Improvement Tips for Organizations
A. Identify Areas for Customer Service Quality Improvement
The road to customer service quality improvement must start from touchpoints where customers have had bad experiences. It can be over a call, through an email, or events where customers were unable to reach a support agent because of:
- Poorly optimized IVR
- Huge Delay in answering calls
- Or a slow website
- Poorly formatted Live Chat
Here’s how organizations can identify areas for support quality improvement:
Seek Customer Feedback: Listening to it firsthand from customers is perhaps the best idea. Reach out to customers with surveys, questionnaires & feedback calls. Pursue your end-users with an intent to help them with quality experiences. Once a substantial number of customers have provided feedback, analyze them.
Organizations can also leverage Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction Score & Customer Effort Score as key metrics to identify the current state of customer service. An NPS study will highlight the number of customers who are likely to shoo away potential customers, whereas a poor CSAT score will coax current customers to look for alternatives.
A properly concluded survey or customer feedback activity will help organizations:
- Discover the touchpoints where customers are facing the maximum hassle.
- Identify if it’s the technology or agents leading to poor customer service.
- Conclude with a set of challenges they need to overcome.
Map Customer Journey: Mapping a user’s journey will help critical stakeholders visualize:
- Areas where customer support drops to low levels
- Customer experience gaps
- Pain points end-users go through
- Uniform view of the customer journey
Identify Channels with Poor Service Quality: Numerous organizations make a one-time investment in IVR and routing systems and never care about it. In the age of perpetually evolving technology, organizations need to upgrade.
Grumpy ole IVR and ticketing system takes more time and anger customers because they are used to faster experience on other platforms. Inadequate technology and obsolete systems look minimal but can have altering effects on overall output.
B. Focus on Important KPIs
Be it an inbound contact center or an outbound contact center, monitoring, measuring, and benchmarking against important metrics is essential. When organizations continuously measure metrics and benchmark them against the industry, they discover challenges and opportunities.
Here’s the roadmap:
Identify KPIs based on the nature of the contact center: Identifying relevant KPIs and metrics for your contact center is indispensable. Since, Average Speed of Answer is an inbound contact center metric, measuring it at your outbound center will not work.
Outbound contact center metrics portray a different story and need to be deployed in relevance to the center’s nature. Once you have identified the relevant contact center metrics, you can start measuring them. Incessant monitoring and analysis of metrics will help:
- Organization understand the areas that are lacking
- Differentiate between tech-based and agent-based challenges
- Identify improvement opportunities
- Discover glitches affecting the standard of customer service
Set Benchmarks and Compare Performance: Generally, businesses measure their performance against the industry benchmark. For evolving industries like e-commerce, a budding start-up measuring its performance against Amazon’s customer service does not make sense. While the start-up may be leveraging tech and robust practices, Amazon is ahead of the curve with customer data and analytical capabilities.
Organizations need to set a realistic benchmark and can be achieved with the deployment of effective resources or by training agents.
Upgrade Resources: Intricate analysis of metrics will help organizations understand the underlying challenge affecting the overall customer experience. Once a detailed report is available, one must render all obscurities out of the system and improve customer service quality.
C. Pivot to Trending Technologies
It is impossible to cater quality customer service to users of today with yesterday’s technology. A McKinsey report illustrates how customer care leaders invest in technology.
47% of participants agreed to invest in new technologies to support customer service quality improvement. Here’s how to do it:
Get rid of obsolete IVR & Routing Tech: IVR and routing technology are the first touchpoints for customers. Every time a customer dials your number, they are greeted by an Interactive Voice Response and then directed to specific departments by a routing tech.
Functioning with an old IVR or routing tool that only supports manual input and doesn’t take voice response as information is below customer service standards in 2021. Organizations need to get rid of such technologies. Similarly, a routing tool that functions slowly and relies on older routing paradigms will affect the overall customer experience.
