Five Ways Call Centers Can Improve Customer Experience

Anish

Jan 7 · 6 min read

All of us at some point have engaged with a company call center, may it be to resolve banking issues, to book a reservation or to just solve a product-specific problem. The experience we have all had is rather mediocre with most businesses and the ripple effect tends to leave a bad image of the brand.

Call centers are the backbone for most businesses, they need to keep existing customers happy and ensure that every customer has a good experience, if they fail to do so, businesses tend to run a high churn rate.

Let’s view this as a funnel, the top of the funnel is usually about prospects who become aware of the business for the first time, as they move through the different stages of the funnel, they either convert or drop out.

Those that have converted are now customers and it’s the job of the call center/support teams to ensure they retain by providing them with good experiences. Now if the call center fails to achieve this goal, it tends to leave a gap, through which most customers fall out. This impacts the brand negatively and they eventually have to spend more time and money on acquiring new customers. This process of high churn rate leading to more resource expenditure can stifle growth.

Customer experience is important for growth and stability, customers want and need good experiences, when that does not happen, they are quick to tell others about it. In fact, studies have shown that customers who have an unpleasant experience are 88% less likely to return. So, let us look at five ways of how call centers can improve customer experiences.

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Demonstrate Empathy:

Call center operatives don’t have the advantage of viewing body language and picking up on ques via facial expressions, the most important aspect that the operator has and must work with is tone. Call center operators must showcase empathy as they engage with customers, they must be able to relate to the problems faced and understand the mindset of the customer. The aim should be to interact with customers in a positive empathetic tone and to move the customer psyche from distress to calm.

This plays a huge role in resolving the issue and ensuring the customer experience is good throughout the process. Operators have to handle each call uniquely and set the tone accordingly. Studies have suggested that 80% of customers are more likely to do business with a brand if they receive a personalized experience.

Reduce hold time:

When customers connect with call centers, they are looking to resolve a particular issue as quickly as possible, but sometimes customers are made to hold while the operator tries to find a suitable solution. This hold time is infuriating and leaves the customer annoyed.

The expectation from the customer is that the call center has all the solutions and they expect the agent to know all the answers to their problems, while this may not be true from a call center perspective, it is still necessary to showcase and deliver the same since that is what the expectation is.

While knowing all the answers and reducing the hold time to zero is impossible, there are still other ways where the hold times can be reduced. For example: creating an online knowledge hub that can be accessed quickly while on the call, agent training, etc.

One unique way to address this issue is by implementing voice-based AI/Automation systems like VIVA. With VIVA, there is zero waiting time, as it can scale as per the incoming traffic. This system can address up to 80% of repetitive queries and allow for 20% of issues to be dealt with by agent, ensuring faster resolution and zero hold times.

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Personalized Experience:

Customers expect a personalized experience and one way businesses can do so is by optimizing their call centers. Call centers are the first touchpoint that the customer calls to resolve any issue, businesses need to convert these centers into a knowledge hub, they must derive data from each conversation to understand what the customer needs and how best to address it to deliver a more personalized experience.

Businesses will be more capable to understand the pulse of the customers through call centers and utilize their learnings to deliver better service. In fact, a personalized experience can deliver 5 to 8 times the ROI on marketing spend.

Personalization is important in an age of intelligence and automation; customers want to be valued and they recognize it only when businesses spend time understanding them and improving their service.

Recognition and Consistency

Call centers need to be more consistent in their messaging and delivery, they need to be able to provide the customer with the same experience irrespective of when the customer contacts them. Lack of consistency in message and delivery can confuse customers and frustrate them since it complicates the issue at hand.

Also, customers expect call centers to not only be consistent but also to recognize them, customers like it when they are valued. Call center operators must collect customer data and work off that at any point. They need to be able to trace past issues and also relate quickly to what the issue at hand is.

The process of the customer providing details at every touchpoint should reduce. Once the customer has made contact for the first time and has provided information, it is up to the call center to store this information for future use and be able to start the conversation from where it was left off.

Adoption of Future Technology

Customer’s like to engage with new technology, they enjoy convenience and simplicity. As a call center, it is important to implement the latest technology to existing processes and deliver quality engagement. Customers expect the best service from brands and they want the convenience of engaging on their terms, which includes the tech they use. Businesses should be able to adopt the latest technologies and deliver high value. One such technology that can better customer experience and automate support centers is VIVA.

VIVA is a unique service that helps accelerate engagement strategy and utilizes cutting edge speech recognition and NLU technology. It provides the best engagement possible. It is an intelligent, multilingual platform that can help automate up to 80% of call center operations. With 100,000+ hours of training data, VIVA has been deployed to help businesses boost customer stickiness and loyalty through a deep understanding of the customer’s context and intent.

Technologies such as these can go a long way in delivering a better experience

Conclusion:

Call centers play a major role in customer retention, they should be able to provide a consistent experience and deliver high value at every point of engagement. These five steps can help improve existing processes and eventually improve brand value. Call centers can reap the following benefits through good customer experience:

  • Word of mouth marketing: customers tell an average of about nine people about a positive brand experience

  • Increase sales: customers are likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience

  • Loyalty: Good experiences is key in influencing brand loyalty of 73% of customers.

With all these benefits, its crucial for business call centers to get this aspect of customer experience right. Let us know what other measures have you taken to better customer experience at call centers and how it has impacted your business.