Today, customer experience is everything. Customers are more powerful than ever, and their ability to voice pleasure or distaste in a matter of seconds on social media and the world wide web has many businesses quivering at the thought.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, many businesses are also investing substantially in their Voice of the Customer programmes in order to maximise the customer experience, hold onto their share of the market, and to preserve reputations.
Each and every day, thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of conversations are recorded, monitored, analysed, reported and so on. But rarely do quality and process improvement teams refer to those sitting on the other side of the conversation. The frontline staff in customer-facing roles. Isn’t their insight into the customer journey and behaviour valuable too?
Call centre and contact centre agents spend hours and hours engaging with customers and truly getting to understand them. Here’s three areas of particular value call centre agents can bring to the table:
Call centre agents can see how to improve the customer experience
Customers seeking the advice, support or input from a company generally only want two things. They want their problem resolved. And fast.
If the experience is long, with glitches, or if something doesn’t sit right with the customer, call centre agents will be the first to know about it.
Call centre agents understand how your brand is really perceived by the customer
Feedback is vital – even the customer appreciates this. But too much of something can be bad, and over-surveying or pestering for feedback can be severely detrimental to the experience. Whether the customer decides to respond to the survey or not.
While customer insight programmes and call centre surveys are important tools, call centre agents sometimes have a much clearer insight into the pros and cons of each customer experiences, sources of customer frustration, and the pain points of the customer journey process.
Call centre agents get how to make things better for customers
Many call centre agents are unhappy in their work – for a number of reasons. In many cases, the performance frameworks and customer processes that agents are forced to adhere to simply aren’t aligned with the reality of dealing with customers first-hand.
So many companies focus too much on business outcomes and box-ticking rather than the customer experience – placing little trust in the instincts and common sense of agents. This ultimately leads to low motivation, little satisfaction, and disengagement among both agents and customers.
Employees that sit at the heart of any customer experience should be empowered to become involved in the customer experience management review process. They have much valuable insight and knowledge to offer – much more than any box ticking exercise will ever be able to. The process of soliciting this feedback from staff will also acknowledge how important their roles are – in turn boosting employee engagement and satisfaction.