7 Strategies to Upgrade Call-Center Performance, Part 2 of 2
In the final installment of this two-part series on tips to upgrade call-center customer service levels, we continue our coverage of a whitepaper, 7 Innovations to Reinvent Phone-Based Customer Service, from the multichannel customer service and knowledge management software provider eGain, by revealing the final three strategies from the list.
(For part 1, and strategies one through four, click here.)
5. Phone-aided Web collaboration. This tactic, browsing the Web while speaking to customers on the phone simultaneously, enables call-center reps to help customers complete online transactions such as form filling and online shopping. At the same time, it trains reps on how to use Web self-service for informational, transactional and diagnostic queries in the future, the whitepaper says.
6. Multimodal Web self-service. One of the best ways to dramatically improve phone customer service is to provide exceptional Web self-service, the whitepaper says. This reduces the need for agent-assisted service for queries of low to moderate complexity, freeing them up to engage in value-added conversations with customers and prospects.
Providing exceptional Web self-service requires multidimensional knowledge bases, experience-centric user interfaces, multimodal content access supporting a broad set of content retrieval methods (e.g., FAQs, natural language processing, search, browse, guided help, chatbots), integration with back-office systems and active promotion of self-service, especially in the context of providing agent-assisted service (e.g., when the customer is put on hold).
7. Cloning the “best agent DNA.” Keeping call-center reps up to date on best practice interaction and service fulfillment processes, service compliance, contextual offers, and product knowledge is a nearly impossible task for most organizations. As a result, service varies from agent to agent.
The call-center rep’s personality and skill largely determine the value of the interaction for the customer as well as the business. Therefore, when you find “star” reps who are able to thrive in this environment, duplicate their performance for the entire call-center staff. This framework is based on the notion that attitude is more important than aptitude. Though aptitude is relevant (e.g., experience in sales and customer service, verbal communication skills), attitude is a must. Consider the following four-step process.
* Classify your call-center reps into four groups: models — retain, refine and reward these high attitude, high aptitude reps; makeovers — this group holds great potential for improvement; misfits — reassign these reps that are lacking in attitude to roles that don’t require them to interact with customers; and mistakes — let go of these low attitude, low aptitude reps.
* Create a plan, setting goals and time lines for each rep.
* Capture and embed expertise from models into multidimensional knowledge bases and work flows. Also, embed regulatory compliance in interactions and service fulfillment into these tools.
* Group the “makeover” reps into control and test subgroups, deploying the aforementioned tools to the test groups. Then, measure the performance of the two subgroups, and make decisions based on your results.
For more information, go to www.egain.com.