The September issue of Intelligent Sourcing will include a short supplement on customer experience (CX) – and coincidentally, Forbes has just published an article on its best practice for this area.
We have some other ideas to supplement them.
- Use the available technology and don’t let it use you. We have seen various implementations in which the tech has simply taken over. One correspondent once boasted to us about his software for monitoring remote employees so that you didn’t have to worry about recruiting the right people any more, the tech would look after him. Let’s just repeat that: he believed technology was more important than recruiting the right people for the brand. We’ll just leave that out there.
- Don’t worry that you’re using a third party. When this whole third party call centre thing started, typically people would call up or you’d call in, and someone with a heavily accented voice would tell you their name was Colin. You knew perfectly well that it wasn’t. Why bother? If your centre is in India/Africa/the Americas, nobody minds. Your customers are sophisticated, trust them to take this on the chin!
- Make your products available to your agents. One of our favourite contact centres was the one in Portugal that worked with a major electronics manufacturer. So when a customer called in, they would try to replicate the breakdown that had applied. This meant they were employing someone basically to smash TVs. First, we want that job, but more seriously it allowed the contact centre agents to get their hands dirty and be as familiar with the product as the staff.
- Measure on outputs rather than the speed of calls. Loads of calls that need never have happened actually isn’t good news. As contact centres are becoming more sophisticated and using robots, the more engaging calls are the ones that are coming through to humans – and they will take more time than “where is the on-switch on my TV?”
- Be prepared to train the right staff and aim higher as you do so. The transactional contact centre is going to be increasingly automated so you now need the next generation to come in – they are likely to be older (unusual for a next generation, we grant you) and more sophisticated than their predecessors – but training their predecessors is an equally good idea.