There’s always room for improvement when it comes to customer experience best practices. With the wide variety of touchpoints available for customers to connect with your brand, every channel is an opportunity to impress them with seamless, effective integrations.
If your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software brought you a wealth of information on each customer and lead, then it’s up to your customer service team to use that information to take customer experience to the next level.
But why is improving contact center customer experience so important? Studies show creating positive customer experiences creates loyal customers. And loyal customers are more likely to repurchase and become brand ambassadors, spreading your company culture and values as their own.
To truly improve customer experience in your contact center, envision and develop the ideal experience and then ensure your team is prepared to follow through and deliver outstanding service.
How can we use emerging technology to improve customer experience? Here are 7 simple customer experience best practices:
1. Understand Who the Customers Are
One significant tactic for how to improve customer experience: Knowing your customer! How much does your customer service team truly know about the people they’re serving? You might have shared information about customer demographics and expectations, but one way to help your contact center customer service team is to put a face to the client. It’s important to spend time creating customer service personas to help agents better envision exactly who they’re helping on a day-to-day basis.
For example, if your customer is predominantly female between the age of 25-35 living in the suburbs, your persona might look something like this:
- Jenny Lexington, age 34
- Mother to Emma (3 years old) and Stila (6 months)
- Loves to drink chardonnay and practice yoga when she can
- She often feels overwhelmed trying to keep the house in order
- Her spouse works late hours, so she’s always looking for ways to simplify her life
- She has a lot on her plate and wants her shopping experiences to be efficient and seamless
Now, not all your customers are identical, of course. However, by creating an idea of who the customer is, contact center agents can picture who they’re serving, better understand how they can assist each customer, and ultimately improve digital customer experience.
2. Recognize the Stage of Customer Journey
Just because you’ve assigned certain agents to a specific channel doesn’t mean they should interact with each customer the same way. Some agents are assigned to interact through a chatbot system, and they might find themselves engaging with a new customer who is still in the awareness stage or customers who have already purchased — and the message shouldn’t be the same for everyone.
Wondering how to improve the online customer experience for every customer, regardless of stage? A critical contact center customer service best practice is ensuring the message isn’t the same for everyone. For example, “Hi, welcome! Let me know if I can help you with anything,” might be ideal for leads in the awareness stage, but it might not have the same effect for someone who’s a returning customer and has probably already seen that message several times.
With the help of a CRM system, your contact center customer service team can pinpoint which stage of the customer journey your client or lead is in and personalize their interaction to improve the customer experience. Let emerging contact center technology help as you define the customer actions that fall within each stage of the customer journey so your customer service team can quickly recognize and know how to approach your leads and clients.
3. Create Emotional Connections
Another important contact center customer service tip is to create relationships and connections with the customer you’re interacting with. Although your customer service team doesn’t control pricing, they need to deliver everything else. Essentially, it comes down to being able to create emotional connections.
This means empowering your agents to break away from your classic customer service. You can do this through:
- Allowing agents to throw an appreciated surprise into the customer’s order such as a handwritten note, a free upgrade, or even a freebie item.
- Giving agents examples of how to anticipate customer needs
- Rewarding loyalty with frequent shopper programs or coupon codes
- Coaching agents in customer experience best practices for communicating with empathy and giving them examples of empathy-driven statements
- Foster a collaborative culture within your contact center, so agents learn how to improve the customer experience from their colleagues
4. Make it Easy for Your Customer
With tough competition throughout many industry marketplaces, it’s important to make it easy for customers to do business. One-click checkout, instant customer service through chatbots, and next-day shipping all are ways to improve customer experience and get ahead of the competition. These services are created to simplify the purchase process for customers and ensure they keep coming back.
Making things easier and reducing customer effort has shown to increase sales exponentially. Your customer service team can also reduce customer effort by:
- Offering to call back in case of disconnection
- Understanding customer queries clearly
- Avoiding asking the customer to repeat themselves
- Providing helpful material after service
- Improving first call resolution rates and solving customers’ issues the first time around
- Maximizing agent engagement (because engaged agents lead to happier customers)
Implementing these solutions is a great contact center customer service tip because the fewer hoops your customer has to jump through, the better. Simplifying things for your customer is a key step toward improving customer experience.
5. Collect Customer Feedback
When it comes to improving digital customer experience, it’s crucial to make customers part of your improvement process. Why is voice of the customer (VoC) one of the top customer experience best practices? With effective VoC surveying in place, you’ll refine your understanding of your customers, identify breaking points in your current customer experience, and ultimately grow your bottom line.
Start by opening a dialogue between your brand and your customers. Loyal customers will appreciate that you take the time to listen to their opinion and feedback. You can even take the time to call and write to your most loyal brand ambassadors.
Another way to improve contact center customer service is by sending post-interaction quick surveys asking how the customer service agent performed and what they can change for their next customer interaction.
6. Provide Quality Training
Establishing proper onboarding and ongoing training sessions for your contact center customer service team can make all the difference in improving customer experience.
Delivering training doesn’t have to be in your standard classroom format anymore. Online contact center customer service training with multimedia material can give a multi-dimensional approach to your training and help agents better absorb the information.
7. Interacting the Right Way
Improving your digital customer experience can be as easy as interacting with them on their channels of choice, the same way they would with their friends, family, and colleagues.
It’s all about meeting customers where they are, and providing them with ideal pathways to connect with your brand. But be sure to follow the rules of the platform in response time and tone. By making them feel comfortable, you could create a customer experience that builds trust and loyalty.
Keeping these key contact center customer service tips top of mind in your contact center will help your customer service team improve the overall customer experience time and time again.
Do you know how to improve contact center customer service and experience and keep an eye on how your agents are doing? Our Playvox quality assurance software allows you to track agent performance, create reports, and train all from the same platform. Request a demo today!