8 Tips to Provide Exceptional Customer Service in the Contact Centre
Customer service is more than just polite conversation and forced smiles.
It’s using the right tone and the best tools to truly help the person on the other end of the line.
In a contact centre, providing exceptional customer service should be a priority as it can positively benefit your employees, your customers and your bottom line.
And who wouldn’t want to do that?
Learn what makes customer service exceptional and follow these 8 actionable tips to create the best contact centre for your customers.
What Is Exceptional Customer Service?
Providing the highest level of support to all customers regardless of circumstances is the core of exceptional customer service.
Unconditional help regardless of the issue.
However, great customer service needs to be about more than the agent’s attitude.
It’s also about making sure that the systems, workflows, and environment in your contact centre allow the conversation between agent and customer to go as smoothly as possible.
8 Tips to Create the Best Customer Service Experience
Making sure you’re as organised and efficient behind the scenes as you are on the call can elevate the customer’s experience.
Follow these 8 actionable tips to ensure your contact centre maintains exceptional customer service.
1. Be Kind, Patient, and Personal
When it comes to customer service in a call centre, the tone is the message.
Communication is often limited to a phone call or online chat.
This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and frustration.
Keeping a friendly, kind, and personal tone throughout the call establishes trust.
And as representatives of the business, personable agents will also improve the brand image.
Your culture will have a large influence on this – does your vision and mission support exceptional customer service?
Do your executives and managers actively support and encourage great service?
Rewarding and celebrating great customer service can be one of the most effective ways to establish the right culture in your business.
2. Offer Omnichannel Support
There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to email a company and all they have on their website is a phone number.
Or vice versa, when you want to speak to someone and all that is offered is a contact form.
Every customer wants to engage with a business through their preferred channel.
You need to give them options to contact you through online chat, phone, email, text, and social media.
Once you have these covered, you’re running a multichannel contact centre.
However, if you truly want to raise the bar for customer service, you need to have omnichannel support.
This means that agents can communicate with the customer through multiple different channels at the same time.
For example, they can talk on the phone with an agent while texting an image of the issue.
After, the agent can email instructions to the customer, helping them complete the task.
Omnichannel support is the future of call centres, and it’s the best way to provide an exceptional customer service experience.
3. Ensure Quick Response Times
No one wants to wait for an agent while annoying elevator music passes the time (although if they are going to be stuck on hold there are some great options for making the hold experience more enjoyable).
The best way to ensure that queues for your agents don’t build-up is to have enough agents on the floor.
Aligning customer demand to available resources is a crucial aspect of running a contact centre.
You can use a staffing calculator and analyse seasonal trends in call frequencies to ensure that you always have enough agents on the floor.
You can also use them to model different scenarios for your business, for example, what the impact would be if you reduced Average Handling Time by 10 seconds or how many additional agents would be required if call volumes increased by 10%.
4. Utilise Intelligent Routing
Intelligent routing doesn’t just prevent a headache for your customers.
It also makes your operations more efficient and effective.
For example, you can use a dashboard that routes incoming calls to the right department and avoid useless back-and-forth that wastes time and frustrates the customer.
Getting customers directly to the person that can best help them results in lower average handle time and higher customer satisfaction.
These can quickly and effectively lead the customer to the right department or associate.
5. Stay Empathetic
Working in a contact centre can get emotional.
Your agents will talk to dozens of people every day and they may be mad, sad, frustrated, and annoyed.
However, it’s important to remember that the customers calling in are only human too.
How the customer talks shouldn’t affect the level of service you provide – equipping your agents with how to handle difficult customers and learning some empathy statements can help ensure your agent’s, and customers, have a better experience no matter what the situation.
6. Educate Your Agents on the Product
Don’t just give agents a script to repeat!
Spend the time training agents about the product or service they represent.
They’ll be more knowledgeable, helpful, and faster when customers ask specific questions.
While the training may take more time, the benefits will outweigh the cost of extra training.
Apart from the financial benefits of lower handle times, the customer satisfaction and retention rates will also increase.
Another powerful tool in ensuring your agents have the right information is investing in a Knowledge Management Platform.
A Knowledge Management System is very affordable (search here for local suppliers) and can slash the times of induction training and ensure the agents have all the right information at their fingertips with a single source of truth.
7. Get the Best Tools
You don’t need the most expensive computers or the latest monitors to run a successful contact centre with cloud contact centre solutions more affordable than ever.
However, don’t be cheap with what tools you give your agents either.
Good quality headphones, a fast internet connection, and the most up-to-date software all ensure that your agents are as effective as they can be.
If they’re waiting for sites to load and struggling with background noise, the customer isn’t the only one affected.
Your agents will also get frustrated.
And that’s not the mindset you want for someone talking to customers.
8. Keep Your Promises
If you make a promise to your customers, make sure you deliver.
Unkept promises build distrust and resentment.
However, if you do keep your word and you’re willing to go the extra mile, they’ll be very thankful for it and that can lead to much higher customer satisfaction and longer retention.
For example, if you promise them you’ll get back to them in 24 hours, make sure that you do.
You can do that using simple tools like leaving yourself a note and a reminder, or a CRM tool that can automate the reminders for you.
Either way, make sure you deliver on your promise!
Why Is Exceptional Customer Service a Priority?
Exceptional customer service means that the customer can trust you.
They can rely on your help, regardless of who they are or what problem they have.
And transparent, efficient, and reliable customer service doesn’t just ensure a positive brand image.
It’s also important for your revenue.
Higher customer satisfaction means improved retention and increased engagement.
Ultimately, that’s more customers and more money in your pocket.
And if you’re running an outsourced contact centre, the equivalent is more clients who’ll stay with you longer and spend more.
So regardless of your situation, I trust these 8 tips to provide exceptional customer service via the contact centre can help benefit your business and your customers!