With the frantic pace of business technology, if you’re standing still, it sometimes feels like you’re moving in the wrong direction. Technological advances have changed the way customers interact with brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce brands. They’ve also created new challenges and opportunities for customer support centers. As a call center operator with 30 years of experience, we use these expert tips to help our clients stay ahead of the competition.
Testing New Technology
Technology has created sea change across the customer support industry. The good news is that the majority of Americans believe the overall quality of customer service is improving, according to Microsoft’s Annual State of Global Customer Service Report for 2018. Consequently, the public’s expectations have increased. To meet customers’ evolving needs, call center providers must effectively leverage the latest technology while minimizing risks, such as alienating consumers who are less tech-savvy and protecting sensitive data from emerging cybersecurity threats.
Embracing Multichannel Availability
An increasing number of customers expect brands to offer multichannel or omnichannel customer support. The average American consumer has used three to five customer service channels, such as phone, email, chat and social media support, to ask questions or resolve issues. Customers also expect companies to provide self-service tools for handling simple inquiries while funneling complex issues through a call center. Research shows that companies with strong multichannel support strategies increased year-over-year customer retention rates by 91 percent, which makes this a worthwhile investment.
Understanding Your Customers
Market research is important in every sector. For contact centers, this principle is twofold. First, we have to understand our customers. Second, we have to understand our customers’ customers to ensure that each caller receives the personalized experience they deserve. That’s why we focus on a limited variety of verticals, including automotive, health care, retail and nonprofits. A solid understanding of these industries gives us a knowledge base that’s as broad as it is deep. Recognizing the challenges and opportunities that customers face is the best way to create effective, lasting solutions.
Investing in Employee Training and Resources
Training, experience and a well-developed knowledge base are three of the most important aspects of building a workforce that can consistently meet or exceed customers’ rising expectations. In Microsoft’s annual report, an overwhelming number of respondents reported that a knowledgeable customer service representative was the most important aspect of a positive customer service interaction. The second most important factor was the representative’s ability to resolve the issue during a single call, regardless of its duration.
Committing to Continuous Improvement
To become an innovator, businesses must continually refine and improve their processes. This can be as simple as devoting 10 percent of their time or budget to exploring new technologies and marketing strategies. A commitment to continuous improvement is critical in rapidly evolving industries like customer support that are becoming more complex and nuanced with each passing year.
For more information about leveraging the latest customer service technology, contact Ameridial today. Our experts will be happy to provide a personalized quote.