Unlock the secret to ultimate contact center success with these four key elements: a growth environment, well-documented policies and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure), comprehensive training, and meaningful consequences for actions. In a world where small businesses struggle to compete with industry titans, it's crucial to understand that losing a customer due to a bad experience goes beyond a single sale – it can impact all potential sales influenced by that customer. Discover how creating an airtight system can empower your contact agents, foster a growth-oriented environment, and set the stage for exceptional customer experiences. Learn more about the FrontStage platform's role in building a knowledge base to enhance agent capabilities and revolutionize your contact center approach. Elevate your business above the noise of industry giants by prioritizing flexibility, creativity, and personalized solutions – become the talk of your customers for all the right reasons
Let’s say you’re a tiny regional bank trying to make your mark. You’re so small, your bank can barely take a breath when you’re in the same room as other banking titans.
The only way for you to get any kind of success is to approach your customers in new and twisted ways. We can’t tell you what kind of big difference you could be with your customers, but we can tell you where to start and what kind of background you need to build.
Picture this: your customer calls you up completely desperate. They’re begging you to work your magic. Maybe it’s a situation where they feel like they’ve been overcharged, or the energy crisis is getting to them, or it’s a simple misunderstanding where they’ve spiraled out of control. Whatever the case, now’s the time for your contact center to shine.
Except it doesn’t. Your agents drop the ball, leaving your customer and you hanging. Your customer– well, she isn’t your customer anymore - she’s gone to play with the big boys. And you’re sitting holding your balls wondering who’s going to play in your court.
Maybe it’s because your contact agent didn’t understand the situation. Or they were too focused on upholding the “rules”. Or your customer was fed up trying to reach you. Or there was a mix-up in an order. It doesn’t matter.
You need to understand that when you lose a customer to a bad experience, you haven’t just lost that one sale (or the subsequent sales). You’ve probably lost all sales to the people your (previous) customer influences. Chew on that. Even before social media, it would be about 13 people – today, those numbers could reach into the 100s possibly 1000s.
So, before your contact agents decide to stick with the rules, are confused about what to do, or don’t answer fast enough, just think of all the losses on the backend because the person who hired isn’t up to the task. Yeah, that’s your fault.
Customers get into situations like this every day. Wherever you go - banks, insurance companies, retailers, you name it – there’s someone (maybe in your contact center) bungling up sales and ruining a business. Can you really afford that to happen to your business?
If you’re ready to go beyond the dizzying heights of mediocrity, and actually make good on customer experience, there’s one thing you’re going to need more than anything else. An airtight system.
You’re looking for the kind of system that will help your contact agents and contact center thrive. When you’ve got a tight system, you’ll keep and condition your agents to be the best. That’s what will make your customers happier and keep coming back. You’re still going to have problems. Customers are still going to call and your agents are still going to drop the ball. (Come on. Nothing is ever going to be perfect.)
But what’ll happen is your agents will know what to do when they can’t solve a problem. They’ll know how to handle irate customers because you’ll have a system in place.
Here are four parts you need for an airtight system.
- A growth environment
- Policies and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure)
- Consequences to actions
Your contact center environment is the hardest to set up and most important to get right. Other articles here will go into more depth about your contact center environment. But here are a few words to keep in mind. A growth environment in a company means the ability to grow within the company, both in skills and in position. There need to be opportunities to challenge any contact agent to test their skills. If they are looking for a leadership position, then that means they can test those skills before they become a leader.
Losing a good idea or method because there wasn't a knowledge base to capture it is one of the most significant losses a company can face, and many do. Solutions that work need to be recorded and documented so that other contact agents can use them with other customers.
To repeat the idea: Any solution that works needs to be recorded and documented so that other contact agents can use it with other customers. This forms the basis of your policies and SOPs. It is also where FrontStage excels as a contact center platform. If your contact center already has the knowledge base in place, FrontStage can make that accessible for all contact agents.
Alternatively, FrontStage can create the knowledge plate knowledge base for you. Simply type in the keywords based on the situation at hand and the contact agent can look up what the policy is right there as needed.
You wouldn’t believe how many agents come into a company and have to start with little to no training. Most of the training is simple “Here’s how this and that works, if you have questions, ask. Now get to it.”
If you’re going to create that amazing customer experience, you can’t do it with agents who barely know what they are doing. This is where your knowledge base comes in. In the beginning, it’s leading the agents not just because they need it, but because you might not have the knowledge base yet. After you’ve built it up, then you can have your agents use the knowledge base. Without proper training in customer service, understanding the company and presentation agents won’t be effective in dealing with customers.
While most companies focus on consequences to both negative and positive outcomes, there should also be the acknowledgment of effort. This is where most companies get it wrong. If a contact agent deals with an unreasonable customer in a creative way, even if it didn’t turn out to be successful, then the contact agent should be acknowledged for this. Why? Because when all else fails trying something new is all that’s left. It’s up to the supervisor to reward those who are willing to risk things to move forward. (Supervisors sometimes punish or dismiss creativity just because they don’t see the value in new and unusual solutions. This often results in the best agents leaving because they want to go where they are valued.)
Get these elements right and you’ll be on your way to creating a contact center that makes a big difference with your customers.
Will these four parts help your little company make a big splash? Maybe not, but you’ll be the whispers that drown out the cacophony of noise the Titans make. Customers will be talking about you, trusting you, and knowing they can rely on you while the big guys flail about with arbitrary rules and conditions. Because they are big machines, they often lack the flexibility and creativity to offer customers customized solutions. This is exactly where you can shine. This will be whispering how they love what you give and do just because you can.