Bring in a CRM Based Ticketing System: over 63% of organizations have agreed to increase their CX innovation investing by 50%. A considerable percentage of this investment is likely to be in:
- In technology
- In deciphering customer behavior
With customer service quality technologies taking center stage, one needs to opt for a tool that has comprehensive offerings. A CRM with an in-built ticketing system is likely the need of the hour. Here’s how it will help:
- It will take minimum input from agents and assign the ticket
- Based on phone number, email id, and customer id, it will identify customers automatically
- Will club together complaints received across the channel
- Help organization bank upon omnichannel capabilities
Training customer support individuals: No technological development and method optimization can replace the magic human support. A Zendesk study says, “56% of consumers say that the most frustrating thing about customer support is an automated telephone system that makes it hard to reach a human agent”.
Training customer support agents regularly is necessary because:
- Contact center operations are evolving, and understanding of tech is indispensable
- Leaders like Amazon, McDonald’s & Uber have innovated new CX methodologies
- Customers today want accurate information quickly
- Customers cannot compromise on the quality of support
Leverage Live Chat to Speed up Service: All organizations that have implemented live chat have witnessed
- Impressive reduction in bounce rate
- A notable improvement in directing customers to relevant resources
- Improve First Contact Resolution
- Grandeur reduction in error made when offering quality customer service
D. Cross-Sell to Improve Experience
Cross-selling is the practice of introducing customers to an entirely new product that either complements the already bought product or is likely an advanced version. E-commerce players invest in cross-selling to increase average lifetime value, drive more sales, and generating more profits.
While cross-selling undoubtedly improves revenue and average order value, it is a tool to help customers. When leveraged by contact centers, cross-selling can be a great tool to improve customer service quality, here’s why:
Customers are seeking solution: For customers who have already invested substantial time and money in a product or service, leaving it behind and moving on is not an option. Customers will bug support agents until they receive a valuable resolution. More than 40% of customers are willing to pay extra for improved experience and long-lasting solutions.
Customers are Open to Up-Selling: Banks, NBFCs, and Fintech understand it better; every time someone claims medical insurance or vehicle insurance, they upsell them, asking to increase their sum assured or covered sum.
Similarly, centers selling SaaS products or subscriptions can easily offer to convince users to buy higher-end products or upgrade to a new subscription for the advanced experience or access to more premium content.
Cross-selling stops customers from churn: Well, every time customers are offered an upselling opportunity, it prevents them from churning. They wait and ponder about the benefits of upgrading. They see it as an opportunity to eliminate existing problems while accessing more and improved support or content, which is a win-win situation.
Cross-selling also improves Customer Lifetime Value: A small gesture can have a considerable impact, and cross-selling is the perfect example. Even with only 4 out of 10 customers agreeing to purchase more, the overall customer lifetime value increases and helps the organization pocket more money.
E. Offer Value-Added Services
With increased competition and digital penetration in every industry, organizations need to do more than the bare minimum. Offering value-added services is key to retaining customers and ensuring improvement in customer service quality.
Help customers learn about new products: Whether it’s an inbound or an outbound center, all agents must be trained to inform users about the latest developments. The key here is finding the right opportunity to pitch a new product. Launching new products to angered customers can backfire.
Pitching to long-term customers, happy customers, and newly acquired customer is a sure-shot way of improving customer service quality because it helps them make an informed decision?
Educate customers about existing benefits: This is another case where banks and credit card companies emerge as winners. Every time you get in touch with a customer support executive, they will disconnect the call only after informing you about “how you can take a personal loan against your credit card” and “how you get free insurance on your credit card.”
Now, these are relevant practices for every organization and are likely to generate incomparable benefits. With reliance on such tricks, organizations can help customers make an informed decision, which reduces their dependency on customer support agents.
Take pride in offering additional support or concession: We all have heard stories of customer service executives going out of their way and supporting customers. Instilling a similar sense of work conviction at your center can help you ensure a top-notch customer experience. Train your agents to help customers beyond the scope to make them feel valued; this reduces churn and affects NPS, CSAT scores positively.
In the post-COVID era, contact centers will be known as the center of excellence that leverages innovation to improve efficiency, reduces risks, and fulfill compliances to enable organizations to achieve their defined targets.
Outsourcing a contact center equips businesses with unique capabilities that ensure effective customer service while equally focused on innovation, CX improvement, and much more. We at MattsenKumar have been working in close ties with global organizations. Our contact center services cater to digital needs while offering reliable support through traditional methodologies. Check out our array of outsourcing services and allow us to improve process efficiency for your organization.
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