The pandemic has changed how contact centres operate. Agents working from home and changes in customer expectations are just two of the challenges that organisations face. Ed Creasey of Calabrio discusses how successful Customer Service Managers can boost their skills to deliver exceptional customer experience (CX) in extraordinary times.
Since the pandemic working from home and how we interact with each other has changed almost everything. For customer service agents on the front line the recent disruption has resulted in a very different working experience. Agents have been working from home for the first time, no longer having the IT systems or immediate support of colleagues and managers they once enjoyed in the physical contact centre.
As a consequence of new working environments and increased customer enquiries, additional demands have been placed on contact centres. According to Calabrio’s latest survey[i] of contact centre professionals, 84% believe the pandemic has permanently elevated the importance of the contact centre for their business.
It is testimony to contact centre leaders that organisations have been able to adjust to the ‘new normal’ so swiftly and effectively. Senior managers responsible for customer service operations are now looking to boost their own skills to deliver effective and successful CX outcomes.
Connecting with customers for competitive advantage
Times of change can also be a great catalyst to reflect on operations starting first with the customer journey. It is important to connect with customers at a deeper level, by looking at the business from the ‘outside-in’ and understanding a customer’s true needs[ii].
The second priority is to equip staff at all levels throughout the organisation to understand the concept of the journey to help customers. Good communication is key. With clear direction and goals from customer service managers and professionals, contact centre agents have a path to follow to ensure that every customer conversation is a positive one.
Now is the time to make your customers your biggest fans
Not every customer query is straightforward, which is why customer service operations exist. As the frontline to the business, agents need to be prepared to deal with a wide range of queries and problems, as well as the routine calls. There is no doubt that investing in mapping out the possible scenarios, questions and potential solutions can elevate service delivery and is time well spent.
At Calabrio we have teamed up with James Dodkins, Customer Service Influencer and Trainer (better known as the CX Rockstar) to offer scholarships to a new, online Accredited Customer Experience Specialist program (ACXS). Designed specifically for customer service professionals, it provides simple and effective strategies that they can adapt and apply in their own organisation.
As part of the training, participants learn techniques to design their own Customer Service improvement programme to develop and strengthen customer relationships. The course involves:
- a case study approach - managers become part of a ‘Customer Service Innovation team’, learning tools and practices that will help them solve customer service problems and capitalise on opportunities
- learn-apply-learn-apply method - allows participants to learn a concept, understand and apply a philosophy
- practical exercises - including working out return on investment, creating a category and experience matrix, and identifying customer expectations and successful outcomes
- customer journey mapping - learning how to make customer experiences unique and memorable, identifying needs, choices, the ideal journey and future state.
On demand training offers flexibility
Traditional training courses or structured coaching in the office are no longer possible. Today the best training is offered on-demand, on video or e-learning, which participants can schedule around their work and family commitments. The Customer Experience Specialist programme offers a step-by-step process that is easy to follow and complete, in bite-sized chunks, and with accreditation to demonstrate CX expertise.
Now is the time to improve the experience your customers receive - before your competitors gain the advantage. For more information visit:https://info.calabrio.com/become-a-cx-rockstar-training/
Ed Creasey is Director of Pre-Sales International at Calabrio