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Under-The-Radar Strategies to Improve Customer Service


Presented By: Calabrio

Contributed by Ross Daniels, CMO of Calabrio  

Here’s a concept many people can relate to, the sense of pride – and perhaps a bit of frustration – that comes with being an early adopter of something and waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. In pop culture terms, you started a new show on its series premiere night versus the rest of the world binge-watching every episode to catch up for the finale. Or maybe you attended a singer’s first gig at your local dive bar and now, years later, they’re accepting a Grammy.

These examples might sound trivial but the feeling of identifying a now buzzworthy trend when it was just a blip on the world’s radar is what’s significant. When it comes to business trends, the feeling is not only significant, but it can also be extremely lucrative.

Especially in the customer service world, keeping your finger on the pulse of new trends and changes in consumer behavior is the key to establishing your business as a leader in the industry. There are multiple customer service strategies that are growing in popularity by the day, the rise of self-service tools like AI-powered chatbots, for example, has been garnering more interest in many circles. However, there are also some trends companies can turn to but might not be aware of. Here are a few under-the-radar ways to improve your customer service, keep your customers happy and stay ahead of the curve in the industry.

Failure? I Think You Mean Opportunity

It may seem a cliché but seeing the glass half-full as opposed to half-empty is the key to your customer service evolution. A failure in business may temporarily turn your world upside down but it can also help you gain new perspective. In customer service there are multiple opportunities for failure, but it’s how you respond to these problems that can benefit your business. Picture this scenario: A customer has an issue with a product, files a complaint and returns the purchase. How do you respond? Better yet, how do you learn from it? First, you must leverage your customer service team to gain insights from the issue to identify a solution to avoid future problems.

Instead of considering a return as a failure, consider it an opportunity to learn about your customer journey by harnessing the power of analytics. The contact center houses valuable customer interaction data that when analyzed can be turned into strategic insight to inform future actions. The cause of most product returns isn’t a simple dislike for it. Was the sizing off? Was the color not as advertised? Transforming customer interactions into business intelligence can increase the effectiveness of marketing, sales and C-suite decisions. When customers reach out to the contact center with product “failures,” use those interactions as a window into the customer journey to improve your brand and business.

Happy Agent, Happy Life

The concept of employee-centricity is certainly not an under-the-radar tip. In fact, attracting and retaining employees is one of the top business challenges companies are facing. But don’t just think of employee-centricity in terms of operational benefits. Not only will employee-centric practices net you an agent workforce that stays, but they will also improve your customer experience (CX) offering.

Listen to what agents want out of their work experience currently and into the future. To start, agent continuity is vital to CX success. Keeping agents happy will provide your customers with more experienced agents that are better equipped to assist them. Second, agents are the front-line ambassadors of your brand, and they need to be primed to handle any situation put in front of them. If your agents aren’t on their A-game, your CX and overall brand will suffer. Providing agents with the tools and benefits they desire will improve their morale and engagement on the job.

The top issues for agents are managing work/life balance, complex customer issues and too many calls and other interactions. Smart businesses will be looking for solutions like providing agents with better scheduling flexibility or personalized coaching that can assist them with tackling those challenges.

Simple is Better

The LA Rams won Super Bowl LVI thanks in large part to their head coach, Sean McVay. McVay is a master of the football concept known as the “illusion of complexity,” where the offense seems complex to the defense and the casual football fan. However, it’s quite simple for the offensive players to implement.

Contact centers should take a page out of McVay’s playbook. The customer service world has never been more complex, but the best customer service teams will keep it simple for their agents, and themselves. This will help agents struggling with increasing volume and complexity of customer demands.

One way to simplify your process is to lean into agent-empowering technology. Look for ways to assist or even eliminate manual tasks from your agents’ to-do list. For example, some organizations are incorporating AI-powered virtual assistants for agents to simplify their workday. Analytics tools can also be leveraged to help contact center managers break down complex calls and provide tailored coaching to agents to improve future interactions.

The cloud is particularly beneficial for implementing new technologies. Cloud-smart contact centers have the scalability to grow operations to meet demand or reduce when necessary. This is in addition to cloud-native platforms being easier for integrating new solutions to meet the needs of modern service. Cloud-powered contact centers can also assist IT, as solutions can be updated easily and universally without extensive disruption.  

Customer service is complex. In fact, the complexity of customer interactions is considered the second most pressing customer service challenge by agents. Lean into an easy, personalized and smart approach to complex challenges to improve your CX offering.

Staying ahead of the trends isn’t something that can be left to chance, and when it comes to business trends the stakes are even higher. For any modern contact center, keeping a finger on the pulse of changing customer behaviors is vital and the tips outlined above can help.