Contact Centers: Two Ways to Improve Sales and Customer Service
Although more sales continue to migrate online, the contact center remains an important touchpoint between catalogers and customers. To ensure that your customer service reps (CSRs) provide the best possible experience to your customers while driving sales, Best Practices, a benchmarking strategies provider, offers the following a couple of key pointers in its recent whitepaper, “Transforming Contact Centers into High-Performing Sales Channels.”
* Use on-screen prompts to provide real-time coaching and expertise to CSRs. While product information aids and popups aren’t new, the whitepaper’s authors note that the various uses for prompts these days is quite diverse. Their research reveals prompts that do the following:
* Identify cross-selling opportunities;
* Guide transitions from service to sales;
* Provide questions for fact-finding that create a sense of trust between customers and CSRs;
* Provide pricing tools;
* Coach new reps in the service and selling process; and
* Assist in the configuration of complex products and services.
The assorted promts act as catalysts to energize high performers to excel and help lower performers to improve their abilities. Another benefit is the standardization of the cross-selling and upselling process to customers, the implementation of which often varies from CSR to CSR, the authors write.
* Link incentives to both sales and service performance metrics. While many contact center managers incentivize CSRs for sales performance, such bonuses often result in a decrease in customer service levels, the Best Practices officials write. To preserve and improve customer service levels, the authors suggest designating a specific percentage of bonus pay to service performance based on monthly customer satisfaction scores. If you have a sophisticated measurement system, split incentives based on customer satisfaction, sales performance and overall productivity. Such an approach, however, often is more costly due to the need to gather reliable data and assess each CSR’s performance individually.