Reducing Customer Effort.

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Reducing Customer Effort.

How can enterprises simplify customer service interaction so that the customer effort is reduced to the bare minimum?

1. Develop expert advisors

The backbone of all queries are skilled advisors, their knowledge and dedication lies at the heart of driving customer satisfaction through the roof. Developing your advisors into experts should be at the top of your checklist. Coaching, in-house adviser training programs should include:

  • Language skills courses
  • Customer care
  • Personal development planing
  • Standard call coaching
  • Annual appraisal
  • Specialist areas of a project

Everyone is responsible for customer service. Each and every staff member should receive training on customer service delivery. Updating the advisor with real-time customer information data should be the number one priority of every agent team.

2. Offer a choice.

This one is simple, offer different channels to the customer(email, web chat, social media, phone and SMS), that way they can pick the easiest one for their interaction. Agent interaction needs to be quick and effective, easy access to all the needed information and business processes needs to be available on their desktop in an instant. Customize agent desktops into the perfect agent-friendly system that will in turn make the life simpler for the customer.

So what does simpler mean to the customer:

  • Easy; the customers is offered a wide selection of communication channels.
  • Quick; fast response times.
  • Effective; the customer gets what he requested.

3. The IVR.

What could be simpler than picking up the phone and quickly getting through to a friendly customer service agent? Sadly, it is not always possible to connect customers to agents quickly, and IVR can help route customers and prevent unmanageable queues.

The IVR come in handy when it’s not possible to connect customers to agents quickly – it will help to route the customers and manage queues. The most frustrating thing about IVR is facing multiple options, none of which suit the customer’s reason for calling. Having way too many sub-menus will frustrate the customer even further since they might be difficult to comprehend and navigate.

Your top priority when reviewing or designing a IVR should be simplicity combined with customer experience. Consider an option that connects the customer on an agent that is ready to take on general queries and limit the number of possible options to just one specified set. Sometimes it might be a good idea to get rid off the IVR in the first place, weight the pros and cons and take action.

4. Email response time

Response time matters, even more so then it comes to customer service delivered through Email. This important part of the multichannel approach can become a pain for the customer if the process drags for to long. Pick agents with appropriate skill sets, clear written communication is key here. It will help to pinpoint the problem and will allow to resolve it quickly. Remember speed matters, even if the problem was not resolved on the spot, the customer will be satisfied with an instant follow up message.

5. Simplicity.

The old KISS principle could not be more valid, especially when it comes down to online customer service provided through social media channels. Considering how much social media grew as a client service platform it is quite easy to loose sight of the goal – communication.

Don’t just gather feedback, sometimes your agents will need to initiate, collect background information on the problem and all while doing that make sure that the whole process is as similar to a real life conversation as possible.

Make sure you respond to all queries, even the negative ones – your customers will let you “hang out” with them in return, you’ll be treated as one of their peers and that will enable you to engage them in new ways – no longer will it be a typical customer-company relationship, but a new customer-customer communication.

6. Opening hours

Call center and contact center managers often overlook the fact that the majority of their customers work nine to five jobs. You can have the best customer service but if the customer needs to fit problem solving into their tight schedule, he’ll move onto the competition. Give the customers the greater choice, provide your service in the evenings and on the weekends.

7. Social media presence.

It’s been said plenty of times that social media are w wonderful customer engagement tool that allows for near instant feedback and data collection. Simply be easy to find – use social media to raise your brands influence and presence.

In the end it all boils down to simplicity as the core of your customer experience – no one likes jumping through additional hoops.