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Affordable Strategy and Techniques to Improve Customer Service

January 29, 2016 Amit Kachhawa

Offering excellent customer service has tremendous benefit to any organization, and it is one of the top priorities for every employee. The top management assigns a team to develop strategies and then train the employees for a seamless implementation.

Poor customer service hurts your business by driving away customers, who spread the bad news to others, thereby, killing your business. However, when you provide superior customer service the payoffs are enormous, from high sales, satisfied clients who become your brand advocates, increased profitability to happy employees.

For your business to grow steadily, you need to increase cash flow as you lower operating expenses. Therefore, you cannot afford to have none or a poor strategy to improve your customer service.

Have the following tips in mind when you are formulating the strategies and techniques to improve customer service, they are affordable too.

  1. Carry out a situation analysis

    The step is to understand where you are now. Approach it from the customers and employees point of view. Carry out a customer survey to get satisfaction scores. Compile the data and work with an average of the total.

    For the employees, use data from quality metrics like First Contact Resolution and service metrics like average speed of answer. It will help you understand internal problems that may be hindering superior service delivery.

    You also need to know how your employees define their roles at the contact center. Does an agent say, “I answer calls and respond to live chat inquiries?” or does he or she say, “I resolve customers issues the best way possible?” How an agent understand their role influence how they perform.

    Put all the above information together to get a clear picture of where you are. These will be your objectives as your progress with the strategy formulation.

  2. Scrutinize your Procedures and Processes

    Employees are not the only factor that can affect customer service; the contact center systems and processes can. What is the procedure for agents to resolve issues? Do they have to escalate all issues to the manager or are they empowered to handle the issues?

    Are your systems user-friendly? For example, when a customer logs into your website and wants to interact with an agent online, do they have to spend several minutes locating the live chat icon. You need to make your services accessible and available. Today’s customer expects instant gratification, or else they shop elsewhere.

    The procedures and processes should make it easy for the employees to meet customers’ needs.

  3. Work on the Improvement Areas

    You now have data on customers, employees, procedures, and processes. Now, look into the areas that need immediate action and start with them, and roll out the rest with time. With improvement, the focus on the employees and processes, and the changes will affect the customer.

    Take your employees through thorough refresher training, and focus on the weak areas. For example, if you found out that the call transfer rate was high, the training should emphasize on product knowledge.

  4. Loop in the line managers

    The best people to oversee the implementation of the strategy are the line managers because they spend most of their time on the floor with agents. Ensure they know and understand the strategy and the value it brings to the contact center. You can train them on a separate day, to empower them further and thus give them the right tools and information to make the strategy work.

    Line managers go beyond overseeing the implementation. For example, after the training, they can coach the employees to greater performance improvements.

    Effective line managers lead their teams to success.

  5. Monitor and Review

    After equipping everyone with the correct information and tools, you need to monitor their progress. How are the employees performing in light of the set objectives? For example, if they were to improve the FCR, has the rate increased or decreased? After gathering the data, conduct review meeting with line managers and selected employees.

    At the core of the monitoring and reviewing is to check whether the implemented strategies had financial implications to the contact center. They should not increase your operations cost but lower them.

In summary, when you carry out a situation analysis, scrutinize your procedures and processes, work on the improvement areas, loop in the line managers, and monitor and review the strategies and techniques, you will improve your customer service. Be patient in the process as it takes some time to change from one policy to another.

Amit Kachhawa

Amit Kachhawa is the Assistant Vice President for Corporate Strategy. His overall experience of over 14 years has been garnered at various levels at Etech starting his journey as an OCR and thereafter, crossing many milestones and today Amit is an esteemed member of Etech Global Management Team. Amit is responsible for formulating and implementing strategic plans with focus on Digital Marketing including social media, Product Development, Business Development, Reporting and Workforce Management Analytics.