Human-Centric Approach – Delivering the Best Customer Experience!
The customer experience and employee experience are two areas that are often compartmentalized. In reality, a customer’s experience with your business directly results from the experiences your employees have every day.
If your employees are frustrated or working in silos, then the customer will see it as they interact with your employees.
In this blog, let us look at how we can align employee experience and customer experience.
The customer experience would be great as an organization when your employees are happy.
In short, if the employees are happy, then the customers will be happy.
I am not going into the details on the HR side of keeping employees happy. Instead, I would focus on how technology can help align EX with CX by keeping the employees happier and more productive.
Let us look at some of the challenges that employees face in the customer experience function and how they can be addressed:
1. Lack of Knowledge of the Product or Service
Organizations see a lot of complex issues coming in, which require longer resolution times. Most employees are not equipped to handle all the complex queries. So they transfer the call to other agents – eventually, the customer speaks to multiple agents before their query is resolved.
The customer experience takes a hit here.
The inability to address customer queries is considered the most significant contributor to stress for customer experience representatives.
Use intelligent call routing to ensure that the query gets directed to the right agent with the right skills to resolve. The customer will not have to speak to multiple agents and repeat themselves before resolving their query.
Wouldn’t this make your customers happy?
2. Switching Between Multiple Screens
Often, the representatives have to switch between multiple screens before they get the context of the customer query. This means a long time before you answer your customer queries. Besides, you will miss critical customer interactions, resulting in missed opportunities and sub-standard customer experience.
Have you considered an omnichannel contact center platform with a single view of your customers across all channels? Imagine that all your customer interaction interfaces and channels are tightly integrated – you can access every customer interaction from any of the interfaces.
Often, you get asked this question, how would you manage multiple channels? When all your channels are integrated, you don’t need to control them separately. With one interface, you should be able to handle interactions from multiple channels.
This would mean you don’t have to switch between screens and will not miss customer interactions.
3. Overworked and Overloaded Agents
Customer experience representatives burn out due to excessive work. There is very little time for any of them during their shifts. This puts enormous pressure on them besides affecting their performance.
Have you considered offloading some repetitive tasks to self-service tools like chatbots, FAQs, knowledge bases, and AI platforms?
You should definitely consider doing this.
When you analyze your customer queries, about 60 – 70% are frequently asked or repetitive. You can easily segregate these queries into the self-service mode, making it easier for your customers and representatives. They will now have ample time to spend on complex queries requiring human intervention.
4. Inadequate Training
Contact centers often follow a set training process based on the needs identified. However, it keeps evolving, and they don’t get to see them till too late in the cycle.
This results in underperformance and poor customer experience.
Imagine running analytics on all the call recordings and understanding all the red flags in the experience you provide. The red flags could be around misselling, compliance issues, and inappropriate actions to resolve a customer issue.
This would act as the base for your training needs, which can be an ongoing process.
5. Actively Seek Feedback from Your Customer-Facing Agents
Seldom do organizations seek feedback from customer-facing agents. They are in the trenches and likely your customers’ first point of contact. The treasure trove of information you can get from seeking feedback would go a long way in making your organization successful.
For instance, some of the questions for which you should get information from your agents include the following:
- How does the customer use our product to do their tasks? Identify use cases and how the product is used. You would know if this is how it was conceptualized when you designed and developed your product.
- What problems do we solve for our customers? Document all the problems, challenges, and issues our offering solves for our customers. Identify if this is what you set out to achieve or if there are any surprises.
- What is your customers’ hardest or most frustrating part about using your product? Document all the problems customers tell during their interactions with customer service and support. Set out to remove all these problems at the usability and documentation levels.
- If you had a magic wand, what would you change to improve the customer experience
This would throw so much light on what customers feel about your experience, which can act as inputs for your product, marketing, and training teams.
Besides, run constant surveys with your agents on the following:
- What can we do to improve the customer experience we provide?
- What made the customers go ahead with upgrading the purchase of your offering?
- What stopped the customers from completing the purchase?
- What stopped the customers from pulling the plug on your service?
- What did you love about providing the experience you offered?
- What did you dislike about the experience you provided?
Seeking feedback would also make your representatives a massive part of your customer experience initiatives.
6. Inadequate IT Infrastructure
While the organization allows employees to work from home, they are stuck with inadequate infrastructure. Often, they are expected to connect to the platform using VPN, and most representatives have only broadband connectivity, which can sometimes be spotty and inconsistent.
How do you expect them to do a stellar job with such connectivity?
The organization can’t provide leased connectivity at every rep’s home. The only thing that they can promise would be backup connectivity to switch between. Still, that doesn’t reduce the chances of being spotty.
So, what is the solution?
You should move your contact center to the cloud, which is easily accessible, unlike a VPN connectivity to the platform hosted on-premise. Most contact centers have moved to the cloud or have taken a step towards moving them to the cloud. You should consider it too. That would make your infrastructure device agnostic, and your hybrid workers can access it from any active browser with Internet connectivity.
The pandemic ensured that contact centers adopted technology like never before to benefit the employees and the customers and, in turn, their organizations. The digital transformation that has taken place in the last two years has been unprecedented, and it only augurs well for the customer experience industry.
After all, customers are the lifeline of any business, and should we not travel the extra mile to take care of them?