Headlines featuring “AI” and “chatbot” have dominated the discussion in the customer service space for the past year. Naturally, it’s tantalizing to imagine a world where no one needs to call a contact center, but the sizzle around AI and chatbots obscures a deeper question: How much customer support can actually be done by self-service? This question has been with us since the earliest web sites and IVRs started to offload the simplest tasks from agents. Each new wave of technology revives the dream that we can eliminate (or drastically reduce) human agents. We can see the current excitement around AI and chatbots as an extension of this long-running dream. Is it different this time? Are we reaching the promised land? Or are we chasing a receding horizon?
Tag Archives: contact-center-agent
Persuasion is one of the most creative ways for a customer service representative to deliver an optimal experience to consumers. Persuasion isn’t manipulation, rather it’s an effective way to positively influence and retain customers through engagement, connection, and creative problem solving.
When executed effectively, consumers don’t even realize they are being convinced to buy a product or service, or to continue returning to a particular company or brand. Persuasion, in its most sophisticated form is subtle, swift, and a highly effective tool for every call center or customer service department to implement. Here’s how to use persuasion to deliver exceptional customer service.
Some people tend to go through life without making changes to their appearance. Others frequently change their look to reflect current trends or change with the seasons; women sometimes go from long hair to short, men often grow a beard. Regardless of the change, even minor improvements can have a dramatic impact. Let’s apply the same concept to the contact center.
Some contact centers operate the same way, year after year, offering their services via the same channels, with no interest in making changes or improvements. Others undergo makeovers, both big and small, and enjoy all the accompanying compliments. The industry praises them, their customers are happy, and agents are proud of their place of work.
Follow these 5 simple steps to give your call center the makeover it deserves.
Picture this: By dinner time tomorrow you’ll be sitting around the table enjoying a festive Thanksgiving meal and preparing yourself for the lethargic feeling you’ll have after consuming an unimaginable amount of food (nom-nom). You’ll sit back on your favourite spot on the sofa, put your feet up and have thoughts of gratitude. How thankful you are to be surrounded by great family, caring friends, and all the gifts of life we’re lucky to have. Now let’s take that scenario and think about how to show the same amount of gratitude to call center agents.
Even though employee appreciation may seem like common practice, most contact center agents feel unappreciated and disengaged. Managers may think they’re showing appreciation, but more often than not, those thanks are not heard. With Black Friday around the corner and the holiday season quickly creeping in, the call center is sure to get inundated with calls and requests. If you’re trying to bridge the gap this Thanksgiving, you can start with these simple tips to increase agent engagement.
We’ve all had our share of amazing customer service experiences, and we can attest that when a company goes above and beyond the call of duty we not only share those experiences, we also become loyal customers. Sometimes these stories don’t get the attention they deserve. In fact, it’s more common that the stories we do hear about are the ones where customers are unhappy because of a bad experience. It’s not fair that we constantly have to shame brands. Let’s take a moment to share 5 amazing acts of kindness from well-known brands across a number of industries.
Here are 5 tear-jerking customer experience stories for you to enjoy.
Monday: It’s the start of a new week and everyone is back to reality, trying to check everything off their “To-Do” lists. The problem? Mondays are notorious for high agent absenteeism. Whether it’s falling ill or just wanting to extend the weekend, being understaffed on Monday’s is commonplace in the contact center world. This, coupled with high call volume, can create a major meltdown for any call center.
However, there is a rather simple solution that can help smooth out those dreaded spikes in call volume, while making life easier for those agents who showed up to work.
Every time a customer comes in contact with your brand, whether it’s in-store or online, each interaction is a touch point that contributes to the customer experience. Consumers are demanding more, and their choices are ever expanding, which means that better service will lead to greater customer loyalty.
Here are 5 customer service mistakes that are negatively effecting your support operations.
The recent renaissance in self-service has been driven by several factors. First, the past 20 years of online commerce have allowed us to hone the technology and techniques for making good self-service interfaces – first on the web, and then on mobile devices. The art and science of building good user experiences (UX) has become a mature profession. Second, the smartphone revolution brought that UX to everyone’s pockets. Third, the majority of today’s consumers are very comfortable with these tools and actually prefer them to human interaction. (The younger they are, the more strongly they prefer self-service, so this bodes well for the future.)
The growing popularity and effectiveness of self-service implies that its counterpart, human-assisted service, i.e. the purpose of call centers, is on the decline. Sure, there are some transactions that still require an agent, but if one extrapolates from current trends, isn’t it reasonable to assume that eventually all interactions will be self-serve? Does that mean centers are headed for obsolescence, like floppy disks and 8-track tapes? Not so fast.
Hiring the right customer service agent is incredibly important to the success of your contact center. You’ve probably seen how less-than-stellar support interactions can go completely viral in a matter of hours. It just goes to show that a contact center is only as good as its agents! After all, onboarding committed, motivated, and qualified agents helps your call center achieve its purpose.
The foundation of any successful support team is built from a carefully crafted hiring process, where you have a clear vision on the type of person you want to hire. Check out these 4 tips to help you prepare for employing the right customer service agent.
Live chat is an essential tool for contact centers aiming to improve customer engagement with an active online presence. Chat has been around for over a decade, but only in the last few years have companies realized its true potential. According to Econsultancy, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel – chat was rated at 73%, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone. Having live chat is now a standard feature for most companies looking to talk to customers in real-time.
However, providing great live chat support isn’t particularly easy. Chat is a conversational tool and performed in real-time, but it also requires strong writing skills. This means, agents need to encompass both phone and email skills simultaneously in order to be successful at chat.
So, as companies embrace live chat can we confidently say that contact centers have become masters at it yet? A little bit of help never hurt! Here are 5 simple steps you need to be cautious of when trying to be successful at chat support. Continue reading →