How To Humanize your Call Center - Self Service Central
 

How To Humanize your Call Center

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These days, speed and efficiency are a priority of most businesses.

Technology has been incorporated into customer service more than it ever has before and, while this may help corporations to achieve both speed and efficiency, it can also cause issues with the quality and effectiveness of the customer service being given. Take, for instance, a story from “Straight Talk with Nigel Hollis”. The author describes a situation where his American Express credit card was declined at a hotel in a foreign country as a security measure. An automated AmEx system called the customer to confirm the transaction’s legitimacy. In theory, this seems like an excellent, proactive process. However, the system that called the customer was difficult to hear in the hotel, it did not respond to the customer’s commands and in the end it increased their frustration. While the automated system was both speedy and efficient, the customer, though he achieved the desired result, was not satisfied.

Gartner Analysts tell us to: “Communicate more, not less – It may be difficult to communicate with customers that are angry or distrustful, but a lack of communication will breed more distrust and dissatisfaction.”

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How can businesses strike the balance between incorporating technological advances to enhance speed and efficiency, while still providing exceptional customer service?

Amazon is a company based entirely online. It would be easy for a company like Amazon to fall into the trap of providing customer service based entirely on speed and efficiency, however they don’t. Amazon employs hundreds of customer service representatives that are available to answer questions for customers. According to Rosanne D’Ausilio, President of Human Technologies Global, Inc., with the growth of e-commerce, businesses need to reinforce the human element of customer service to be successful. This can be achieved by:

Providing an empathetic response. According to D’Ausilio, companies are outcome oriented and fail to provide an appropriate empathetic response to a complaint. Customers want their anger and frustration to be acknowledged and understood instead of simply being shuttled through the resolution process. Accessibility. Research indicates that customers prefer to deal with businesses that are consistently accessible. To improve customer satisfaction, automated phone systems should have a “zero-out” option that connects you directly to an operator; websites should have a way for the customer to connect directly with a human representative; in e-mail correspondence, the customer’s issue or complaint should always be restated in the opening paragraph. Make a connection. Research shows that 85% of consumer purchases are made by women and that 95% of consumer purchases are influenced by women. Women feel a stronger need to make a connection with the representative and trust the brand and the corporation. Price becomes secondary.

Forester takes a slightly different approach: In 2014 and beyond, customer service professionals will work on better understanding the channel preference of their customer base and guiding customers to the right channel based on their inquiry. They will work on breaking down communication silos within and outside of customer service and standardizing the resolution process and customer service experience across channels and touchpoints.

For a customer service representative to establish a connection with an individual they need to engage and communicate effectively. According of Jodie Sun of Zopim blog, CSRs can achieve these goals by:

Dropping the jargon Framing things in a positive light Focusing on what you can do, not what you cannot do Taking care not to misuse a phrase or misrepresent a situation Anticipating the customer’s needs and problems Keep interactions friendly and personal, use the customer’s name and maintain a warm tone of voice.

There is another method where you can keep you customers feeling happy and satisfied without any serious effort on your part. It might sound like witchcraft but a self-service system will ensure that your customers have a simple, smooth & burden-free online experience, eliminating confusion and frustration.

Customer service is the cornerstone of any business. 45% of customers leave a company due to poor service and 20% leave because of a lack of attention. By being accessible, interacting with customers in a positive way, acknowledging their complaints, and striving to make a personal connection, businesses can negate these losses and provide their customers with an exceptional overall experience.

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