Customer Service: How to Succeed With Customers at Every Point of Contact
• Employ solid workforce management practices for all channels. Top call centers work hard to ensure that the right number of e-support agents are in the right places at the right times. This includes accurate forecasting for online customer contact volume, and scheduling the appropriate number of staff to meet your call center's service level/response time objectives.
Successful call centers carefully track how many email and web contacts they receive each day, as well as when such transactions occur and how efficiently they're handled. Doing so enables the call center to uncover essential historic buying trends on which they can base solid staffing decisions.
In addition, top call centers keep close tabs on any special events (e.g., a new marketing campaign) that are likely to affect email, chat and other web-based contacts, and then staff accordingly.
• Institute formal "e-monitoring" procedures to ensure that agents and systems are effectively handling online customer transactions. Supervisors and managers in top multichannel call centers regularly evaluate agents' email and chat responses for accuracy, spelling, grammar and personalization, and provide agents with the feedback and coaching they need to continually improve.
In addition, contact-center agents should receive detailed reports that help to provide a more holistic view of online customers' experiences with the company. Such reports show how long customers had to wait to receive an email response or to resolve an issue via chat, as well as shed light on the effectiveness of self-support tools on a website.
• Continually measure online customer satisfaction, and act on your findings. Leading multichannel call centers not only monitor how they handle online customers, but they ask those customers for their opinions and feedback via post-transaction surveys.
Carefully analyze the information and suggestions received via those surveys and feedback methods to make strategic changes to improve your web-based services. Data mining tools can help identify trends and pinpoint problem areas, especially when paired with an individual or team whose primary responsibility is customer satisfaction measurement and evaluation.