Incremental Changes Toward an Improved Customer Experience

Incremental Changes Toward an Improved Customer Experience

/ Strategy, Customer Experience, Operations management
Incremental Changes Toward an Improved Customer Experience

3 areas in which low-risk, cost-effective changes are easy to implement.

In the contact center industry, we’ve seen more changes in the past five years than in the previous 35 years combined. We are seeing significant disruption thrust upon the contact center, and customer service expectations often exceed what organizations are able to deliver. To meet increasing customer demands, we recommend contact centers take a “marginal gains” approach to improve the overall customer service experience. Instead of making one large, revolutionary change, contact centers should make several low-risk, cost-effective changes that are easy to implement.

3 Areas to Examine for CX Improvements

The following are three areas contact center managers should investigate to improve customer experience and benefit their business.

People

One incremental change contact center managers can make immediately is eliminating the job title, “contact center agent.” This term was used decades ago during the early days of contact centers, and implies repetitive and mundane work, where people just answered calls. Today, with the rising use of self-service, incoming calls are longer, more complex and require more collaboration to solve customers’ problems. Also, work being done in the contact center has morphed and resembles marketing efforts—especially as employee interaction with customers directly impacts the company’s brand. People working in today’s contact center are highly educated, trusted and empowered. We suggest moving to job titles that reflect the work being done, such as “customer service representative” or “enterprise knowledge broker.”

A simple change in job title is the first step in shifting perceptions that the contact center has changed—and is more important than ever.

Spaces

Look at—and listen to—the work being done in your contact center. It may be necessary to modify the acoustic environment of your physical space.

In areas where calls are made, it’s important to make sure that people are not distracted by conversations from those around them. A Gensler Workplace Survey identified that, over the past five years, collaboration has decreased by 20% and workers are less able to focus. Simple steps like the installation of barriers, plants, noise absorbent surfaces and using noise-cancelling headsets can keep contact center professionals focused and engaged when interacting with customers.

Customer security and privacy are additional reasons it’s important to pay attention to acoustics in the contact center. For contact centers handling sensitive information, such as financial and health details, acoustic treatments help keep conversations private. For customers, the lack of noisy background chatter helps to make them feel their personal information is secure.

Technology

There are two types of technologies used in contact centers today: one focuses on external contact with customers and the other deals with internal collaboration.

Try small, trial deployments of technologies that reduce friction. For example, web real-time communications (WebRTC) allows customers to connect with a support person with a simple click in their browser. By providing quick ways for customers to reach the contact center, you can reduce caller frustration.

Another customer pain point is constantly being put on hold, or being placed on hold for extended periods of time. To alleviate this problem, the implementation of unified communication (UC) in the contact center is extremely helpful. UC ensures contact center personnel can easily and quickly collaborate with internal experts to find solutions.

Where Should You Start?

You might be asking, “Where can I start making these changes?” Take a step back and see how you can make alterations across all three areas.

As you identify and act on multiple small opportunities for contact center Improvement, it will culminate in benefits across your organization.

Richard Kenny

Richard Kenny is Head of Global Contact Center Market at Plantronics and is responsible for defining the strategy, planning and directing of worldwide sales, marketing and business development activity for contact center customers.

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