Formula for a Great Customer Experience
Good customer service isn’t as simple as having enough staff to answer the calls when they come through, in this day and age, customers expect a lot more. As consumers, we expect customer service representatives to be more than warm bodies in a chair or monotone voices on the other end. We expect customer service representatives to be quick and effective, knowledgeable, and friendly. The customers for your utility or municipality expect the same.
Quick and Effective
With advancing technology, we as a society, expect everything to be done quickly and effectively. This is especially true when it comes to taking time out of our day to call into a call center. We don’t want to spend hours on the phone to resolve a concern, only to be bounced around or find out the next day the original call warrants a second call. Your customers don’t want this either.
So how do you ensure quick and effective service? Well, there are a couple of ways. One sure fire way to ensure it is by having plenty of staff to man the volume of calls you receive. But warm bodies aren’t enough. A proper automated system helps ensure that calls are routed to the correct departments, while well trained staff prevents lapses in communication between a customer and a representative.
Nothing is more frustrating than calling into a company to find out the person on the other end doesn’t know any of the answers to the questions you have. After waiting on hold and dealing with an automated system, you expect to reach someone who can actually help. One way you can ensure that your customers reach a knowledgeable customer service representative is by providing proper and thorough training.
Customers call with more than basic “what is the due date of my bill” kinds of questions. Your representatives need to be able to address more in-depth concerns. Customer service agents should be able to handle a myriad of questions covering everything from billing, ways to save, information on regulation changes in your area, and how to handle numerous other scenarios.
Proper training ensures that all customer service agents are versed in all areas. This prevents the dreaded call transfer. When you customer calls in and wades through the automated system, they don’t want to be bumped around from person to person until someone has an answer for them. While this is not entirely preventable, well-trained representatives help to avoid this needless transferring and gets your customers back to the important things in their lives quicker. It also helps eliminate frustration on the customer’s part by not hearing “I can’t do that for you but someone else can” over and over again.
Being quick, effective, and knowledgeable aren’t the only keys to great customer service. Your staff needs to be friendly. Customers can hear a smile in the voice of those who answer the phone. Likewise, they can hear when someone is annoyed to be answering the same question for the tenth time that day. Even though a customer service representative may be quick, efficient, and quite knowledgeable, if there isn’t a friendly tone to go with it, customers may feel the experience was a bad one.
The question becomes how do you ensure your representatives are remaining friendly? Call monitoring is the answer. Regular monitoring of calls makes sure your representatives are following through on not only the technical side of their jobs but also the personable side that makes the connection with their customers and leaving them feeling satisfied that the customer service experience was a great one.
Making Every Interaction Count
Each time your customers contact you for any reason, you have one chance to make that experience a great one. Arming your customer service representatives with proper training and call monitoring helps promote quick and effective interactions with knowledgeable and friendly representatives. After all, on those calls, your representatives are representing you. Don’t you owe it to your customers to make sure you are represented in a great light?