Have you ever been to a coffee shop/pub (delete as appropriate) where the person serving knows exactly what you want? You don’t even need to ask, they just see you walking in and start pouring. It’s a great feeling. It makes you feel valued as a customer and it helps to build your loyalty to the brand.
Then there’s the other end of the scale. You order your drink and it seems to take forever to arrive. Then, when it eventually turns up, it’s actually the wrong order. So, you have to either lump it or chase the person who served you to re-do your order. It’s a frustrating feeling, right?
While we can’t all make perfect lattes from our contact centres, we can do something else that really makes a difference to the customer experience. This one tip might sound obvious, but it’s a great place to start to improve customer satisfaction, agent productivity and reduce expensive outbound calling.
Give customers the information they need before they have to ask for it
It’s really quite straightforward: give your customers the information they need before they have to ask for it. Whether it’s letting them know that their order is on the way or confirming that you’ve received their hotel room reservation for the night, being proactive can make all the difference to number of inbound calls you receive and also how happy your customers are.
Your customers want to know what’s happening and want you to keep them in the loop. Did you know, for instance, that 30% of inbound calls to a Contact Centre are to ask: Where is my order? By proactively informing all these people on the status of their order, you can make a massive difference to the number and nature of your inbound calls. And, on top of this, 94% of customers say they want to receive relevant and timely text messages from brands. So, when the information is helpful, useful and interesting, you have their permission to get in touch with them.
Proactively communicating with your customers can have a real impact on outbound calling too
Outbound calling can be a tricky job. Whether you’re chasing a late payment or upselling a product, it can take a lot of calls to get the conversation going. The agent doesn't know whether that conversation will happen on call 5 or call 50. For the agent, some days it will feel like they never get a chance to get a conversation going and others they’ll be non-stop.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could add in a layer of certainty to your outbound calling? What if you could corral your customers into time slots that matched your contact centre resource availability? This has two real benefits. First, it means you can get a better handle on your call volumes and make sure you have the resources you need to deal with them. Second, it allows you to set times that are convenient for your customer to talk, so they’re much more likely and willing to have a conversation.
Consider using text messages to proactively ask your customers to get in touch at a time that suits them. That way you’re not only encouraging inbound calls, but also ensuring that your agents are working productively, rather than continuously chasing customers in the hope that someone will be there to answer.
If you're looking for more ways to improve the customer experience in your contact centre, check out our On Demand webinar which focuses on this very subject!