Under-The-Radar Strategies to Improve Customer Service
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
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.
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
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
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
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.