Is Good Customer Service Dead?
Follow these 6 Steps to Bring It Back to Life
Call centers often don’t spend enough effort on customer service. Hitting KPIs and sales goals seem to be the only goal they have. And when profits outrank everything else, customer service is dead.
Or does it? Is there a way to offer incredible customer service and still scale your sales goals?
In fact, customer service is the only way you can grow your business. Customer satisfaction and loyalty drive your sales. So, if your call center doesn’t spend enough time on improving your customer service, it’s not going to compete.
The Main Reasons Why Customer Service Is Dying
What’s the main reason why customer service is dead in badly aligned call centers? Money. The apparent idea to save money or draw in money often clouds the judgment of executives. There are three areas where their thinking goes wrong.
1. Call Centers Trying to Be Too Efficient
Of course, efficiency is amazing. Especially in a call center. But if you become too efficient, your customer service levels suffer. Here’s why.
Handling more calls in a short period of time results in irritated customers and overworked agents. If your reps feel rushed, they won’t put in that extra effort that makes a huge difference in customer satisfaction.
2. Call Centers Want New Customers (Instead of Retaining Old Ones)
Of course, trying to hit the “New Customer” KPI is very important. Attracting new leads and raising brand awareness is always crucial.
However, from a sales perspective, companies forget that selling to an existing customer who’s happy with the service is much easier and cheaper than convincing a new customer to join.
3. Call Centers Focus on Sales in a Customer Service Call
You have to know your time and place to sell. A lot of companies try profit on calls that shouldn’t be sales calls. There is nothing wrong with cross-selling your customer service calls as long as we all understand it is an add-on.
Otherwise, you risk losing more than just the sale. You risk losing a customer.
6 Ways to Save Your Call Center’s Customer Service
1. Educate Your Employees on Customer Service
Most companies put all their education into how to run a specific program, skill, or channel. What to look for, what screen to be on, which button to click.
What they fail to teach is how to manage the tone of the call.
Don’t rush call center education for your agents. Help them understand the importance of good customer service, and teach them how to handle every kind of customer.
2. Coordinate Your Departmental Customer Service
Large companies often fall into this customer service black hole: disjoined departments.
The whole company needs to have the same customer service policies. Different numbers, multiple call resolutions, and complex call transfers confuse and alienate customers. Be consistent and coordinate your departments.
3. Focus on the Right Metrics
While average handle time, the time in queue, and the sale success rate are still important. SLA (service level agreement) and ASA (average speed of answer) aren’t as crucial as you think when compared to new metrics of sentiment, CSAT (customer satisfaction), and NPS (net promoter score).
Make sure you track the right call center KPIs to achieve success, be efficient, and not hurt your customer service levels.
4. Don’t Depend on Self-Service Only
A lot of companies try to save money by relying on self-service and ditching live agents. However, there are dozens of reasons why this is the wrong approach.
People want to talk to live agents. And any company that doesn’t understand that will have low customer satisfaction and net promoter scores.
Don’t make the customer go through long and complicated interactive voice response (IVR) robotic conversations. Nobody likes that.
5. Enhance Your Call Center Work Culture
How can you expect frustrated, underpaid, and burnt out agents to handle customer service calls with positivity and care? If your agents aren’t happy at your company, your customer service is dead.
You need to take care of your employees and engage them regularly. Call center games are a great trick to relax your reps, give them a break, and build a positive team spirit.
6. Train Your Management to Engage Employees
Your agents won’t ask for better workplace culture. You and your management need to build a positive workplace environment. And if you truly want to enhance your call center work culture, dive into employee engagement.
Make sure you tell the reps how important customer service is. If they don’t know that you want them to spend extra time caring for customers, they’ll think their customer service is dead.
What do you do to improve the customer service you give?
Do you think call centers should focus on customer service more?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!