I’ve just completed a client engagement in which the focus was on call center customer satisfaction (cSat). Since that’s a concern for a lot of call centers, I thought I’d talk about four areas in which you can generate and sustain cSat improvements.
Quality Agents, Quality Monitoring
Your agents’ skills, knowledge, and professionalism form impressions that shape customer sentiment toward your company. Hiring, training, and developing the right people are crucial steps in delivering a quality customer experience. For most centers, that means:
- Working closely with HR to devise appropriate sourcing and screening of prospective candidates
- Developing great training programs with a peer/mentor shadowing approach for new hires
- Instituting a quality monitoring (QM) program to ensure that the experience planned for customers is the experience they actually receive
Unfortunately, too many centers look no further when considering options for improving their cSat ratings. Yet there’s much more that they can do.
Voice of the Customer
QM provides an internal measure of quality. To get a 360° view of the customer experience, call centers need to incorporate Voice of Customer (VoC) surveys in their quality metrics. VoC surveys aren’t generic satisfaction questionnaires implemented by marketing; they are specific to interactions and can be tied back to individual agents. Performance management tools can combine results from QM and VoC scoring at the agent level to identify strengths and weaknesses and identify appropriate courses of action.
Performance Management Processes
A 360° view of the customer experience falls short without the processes to maximize the insights that it generates. You need to collect a statistically accurate data sample for each agent and then have the resources in place to analyze the input, assess needs, and deliver coaching. It doesn’t do any good to monitor and ask customers for feedback if you don’t follow through with the “teachable moments” consistently.
People make or break quality initiatives. To implement an effective program, people need to be aware of the need for change, desire to be part of the change, understand what they need to do, show us they can do it, and get reinforcement – e.g., scorecards – for continuous improvement.